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We Own the Night

3.8 out of 5 stars 161 customer reviews


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$7.85 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 17 left in stock. Sold by Ultimate_Discounts and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

What if your own family stood in the way of everything you worked for? Bobby Green (Joaquin Phoenix) has forsaken his name to escape his family and their tradition in law enforcement to pursue his ambitions as a Brooklyn nightclub owner. As he turns a blind eye to the drug dealers around him, he comes face to face with the family he abandoned when his brother (Mark Wahlberg) and father (Robert Duvall) crack down on the club. Now Bobby must choose a side. Is he going to turn informant or will he help run the biggest crime ring in New York history?

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In We Own the Night, Joaquin Phoenix, whose eyes burn with sullen anger even when he's looking at the woman he loves, plays Bobby Green, a nightclub manager in the 1980s who gets caught between his blood family he tried to leave behind--a long line of police officers--and his chosen family of friends and business partners, who turn out to be drug dealers. His father (Robert Duvall) and brother (Mark Wahlberg) want Bobby to help their investigation, but Bobby resists--until the conflict takes a brutal turn. Writer/director James Gray wears his influences on his sleeve; he's clearly seen every movie that Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola ever made and aspires to follow in their footsteps. The familiarity of the movie's territory dilutes its impact, but the plot of We Own the Night remains unpredictable, the performances have a clean vitality, and Gray's moody visual style brings some life to the genre. Phoenix (Walk the Line) dives into his role, sifting through layers of guilt and familial resentment; Wahlberg and Duvall play parts they've essentially played a dozen times, but do so with commitment and integrity. Also featuring Eva Mendes (Ghost Rider) as Bobby's devoted girlfriend, who questions just how much she'll have to give up for him. --Bret Fetzer

Beyond We Own the Night


On Blu-ray

Original Soundtrack

Stills from We Own the Night (click for larger image)











Special Features

  • Commentary with Writer and Director James Gray
  • Police Action: Filming Cops, Cars, and Chaos
  • A Moment In Crime: Creating Late 80's Brooklyn

Product Details

  • Actors: Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Eva Mendes, Robert Duvall, Alex Veadov
  • Directors: James Gray
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 12, 2008
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ZS8GWQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,167 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "We Own the Night" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
The film is covering well known territory, and it doesn't bring totally new aspects into it. Just a normal "New York cops versus gangsters" flick, imagine a cross of the Departed and Eastern Promises.
We all know that in the 90s, Mr.Giuliani singlehandedly and famously cleaned up NYC (unless it really happened differently, eg via the mechanisms mentioned in Freakonomics). Before his magic touch saved the city, it appears that NY cops were the laughing stock of the streets. Gangsters were in control, it seems.
What we have here, set in 88, is a confrontation between a Russian drug ring and the cops, among whom the father and son team Duvall/Wahlberg is prominent. They have a prodigal son/brother (Phoenix), who happens to work as a night club manager for the Russians and has a Latina girl friend (Mendes). You see right away where this is leading, but then, no, you don't quite. The script succeeds in avoiding overdone predictability. With hindsight, no big surprise happens, but you never quite know how it will unfold.
In other words, if you like the genre, this is a first class product.
Some have given low grades here for the fact that it is not original. True, it isn't very. But I would rather watch a solid movie in a proven and interesting genre than an original bore in a new one.
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***1/2

Taking its title from the motto engraved on all NYPD officers' badges, "We Own the Night" is essentially the Prodigal Son story transplanted to the mean, crime-ridden streets of New York City. Robert Duvall is Burt Grusinsky, a high ranking police chief with two sons, one "good" and the other "bad." Joseph has eagerly followed in his father's footsteps by becoming a captain on the force, while Bobby wants nothing whatsoever to do with the police and, in fact, spends much of his time running around with the unsavory drug dealers who frequent the lucrative nightclub he successfully manages. It isn't until one of those associates has Joseph shot after a narcotics raid on the club that Bobby learns where his true loyalties lie. He agrees to go undercover for the force to unmask the identity of the shooter and bring down the Russian drug cartel that set Joseph up.

