Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Brian Kirk|
|Story by||Adam Mervis|
|Edited by||Tim Murrell|
|Box office||$30 million|
21 Bridges is a 2019 American action thriller film directed by Brian Kirk. The film stars Chadwick Boseman as an NYPD detective who shuts down the eponymous 21 bridges of Manhattan to find two suspected cop killers (Stephan James and Taylor Kitsch). Sienna Miller, Keith David, and J. K. Simmons appear in supporting roles. Brothers Joe and Anthony Russo act as producers.
21 Bridges was theatrically released in the United States on November 22, 2019 by STXfilms. It received mixed reviews from critics and has grossed $30 million worldwide on a $33 million budget.
A young Andre Davis attends his father's funeral, who was murdered during one of his shifts. Years later Davis becomes a successful law enforcer working for the NYPD, who has over 8 kills working for the city. One night, two small-time criminals and former war veterans Michael Trujillo and Ray Jackson take a job to ransack a winery and steal several kilograms of cocaine it was keeping. The heist goes wrong when they realize there is more cocaine than they were expecting and police officers casually arrive at the location. They are forced into a shootout where Ray guns down the officers. Michael chastises Ray for putting them in jeopardy due to the officers' deaths.
Andre Davis is assigned to the case. Struggling with the legacy of his deceased police officer father, Davis has earned a reputation for hunting down and killing "cop killers," although he claims they were all in self-defense and is uncomfortable with the label. Narcotics detective Frankie Burns is assigned as Davis' partner. Davis and Burns come into conflict with FBI agents Butchco and Dugan, who attempt to take over the case. With the reluctant approval of the deputy mayor, the FBI, and the officers' precinct head, Captain McKenna, Davis asks for Manhattan to be locked down, although they are given until only 5:00 a.m. to catch the criminals.
Now on the run, Ray and Michael coerce their liaison, Bush, to persuade their handler to give them a bigger cut in exchange for their identities changed for their escape. They are given more money and their fixer, Adi, gives them new identities and tells them to depart for Miami the next morning. Davis and Burns manage to identify Ray, Michael, and Bush in the resulting investigation. Bush is gunned down by Butchco and Dugan when they get there first. After catching Butchco planting his sidearm on Bush's body and briefly scuffling with him, Davis feels more suspicious when a police force led by Lieutenant Kelly quickly manages to locate Adi's apartment. Adi is mortally wounded by the policemen but manages to give Michael two flash drives before Michael and Ray escape.
Davis and Burns manage to catch up to Michael and Ray; after accidentally killing a civilian, Ray is mortally wounded by Davis. Michael then holds Burns at gunpoint and tells Davis about the drives and how suspicious everything is before escaping. Burns chastises Davis for letting Michael escape despite Davis' supposed reputation for killing those who murder cops. Michael manages to hide in a hotel room, where he unlocks the contents of the drive and realizes that McKenna's precinct was involved in trafficking the drugs from the winery and earning profits for it. After another chase where Michael abandons his money, Davis manages to corner him in a subway train and convinces him to surrender, promising to keep him alive. Michael is suddenly shot by Burns, who had also boarded the train and claimed that she thought Michael was still holding Davis at gunpoint. Davis berates her for shooting Michael, who secretly hands over the drives alongside the password to them to Davis before dying. As the police congratulate the two for their efforts, Davis realizes that Burns had contacted Kelly before Adi's apartment was raided.
The next morning, McKenna arrives at his home to find Davis holding him at gunpoint, having found out the contents in the drives. McKenna reasons that the officers were struggling to survive on a measly pay, which forced them to go into drug trafficking, but that fails to convince Davis to walk away. McKenna, a hiding Butchco, Dugan, and Kelly – who were all on McKenna's payroll – then open fire at Davis. Davis kills all of them, including McKenna, who refused to surrender. Burns, who is also allied with McKenna, then appears from behind and holds Davis at gunpoint. Davis manages to convince her to surrender after revealing that he had already leaked the information online and that he doesn't want her daughter to live without her mother should she get a life sentence for killing him.
In the aftermath, Davis solemnly drives off on one of New York's bridges in the sunset, and the drives are shown to be snapped.
- Chadwick Boseman as Andre Davis
- Christian Isaiah as young Andre Davis
- Sienna Miller as Frankie Burns
- J. K. Simmons as Captain Matt McKenna
- Stephan James as Michael Trujillo
- Taylor Kitsch as Ray Jackson
- Keith David as Deputy Chief Spencer
- Alexander Siddig as Adi
- Louis Cancelmi as Bush
- Victoria Cartagena as Yolanda
- Gary Carr as Hawk
- Morocco Omari as Deputy Mayor Mott
- Dale Pavinski as Tom Cheaver
- Adriane Lenox as Vonetta Davis
- Sarah Ellen Stephens as young Vonetta Davis
- Jamie Neumann as Leigh
- Obi Abili as Butchco
- Andy Truschinski as Dugan
- Darren Lipari as Lieutenant Kelly
On July 11, 2018, it was announced that Chadwick Boseman would star in the film, then known under the title 17 Bridges, with Brian Kirk directing. J. K. Simmons, Sienna Miller and Taylor Kitsch were cast in September. However, Chris Pratt, Andrew Koji, Will Yun Lee and Lewis Tan were also considered for the role of Ray Jackson.
Filming began on September 24, with production occurring between New York City and Philadelphia. Keith David, Morocco Omari, Toby Hemingway, Stephan James and Jamie Neumann joined in October 2018.
As of December 8, 2019[update], 21 Bridges has grossed $23.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $6.1 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $30 million, against a production budget of $33 million.
In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and Frozen 2, and was projected to gross $10–12 million from 2,655 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $3.3 million on its first day, including $770,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $9.3 million, finishing fourth at the box office. The film fell 37% in its second weekend, making $5.8 million and finishing sixth.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 50% based on 107 reviews, and an average rating of 5.35/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "21 Bridges covers its beat competently enough, but given its impressive cast, this cop thriller should be more arresting than it is." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 51 out of 100, based on 32 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an average 4 out of 5 stars, with 57% saying they would definitely recommend it.
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