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I saw a screening of "Pride and Glory" last night. It's the kind of American movie you don't see anymore, a throwback to the big themes and dramatic tone of the 1950s, when Elia Kazan was making movies like "East of Eden" and "On the Waterfront," and Arthur Miller was writing plays like "Death of a Salesman" and "All My Sons." Family, honor, corruption, right and wrong, fathers and sons--these are the kinds of issues that director/co-writer Gavin O'Connor is taking on in "Pride and Glory," and in doing so he's made a timeless film. Sincere without being sentimental (much like "Miracle," O'Connor's last effort), "Pride and Glory" gets elbow deep in a corruption scandal that threatens to crack the blue wall of the NYPD and destroy the Tierney family legacy (patriarch Jon Voight, sons Ed Norton and Noah Emmerich, and outlaw brother-in-law Colin Farrell, who has never been better). A muscular, old-school American film, with big themes splashed on a big canvas, "Pride and Glory" is familiar and original at the same time. In the Age of Irony, these are the kinds of movies you rarely see anymore. An honest, gripping drama.
Colin Farrell, Edward Norton, Noah Emmerich, and Jon Voight all deliver
great performances. There are many intense scenes throughout the movie,
and Norton and Farrell match them with their own intensity. Voight is
believable and realistic as the patriarch of the family of cops and the
chief, trying to keep his family in order as he thinks it should be.
Despite the inspired performances of the main characters, however, Pride and Glory falls short due to awkward pacing, pointlessly convoluted side-stories revealed in equally pointless scenes, and a general lack of focus. Pride and Glory tries to tell two or three stories at once, but fails to really punctuate any one of them, leading to a fairly emotionless climax and no discernible, unifying theme. The result is a forgettable movie and a hint of buyer's remorse; if you're a big enough fan of Ed Norton or Colin Farrell and want to see either of them put on a great performance, catch the matinée, or even still, wait a few months and rent it.
The plot of this movie is the fairly predictable (though always
entertaining) idea of the corrupt cops against the good cops and the
always-annoying injection of the nosy media. If it had been done by
amateur actors, this movie wouldn't have been nearly as good.
Edward Norton was absolutely STUNNING, blew me away. He's always been a favorite of mine but every role he's in continues to amaze me. There a scene where he's talking to a Spanish woman and his expression throughout the scene is the main thing that stuck out to me in the whole movie. There's just something in his eyes that draws you and sucks you in.
Colin Farrell did an amazing job as well, as did Jon Voight. They managed to bring their characters more personality than I expected there to be. Especially Colin. Even though he played a such a bad character, there was something there in the way he was with his family and everything that still made me feel BAD for him.
And though the f-bombs were sometimes distracting and the ending could've had more punch, overall I really liked this movie.
I haven't seen a lot of cop movies, so perhaps that's why I didn't find
this picture "formulaic" as some have called it. I did find aspects of
the film familiar, but for a different reason: I have been a resident
of New York City for some time now; I have known law enforcement
officers, and I think this was a realistic movie (except for the large
number of murders, but hey, it's a movie). Many scenes of this film
were quite reminiscent to me of stories I heard from a (former) corrupt
cop I used to know.
I appreciated the fact this film showed the characters as human beings with families. I am tired of films that show both heroes and villains without back stories. I'm sure there are younger film-goers who would have preferred a more comic-book like movie...you'll grow out of that.
I liked the way the film ended. It brought in another dimension to the human drama.
Overall, this film is gripping, well acted, well directed and has an integrity to it that is often missing in films these days.
Edward Norton and Colin Ferrell, the automatic great duo, they make a
perfect team for a movie like this. They're both great actors and will
make any movie worth the watch. So my friends and I watched Pride and
Glory a little over a week ago, I was hearing mixed reviews on it, but
still, when you love these actors as much as I do, you have to see it.
So based on my honest opinion, this is a very good story, but the film
just needed better editing, it was a little longer than it should have
been. Also I didn't really like the ending, although I know they did it
more for the cinematic reasons as people wanna see the bad guys pay for
their crimes. But Ed, Colin, and even John Voight make this film very
watchable and click right on screen. We've seen a million crooked cop
movies, I think we're still looking for one that really stands out, but
Pride and Glory holds itself well and is watchable.
Jimmy is a narc who does pretty much all the dirty work when it comes to busting in on drug dealers, hookers, murderers, rapists, etc. One night though he among other cops receive a call that 4 policemen have been killed in a building with drug dealers. Jimmy is trying to figure out what went wrong only to find out that one of the drug dealers had an inside man who called in advance to warn them that the cops were coming. But one of the policemen that he suspects is his brother in-law who does the best he can to justify all that he is doing.
