Two brothers, their father, and their brother-in-law are all NYPD, New York’s finest. Or are they? This is the story of a family of cops and their struggle between family and the law, right and wrong. It is a powerful movie, intense, exhausting, and real. It is a fast paced movie, especially in the beginning. You really need to pay attention because the dialogue is accelerated cop talk with a New York accent so it is easy to miss something. As the plot takes shape, the dialogue does too, which helps. The cast is amazing with stellar performances from Edward Norton, Colin Farrell, Jon Voight, and Noah Emmerich. Edward and Noah are the brothers, Ray and Francis Tierney Jr., sons of Francis Tierney Sr. (Jon), and they have a brother-in-law, Jimmy Egan (Colin Farrell). Each of their performances was equally as good, which gave the movie balance. This film reminds me of, and is almost as good as, The Departed . . . almost. It is not for the meek, or weak-hearted. For example, there is an extremely strong, violent scene in this movie that would make anyone squirm. It was obvious by the reaction of the audience.
One of the worst things a police officer can hear over their radio is that a fellow officer is down. The funeral services are ceremonious and heavy. Very few things will motivate the police as much as investigating and finding the cop killer. As Ray gets pulled into the investigation, he finds that there is a lot more to the crime than just cop killing. Officers are playing with fire in the desert once they become corrupt. Playing both sides is stressful and overwhelmingly risky. The sad thing is that if you step back and grasp their motivation, it is almost understandable. It is their job to track down and bring to justice these millionaire criminals while they only make peanuts in comparison. It is inevitable that some will be tempted by the dark side in order to make an extra buck or two. It is a tangled web they weave as they risk family, career, and reputation just to make that extra buck. This movie explores these scenarios in a profound and realistic way, and what better place to set this story in than New York City. It seems as though New York is the default location for cop movies or pretty much any movie for that matter. It really is an appropriate and popular place and it adds to the overall mood of the film. Even though it is a typical storyline, good cop/bad cop, the other aspects of this film totally make up for that. Director Gavin O’Connor has done some decent work with Miracle and Tumbleweeds, for example. He has outdone himself with this production, no doubt. If you liked Departed or that kind of movie, you should give this one a try.
Review By Cine Marcos