This film should have been a corker; good main leads, lots of good supporting actors and an interesting plot. Yet it came over as slow and pedestrian with the occasional burst of action (the bit in the stash house must have been done by a different team). At times the plot creeked as the Bad Guys Get Inside Knowledge device appeared, or we had the Men Beating Chests scenes, and we even had a You Killed My Pa scene. The Russian Mafia seemed oddly subdued, why weren't the girlfriend and her family clipped? It remains an undemanding action film, better (just) than watching re-runs of Friends on E4.
This blatant propaganda film for the New York Police Department, complete with the obligatory overladen police funeral scene, should have been a duck. Apparently it was panned by many critics and I can see why they might not have liked it.
Yet despite the formulaic all-American hero theme, there is an impressive understated central performance from Phoenix and the action scenes create genuine tension due to the clever use of sound effects.
Duval may well have been coasting in this movie, but nevertheless he's always watchable (apparently Christopher Walken was supposed to play his role). The rest of the cast looked convincing enough and Wahlberg performed the undemanding role of the favourite son with little difficulty.
Yes we've seen it all before, but for sheer brainless entertainment it passes a way of couple of hours very nicely.
If you like the 'drugs and cops' theme... then you should enjoy this film. While it isn't highly original, it is still engaging. The roles a played well by a good combination of actors. However, I'm a fan of both Eva Mendes and Joaquin Phoenix, maybe i'm somewhat biased.
In reality I'd probably give 3 and a half stars, but thats not possible. Not outstanding but definitely worth a fiver.
I don't agree with much of the critics who depict this movie as one of the few crime masterpiece of the last decades. Still it's a very solid and powerful story of family ties, vengeance and tragic destiny. Probably the final part (although very well directed) is the weakest in terms of script, which is what made me not rate it 5 stars: still too hollywoodian compared to true noir masterpiece from the Seventies
I really liked this film. James Gray is an excellent director, and the cast is excellent. Mark Walberg is brilliant as the 'good' brother and Phoenix is fab as the 'flawed' brother. This film is a must-see realy!!!
I really liked this film. James Gray is an excellent director, and the cast is excellent. Mark Walberg is brilliant as the 'good' brother and Phoenix is fab as the 'flawed' brother. This film is a must-see.