Brooklyn's Finest

Brooklyn's Finest
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Enforcing the law within the notoriously rough Brownsville section of the city and especially within the Van Dyke housing projects is the NYPD's sixty-fifth precinct. Three police officers struggle with the sometimes fine line between right and wrong.

Title:Brooklyn's Finest
Release Date:January 16, 2009
Runtime:
MPAA Rating:R
Genres:Crime, Drama, Thriller
Production Co.:Nu Image Films, Langley Productions, Thunder Road Productions, Fuqua Films, Millennium Films
Production Countries:United States of America
Director:Antoine Fuqua, Ed Duranté, Deirdre Horgan
Writers:,
Casts:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Plot Keywords:male nudity, female nudity, tattoo, gambling, corruption, father son relationship, prostitute, robbery, detective, police brutality, wife husband relationship, card game, desperation, undercover, kidnapping, drug dealer, retirement, death of a friend, asthma, police, fellatio, blood splatter, revenge, deception, murder, betrayal, priest, breast, bag of money, shootout, blood on shirt, shot in the back, undercover cop, blood, suicidal, f word, shot to death, punched in the face, redemption, police officer killed, hospital, dirty cop, police corruption, pistol, new york city, church, violence, strangulation, foot chase, police detective, father daughter relationship, police station, held at gunpoint, catholic, guilt, brooklyn new york city, narcotics cop, nypd, missing person, racial slur, swat team, ensemble cast, pregnant wife, confessional, drive by shooting, shot in the shoulder, gun in mouth, police raid, reference to god, razor blade, shot through a door, stealing money, police officer shot, expecting twins, lens flare, flashback, money problems, family man, neo-noir, bmw, apathy, confession booth, thoughts of retirement, hail mary, working in the nude, drug raid, ironing money, bedtime prayer, briefing, shot point blank, reference to gregory hines, police badge, sex slave, trail of blood, gold watch, man slaps a woman, mold
Alternative Titles:
  • Brooklyn mélyén - [HU]
  • Atraídos pelo crime - [BR]
  • Atraídos pelo crime - [PT]
  • L'Elite de Brooklyn - [FR]
  • Nejlepší z Brooklynu - [CZ]
  • 恶夜特警队 - [CN]
  • Gliniarze z Brooklynu - [PL]
  • 惡夜特警隊 - [TW]
  • Η Σκοτεινή Πλευρά του Νόμου - [GR]
  • Gesetz der Straße - Brooklyn's Finest - [DE]

Brooklyn's Finest Reviews

  • Who would be a cop?
    by IzAguirreWrathofGod on 21 March 2010

    86 out of 97 people found the following review useful:

    This is a dark, moody movie that explores the angst of 3 cops.

    One, on an undercover assignment, realises that the more time he spends with crooks, etc., the more likely he will become like them. His request for a transfer is promised, on condition that he "brings in" Mr Big.

    Another, a "good catholic", has more kids than sense and desperately needs to improve his fortunes if his family is to survive.

    The third, an older, reticent, solitary man on the brink of retirement is totally without illusions about his job or his place in society. Doing his time and collecting his reward (his pension) is all that matters to him. He is aloof and uncommunicative with his colleagues, biding his time until he can quit. Only with an attractive hooker, that he sees regularly, does he show any sign of humanity.

    All 3 are. basically, decent men working in indecent scenarios and their respective paths cross in a way and at a time and in a place that "we can all see coming" but is no less moving for that. There is a kind of poetry to this, albeit on the darkish side. that lingers .

    Watching this requires some patience at the beginning, particularly with Richard Gere, whose role as the older cop, asks him to be almost a silent participant in the events, but whose performance grows as the stories unfold. But all the cast are excellent. Cheadle, Hawke, Snipes, D'Onofrio and an eye-catching turn by Ellen Barkin as "the agent from Hell" See this................... 8/10

  • Could have been a classic
    by Simon_Says_Movies on 15 March 2010

    88 out of 113 people found the following review useful:

    Brooklyn's Finest is clichéd cop film only in setup, not in execution. The scripting and a plethora of strong performance elevate the familiar veins that make up the films structure. In fact, three of the most standard-order plot lines are utilized; and undercover cop who blurs the line between righteous and corrupt, a drug cop who exhibits no blurring in his corruption and an aging veteran slugging it through his last week on the job. These cops are played by Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawk and Richard Gere respectively and each gets equal screen time in a triple thread story that eventually converge on one fateful night.

