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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

Advertisement
The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

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.