Directed by Gavin O’Connor
Story by Robert Hopes and Gavin O’Connor
Screenplay by Joe Carnahan and Gavin O’Connor
Starring: Edward Norton, Colin Farrell, Jon Voigt, Noah Emmerich, Jennifer Ehle, John Ortiz, and Shea Whigham
The Tierney family is built around law enforcement. Francis Sr. (Voigt) is the proud father to Francis and Ray, both police officers for the New York Police Department. He’s also a father-figure to officer Ray Egan, who married one of his daughters. After a brutal gunfight kills four police officers in Francis Jr.’s squad, Ray is put on the case to investigate how it happened. As Ray begins to uncover the truth, he realizes that his own family might have played a part in their deaths, as well as wide-spread corruption he’s unearthing. The more he digs, the more dangerous things get as Ray looks for a way to bring out the truth.
Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) had his hands all over this project, helping to develop the story, write the screenplay, and direct the film. Ha was helped along the way by writers Joe Carnahan (Narc) and Robert Hopes. This team put together a police thriller with an interesting story and a great cast of unique characters. The actors brought on for the film include a number of big names like Edward Norton (The Bourne Legacy), Colin Farrell (Total Recall), Jon Voigt (Midnight Cowboy), and Noah Emmerich (Super 8). Additionally, the film features Jennifer Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty), John Ortiz (Silver Linings Playbook), and Shea Whigham (American Hustle).
The acting in this film is worth watching thanks to the incredible cast who really brought this small slice of New York to life. Led by great work from Norton, Voigt, Farrell, and Emmerich; the film seems to follow four uniquely different individuals. These differences are used to balance out a story filled with intense moments and deep emotions. Jennifer Ehle is great as usual, making her mark with a smaller role. This is also true of Ortiz and Whigham, who both do nice work throughout the film.
Unfortunately, the story falls a bit short in this film. Despite great acting, the suspense is lost in this one due to an unfortunate level of predictability that starts early in the film. Despite this, the story is still worth watching to the end since the payoff is a good one. Still, this doesn’t quite match up to the great police dramas out there. In addition to being a bit predictable, the film also suffers from the need to use cliché speech way too often. With characters that are also a bit cliché, the film really needed something a little more special to keep this from becoming a procedural police drama.
The visuals throughout this one are pretty good. Like most films of this nature, the camera work uses every opportunity to take advantage of the shadows and darkness throughout the movie. The action sequences are nicely planned, and don’t become gratuitous despite the brutal nature of the scenes. This leaves a very nice gritty feel to the visuals throughout this one.
If you’re a fan of police dramas, or suspense films, this is one worth checking out. While the story falls a bit flat, the acting and visuals are enough to keep this enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this one to fans of Norton, Farrell, or any of the other actors in it. I would also suggest this to crime movie fans since it deals with a uniquely created underworld of crime and danger. I give this one 3.1 out of 5 stars.