New York, 1974. Fifty-year-old Chris (Clive Owen) has just been released on good behavior after several years in prison following a gangland murder. Reluctantly waiting for him outside the gates is his younger brother, Frank (Billy Crudup), a cop with a bright future. Chris and Frank have always been different, and their father, Leon (James Caan), who raised them alone, seems to favor Chris despite all his troubles. Yet blood ties are the ones that bind, and Frank, hoping that his brother has changed, is willing to give him a chance - he shares his home, finds him a job, and helps him reconnect with his children and his ex-wife, Monica (Marion Cotillard). But Chris' inevitable descent back into a life of crime proves to be the last in a long line of betrayals, and after his brother's latest transgressions, Frank banishes him from his life. But it's already too late, as the brothers' destiny is bound together, forever. Written by
The story opens in 1974 but the song playing in the background on the record player is "New York Groove" from Ace Frehley's 1978 solo release and even the original by the band Hello was not released until 1975. See more »
[to his son, Frank]
Listen, your mother... your mother was a bitch. She was a real bitch. She beat the shit out of your brother and sister on a daily basis with whatever she had in her hand. She was a violent drunk, she was a twisted fucking slut.
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Review: I really had high hopes for this movie, after seeing the adverts, but it took ages for something to happen. It just seemed to drag after a while, but I did like the ending, which was predictable but well put together. It reminded me of the last scene in Carlito's Way, but no way as good. Anyway, the director had all the right tools to make a good movie, but he failed by making an average film which as predictable from start to finish. I didn't understand why the criminalised brother, decided to rob a truck in the same place were his brother is a cop. Wouldn't it have been easier if he committed his crimes in another state? Anyway, there isn't that much action throughout the movie and the drama wasn't that intense. I liked Clive Owens character, who was a cocky ex-con who gets drawn back into the game after finding it hard to adapt to normal life, but the rest of the characters were quite boring and uninteresting. On the whole, it didn't have to be over 2 hours long and it could have done with some action or a twist in the storyline. Disappointing!
Round-Up: Clive Owen has always been taken seriously in Hollywood because he plays a lot of leading roles like in Children Of Men and The Boys Are Back, which I really enjoyed, but his acting style isn't that unique. He lacks screen charisma and I can't see people rushing to the cinema when one his movies get released. Judging by the box office taking, I'm not alone with thinking that this movie wasn't that great, but it's worth a watch if your running out of things movies to put on your rental list.