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"WE OWN THE NIGHT"
(2007) (Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Extreme Extreme Extreme *Moderate Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Heavy None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Extreme Heavy Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A Brooklyn nightclub manager must decide what to do when Russian gangsters target his brother and father, who are both NYPD cops.
PLOT:
It's Brooklyn, 1988, and Bobby Green (JOAQUIN PHOENIX) is the manager of the Russian-owned El Caribe nightclub in Brooklyn. With the help of his girlfriend, Amada Juarez (EVA MENDES), and the work of Jumbo Falsetti (DANNY HOCH), Bobby has turned the place into a hotspot popular with the locals as well as various criminals, such as Russian drug dealer Vadim Nezhinski (ALEX VEADOV). Little do anything of them realize, however, that Bobby uses his mother's last name so that no one knows he's related to NYPD cops. His dad, Burt Grusinsky (ROBERT DUVALL), is the deputy chief of police, while his brother, Joseph (MARK WAHLBERG), has just been assigned to head up the force's narcotics division.

When one of Joseph's first raids targets Bobby's club, that not only creates additional tension between the siblings who obviously don't see eye to eye, but it also angers the Russian mob, resulting in a hit on Joseph that leaves him hospitalized. Bobby is conflicted, but when he hears that Vadim is also targeting his father, the family rebel must choose what to do, all while Amada worries about the potential dangerous repercussions of his decision.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Those who are fans of anyone in the cast or gritty cop dramas might be intrigued, but beyond that, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong violence, drug material, language, some sexual content and brief nudity.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JOAQUIN PHOENIX plays a nightclub owner who has broken away from and clashes with his cop family. He has sex with Amada, smokes, drinks, snorts coke, uses strong profanity, and has a bad attitude, but eventually changes his ways.
  • MARK WAHLBERG plays his brother, a solemn captain in the NYPD who runs the narcotics division and doesn't like what his sibling has become. He uses strong profanity and must contend with being severely wounded.
  • ROBERT DUVALL plays their cop father who similarly wants to crack down on the drug dealers and is likewise unhappy with Bobby, but wants to do everything by the law.
  • EVA MENDES plays Bobby's girlfriend. She smokes (including pot), has sex with him, and his unhappy with his decision to change his life, as well about how things have turned out in general.
  • ALEX VEADOV plays a Russian drug dealer and mob figure who targets Joseph and Burt for their actions to crack down on him and his business.
  • DANNY HOCH plays Bobby's club enforcer who deals (or at least delivers) drugs, uses profanity, and smokes a cigar.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 88 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue is present, as is a sexual encounter with nudity and manual stimulation of a woman (on her own, as well as by her boyfriend), while bare-breasted women are seen on a stage.

    Violence consists of various people being killed or wounded by various means (mostly gunfire), often with rather bloody results. Fighting and other physical contact is also present, and those scenes and moments of peril might be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while smoking, drinking, and drug use occur in various scenes.