At times, while watching the movie, I kept thinking that writer/director James Gray had simply grafted the Michael Corleone story onto "The Departed." Still, despite its derivative nature, "We Own the Night" is a tightly scripted, occasionally ingenious police procedural featuring a riveting, knockout performance by Joaquin Phoenix in the role of Bobby. He gets solid support from Duval, Mark Wahlberg as Joseph, and Eva Mendes as the true love who doesn't feel all that comfortable with Bobby's sudden fascination with helping out the police.

Gray provides a number of highly suspenseful moments, as well as a terrifically mounted car chase through the rain-soaked streets of the city.
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Format: DVD
"Booed at the Cannes film festival (always a sign that a movie has good energy), James Gray's pulverizing crime drama is unafraid to put its passions right out where it's easy to mock them. We Own the Night is defiantly, refreshingly unhip." Peter Travers

A movie that does not have original material, but it works in spurts. The
dark underworld of Russian crime- this is the group du jour of crime nowadays. The New York City Police Department who in the 1980's according to Roger Ebert used the 'We Own the Night" slogan of the New York police, painted on the sides of their squad cars as a promise to take back the night from the drug trade. Two members of the NYP- Robert Duval and Mark Wahlberg as father and son want to bring that drug trade down. The other brother, Joaquin Phoenix, for whatever reason, has become the manager of a club that caters to the drug crowd. At opposite ends, oh yes. Until, until, something big happens and the son Bobby Green turns to the side of the law. Eva Menedes does an admirable job playing Bobby's love interest, and this emotional tangle brings this film some real credibility.

The action in this film and in particular the car chase on a wet rainy night with fog so thick you can barely see is a raw knuckle event. The raw and grainy fear is palpable, and I can envision the fear and heart racing excitement.

"But this is an atmospheric, intense film, well acted, and when it's working it has a real urgency. Scenes where a protagonist is close to being unmasked almost always work. The complexity of Bobby's motives grows intriguing, and the concern of his girl friend Armada is well-used. "We Own the Night" may not solve the question of ownership, but it does explore who lives in the night, and why." Roger Ebert

Recommended.
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Format: DVD
James Gray's 1980s paean of a NYC family of cops vs. the Russian mob, "We Own the Night" refreshingly doesn't portray policemen as crooked or amoral, but, despite the star power involved, never achieves greatness, either. Sadly, the plot is predictable, and the climax, contrived.

This is not to say the film hasn't merit; Joaquin Phoenix, as the 'black sheep' son who dabbles in 'the dark side' before becoming an 'avenging angel' cop, is superb, as is Eva Mendes, who, for once, is allowed to show more depth than her usual 'window dressing' roles. Robert Duvall demonstrates a restraint in his 'father' role that has been missing in most of his recent work, losing the Southern twang for the crisp diction reminiscent of his earlier films. Surprisingly, Mark Wahlberg, in a more 'straight arrow' variation of his character in "The Departed", has little to do, and is completely upstaged by the flashier Phoenix, as well as by his Russian counterparts, the kindly father figure with a secret life (Moni Moshonov), and his ruthless drug lord nephew (Alex Veadov).

The film starts promisingly, with a flashy vision of Manhattan club life of the late 80s, run by the Russians, who are taking control of drug trafficking, and hold the NYPD in contempt and disregard, juxtaposed against the simpler, traditional world of New York's Finest, celebrating achievement, duty, and service to others. Phoenix, as the 'adopted' son of the Russians, and the actual son of a cop, is at the nexus of what might have been great drama, as he straddles both worlds. Yet when the film's first major climax occurs, the opportunity is lost, as he makes a decision that channels the film along a predictable path that offers few surprises.

Still entertaining, but far less than it might have been, "We Own the Night" is a good film that could have been great...
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