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59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 59 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Bobby Green has turned his back on the family business. The popular manager of El Caribe, the legendary Russian-owned nightclub in Brooklyn's Brighton Beach, he has changed his last name and concealed his connection to a long line of distinguished New York cops. For Bobby, every night is a party; he greets friends and customers or dances with his beautiful Puerto Rican girlfriend, Amada, in a haze of cigarette smoke and disco music. But it's 1988, and New York City's drug trade is escalating. Bobby tries to keep a friendly distance from the Russian gangster who is operating out of the nightclub--a gangster who is being targeted by his brother, Joseph, an up-and-coming NYPD officer, as well as his father, Burt, the legendary deputy chief of police. (Columbia Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. At its core, it's an exploration of the demands and obligations of brotherly love, staged with honesty, originality and a surprising spark of intelligence.
  2. 75
    Whatever the case, We Own The Night plays like a masterpiece because it skillfully appropriates actual masterpieces, not because it earns the label on its own merits.
  3. 75
    This is an atmospheric, intense film, well acted, and when it's working it has a real urgency.
  4. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    63
    Phoenix gives a nice performance as a man caught between loyalties but blind to the realities all around him, but Gray's screenplay is filled with clunky, Dr. Phil-sounding aphorisms that stop the movie cold.
  5. 60
    It's a bare-knuckled crime drama set in 1988 that stylistically could have been made that year and emphasizes Gray's strengths as a director while drawing attention to his limitations as a writer.
  6. 50
    Too slow to be a guilty pleasure and too dumb to be an innocent one.
  7. Gray's signature long takes and overhead shots are in evidence and add to the film's fatalistic tone, and one rainy car-chase sequence is a real keeper. But, overall, it's impossible to shake the film's gloomy sense of eternal repetition.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 24
  2. Negative: 7 out of 24
  1. Aug 8, 2014
    10
    It is difficult to see a movie this great and made so recently get so little love on the internet. James Gray is a superb filmmaker, though I don't really like, at all, his "Two Lovers", also with Joaquin. Anyway, he and the whole crew of Night don't deserve less than the highest plaudits.

    I don't feel that I can carry the only positive user review on metacritic. At this writing only one other person has bothered to write a review with the dismal score of a 4/10. I haven't got the words because I am utterly bummed. Easily this could have been in the running for the Academy Awards had the critics made it their darling. This is proof that when they don't want you to like something, you--not me--won't like it. If they want you to love it, you'll love it. I have to wonder how they got pissed off, were they not invited to an advanced viewing? I wanted to see a whole row of 100's, but the top score is an 83!

    To humor you, I liked this movie more than Cronenberg's Eastern Promises, also a Perfect Ten to me, also out in 2007. There is cop/crime/russians in Night and Promises both, and a familial connection as far as crime fathers are concerned and loyalty to them; but Night is far more personal and human with a literal blood family carrying the majority of the drama. If you like Promises you'll see that there are plenty of differences between the two films, and the similarities are only skin deep, so no slurs should be made about either one being the copy of the other. Also see the less similar but not less superb End of Watch.
    Expand
  2. JettN.
    Oct 19, 2007
    10
    Anyone who did'nt love this movie doesn't know what a good movie is. It is one of the most emotionally moving films i have seen i n a long time. Stellar performances by the whole cast, ignore these guys, go see it now. Expand
  3. jN.
    Oct 14, 2007
    9
    I like this movie. Although all the leads are excellent Joaquin Phoenix excels as the charming annoying Man who grows up and becomes a valiant crime fighter. Story is familiar for the Genre but the story is interesting and pulls you in as it goes along to its climax. Worth a look. Expand
  4. MarkC.
    Nov 6, 2007
    6
    First off, why all the Departed comparisons? Is it because of the stellar cast in an average movie with an anticlimactic ending. Because thats about all the comparisons that I noticed, well maybe the cops and badguys thing but C'mon. This movie was just OK, not great but worth watching. Expand
  5. Mar 14, 2011
    4
    This movie just didn't cut it. A guy (J. Phoenix) doesn't go from being a nightclub manager inside a drug den to becoming a decorated cop simply because his high-ranking father got killed. Mark Wahlberg gets shot execution style but lives... only in the movies. The plot lines aren't well developed. The viewer never gets to identify with any of the characters because they're all generic stereotypes, and many of the scenes are incredibly boring. I'm glad I watched this on DVD and could use the fast-forward button; an hour-and-45 minute flick took just 45 minutes to watch, and it still lacked entertainment value. Expand
  6. Matt
    Oct 26, 2007
    1
    The script in this movie is awful. It's just stupid. Why would the bad guys invite an outsider to their cocaine factory? How would the bad guy escape jail the day he is being brought to trial? Why would the NYPD make a civilian bar manager a cop overnight. It was just a dumb nonsense script. The only thing that makes this movie bearable is Eva Mendes.. she is gorgeous. Expand
  7. JoyceC.
    Oct 30, 2007
    0
    We Own the Night is a movie about how Martin Scorseses still does, don't expect a crime/drama, this is more of an action/adventure, wow was I sure wrong. Mark Walhberg is the most failing actor recorded in by book, his character is boring, and Joaquin Phoenix, did he ever copy leo in the departed. A total waste, the dumbest film of the year, James Gray wrote a story about the war upon night, and many clubs and characters. Sound like prohibition, but guess what, we don't have prohibition any more, it hasn't happened. Expand

See all 24 User Reviews

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