    Tense family material is present, while some of the behavior might be enticing for some kids to imitate. If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's a strobe effect in a nightclub.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are varying amounts of handheld camerawork in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see photos of drug paraphernalia including needles, etc.
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a nightclub. We also see drug use, including the snorting of cocaine.
  • People have beer and other drinks at a reception for Joseph.
  • We see Bobby smoking pot and he then shares that with Amada.
  • We hear talk of cocaine, angel dust, and other drugs, in regards to a Russian drug dealer.
  • Burt asks Bobby if Amada has been hooking him up (with drugs), saying he can smell it on him.
  • People drink beer and do drugs at a party.
  • Jumbo delivers various drugs to people at a party, and we see one man snorting cocaine.
  • Miscellaneous people drink at a party.
  • A Russian man has wine.
  • Bobby snorts coke.
  • We see people drinking in the club.
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a nightclub.
  • As Bobby goes to work undercover and pretends to want to sell drugs for Vadim, a hood is placed over his head, and he is driven to a remote location. There, he sees a drug operation where coke is being processed. He is then given a sample to snort, and he does so.
  • Bobby drinks.
  • People drink in a club.
  • A Russian furrier shows that he's devised a way to smuggle coke on his furs (where the coke washes off in water that's then boiled away, leaving the drug).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a photo of a body as well as a partial view of a corpse on a table.
  • In a nightclub, we see some fighting and struggling including one man with a bloody nose.
  • The police, led by Joseph, raid Bobby's club, and there's some struggling and pushing. One man is pushed to the counter, as is Bobby by his face, which is somewhat bloody.
  • We see a man on the floor who has cut his own throat (not seen), and his body is quivering and some blood is still spurting out.
  • We see Joseph in a hospital bed with a blood-soaked bandage on his face along with various bruises.
  • During a police raid on a drug operation, Bobby stabs a guy (who was about to shoot him) in the neck, with very bloody results, but the man repeatedly punches Bobby in the face that's then bloody as well. The cops then shoot that guy on top of Bobby with very bloody results including what looks like brain matter. Others are shot with handguns, machine guns, and shotguns with bloody results. During this, cops mistake Bobby for a bad guy and shoot at him, resulting in him running and crashing through a window where he falls several stories and lands hard on a fence below. He is very bloody after this.
  • Joseph has a bad scar on his neck from his earlier gunshot wound.
  • Blood spurts out as a person is shot in the head, while a drug dealer's chest and mouth are bloody after he's shot.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Vadim and the film's other criminals and murderers obviously have bad attitudes.
  • Bobby turns a blind eye to illegal activity in his club.
  • Bobby has a bad attitude toward his brother and their father.
  • Jumbo tells a story of someone who did something "Like a Jew."
  • A person uses the term "guineas."
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • We see a man on the floor who has cut his own throat (not seen), and his body is quivering and some blood is still spurting out.
  • At his car at night, a man walks up and shoots Joseph in his head. He then throws a Molotov cocktail into his car, causing it to explode. We later learned Joseph is in the hospital, severely wounded.
  • As Bobby goes to work undercover and pretends to want to sell drugs for Vadim, a hood is placed over his head, and he is driven to a remote location. There, he sees a drug operation where coke is being processed. He is then given a sample to snort, and he does so. However, Vadim thinks the Bobby might be wired for the police. He then starts going through Bobby's things, including his lighter, which we know is wired. As Vadim breaks that open, Bobby becomes increasingly nervous and gives the cue word for the police to come in. Just as one man gets ready to shoot Bobby, he grabs that man as the police storm the place and shoot many people. Bobby stabs the guy in the neck with very bloody results, but the man repeatedly punches Bobby in the face that's then bloody as well. The cops then shoot that guy on top of Bobby with very bloody results including what looks like brain matter. Others are shot with handguns, machine guns, and shotguns with bloody results. During this, cops mistake Bobby for a bad guy and shoot at him, resulting in him running and crashing through a window where he falls several stories and lands hard on a fence below. He is very bloody after this.
  • Some viewers may worry about Bobby after they see that Vadim heard that he is Burt's son. That's especially true after we hear that Vadim has escaped from police custody.
  • The police drive Bobby in a convoy through the city during the driving rain when bad guys show up in cars next to them, and open fire on them, with the driver of Bobby's car being hit. Bobby then climbs over the front seat and takes over, swerving through traffic, all while Amada ducks down into the foot well in the back (to hide from the additional shots fired into their car). A car also bumps Burt's car up ahead of Bobby's, with gunfire exchanged back and forth between them (shotgun vs. handgun). Burt is hit and his car smashes into another, while another car has gone out of control and smashes under a truck.
  • Cops wait in tall grass to raid a drug operation. A gun battle then breaks out, where people on both sides are hit (including one in the head, with blood spurting out). Vadim escapes into the tall grass, with Bobby then trying to hunt him down, unsure of where he might suddenly pop up. Police then set fire to the grass to try to smoke the villain out, but Bobby goes back in and continues his search. He then finds and shoots his man, leaving the drug dealer with a bloody chest and mouth.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Shotguns/Machine guns/Knives/Molotov cocktail: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • We see black-and-white photos of handguns and shotguns.
  • We see various armed guards, as well as one man with a long blade up his sleeve at a drug operation.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*cking animal," "Oh f*ck," "I've got enough f*cking problems," "You better be f*cking careful," "F*ck them," "What the f*ck /you talking about/did you just say to them/is going on?" "My f*cking man," "Go f*ck yourself," "Are you f*cking sh*tting me?" "F*cking bananas," "F*cking kidding me," "Get the f*ck out," "M*therf*cker," "I'm f*cked," "I f*cking hate you," "F*ck you in the ass," "You f*ck," "Sit on your f*cking ass," "Oh sh*t," "Piece of sh*t," "I got my own sh*t to deal with," "The screw motor inn," "Get your ass out here," "We don't go nuts," "Don't be a first-class shmuck," "You piss in your pants, you only stay warm for so long," "Guineas," "Pissed off" and "Pain in my ass."