Pride and Glory is a very good story, I'd say though to wait for the rental, but I'm warning you there are some really intense scenes, Colin goes really far in one scene with a baby, I'm a person who has seen every disturbing film known to man, and this scene had my hands over my eyes. If you wanna see this film, you'll see what I'm talking about. There are some shocking lines as well and hurtful, this was just an intense movie and is not for the weak hearted. It's like the more disturbing episode of The Shield in some ways. Ed and Colin work well together and are a great duo, Pride and Glory is a good movie, just needs a little more editing.
The Tierney family is a family of cops across the generations with
cops even married into the family. When a NYPD officer is killed in a
violent drug-related shootout, Ray Tierney is asked by his father to be
part of the task force dedicated to finding out who it was who killed
one of their own. Ray agrees as the unit affected is led by his brother
Francis and includes his brother-in-law Jimmy. With Ray searching the
streets for the truth, Francis already knows more than him as his men
are involved in activities outside the law, using their roles within
the police as cover. Everyone wants to close the matter but not
everyone wants the truth to come out in doing so.
The release of Pride and Glory was delayed and the suggestion reason was its similarity in tone and broad theme to We Own the Night. I'm not sure whether this is true or not but I will question whether it was necessary to delay this film if the aim was that it would avoid comparison with other films or feeling like it is something the viewer has seen before. I question this because the film's biggest failing is that we have seen it all before and it doesn't really bring much beyond the star names to justify me being excited about seeing it again. This is not to say it is awful (although some have) but just that it is very familiar and very "sturdy" sturdy being a quality one looks for in furniture rather than films. Thankfully the film doesn't keep the "corruption" in the cupboard for very long because to suggest it is a mystery would be an insult to the viewer, who can pretty much see where the film is heading about 90 minutes before it gets there.
With many stories it is hard to plough a new furrow so one does find that often films have a familiar narrative and that this is not a problem. The thing is to draw the viewer in despite having seen it before or perhaps knowing where it is going make them hope for different, make them care about the characters you put the fact that this is a film with an ending to the back of your mind. Pride and Glory doesn't manage to do this though and it surprised me considering the actors involved. The problem is not really with them though but with the material, which has too many characters but too little development of them. Norton seems a bit lost in this but still does turn in a solid performance. Likewise Farrell is good and it only further highlights how much of a waste it is not to give them more to work off individually and together. Voight and Emmerich add to this but again neither has the material to really do good work with so, although nobody is "bad" nobody really impresses either. O'Connor does an OK job as director but doesn't get much urgency or emotion into it although this is the result of failing to do the same as writer.
Pride and Glory is a solid but wholly unremarkable film that is distracting but unmemorable. It feels old and dated despite still being in the cinema and I imagine this will only be worse when it arrives on television in about five years time. The names involved are impressive but nobody can really deliver what they are able to because the material is just not there in the depth they require. Not a "bad" film by any means, just one that is hard to get excited about or shake the feeling that you've seen it done better elsewhere.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Pride and Glory manages to reach such high depth of entertainment, in
which it shows the effectiveness of the good guys and the bad guys. It
may seem like another type of mystery drama, but it goes beyond that.
It begins in December, where Ray(Edward Norton), a missing persons police detective, and his older brother Francis(Noah Emmerich) are at a football game where the cops and the firemen are playing against each other. There brother in law Jimmy(Colin Farrell) who is also a cop, is playing also. But after the game, Francis gets a call, about a shoot out. When Francis, Ray and Jimmy arrive at the scene, they find it was a drug bust that went horribly wrong, and four cops are dead. Francis Sr(Jon Voight) a retired cop, suggest that Ray should come in on this case. Ray has a troubled past, but agrees to come on. But during the investigation, what there gonna discover is something not only shocking then the crime itself, but the events that led up to it.
Terrific performances by Voight, Emmerich, Norton, and Farrell. The crime drama is also great. It seemed to slow down a little for some parts. But I liked the direction it was going, it showed the gritty realness of a cops life. It just wasn't focused on the crime part, but also on the emotion part. It was a great film, don't miss it.
