Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Robert Duvall
Director: James Gray
Studio: Columbia Pictures/Sony
Video: 1.85:1 anamorphic/enhanced for 16: 9 widescreen, 1080p HD
Audio: English/French/Spanish Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Extras: Director Commentary, Featurettes
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Hindi
Length: 117 minutes
We Own The Night tells the story of a family torn; Robert Duvall plays a New York City police veteran whose sons each follow very different paths. Mark Wahlberg plays Joe, who follows in his father’s footsteps and becomes a career officer on the force, while Bobby opens a nightclub that caters to drug lords and high profile mobsters. When Bobby is asked to provide his cooperation to an ongoing police investigation, he becomes torn between his loyalties to his family and the hoods that have helped create his livelihood and success. As the investigation intensifies, Bobby realizes that his family has been placed in jeopardy, and he has to determine the true extent of his loyalty to friends or family. The film is not too dissimilar in tone from last year’s The Departed, although told from a slightly different perspective than that Jack Nicholson-dominated Scorcese classic. We Own The Night suffers from a weaker script, however; a good rewrite would have significantly improved the character development and pace of the action, and would definitely have given these fine actors a little more to do onscreen.
I haven’t seen the DVD version of this movie, but the image presented here is a very good one, although the picture quality seems a bit soft in places as the movie proceeds. The colors are sharp and vibrant, although as the movie takes a darker tone, the resulting colors follow suit and become much colder in character. You’re given a choice between three (3!) Dolby TrueHD soundtracks, and while the sound (especially in the car chase scene) is generally excellent and immersive (there’s a really cool 80s musical vibe), much of this film is dialogue-driven, and precious little is left for anything other than the front and center speakers to do. All of the bonus material is presented in HD (yeah!) and offered a generally interesting and informative watch.
This film grew on me with repeat viewings. While not a classic of the genre, I still found the film offered significant entertainment value, and fans of the movie will probably find this Blu-ray disc the definitive version. Recommended.
— Tom Gibbs