We Own the Night

Film, Drama
  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(8user reviews)
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We Own the Night
Smuggling in a fraught, mythic tale of destiny and blood ties under the old-fashioned clothing of a ’70s-style crime drama, James Gray’s first film since ‘The Yards’ (2000) broods with dark, tantalising subtleties. Trapped again and again in God’s-eye cut-backs, long shots and stretched takes, coked-up nightclub manager Joaquin Phoenix finds himself forced to reunite with his cop family (Mark Wahlberg as his brother, Robert Duvall as his deputy-chief dad) in the late-’80s NYC drugs war. But Gray shapes his classical framework too close to both contrivance and convention too often, leaving his intriguing thematic payload lost in murky, indistinct drama. Eva Mendes completes a volley of evolving, insular performances that mesh perfectly with the fading shadows and ambient noise of Gray’s sombre neo-noir stylings. Yet still, for all the heat, the slow-burn simply never ignites. Shame, because Gray was achingly close to something here. A desperate violence and urgency spills out in the film’s flash-point set-pieces – not least a sensational car chase, shot through a windscreen, hammering rain and a blur of fear.

By: Jonathan Crocker


Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday December 14 2007
Duration: 0 mins

Cast and crew

Director: James Gray
Screenwriter: James Gray
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix
Mark Wahlberg
Eva Mendes
Robert Duvall

Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:4
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening
Pelham Park

This review was far too charitable. Why a great cast like this could not deliver a good film, (even with a poor script) is a mystery to me. Far too much angst, for far too long.

Warm Norman

i thought the film was very good and the toilet scenes were strange but exciting. i especially enjoyed the cameo role of ben stiller as a hairy waitress


Given the stars on show this was a disappointing movie. Too many cliches you will have seen elsewhere. The film never really ignites.


Watchable but unoriginal, by-the-numbers crime thriller. Phoenix is unconvincing and somewhat annoying, Wahlberg and the great Duvall just go through the motions. All been done many times before and often a lot better.


I thought Joaquim & Mark were fantastic in their roles in the Gladiator & Italian job respectively & subsequent films. So I went to see what they had to offer jointly....I was not dissapointed but the film was more of a family drama than a thriller, not in the league of The Departed 'am afraid!


Its a good film, was worth the watch, i thought that Mark Wahlberg was more of a main part in it. Its one of those fils that is good but definatley nothing to special.