Freeview film of the day: We Own the Night

Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg are brothers on either side of the law in this intense New York crime drama dripping with atmosphere


We Own the Night  ★★★


11.50pm-2.30am Sony Movie Channel

High-class writer/director James Gray was born in New York, and has set all four of his films there – specifically in the borough of Brooklyn – from acclaimed debut Little Odessa to 2008’s Dostoyevsky update Two Lovers. We Own the Night not only shares a neighbourhood with the rest of Gray’s canon, it’s also the second time he’s paired Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix. In The Yards, they played subway train workers. Here, in a tale set in the late 80s, they’re brothers in a police dynasty headed by patriarch Robert Duvall: Wahlberg is a tough, dedicated NYPD captain; Phoenix is initially estranged and running a nightclub, until drawn into an undercover operation involving Russian gangsters. This is a hard-boiled crime drama, with a great sense of place, some solid performances and enough of an accent on family loyalty and brotherly bonding to offset the macho, lock-and-load heroics. If you follow Gray’s dogged work, though, you might wonder if he’ll ever escape from New York.


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