I hate to blame writers. To me its one the hardest parts of the movie making process, inventing something original that can capture the attention of an audience for at least an hour and a half. “We Own The Night” is a picture that fails to keep its talent busy and also fails to develop characters we can care about. It looks good and you know the talent is there but its an overall shallow experience.

 We own the night stars Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Walberg, Eva Mendez and Robert Duvall, but don’t let all those names fool you, this is a Phoenix vehicle. He plays Bobby Green a big shot night club manager who gets mixed into the wrong crew.  Walberg and Duvall play his Cop Brother and Chief Father who try to get him to infiltrate a major Russian drug ring (Russian mobsters are the scariest aren’t they?). Anyways Bobby is stuck with the moral dilemma of snitching on his boys or following his family. You don’t have to own a crystal ball to figure out where things go…

 The movie looks good, With the story taking place in the 80s the costumes are right on and sets and locations give the movie a great feel. Director James Gray does a great job contrasting the nightclub party life of Bobby’s friends and the much more honest and humble cop lifestyle of his family. The limited action sequences are entertaining and give the film a much needed shot of action to keep you from nodding off.

The right vs. wrong gangster informant concept has been done so many times before, and there isn’t a likeable character in the whole movie. Phoenix and Walhberg spend lot of time shouting at each other without really providing an excuse why you should give a damn about either of them. Eva Mendez literally has nothing to do but stand around and look pretty, it was probably the easiest payday she’s had since Training Day. Now I’m sure these people can act….I’ve seen them do it (and get the statues for doing it) but with a paper thin plot on an old concept there is only so much you can do.

I expected “We Own The Night” to be alot better. The marketing department definitely earned there pay day making the movie seem more suspenseful and less predictable then it really was. Well lets go back to the formula of a successful film, talent-check, directing-check, Writing-………?

We Own The Night:C-