    Director Antoine Fuqua's latest treads a thin line between tragic and gritty and outright depressing. This is a gloomy film to be sure, everyone is either a cop, murderer, drug dealer or prostitute (sometimes many of the above) and there is no glimpse of sunshine, so to speak, in Fuqua's Brooklyn. I am a big fan of Fuqua, from his John Woo-esquire debut with The Replacement Killers to the classic cop drama Training Day, to the very underrated Bruce Willis war actionier Tears of the Sun, he is more than a competent auteur and always brings out solid performances from his leads.

    Hawk (who plays the increasingly corrupt Sal) is perhaps the strongest of three leads, but Gere and Cheadle are very convincing in their roles as well. Unfortunately, despite the admirable development of these characters, the aforementioned ordinary narrative leaves little question about where their respective paths are headed. We also get a blazing comeback from the one and only Wesley Snipes as a criminal and friend of Cheadle's Tango. Rounding off the talented main players are Brian F. O'Byrne as Sal's fellow cop and friend and Will Patton as Tango's lone remaining contact to the just world he feels is fading away. As I have iterated many times, it is the stellar work from the key players that makes Brooklyn's Finest worth your time.

    The drive behind these three cops is equally compelling. Sal has 5 kids (with 6 and 7 on the way) and is swimming in debt. Through a real-estate contact he sets up a deal to move his growing family to a larger house, only if he can get the big score of drug money he needs. As the date approaches for him to come up with the money he grows increasingly desperate. Gere's Eddie is a burnt-out cop who has all but lost respect for the job, and his fellow cops have all but lost respect for him. His only remaining duty is to escort a rookie around for his final 7 days but things go far less smoothly then he could have hoped. Finally there is Tango, a UC who has lost all his ties to the real world. His wife is filing for divorce and he wants to be made detective first grade a.s.a.p. and spend the remainder of his days behind a comfortable desk and away from a life of crime. In one of the best sequences, Tango is asked why the sudden urge to get out. He tells of a night where he was pulled over by the cops for speeding and legitimately considered killing them. He wants out.

    If only the despair had been laid on a little less thick and the stereotypes that make up the three main characters polished with a bit more inventiveness, Brooklyn's Finest could have been a classic in the making. Instead we get only what we would expect; a gritty, bloody and well acted police actionier.

    Read all my reviews at simonsaysmovies.blogspot.com

  • Very well-rounded cop thriller
    by John Malcovich on 14 March 2010

    71 out of 92 people found the following review useful:

    Brooklyn's Finest rests on the strong character portrayals of the lives of three ordinary men struggling at different points in their careers. What they each share is the New York Police Department as a workplace.

    Life isn't perfect - it never is. We always have to give something up in order to do something else - it's called choice. Therein lies man's fatal freedom.

    Sal (Ethan Hawke) gave up the possibility for flash when he became a cop. He has a growing family with numerous kids but lives in a decrepit, run-down house where the wood mold is causing his pregnant wife lung problems. His NYPD salary isn't sufficient for him to move to a different abode.

    Can we judge him? It is a context that bears for some humanity from our part. He will do things in the film, but it is difficult for us to point our fingers from a high horse, for we aren't in his situation. Does the end justify the means?

    While doing undercover work in prison, Tango (Don Cheadle) is saved from death by an inmate, Casanova Philips (Wesley Snipes). The event forms a bond between them. Now Casanova is back out and the force want Tango to send him back in.

    By taking this shortcut to Detective first grade (read: becoming an undercover agent), Tango is forced to deal with harsh consequences, namely the fact that his wife is in the process of leaving him, and that other than Casanova he has no friends.

    Eddie (Richard Gere) is retiring and is a morally decadent seemingly useless member of the force. He gets teased by his younger co-worker cops, and seems fed up with his life. We see him put a revolver to his mouth in the morning.

    Even though he is 7 days away from retirement he must take care of young rookies, fresh faces new to the NYPD. Eddie doesn't get along well with them.

    It is unclear what happened to his wife, but Eddie now seeks solace in the womanly comforts of a lowly Chinatown hooker.

    These grotesquely authentic lives are laid out with the aid of a soundtrack that simultaneously sets the pace and follows the psychological states of the main protagonists. The tone of the music will change, for instance, when a particular character is in a tight situation, a situation where he is again confronted with choice.

    All the actors in this film pull off magnificently intense portrayals. Especially worthy of mention are Cheadle, Snipes, Gere and Hawke -- who once again shows that he can enter the mind of a struggling cop like no other.

    A steady-paced, involving thriller definitely worth a gander. 8/10.

  • the Righter and Wronger ways of genre film-making
    by MisterWhiplash on 16 March 2010

    44 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

    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.

