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Brooklyn's Finest (2009)

 -  Crime | Drama | Thriller  -  5 March 2010 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 47,281 users   Metascore: 43/100
Reviews: 131 user | 195 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

Three unconnected Brooklyn cops wind up at the same deadly location after enduring vastly different career paths.

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Title: Brooklyn's Finest (2009)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Eddie
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Sal
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Caz
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Angela
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Red (as Michael Kenneth Williams)
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Ronny Rosario
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C-Rayz (as Wade Allain Marcus)
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Melvin Panton (as Logan Marshall Green)
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Storyline

In Brooklyn, amid drug deals, violence, casual racism, poverty, housing projects, and corrupt cops, we follow three officers: Tango, African-American, working undercover, believing he's earned a promotion to a desk job but told he has to set up the bust of an ex-con who saved his life; Sal, who'll commit murder to get cash to buy a house big enough for his family; and, Eddie, the precinct's oldest beat cop, a week to go before retirement, assigned to mentor an earnest rookie. Can this end well for any of the three? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This is War. This is Brooklyn. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for bloody violence throughout, strong sexuality, nudity, drug content and pervasive language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 March 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los mejores de Brooklyn  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£468,279 (UK) (11 June 2010)

Gross:

£1,252,604 (UK) (2 July 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer Michael C. Martin was influenced by Nights of Cabiria (1957), Umberto D. (1952) and Bicycle Thieves (1948) and the directors Vittorio De Sica and Jim Jarmusch when writing his screenplay. See more »

Goofs

The various $100 bills seen in the film are obvious props. They are all shown in closeups bearing the serial number "XYZ123456". See more »

Quotes

Det. Sal Procida: Change that skirt. People are gonna start to think we're Catholic only on Sundays.
See more »

Connections

Features Cops (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Lovin' You Tonight
(1997)
Written by The Notorious B.I.G. (as Christopher Wallace), Sean Combs (as Sean Puffy Combs), R. Kelly (as Robert Kelly) and Daron Tavaris Jones (as Daron Jones)
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User Reviews

 
the Righter and Wronger ways of genre film-making
16 March 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Antoine Fuqua aims high within the limitations he has for Brooklyn's Finest. By that I mean the film is fairly low-budget, or at least middle of the road (my guess is twenty million), and it was shot on location in Brooklyn and places around. He also has a script that has its share of clichés and potential pitfalls for cinematic treatment. It's surprising how well the film comes off with the elements, and they are ALL familiar: the cop just nearing retirement (Gere), on his way out, who has to shepherd a rookie through his first days on the; a corrupted cop (redundant mayhap) that is scrounging for any money he can on raids (Hawke) needs it for a slightly noble cause, a new house for his growing family; a cop undercover (Cheadle) has to choose promotion or loyalty with a criminal takedown on the horizon.

Three very recognizable types, and the tropes are there, at least on paper. But where Fuqua sets himself apart, as he did to a good if not great extent on Training Day, is to imbue importance (not pretentious but just enough for serious effect) in the direction of scenes, and in casting. The actors take material that could be trite and unconvincing and even stale post-Lumet-cop-movie stuff and make it their own, compelling and heartfelt, and true to the extent that the genre allows. There's real tragedy felt with Hawke's character, albeit he may overact just a bit in some scenes, since this corrupt cop wouldn't be so bad if he could get what he needs ("I don't want God's forgiveness, I want his help," he says in confession), and likewise real conflict with Cheadle's undercover, who has been embedded too long in the trenches, and wants to help the criminal who once saved his life (Wesley Snipes fantastic in an older, slightly wiser version of his character in New Jack City).

And then there's Gere. One almost forgets Gere's successes when he's starring in romantic-comedy junk like... well, what's he been in recently for starters. But then one looks at Unfaithful, Days of Heaven, The Hoax, I'm Not There, among some others, and one sees Gere is an underrated presence, a guy who when given material to shine in does very well as an everyman, more than just a typical pretty star. With his role as the on-his-way-out cop, he gives one of his best performances, worn and weary, but strong and good as a cop whenever he can see fit, who at one point makes a mistake that he won't cop to (watch Gere when he's interrogated about his rookie's mishap on a convenience store scuffle and it's something of genius work). It's intense and believable, and even tender and sorrowful work, like when Gere's character is around a prostitute he's fallen for.

Back to Fuqua though - this is a filmmaker who knows what he's working in, and wants to transcend it. Perhaps his idol for this kind of production was Sidney Lumet with his cop films: make something dramatic and tragic, and never lose the grit, but add panache with the directing. He knows the conventions and has to stick to them, sometimes for weaker or just expected effect. But watching his style in that last reel, when all three stories that have been going back and forth (ocassionally intertwined) come together at one project building. There's a scene where Hawke is personally raiding a place. Watch the camera in this scene, where it stays put in one spot for seemingly a minute. It could almost be a Tarantino move, something self-conscious but purposeful for the action, the psychology of the emotion of the scene. His work with better material would be astonishing. As it is, it's just good, inventive film-making.


34 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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