"Pride and Glory" *** 1/2 (125 minutes)

Monday October 20, 2008

Gritty-the first word that comes to mind to describe the latest by director/co-screenwriter Gavin O'Connor. I loved his first indie work, 1999's "Tumbleweeds" (in which Janet McTeer earned a well deserved Golden Globe Best Actress award, as well as noms from the AA and Screen Actor's Guild) which I screened at Sundance. Here he teams with screenwriter Joe Carnahan (who wrote another powerful indie police tale "Narc") and employs a top notch cast to tell this tale that begins with the ambush of four of NY's finest during a drug bust. All are from the same unit, headed by Noah Emmerich, whose father (Jon Voight) is his superior. Noah's brother (Edward Norton) is brought into the investigation by his father to investigate, who soon discovers that the killer was tipped off by another cop. Colin Farrell is the brother-in-law in the same unit and we quickly learn he is not one of NY's finest, to say the least. The film is effectively shot in stark muted tones by veteran cinematographer, Declan Quinn (DP for the currently well received "Rachel Getting Married") and has a nice companion score by vet Mark Isham ("Crash"). The dialogue, action scenes, and acting are very realistic and, even though the story is familiar, it will hold your interest to the end.

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