  • Overrated
    by straty02 on 19 March 2010

    77 out of 134 people found the following review useful:

    Let me just say straight away that the cast of this movie contains ALL of my favorite actors. I thought I was going to be in for a treat, maybe my expectations ruined my conclusions.

    The biggest problem with this film (in my worthless opinion) is that it is portrayed as dramatic and yet there just seem to be soooooo many holes in the plot that the overall impact is reduced, almost to the point of being farcical. I won't give anything away but I don't believe that 'gangsters' are THAT stupid, I watched the TV show 'The Wire', which I thought was excellent due to it's balanced perspective. This film portrays the cops as being crooked, lifeless and aggressive morons whilst the 'gangster' are simply gun toting foul mouthed idiots who struggle to walk upright, let alone be career criminals.

    By the time the final scene began I found myself struggling to stay awake because the 'drama' had become so Tepid and predictable.

    Very very average.

  • Brooklyn's Finest Review
    by dwf801 on 11 March 2010

    38 out of 57 people found the following review useful:

    Would you steal bread to feed your family? As Dwight from The Office would say, "it's a trick question. The bread is poisoned. Also, it's not your real family. You've been cuckolded by a stronger, smarter male." For Sal (Ethan Hawke), a dirty narcotics officer in Brooklyn's Finest, the answer is clear. Only instead of bread, he is stealing drug money and killing anyone who gets in the way. He needs the money because his pregnant wife is sick from the mold in their home so he needs to pay the down payment on another house he is going to buy. Hawke plays the role with great intensity, just as he did in director Antoine Fuqua's previous movie, Training Day. In that he co-starred with Denzel Washington, only Denzel was the dirty cop, and Hawke played the rookie officer who didn't like what he saw. He got an Oscar nomination for that role, but is just as good, if not better, in this movie. Sal is just one of the three conflicted cops who walk a fine line between cop and criminal. One is Eddie (Richard Gere), who is days away from retirement, and has what is probably the most eventful week of his career. His job is to oversee rookies in the mean streets, and sticks a gun in his mouth a couple of times throughout the course of the movie. His only sources of pleasures are his whiskey and frequent visits with a hooker. The other is Tango (Don Cheadle), an undercover cop who is so deep into the criminal life that he struggles with his own identity. He's been asking for a desk job for years and desperately wants out of the drug beat. The only way he can get out and receive a promotion is by betraying a close criminal friend, Caz (Wesley Snipes). The problem with movies like Brooklyn's Finest is that they often fail to add any depth to their characters in the midst of all the mindless violence. But the great acting from Hawke, Gere, and Cheadle separates this one from the crowd, and makes it a watchable action thriller. And while may not be as good as Training Day, it still shows the rough side of being a cop, and that they may not be as innocent as they appear to be.

  • Gloomy and Bitter Police Story
    by Claudio Carvalho on 24 July 2010

    30 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

    In Brooklyn, New York, the veteran policeman Eddie (Richard Gere) is a bitter and disillusioned lonely man that will retire in seven days. The catholic dirty detective Sal (Ethan Hawke) is a family man in despair that needs to raise money to buy a better house for his family. The undercover detective Tango (Don Cheadle) is affected by the long period he has been working infiltrated in gangs and has requested to be transferred to an office. Their lives and fates are entwined when Eddie retires and sees a missing girl that has been kidnapped by sex traffickers and he has to take a decision; Sal has to make the down payment of the dreamed house and he does nit have enough money; and Tango is assigned to frame the drug lord Caz (Wesley Snipes) that saved his life years ago and has become his friend.

    "Brooklyn's Finest" is a gloomy and bitter police story with a cast that is a constellation of stars, some of them with minor parts. I watched this film with great expectations, but unfortunately the screenplay is not original, too long and sometimes confused. The three stories are very well known by viewers of this genre and the narrative is cold, without emotions. The director Antoine Fuqua could (or should) have made a better feature with the available budget and cast. My vote is six.

