Something of a genre homecoming, Antoine Fuqua's latest film once again finds him delving into the gritty, brutal realm of cops and crooks?as he did in Training Day. Tango is an undercover officer on a narcotics detail tha... more »t forces him to choose between duty and friendship. Having been to hell and back, he wants out, but the powers that be won't let him quit. Family-man Sal is a detective tempted by greed and corruption. He can barely make ends meet, and now his wife has an illness that threatens the life of their unborn twins. Eddie is nearing retirement age and has long since lost his dedication to his job as a cop. He wakes up every morning trying to come up with a reason to go on living...and he can't think of one. Fate brings the three men to the same Brooklyn housing project as each takes the law into his own hands. Crosscutting between multiple subplots, Brooklyn's Finest unfolds violently and passionately as coiled, constantly roving cinematography contributes a measure of unease to the underworld action.« less
Cory M. from LOXAHATCHEE, FL Reviewed on 7/24/2012...
Very intimate look into the lives of three cops in Brooklyn, who each harbor their own flaws and justifications for their actions. Falls short of the classic Training Day (same director) but a suspenseful ride up until the very end.
Outstanding NY Police Drama
Terence Allen | Atlanta, GA USA | 03/14/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Brooklyn's Finest" is a remarkably entertaining and well-acted police drama from director Antoine Fuqua, who also directed the also outstanding police drama, "Training Day."
The film focuses on three very different Brooklyn cops over the course of a week. Richard Gere plays Eddie, a hardened veteran just a week away from retirement. He has nightmares, he's separated from his wife, and he's just biding his time until his retirement. Ethan Hawke, the hero of "Training Day, plays a narcotics detective desperate to finance a new home to give a better life to his wife, children, and twins on the way. Don Cheadle plays Tango, an undercover cop, who is so deep undercover that he forgets who he really is, and to make matters worse, he now has to setup a high-level drug dealer who saved his life while he was undercover in prison.
These examples of Brooklyn's Finest are all living on the edge, and they all go over the edge one way or another. The acting from these three is superb. Their performances along with Wesley Snipes as the drug dealer, Brian F. O'Byrne as Hawkes' best friend and partner, Shannon Kane as Eddie's hooker with a heart of gold, and a number of others, make this a very enjoyable, but powerfully sad and tragic film."
A Good Cop Drama With A Great Cast
Dr. Feel | GA United States | 03/08/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Brooklyn's Finest is about three cops working in different units in the NYC police department, who struggle with the perils of the crime-infested streets, particularly the drug trafficking operations.
Ethan Hawke delivers probably his best performance to date. He plays Sal Procida, a NYPD narcotics officer who's a devout Catholic with mostly good intentions, but is plagued with his own demons as he chases after ruthless drug dealers while struggling to support more kids at home than he can afford on a cop's salary.
Don Cheadle plays the role of "Tango", an ambitious undercover cop working double-duty on a drug sting operation. He's burned out and wants out of the game before it's too late, but he's in too deep and the powers that be on the corrupt police force won't let him escape. Ellen Barkin plays the hard-ass boss lady in charge of the sting operation. She has Cheadle by the balls and couldn't care less about his survival.
Richard Gere plays Officer Dugan, a washed-out, suicidal veteran cop who is just a week away from retirement. His goal (aside from enjoying the services of a certain "professional" whom he likes more than he should) is to maintain his sanity, keep his nose clean and keep his rookie cop partner under control for just a few more days so that he can cash in on his pension with a little pride. But as it turns out, his last week on the job is probably the worst of his entire career.
Wesley Snipes returns to the big screen as the smart, ruthless drug lord "Caz" running the streets of Brooklyn. He's been in the game for too long as well and appears to be losing his "street cred", as he doesn't know who to trust anymore. His most trusted partner however, happens to be Tango who, unbeknownst to Caz, is working undercover to bust his operation.
Brooklyn's Finest tells a graphic story about each of these characters and the double lives and personal struggles that each one has to deal with on a daily basis. All three are "fine" cops in their own way, but the demands of their dangerous jobs, in a corrupt world, gets the best of them. Neither cop knows the other one, but their fate is ultimately intertwined.
This movie starts out quite slow but it eventually progresses into a very good film. This is a serious cop drama that is very raw in its portrayal of crime and corruption on the mean urban streets. It contains certain elements of other movies, such as "Training Day", "New Jack City", "American Gangster" and "Crash" all meshed together into one powerful movie.
The casting and acting are superb, but the story leaves nothing to the imagination and exploits stereotypes to the max. Highly recommended, nonetheless.
WARNINIG: Contains graphic sexual content, extreme violence and profanity. Not for the easily offended! "
Fans of "The Wire" Will Enjoy Brooklyn's Finest
Compay | New Orleans, LA | 03/05/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's been almost a decade since Director Antoine Fuqua treated us to Training Day, and Brooklyn's Finest proves that he still has the goods. While not destined to become the fan classic that Denzel helped deliver, Brooklyn's Finest offers up an excellent cast and an explosive ending.
Don Cheadle, as an undercover cop, gives a terrific performance while continuing to prove himself as one of Hollywood's most underrated actors. It was also amazing to watch Ethan Hawke as a corrupt officer, but unlike Training Day's Alonzo, you really feel his vulnerability. He's thrown into a pressure cooker early into the film, with tension so real that you can almost touch it. If you're a diehard fan of HBO's The Wire like myself, you're going to love the casting of Michael K. Williams (Omar Little) and Hassan Johnson (Wee-Bey) as Brooklyn dealers, and Isiah Whitlock Jr (Senator Clay "Sheeee*t" Davis) as a city investigator. Wesley Snipes gives a great New Jack City throwback performance as drug kingpin Caz. Richard Gere plays the role of a weathered cop to perfection, despite being handed a script filled with one too many police flick cliches.
