Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 2007. , 2929 Productions, Industry Entertainment. Screenplay by James Gray. Cinematography by Joaquin Baca-Asay. Produced by Marc Butan, Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, Nick Wechsler. Music by Wojciech Kilar. Production Design by Ford Wheeler. Costume Design by Michael Clancy. Film Editing by John Axelrad. Film Festivals: Cannes 2007.
Excellent dramatic thriller treads familiar territory but feels fresh in execution. Two brothers reside on opposite sides of the law, one of them a cop (Mark Wahlberg) and the other a club owner (Joaquin Phoenix) with drug connections. Their father (Robert Duvall) obviously knows which one he’s proudest of, but the lines get blurred when Wahlberg falls into serious danger because of someone in Phoenix’s world and the bad brother is forced to choose sides. Does he want to continue with the friends who he feels treat him like family, or will he be there for the family from whom he’s been estranged for so long? Moody, atmospheric photography and superb performances enrich this grimy tale that also features a highly intense, exciting car chase and a wholly satisfying conclusion. Eva Mendes is a standout as Phoenix’s girlfriend.