'We Own the Night' In a smartly acted film from James Gray, Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix play brothers who find themselves on opposite sides of the law. Drug deals and mobsters bring the brothers together in this crime drama.
NPR logo 'We Own the Night'


'We Own the Night'

Brothers Joseph Grusinsky (Mark Wahlberg, left) and Bobby Green (Joaquin Phoenix) cross paths as they find themselves on opposite sides of the law. Anne Joyce/2929 Productions LLC hide caption

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Anne Joyce/2929 Productions LLC
  • Director: James Gray
  • Genre: Crime/Drama
  • Running Time: 117 minutes

Brooklyn brothers Bobby (Joaquin Phoenix) and Joseph (Mark Wahlberg) Grusinsky are reasonably comfortable being on opposite sides of the law.

Bobby runs a nightclub where drug deals go down about as frequently as mojitos; Joseph followed their dad (Robert Duvall) into law enforcement. Their paths don't cross much until Joseph is made head of the drug enforcement division, and starts going after a couple of the Russian mobsters who frequent Bobby's bar.

A conventional but smartly acted policier from James (The Yards) Gray, the film chronicles a black sheep's return to the fold. It's not surprising, but it's engaging enough that most patrons will likely cut the director some slack for the out-of-period details and convoluted plot contrivances that make the film seem at once sloppy and too neat.

Joaquin Phoenix Shines in 'We Own the Night'

Joaquin Phoenix Shines in 'We Own the Night'

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We Own the Night is a crime drama starring Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg. They play two brothers — one a cop, the other a nightclub owner — who find themselves on opposite sides of the law. James Gray directed this thriller.