We Own the Night

Rated 3.0

It’s the late ’80s and Joaquin Phoenix is digging life as party-happy Brooklyn nightclub owner Bobby Green. He is madly in love with his smokin’-hot Puerto Rican girlfriend (Eva Mendes), and the Russian owner of the club is like the father he never had. But—and here’s where the trouble starts—Bobby does have a father (Robert Duvall), and his name ain’t Green. It’s Grusinsky. And the Grusinskys, including brother Joey (Mark Wahlberg), are a family of NYC’s finest. It doesn’t take long for the subject to be broached, however, as the police start sniffing around the Russian mob drug ring entrenched in the scene. This sets into motion a course of events that force Bobby to subvert his rebel ways and help the cops, and his family, reclaim the night. If you’re content with looking at this as a two-hour TV cop show, the (at times inconceivable) twists, and the painterly tone are all you’ll have to watch for. And it’s really good on that front. But if you start sifting through confusing thematic elements and picking at the details the film becomes much less satisfying.