Brooklyn’s Finest

Rated 3.0

The lives of three cops run their various courses on the mean streets of Brooklyn: a jaded burnout on the brink of retirement (Richard Gere), an undercover narc with qualms about his work (Don Cheadle) and a family man who lets his money problems carry him onto the wrong side of the law (Ethan Hawke). Michael C. Martin’s script (his first) is contrived, disjointed and relentlessly grim, with more than a whiff of urban crime clichés, and the grimness is underlined and italicized by Antoine Fuqua’s pitiless, rock-hard direction. At 133 minutes, unleavened by humor and with only flashes of sympathetic characterizations, it’s pretty tough sledding, but Fuqua’s sterling cast (including Wesley Snipes, Ellen Barkin, Will Patton, Brian F. O’Byrne and Vincent D’Onofrio) makes it worth watching to the bitter end.