From the first scenes of Pride and Glory we see a lot of tragedy,shouts,rage and violence.But,for a long time,none of those elements could emotionally connect with me.And when the main conflict is finally defined,the movie already got a little bit tiring.Pride and Glory is not a bad movie,but I just found it to be mediocre,and I cannot deny that the excellent performances from Edward Norton,Colin Farrell and Jon Voight make this movie seem to be better than what it really is.The weakest element from this film is that it is full of elements we have already seen on many other cop flicks.Some examples are slow motion funerals,private lives which are ruined by the tension of work and the grey morality some cops have.It may seem as a stupid complain,but I found the constant use of the "F" word as a negative element.That does not offend or scandalize me,but it is used with so much frequency that it finishes distracting us from the story.In other words,there comes a moment in which the use of that word stops being realistic for becoming in the version of "New York reality" from co-screenwriters Joe Carnahan and Gavin O'Connor (who was also the director).Besides,the screenplay makes too many turns for getting to the final point we have guessed much before.Pride and Glory is not a bad movie and I can give a slight recommendation to it,because in general it did not bore me.But the final experience is absolutely forgettable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When four police officers from the 31st Precinct are slaughtered in a
raid in Washington Heights, Chief of Police Francis Tierney Sr. (Jon
Voight) assigns his son, Detective Ray Tierney (Edward Norton), in the
task force that is investigating the murder under the command of his
brother and Chief of 31st Precinct, Francis Tierney Jr. (Noah
Emmerich). Ray uses his common sense and knowledge of the streets to
chase the criminal Angel Tezo (Ramon Rodriguez) that survived the
slaughter and is the main witness of the crime. However, he also
discloses a network of corruption in the police department and has a
moral dilemma when he finds that his brother-in-law and also officer
Jimmy Eagan (Colin Farrell) is dirty and a drug-dealer.
The complex "Pride and Glory" has a confused beginning, where many situations are disclosed without the necessary development of the characters. However, after fifteen, twenty minutes, the viewer has the big picture of the events and sees many parallel dramatic sub-plots and the promising movie is highly engaging. Unfortunately the conclusion is terrible from the moment that Ray decides to meet Jimmy in a bar and bring his brother-in-law arrested with him. Why doesn't he go to the Internal Affairs and tells the truth instead supported by his brother? The fight and the subsequent death of Jimmy would be enough to sentence him guilty in any court. I do not understand why the writer decided to spoil the excellent plot with this stupid conclusion, transforming my exhilaration in a great deception. "Dark Blue" has a similar theme (multi-generation of detectives, corruption in the police department etc.) and is more solid and consistent. My vote is five.
Title (Brazil): "Força Policial" ("Police Force")
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Interesting to see the reactions to Pride and Glory on IMDb: some
people like it a lot, so much so that they rank it as one of their
favorite films of the year, while others rank it low, very low, saying
it's low-end predictable trash that rips off from every other cop movie
around including last year's We Own the Night (that title comes up
often, which I can't comment on as I've yet to see it). I might be one
of those small handful that are in the middle: Pride and Glory is an
alright cop drama, not amazing or really terrible. It borrows from many
movies and TV shows, this much is definite, and its directorial style
goes between fine competence with actual dialog scenes (with the
occasional noir-ish flourish) and overbearing with the hand-held in
action scenes. It seems as if no cop drama in recent memory can quite
come up to the height that Narc reached with that- coincidentally in
this case Narc director Carnahan had a part in writing P&G's script-
and for most of the running time the film suffers from a lack of real
But, thankfully a big but, the performances are all stellar all-around. From the big players like Edward Norton (who, unless under duress or restraint by the studio, turns in fantastic work that's subtle for the camera but as intense as a theater performance) and Colin Farrell (gaining cred fast this year with this, In Bruges and underrated Cassandra's Dream), Jon Voight (who, somehow, has bounced back from the STP-nightmare appearance in Bratz), and character actor Noah Emmerich (often with one facial expression- tension and an inner sadness- but still good if not as good as Little Children), to Jennifer Ehle who plays Emmerich's dying wife who is, for every moment she's on screen, absolutely terrific and even makes great scenes out of otherwise OK elements.
This is, in fact, a real actor's movie, unlike Righteous Kill which rested entirely on he heels of its two stars, and for all the black-and-white-and-sometimes-gray areas of the script- about a family of cops who become embroiled in one member, Jimmy (Farrell) and his incredulously corrupt dealings and murders- the bulk of the cast make it more than watchable: one is almost fooled from time to time, with all its rampant cursing and crazy bits (i.e. threatening hot-iron on a baby), that it is great. But it isn't. So much of its plot is middling and only sparks of fascinating scenes keep it together, like when a sleazy Hispanic character pays a personal call to Jimmy's house while his family is home, and its final 15 minutes are a mix of wild hysterics (a supporting character, part of Jimmy's corrupt crew, snaps in a convenience store during a 'pick-up' and a big race-inspired protest happens on cue) and a true-blue Irish bar fight that perhaps would've benefited from John Ford rising from the grave to guest direct.
So catch it on TV, now that it's almost gone from theaters, if you haven't seen it yet, and judge for yourself if it's high, low, or in the middle of expectations. I'm in the middle, though it does seem like the kind of OK movie that may play better on repeat viewings when nothing much else is on. 6.5/10
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