Box art for We Own the Night

We Own the Night

action & adventure, drama

Young nightclub manager trying to escape cop family learns that father and brother, both high level cops, are targeting Russian mobsters at his club...

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Well-acted but very bloody crime drama.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that while young kids probably won't be interested, older teens who like crime dramas may be drawn to this Joaquin Phoenix-Mark Wahlberg film. Like most mob dramas, there's lots of strong language and a great deal of bloody violence and illicit behavior (drugs and alcohol are everywhere, especially nightclub scenes). In addition to the execution-style killings and police ambushes, there are a few scenes of a couple intensely making out and a shot of two topless, drunk women dancing at a club.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the appeal of mob movies. Why are these violent movies so popular? What's so compelling about characters with one foot in the criminal world and one in law enforcement? Kids: Was the violence too graphic, or was it appropriate for the subject matter? How realistic do you think the film is?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 29
    see all We Own the Night reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Although We Own the Night is never as suspenseful as it wants to be and can be a little formulaic, it never comes close to being boring, and that's something you can't say too often about movies these days.

- Adam Tobias, Watertown Daily Times, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: Gray's craftsmanship is admirable, which shows some old-fashioned reverence for the triangulated composition of Scene, Character, Plot and avoids, by and large, the snazzy edits and visual bling that pass for a cinematic imagination these days.

- Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle, Friday, October 12, 2007

Fresh: An intriguing blend of mainstream audience-pleaser and a more subtle, even intellectual agenda.

- Andrew O'Hehir,, Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

This is a pretty solid and entertaining cop/crime drama. It may not be wholly original, or have any surprising plot twists, but ya know what, straight-forward no bullshit storytelling is passable when there's a lot of strong points even if nothing groundbreaking or a brilliant masterpiece. I liked that it was a period piece, but it was subtl making it seem timeless and not dated. I loved the location chooting, and the strive for realism with story, content, sets, props, etc, as well the realism with the violence and its impact. I have not seen any other film James Gray has done, but I like his style (or at least the style here if it differs from the rest of his stuff). The writing is serviceable, even better than half way decent, but not mind blowing. The direction is also pretty tight and strong as well. The movie overall may not be wholly innovative or unique, but I liked the car chase. If anything in this film stands out as not formulaic, it would be that. While I know it's popular to rag on Eva Mendeas because her looks outweigh her acting skills (which are a hair above mediocre at best), she is at least trying, is making an effort to get better, and I respect that she's at least in a variety of different types fo films. Of the main players, she is the weakest, but she's not just a prop either. She's does her best given the limits of the role/character, but she has a couple of scenes that I thought were pretty good. Maybe she just stands out because she's having to act against two Oscar nominess and a multiple Oscar nominee and winner. Next to the realism and the solidness of material, the acting is what this film excells at. Phoenix is quite good, and wisely underplays the some of the more emotional and famailar plot points. The character change is handled well, and he seems believable given what his chaaracter has to deal with. Wahlberg is also quite good, appearing far more restrained than he did in The Departed. Sometimes I forget that acting what not his original profession. And of course, Duvall is terrific as usual, and things don't feel as familiar as they probably could have been (and would be in less capable/talented hands. None of this is particularly fresh, but it doesn't feel that way, which is high praise and the true success of this film. B+.

- cosmo313, Tuesday, August 17, 2010

3 stars

WAY better movie then The Departed

- dukeakasmudge, Friday, October 30, 2009

4 stars

What a great movie. Has a strong cast and was well done. The story is of two brothers who couldn't be more opposite. One is a respected police officer like his father, and the other is the occasional drug addict who runs a nightclub. They might as well be on different sides of the tracks sort of speak. Mark Wahlberg plays a police officer investigating a drug dealer who is frequently at the night club runned by Joaquin Phoenix's charcter. He comes to his bother to make a deal with him in helping to set this Russian drug lord up. It all goes down in the worse way and Joaquins character ends up having to save his police famly from the Russian Mafia. Its really great action movie with good acting. Joaquin totally owns this movie. Just a really great job done by him.

- LWOODS04, Sunday, August 30, 2009