  • The action, fighting, and other stunts might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • Bobby gives "the finger" to Burt.
  • We see miscellaneous tattoos in several scenes.
  • We see miscellaneous graffiti.
  • A Russian furrier shows that he's devised a way to smuggle coke on his furs (where the coke washes off in water that's then boiled away, leaving the drug).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 88 "f" words (1 used with "mother," 1 used sexually, as is the term "screw"), 14 "s" words, 2 slang terms for male genitals ("d*ck"), 5 asses (1 used with "hole"), 2 damns, 6 uses of "Oh my God," 2 each of "Christ" and "Jesus," and 1 use each of "Oh God" and "Swear to God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see Bobby passionately kissing Amada as well as groping her clothed and then bare breast. He then sucks on her bare breast, all while she graphically masturbates followed by him putting his hand down her pants and manually stimulating her. During this, we see the side of her bare butt, hear her aroused sounds, and see related movement.
  • We see miscellaneous cleavage.
  • In a nightclub, we see two bare-breasted women on stage.
  • Amada shows cleavage.
  • Bobby and Amada passionately kiss.
  • We see Bobby on top of the Amada on the bed and both are clothed, and they passionately kiss.
  • Jumbo states that the cops found a severed head with a "f*cking d*ck" in its mouth. Bobby then asks, "Are you sure it was a d*ck?" and Jumbo replies, "Are you sure it wasn't your mouth?"
  • After Joseph makes a sarcastic comment about Bobby's Puerto Rican girlfriend, Bobby tells him to think about her "While you're f*cking your fat wife." That prompts Joseph to attack Bobby on a couch, and he has to be pulled off by others.
  • Jumbo refers to an unseen place as the "screw motor inn" due to all of the hookers there.
  • SMOKING
  • Bobby smokes at least 8 times, while Amada and Jumbo (cigar) each smoke at least once, while all sorts of minor and miscellaneous characters smoke many times.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Burt and Joseph don't like what has become of Bobby, and they don't mince their words or attitudes toward him. In return, he isn't nice back to them.
  • Burt tells Bobby, "It's us or the drug dealers."
  • After Joseph makes a sarcastic comment about Bobby's Puerto Rican girlfriend, Bobby tells him to think about her "While you're f*cking your fat wife." That prompts Joseph to attack Bobby on a couch, and he has to be pulled off by others.
  • Not realizing Bobby is Joseph's brother, Vadim states that he shot him and will also target his father.
  • Spoiler Alert: Bobby sees his father get shot and then die, and we then see the funeral.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The efforts of the NYPD to crack down on drugs back in the 1980s.
  • Drug dealers and drug use.
  • How siblings can turn out quite different from one another.
  • The comment that it's better to be judged by 12 (in a jury) than carried by 6 (in a casket).
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see photos of struggling.
  • In a nightclub, we see some fighting and struggling including one man with a bloody nose.
  • There's talk of a cop that was shot the night before.
  • The police, led by Joseph, raid Bobby's club, and there's some struggling and pushing. One man is pushed to the counter, as is Bobby by his face, which is somewhat bloody.
  • We see a man on the floor who has cut his own throat (not seen), and his body is quivering and some blood is still spurting out.
  • After Joseph makes a sarcastic comment about Bobby's Puerto Rican girlfriend, Bobby tells him to think about her "While you're f*cking your fat wife." That prompts Joseph to attack Bobby on a couch, and he has to be pulled off by others.
  • At his car at night, a man walks up and shoots Joseph in his head. He then throws a Molotov cocktail into his car, causing it to explode. We later learned Joseph is in the hospital, severely wounded.
  • As Bobby tries to go see his brother in the hospital, cops push him back against the wall.
  • As Bobby goes to work undercover and pretends to want to sell drugs for Vadim, a hood is placed over his head, and he is driven to a remote location. There, he sees a drug operation where coke is being processed. He is then given a sample to snort, and he does so. However, Vadim thinks the Bobby might be wired for the police. He then starts going through Bobby's things, including his lighter, which we know is wired. As Vadim breaks that open, Bobby becomes increasingly nervous and gives the cue word for the police to come in. Just as one man gets ready to shoot Bobby, he grabs that man as the police storm the place and shoot many people. Bobby stabs the guy in the neck with very bloody results, but the man repeatedly punches Bobby in the face that's then bloody as well. The cops then shoot that guy on top of Bobby with very bloody results including what looks like brain matter. Others are shot with handguns, machine guns, and shotguns with bloody results. During this, cops mistake Bobby for a bad guy and shoot at him, resulting in him running and crashing through a window where he falls several stories and lands hard on a fence below. He is very bloody after this.
  • The police drive Bobby in a convoy through the city during the driving rain when bad guys show up in cars next to them, and open fire on them, with the driver of Bobby's car being hit. Bobby then climbs over the front seat and takes over, swerving through traffic, all while Amada ducks down into the foot well in the back (to hide from the additional shots fired into their car). A car also bumps Burt's car up ahead of Bobby's, with gunfire exchanged back and forth between them (shotgun vs. handgun). Burt is hit and his car smashes into another, while another car has gone out of control and smashes under a truck.
  • Bobby and Amada briefly struggle over his decision to become a cop.
  • Bobby knees Jumbo in the crotch or gut to try to get him to talk. He then repeatedly hits him, including pressing his fingers into Jumbo's eyes.
  • Cops wait in tall grass to raid a drug operation. A gun battle then breaks out, where people on both sides are hit (including one in the head, with blood spurting out). Vadim escapes into the tall grass, with Bobby then trying to hunt him down, unsure of where he might suddenly pop up. Police then set fire to the grass to try to smoke the villain out, but Bobby goes back in and continues his search. He then finds and shoots his man, leaving the drug dealer with a bloody chest and mouth.



  • Reviewed September 25, 2007 / Posted October 12, 2007

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