We Own the Night (film)
|We Own the Night|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||James Gray|
|Produced by||Marc Butan
|Written by||James Gray|
|Music by||Wojciech Kilar|
|Edited by||John Axelrad|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures
Universal Pictures (international)
|Running time||117 minutes|
We Own the Night is a 2007 American crime drama film written and directed by James Gray and starring Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes and Robert Duvall. It is the third film directed by Gray, and the second to feature Phoenix and Wahlberg together, the first being The Yards.
The film premiered May 25, at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. It was released October 12, 2007 in the United States and Canada. It was released in the United Kingdom on December 14, 2007 and in Australia on February 28, 2008.
In Brooklyn, New York from November 1988 through early April 1989, Bobby Green (Joaquin Phoenix) is the manager of the successful El Caribe nightclub in Brighton Beach that is frequented by Russian gangster and drug lord Vadim Nezhinski (Alex Veadov); and owned by Marat Buzhayev, Vadim's uncle and Bobby's boss.
Bobby has distanced himself from his father, NYPD Deputy Chief Burt Grusinsky (Robert Duvall), and his brother, Captain Joseph Grusinsky (Mark Wahlberg). He has changed his last name to the maiden name of his mother, Carol Green, preferring to remain on the sidelines and enjoy a hedonistic life with his girlfriend Amada Juarez (Eva Mendes) and best friend Louis "Jumbo" Falsetti (Danny Hoch).
When police forces led by Joseph make a raid on Bobby's nightclub on November 22, 1988, hoping to net Vadim, Bobby refuses to cooperate. The incident strains his relationship with his father and brother even more, to the point that he and Joseph exchange blows and insult each other's significant other (for Bobby, it is Amada, and for Joseph, it is his wife Sandra).
The police are unsuccessful in capturing Vadim, who decides to retaliate. At 5:43 pm on the evening of November 23, 1988, Joseph is shot by a masked assailant, and his unmarked police cruiser firebombed. Joseph survives the ambush, but the extent of the injury requires him to be hospitalized for four months. Vadim, unaware of Bobby's family ties, confides that the Chief will be the next victim. Bobby resolves to help the police. Behind his father's back, Bobby goes undercover inside Vadim's drug-smuggling operation and has a narrow escape. Bobby and Amada are placed under constant police protection and their relationship begins to deteriorate.
On March 20, 1989, Vadim escapes custody while being transported to a hospital. The police prepare to move Bobby and Amada to a new location. During a blinding thunderstorm, the police convoy is intercepted by Vadim's men and, during a chaotic car chase, Burt is fatally shot. Bobby passes out in the rain when he sees his father's body.
The police take Bobby and Amada back to a Sheraton Hotel near Kennedy Airport. He wakes up a few hours later and finds Joseph in the hotel room. After Joseph tells him that their father died, Bobby cries in Joseph's arms and asks how "they" found them. At the funeral, which is attended by all of the officers and their families, a colleague of Joseph's, Captain Jack Shapiro, gives him Burt's Korean War medal. Bobby is told that a Russian shipment is coming in sometime in the next week.
To avenge his father, Bobby decides to officially join the police force without the consent of Amada, who leaves him. After he is sworn into the NYPD, Bobby, now in uniform, learns the true involvement of Jumbo, his friend, and Marat, Vadim's uncle. He and Joseph organize a final sting operation, set for April 4, 1989. During the raid, Joseph is emotionally incapacitated by the memory of his shooting and cannot continue. Vadim flees into the reed beds, and the police toss in flares to smoke him out. As the beds are engulfed in flames and smoke, Bobby runs in to find Vadim himself, ignoring the other officers' pleas that he wait. Bobby shoots Vadim in the chest, mortally wounding him.
The story ends on November 3, 1989, nearly a year after its beginning, with Bobby graduating from the NYPD Police Academy to become a full-time police officer, just in time for the 1990s. Before the ceremony, Joseph reveals to Bobby that he has decided to switch to a job in the administration sector, since the shooting made him think about how much he needs to spend more time with his three children (in the beginning, he has only two). As the chaplain announces that Bobby is to give the valedictory speech, Bobby thinks he sees Amada in the audience, but it turns out to be an illusion. Bobby and Joseph express their brotherly love.
- Joaquin Phoenix as Robert "Bobby" Green/Grusinsky
- Mark Wahlberg as Captain Joseph "Joe" Grusinsky
- Eva Mendes as Amada Juarez
- Robert Duvall as Deputy Chief Albert "Burt" Grusinsky
- Alex Veadov as Vadim Nezhinski
- Dominic Colon as Freddie
- Danny Hoch as Louis "Jumbo" Falsetti
- Oleg Taktarov as Pavel Lubyarski
- Moni Moshonov as Marat Buzhayev
- Antoni Corone as Lieutenant Michael Solo
- Craig Walker as Russell De Keifer
- Tony Musante as Captain Jack Shapiro
- Yelena Solovey as Kalina Buzhayev
- Coati Mundi as Himself
- Former New York Mayor Ed Koch makes a cameo as himself. Koch was the mayor in real life during the film's time frame.
The film received mixed reviews from critics. As of May 2009 on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 55% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 133 reviews. On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 59 out of 100, based on 33 reviews.
In its opening weekend in the United States and Canada, the film grossed $10.8 million in 2,362 theaters, ranking #3 at the box office. The film grossed a total of $54.5 million worldwide — $28.5 million in the United States and Canada and $26.0 million in other territories.
The film was a commercial success in the United States, since Sony Pictures only paid $11 million for the rights to distribute this film. Sony Pictures released this film through their division, Columbia Pictures.
- "Festival de Cannes: We Own the Night". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
- "We Own The Night - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2009-05-29.
- "We Own the Night (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2007-10-15.
- "We Own the Night (2007) - Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
- "We Own the Night (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
- Lim, Dennis (September 9, 2007). "An Auteur for a Neglected New York City". The New York Times.
- Official website
- We Own the Night at the Internet Movie Database
- We Own the Night at Rotten Tomatoes
- We Own the Night at Metacritic
- We Own the Night at Box Office Mojo
- We Own the Night at AllMovie