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2,215 Ratings

We Own the Night

Directed by James Gray
United States, 2007
Crime, Drama, Thriller


In 1988, New York’s police wage an all-out war on drugs. Bobby Green (Joaquin Phoenix), manager of a nightclub that is often frequented by gangsters, tries to remain neutral but hides a potentially fatal secret: his brother (Mark Wahlberg) and father (Robert Duvall) are both cops.

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We Own the Night Directed by James Gray

Critics reviews

For my money it’s the best movie by James Gray. . . . This is complex stuff, and Gray gives it a sense of gravity that comes through not only in the acting—with Phoenix’s increasingly heavy-souled performance anchoring things in nearly every shot—but also the filmmaking, which is virtuoso in a grimly stylized sort of way.
July 05, 2018
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…It becomes clear that Gray is aiming less for Coppola and Scorsese than Aeschylus and Sophocles, and to the extent that one adjusts one’s vision, it actually works… In any other imaginable context, We Own the Night’s two final lines of dialogue would be almost ridiculously uplifting. Here, they send a chill down the spine, since they affirm that destiny has quashed individual will and that once again America has eaten its young.
December 01, 2007
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…The film’s dialogue is otherwise almost painfully literal, stating ideas and themes as starkly as a Cliff’s Notes chapter summary… Surprisingly, the most memorable scenes in We Own the Night are an aspect with which Gray had demonstrated no previous facility: big action set pieces. If you’re a genre fan, the film’s climactic car chase, set in the midst of a torrential downpour (apparently computer-generated, but you’d never guess), may be worth the price of admission all by its lonesome
October 11, 2007
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