Get us in your inbox

We Own the Night

  • Film
  • 2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars
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.
Written by Jonathan Crocker

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Friday 14 December 2007

Cast and crew

  • Director:James Gray
  • Screenwriter:James Gray
  • Cast:
    • Joaquin Phoenix
    • Mark Wahlberg
    • Eva Mendes
    • Robert Duvall
You may also like

    The best things in life are free.

    Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

    Loading animation
    Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

    🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

    Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!