Mediocrity, Blahs Own the Night

Critics aren't too excited about James Gray's latest crime drama
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2007 3:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – No one feels too strongly about We Own the Night, a crime drama Variety calls “exceptionally conventional.” It delivers “jolts of pulse-quickening drama,” the Inquirer says, complete with a rainy car chase every reviewer loved. Beyond that, “reactions will depend greatly upon one's tolerance for dramatic implausibilities, plot loopholes, emotional clichés, and period anachronisms,” Variety says.

Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix star as brothers on opposite sides of the 1980s drug wars, in performances the Hollywood Reporter finds “solid but not exceptional.” Rolling Stone calls writer/director James Gray “a certified maverick,” with a “daringly Shakespearean reach,” but to others he’s unimaginative. “He's got the talent to make great movies,” says EW. “He just needs to stop trying to.”