Directed by: Antoine Fuqua
Premise: Three Brooklyn police officers (Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, and Ethan Hawke) struggle to maintain their integrity while dealing with the stress of their jobs.
What Works: Brooklyn’s Finest is a film about the line between cop and criminal. That is a familiar and well worn theme, but by taking a multi-narrative approach, the film provides a fresh way of looking at it. The narratives reflect and build on each other, especially Don Cheadle’s role as an undercover officer sympathizing with the crime lord he is supposed to bring down and Ethan Hawke as a narcotics officer tempted by the drug money that will help his family. There are lots reliable actors in Brooklyn’s Finest but the acting revelation of this film is found in Richard Gere. In most of his work, Gere has chosen safe and predictable material and relied on his charm and good looks, sometimes to a fault. In Brooklyn’s Finest, Gere takes some risks as a disillusioned police officer and the actor provides many of the best and most compelling scenes in the film. Aside from the acting performances, the film is steadily paced and manages to break beyond cliché.
What Doesn’t: The climax of Brooklyn’s Finest stretches credibility pretty far with the characters coming together in a scenario that requires a significant suspension of disbelief.
DVD extras: Commentary track, deleted scenes, featurettes, trailers.
Bottom Line: Despite the faults of the ending, Brooklyn’s Finest is a good cop film that is distinguished by some strong performances and a smart sense for the ethical issues in its storylines.
Episode: #307 ( September 26, 2010 )