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We Own The Night Review

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Mark Wahlberg (left) as Joseph Grusinsky and Joaquin Phoenix (right) as Bobby Green

Joaquin Phoenix shines in We Own the Night.

We Own The Night reunites director James Gray with two of the stars of his crime drama The Yards, Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg. The film, penned by Gray, takes its title from the motto of the NYPD’s 1980s street crimes unit.

Set in 1988, the story follows Bobby Green (Joaquin Phoenix), the manager of El Caribe — a Russian-owned nightclub in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach. He lives a carefree life with his beloved girlfriend Amanda (Eva Mendes), spending every night in a drug-induced haze of music and partying. Bobby, however, is not who he seems; his real surname is Grusinsky and he’s the black sheep son in a family of NYPD officers.

Bobby’s brother, Joseph (Wahlberg), and dad, Burt (Robert Duvall), are veteran cops out to bring down the burgeoning Russian mob — a mission that leads them to raid El Caribe. This bust not only enrages Bobby, but also incurs the wrath of vicious gangster Vadim Nezhinski (Alex Veadov) who seeks to get even with the cops who crossed him.

After Vadim retaliates, Bobby and Amanda find themselves caught in a war between the cops and the mob. Bobby finally chooses which side he’s on and tries to make amends by helping the cops target Vadim, who doesn’t realize Bobby is actually a Grusinsky.

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