Ah les bons sentiments, ah la victoire des bons contre les méchants, si méchants ,si fourbes, si violents et les bons si bons si unis si famille patrie et surtout si bénis de Dieu qui les protègent et qu'ils prient avec ferveur dans leurs beaux uniformes. C'est avec des idéologies de cet acabit que notre monde en est arrivé là où il en est. A retenir, une scène géniale sous la pluie, bravo les cascadeurs!
Very surprised by this. Passed on it for so long, finally gave it a chance, and voila - a fairly predictable crime-thriller with Hollywood sensibilities, but, set in a fairly unique period with a great lead performance. Not to mention the sporadic bursts of violence that keep the pace lively - and, as action sequences they are brutal and stylish. The final scene, set amidst the smoky reeds, was beautifully executed.
I was going to skip this - I watched a Wahlberg interview once and he seemed a jerk. This film still deals with the same Hollywood deck of cards for sure, but it has some convincing moments - where the acting trumps the plot (jeeze im extending metaphors now - this review lark he!) and you feel empathy: Joaquin+girlfriend; the car chase. The bond between the brothers is less believable - ja! Wahlberg jerk eh ;-)
Very familiar material, though what we're asked to feel about said material is considerably less so. Point me to another iteration of this kind of story in which we're made to find the protagonist's becoming a cop *tragic*. The cliche-heavy dialogue is a bit harder to defend.
This was on TV so I decided to go see what all the fuss around James Gray was about. And... It's wonderfully executed in many ways, I have no complaints really, but i felt bored, it has no magic, i couldn't relate to it, it felt really generic and i felt like i was watching the characters from very far away. Sorry Gray, maybe it's not you it's me. Although I really liked the car chase sequence.
4.5* A throwback to the gritty ‘70s cinema of Friedken and Cimino. It’s brutal, unflinching, muscular, and poetic. I just hope that one day a group of emerging critics looks at Gray the same way Truffaut and co. looked at Hawks and Hitchcock. Full review: https://letterboxd.com/fifeco/film/we-own-the-night/1/
The first act has that same epic sweep of the mundane as the wedding that opens The Deer Hunter. The rest mixes Coppola's allegorical, melodramatic treatment of family (albeit on a smaller, more nuanced scale) with William Friedkin's morally confrontational approach to violence. Gray doesn't film action scenes so much as reaction scenes, drawing mood from the response, not the build-up. Masterful.
"We Own the Night" is the one post-millennial film I can think of that feels like the kind of crime movie William Friedkin or Michael Cimino could have made during the late 70's. And for that reason I think it deserves to be cherished, even if the screenplay didn't completely sell me on Joaquin Phoenix's transition from sleazy, drug-addled nightclub owner to repentent hero.
No one makes action sequences as moral as James Gray. As in The Yards' hospital scene, this film's set pieces evoke empathy rather than detached suspense, privileging emotion over the fetishising of physical reality. Vicious POVs ground us in hellish isolation while the objective shots deny any succinct sense of space. The car chase is chaotic to the point of producing a serene helplessness I've never felt before.
I like the way James Gray patiently builds his imaginary world through his films. He deliberately chooses family circles as an ideal place for tragedy to appear. Here, in We Own The Night, we have two families, two brothers and two fathers. And we have Robert Grusinsky, who changed his name to Bobby Green, desperately trying to find the right place and the right circle. Masterpiece.