We Own the Night

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +4

Content: -4

Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Robert Duvall. Crime Thriller. Written & directed by James Gray.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Bobby Green (Joaquin Phoenix) has turned his back on the family business. The popular manager of El Caribe, the legendary Russian-owned nightclub in Brooklyns Brighton Beach, he has changed his last name and concealed his connection to a long line of distinguished New York cops. For Bobby, every night is a party, as he greets friends and customers or dances with his beautiful Puerto Rican girlfriend, Amada (Eva Mendes), in a haze of cigarette smoke and disco music. But its 1988, and New York City's drug trade is escalating. Bobby tries to keep a friendly distance from the Russian gangster who is operating out of the nightclub a gangster who is being targeted by his brother, Joseph (Mark Wahlberg), an up-and-coming NYPD officer, and his father, Burt (Robert Duvall), the legendary deputy chief of police.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Superb filmmaking, with solid performances all around and an emotional theme about family ties, but its a rough movie to sit through. The killing is brutal, the language even more so. That said, it is a powerful parable, not meant to glorify drug use or violence, but to reveal the evils connected to the lifestyle and the people who participate in the selling of narcotics. The films title is the motto of the 1980s-era NYPD street crimes unit.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Columbia Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: A few crude sexual comments from people in a night club.

Obscene Language: Around 60 uses of the f-word, with the dialogue peppered with other obscenities, as well.

Profanity: Three or four misuses of Jesus name, but when one of the brothers says Gods name in frustration, the scene occurring in a Catholic church, he looks up and apologizes, signifying they have been taught to show reverence toward God.

Violence: Extremely violent, with several people being shot at close range, blood oozing out on the floor; a car chase ends with a main character being killed by a shotgun blast; a lead is shot at close range, his car firebombed, another man has his throat slit, the body twitching, blood flowing from the wound; there is a jolting car wreck, other violent activity, along with an air of violence throughout. Blood: Lots of blood from wounded and dead bodies.

Sex: A graphic sex scene occurs early on, with Eva Mendes masturbating, and her lover participating. The scene is meant to show an intimacy between the two, but the act is graphically depicted.

Nudity: We see topless dancers in a club.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: There are a couple of intimate sexual discussions between Joaquin Phoenix and Eva Mendes.

Drugs: Drug use in the nightclub, the Phoenix and Mendes characters freely participating; there is no physical consequence shown for the drug activity; these two characters smoke pot before entering a police function, showing disregard for the law; the activity is portrayed to show the lead characters attitude; this changes as he begins to see the evil of the drug dealers and the lifestyle.

Other: Lots of inner turmoil.

Running Time: 117 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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