    Title (Brazil): "Atraídos Pelo Crime" ("Attracted by the Crime")

  • a respectable piece of work but unfortunately we've seen it all before
    by Special-K88 on 10 August 2010

    15 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

    Gritty, profane, and extremely violent thriller centering around three disparate New York cops: a cynical twenty-year veteran playing out his final days until retirement while struggling to keep his sanity (Gere); a conflicted undercover torn between his commitment to the job and his loyalty to the streets (Cheadle); a desperate family man who has his morale put to the test while trying to provide a stable home for his wife and kids (Hawke); director Fuqua's attempt at a police morality tale is well-crafted, strongly acted, and sure to grab your attention with intense, in-your-face violent action, but it doesn't offer enough new insight to transcend the familiar, seen-it-all-before limitations of this genre. Hawke (reteaming with his Training Day director) stands out with an unexpectedly edgy performance. The violence—while expected for a film of this genre—is still tough to stomach at times. **½

  • Draws you in
    by Panamint on 8 August 2010

    21 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

    Draws you right in from the start, builds tension to a climactic point late in the film. In the middle, you get to absorb a lot of NYC atmosphere which somewhat compensates for the formulaic nature of the film. You've seen it all before, there's no new ground, but its done in a way that will hold your interest.

    Grim, adult movie themes highlight only the heavy issues that burden cops in this big city.

    Cheadle, Hawke and Gere all develop very burnt-out, empty looks in their eyes that help make this film more believable than it really is. Lives have fallen apart (the personal lives of these cops). The script makes it clear that the job is rough on cop families, it makes this point almost to the point of overkill.

    The women of this film are resigned to the belief that "its a man's world". They have bought this belief system almost totally. And yes I include Ellen Barkin's middle-aged super-boss-cop because she tries to be just like men in order to get to the top of this man's macho cop world/underworld environment.

    Gere is subtle, very nuanced and effective in his role. Hawke is incredibly explosive in his role of a man desperately overstrung, or at least in need of a good vacation. Cheadle's mixed-up about-to-snap performance works perfectly with Snipes who gives a fine, mature, theatrical style performance. I'm ready to see more of the mature Snipes as his career progresses.

    All the acting here is great and it overcomes the generally "seen it before" nature of the production. This is basically similar to Greek tragedy, so if you view it that way you won'be let down by the relentless grimness that is here from start to finish.

    Entertainment value highlighted by enough tension, plus the studied pro performances rate an 8 rating from me.

  • A competent cop flick, but it is not something very memorable
    by Argemaluco on 11 June 2010

    18 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

    The police corruption has been a recurrent subject in cinema from its beginnings.Classic films such as Scarface (1932) or The Asphalt Jungle reported the reality of the cops who are seduced by the easy way of crime, betraying the trust from the people and the law they swore to protect.However, in that times, the corrupt cops were the villains; but the perspective changed in the 70's thanks to movies like Shaft and Electra Glide in Blue, which showed that the ethic and the rectitude could become into obstacles in order to combat every time more violent and crafty criminals.We can suppose that those anti-heroes arose as a consequence of the dissatisfaction people felt with the authorities, and with the sad reality that the pure and incorruptible heroes of yesteryear were not credible anymore.Needless to say that real life has gotten worse in our century, and the cinema has adapted to that with films (and TV series) where the line between heroes and villains is every time more diffuse.

    All the previous paragraph takes me to Brooklyn's Finest, a cop flick in which director Antoine Fuqua runs a similar field to the one he visited in Training Day 9 years ago.The result is competent and interesting, but not highly memorable.

    Brooklyn's Finest has a provocative premise, and thanks to screenwriter Michael C. Martin, we have many interesting scenes of moral disjunctive, fights with the conscience and impossible decisions.But the problem is that that structure feels a bit diffuse, and I could not find the point in common which impulses the three stories this movie tells (besides of the ethical conflicts the three main characters face).In other words, I was interested in the characters and their dilemmas, but the secondary scenes which may add texture and "realism" to the story tired me a little bit, because they divide our attention without a justifiable cause and they unnecessarily stretch the movie.

    In spite of that, I liked the film, mainly because of Fuqua's solid direction, which is always disciplined and absolutely free of any tricks which are not necessary in order to create suspense.As for the cast, Ethan Hawke feels a bit over the top in his character, while on the other hand, Don Cheadle is perfect as a cop whose divided loyalty is not because of simple ambition, but because of the lessons life has brought him in both sides of the law.Richard Gere could interpret even asleep the character of a veteran who is tired of fighting an endless war, but I think he keeps doing it well.As for the supporting cast, I liked the performances from Will Patton as the classical "suit" who only wants results; Ellen Barkin as a cop/politician who is more interested in her career than in the fulfillment of justice; and Wesley Snipes, who makes his return to mainstream cinema after various years of starring in atrocious action movies made straight to DVD.

    As a comparison point, I liked Brooklyn's Finest more than Pride and Glory, but less than Narc and Dark Blue, because they had had more concise and compact screenplays.However, despite the fails from the screenplay and the fact it is not highly memorable, I can recommend Brooklyn's Finest as an interesting cop flick with good performances and interesting ideas.

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