Movie Mom

Movie Mom


We Own the Night

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence, drug material, language, some sexual content and brief nudity.
Profanity:Very strong language
Nudity/Sex:Explicit sexual references and situations, nudity
Alcohol/Drugs:Characters deal drugs, drinking, smoking, drug use
Violence/Scariness:Intense and graphic violence and peril, many characters wounded and killed
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters, some racial epithets
Movie Release Date:2007

This is a curious hybrid combining contemporary language and violence with a retro set-up right out of a 1930’s James Cagney/Pat O’Brien movie and pulsating undercover law enforcement action of 1970’s films like Serpico and The French Connection.
The story is simple: two brothers find themselves on opposite sides of the war on drugs. Bobby (Joaquin Phoenix), is a nightclub manager with a gorgeous girlfriend (Eva Mendes as Amada). He loves the nightlife, he loves to feel important and respected, and he loves to feel that he is something of a rule-breaker. He loves to feel far away from his law enforcement relatives and has changed his last name to Green so no one will know he has cops in his family. His brother Joseph Grusinsky (Mark Wahlberg) hates anyone who breaks the law, especially drug dealers. his father Burt (Robert Duvall) wants to be proud of both of his sons.


Bobby and Amada show up at Joseph’s promotion ceremony, high and giggling. Joseph, Burt, and some of the other officers take Bobby upstairs to the church sanctuary to ask him to help them capture a drug dealer named Vadim (electrifying newcomer Alex Veadov), nephew of the club’s owner. The owner and his wife have treated Bobby like a member of the family. Bobby refuses — until catastrophe occurs and he has to think about who really is family and whose side he will be on.


Despite a powerful chase scene and some affecting performances, the movie’s retro slant makes it simplistic and superficial. Instead of commenting on the conventions of the past, it awkwardly tries to pretend that they are still in effect.

Parents should know that this movie has intense and graphic peril and violence, including a lot of gunfire. Many characters are wounded and killed. The plot concerns drug dealers and narcotics officers, and characters use and sell drugs, drink, and smoke. They also use strong language. A strength of the movie is its diverse characters, but there are some racial epithets.

Families who see this movie should talk about what made Bobby and Joseph alike and what made them different.

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy The Departed and classic crime dramas of the 1930’s like Angels With Dirty Faces.



  • anon

    There’s also a very graphic sexual scene at the beginning of the film with Joaquin Phoenix and Eva Mendes.

  • Nell Minow

    Yes there is, Anon; thanks for pointing that out.

Previous Posts

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
[iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uI1SqfJvvCk?rel=0" frameborder="0"] And don't forget the only live action film written by Dr. Seuss, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T! [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgpfMxYFSmE[/youtube]

posted 11:12:17am Mar. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Going Clear -- Documentary About Scientology
HBO will show Alex Gibney's new documentary about Scientology on March 29, 2015. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zllYkNu1sl4?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:17am Mar. 02, 2015 | read full post »

A New Alphabet Book for Women's History Month: Rad American Women A-Z
Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future! is a wonderful new alphabet book to teach girls, boys, and their families abou

posted 3:37:56pm Mar. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Opening this Month: March 2015
Happy March! Looking forward to warmer days and better movies. Some of what we're looking forward to this month: March 6 "Chappie," from "District 9's" Neill Blomkamp, is the story of a robot whose artificial intelligence may just rise to the level of a personality, even a soul, with Hugh Ja

posted 3:35:27pm Mar. 01, 2015 | read full post »

A Purim Take on Uptown Funk -- Shushan Funk
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KsJKSew4BvY?rel=0" frameborder="0"] Happy Purim! May this be a year when all the Hamens of the world are vanquished. This tale, was once told In the days of Achashverosh This one needs a new girl Needs a good girl A strai

posted 12:36:54pm Mar. 01, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.