Pride and Glory

"Excellent"

Pride and Glory Review


Police thrillers these days aspire to replicate the CSI formula on the big screen. Not Pride and Glory. It wants to be this generation's Serpico.

Director Gavin O'Connor certainly understands the difference between the two. Though Glory lays out a complex yet solvable mystery, it's far more interested in loyalty and the familial bonds that exist among lifetime police officers. It also wears its adoration for the badge -- and those who wear it -- on its sleeve.

O'Connor co-wrote the film with Joe Carnahan, the screenwriter of the similarly gritty Narc and the bullet-ridden Smokin' Aces. These men possess such intimate knowledge of "The Job" that I'd be willing to bet either or both have police officers in their immediate family.

In the film, Edward Norton, who can be great but is capable of coasting on his inner fire, clamps down on the multi-faceted role of Ray Tierney. One brother in a family full of cops, Ray wallows in the NYPD's Missing Persons bureau, far removed from the investigative successes enjoyed by older sibling Francis (Noah Emmerich) and impulsive brother-in-law Jimmy (Colin Farrell).

O'Connor gradually clues us in to Ray's checkered past, which involves a headline-grabbing scandal that put him on the stand where he thought he'd have to testify against fellow officers. As you probably know, most cops would rather eat a bullet than rat out a brother in arms, so Ray does the right thing -- by NYPD standards -- and kills his career instead. When four cops from Francis' precinct are gunned down in a botched raid, however, Ray's father (Jon Voight) pulls his talented son back into the fold to investigate, even though clues start pointing back to Jimmy and other cops who are under Francis's watch.

Glory methodically lays out its details, revealing minor surprises instead of forcing major twists. This, I imagine, is how an actual murder case plays out, with theories and hunches trumping grandiloquent confessions from weeping perpetrators.

The textured story is stitched together with a thick emotional fabric that is weaved by the excellent cast. Norton takes the lead, delivering a raw and subtle performance that bares his character's conflicted soul. The actor's commitment trickles down through the ensemble, sweeping up Voight and Emmerich (both first-rate) and even elevating Farrell to a level rarely seen from the volatile actor. To his credit, Farrell's enjoying a good year. His turn in the black comedy In Bruges was equal parts sympathetic and psychotic. He's growing as an actor and making smarter choices in roles, which can only extend his career.

O'Connor, for his part, makes a number of intelligent decisions. He doesn't hurry his action, giving his absorbing characters room to breathe. He shoots a sullied version of New York that's organic and real, not the polished Hollywood version we too often get on screen. Credit cinematographer Declan Quinn for diving into slummy tenements and low-lit police precincts, as well as modest suburban homes which officers could afford on an NYPD salary. O'Connor makes one false step near the picture's end, and for that brief moment, Pride doesn't feel right. I'm more than willing to go along with him, however, for the greater good.

Because of its subject matter -- noble cops investigating crooked brethren -- O'Connor's Pride reminded me of The Departed, though in truth I preferred this to Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winner. Pride isn't flashy, tricky, or showy. It doesn't fall back on incessant double-crosses and last-second betrayals to confuse its audience. When a script is as good as Carnahan's and O'Connor's, it doesn't have to.

Something to be proud of.



Pride and Glory

Facts and Figures

Run time: 130 mins

In Theaters: Friday 24th October 2008

Box Office USA: $15.7M

Box Office Worldwide: $15.7M

Budget: $30M

Distributed by: New Line Cinema

Production compaines: New Line Cinema, Solaris Film, O'Connor Brothers, Avery Pix, Kumar Mobiliengesellschaft mbH & Co. Projekt Nr. 1 KG

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 35%
Fresh: 53 Rotten: 100

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Ray Tierney, as Francis Tierney, Sr., as Jimmy Eagan, as Francis Tierney, Jr., as Abby Tierney, as Ruben Santiago, as Eddie Carbone, as Kenny Dugan, as Megan Egan, as Tasha, as Coco Dominguez, as Bill Avery, as Angel Tezo, as Eladio Casado, Maximiliano Hernández as Carlos Bragon, Leslie Denniston as Maureen Tierney, Hannah Riggins as Caitlin Tierney

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.