Brooklyn's Finest starts especially slow, but really picks up steam past the film's halfway mark. The cinematography and directing are both on point, and Fuqua's use of lighting is excellent. Brazilian composer Marcelo Zarvos (Sin Nombre) did a great job with the score, and the rest of the soundtrack fits perfectly (particularly the Busta Rhymes track during a stash house raid). And like The Wire, police bureaucracy is exposed, corruption is revealed, and the streets take no prisoners.
The film gets four stars instead of five, simply because there are one too many cliches, and the "Crash" concept isn't anything new. But while the plot is at times implausible and not terribly exciting, the intertwining of characters leading up to the film's conclusion is grim and powerful. Not the best film of 2010, but don't miss this one if you enjoy The Wire."
Mark Turner | 07/05/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It takes a gifted director to weave together three different stories into one cohesive tale. Director Antoine Fuqua (TRAINING DAY) is just such a director. And this week's release of BROOKLYN'S FINEST proves that.
Taking place in the current streets of Brooklyn, the story focuses on three different policemen who work there, each dedicated to their job but also taking divergent paths as a result of the day to day struggles they face.
Ethan Hawke plays Sal, a family man who would do anything to protect and take care of his family. Unfortunately this includes stealing money from thieves that he busts or killing bad guys and taking their money. Sal has 4 kids, lives in a house filled with mold, has a wife who is pregnant with twins and ill due to the mold and is looking for a new place. All it takes is money. As a top cop in on numerous drug raids, this puts Sal in a position to take dirty money.
Don Cheadle plays Tango, a deep undercover cop who is perhaps the best of the three depicted here. Tango has gone undercover enough that he spent time in prison posing as a street hustler and drug dealer. But life on the inside is ruining his life on the outside. And with each passing day, Tango finds himself drawn deeper into the seedy world he now inhabits, changing his perception of reality from what he knew to what he is experiencing.
Lastly we have Richard Gere as Eddie. A street cop who has seen it all, Eddie is one week from retirement. Exposed to the worst that humanity has to offer, Eddie courts thoughts of suicide but carries forward looking forward to his last day. Eddie has tired of fighting the good fight only to see something worse replace it. He has given up hope for humanity. He just wants to move on.
As the movie progresses each of these characters never interact, but they do run into one another briefly. Sal is facing the temptations of selling his soul in an attempt to fulfill the family dream of a new house. With only days left till their dream home is gone, he must make that final choice of whether to pass over to the side of semi-villain or not.
Tango is trying to finish his turn undercover. Done in an attempt to make gold shield detective, his plans are disrupted when the FBI steps in and tries to force him into one last operation. They need a symbol of the drug kingpin world to go down, replacing the public's current image of the police as thugs after the shooting death of an innocent young man in the projects. And their target is Caz (Wesley Snipes), a man involved in drug transportation but also the man who saved Tango's life in prison. While on opposing sides, Tango still feels a debt towards the man.
Eddie is forced to work with the rookies just starting in the precinct. Unwilling to make it a pleasant experience, he still focuses on just making it through the day. Ignoring obvious crimes not taking place in his precinct, leaving a new partner in a touch situation, it is day by day for Eddie. But a moment will change all that as he leaves for a new life.
Fuqua does a tremendous job not only of making us care for each of these flawed characters, he moves from one story to the next with ease. Each tale reflects the other, each story focusing on policemen and how the temptations arise, how the stress of the job affects their decisions and how those decisions may not always be the right one.
No one is to blame in this world. Each character is driven by forces they have no control over. And each one takes a different path. And it is this tremendous job of storytelling that shows in the work of Fuqua and first time feature writer Michael C. Martin. As viewers, let's hope that both continue to offer films like this. Movies that make you think, that make you care and that entertain at the same time. "
Enjoyable, gritty drama
Senor Zoidbergo | Washington D.C. | 08/17/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoyed Brooklyn's Finest, although I did have a few complaints which I will list first. The three storylines were rather distinct, and other than by location, they were not linked. I would have preferred to see more interaction between the characters other than random chance meetings on the street, but I think the storyline still works in the manner in which it was presented. Additionally, the movie didn't need to be set in Brooklyn, and Brooklyn played no significant part in influencing the storyline, other than providing public housing projects for the drug-ridden backdrop.
Onto the movie itself; it's a melancholy drama, depressing and dark. The cinematography underscores the gritty nature of the BK projects, and the lives of those affected by the drug trade. The three main characters, Gere, Hawke, and Cheadle, are effective in portraying their respective characters. Some have said that Cheadle's character was the most sympathetic, but I found all three storylines to be engaging. Wesley Snipes makes a welcome addition- I think this was Snipes' first movie following his tax evasion sentencing.
**SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW**
The DVD contains a few deleted scenes, which in my opinion, were rightfully deleted. One of the scenes shows Don Cheadle's confrontation with the NJ State trooper in more detail. The deletion of this scene better enhances the tension in Cheadle's character when he describes his inner conflicts to his superior, Bill. Another one of the deleted scenes ties up some of the loose ends. Snipes' character is shown alive (unbelievable glad they deleted this) and Richard Gere's character is shown enjoying his retirement in Connecticut. I prefer the ambiguous ending of the original.
Watch the featurettes for some interesting background on the characters, as well explanation of the on-site filming in the Brooklyn Projects."