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Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

Ed Norton
Colin Farrell
Nick Nolte
Lake Bell
Samantha Morgan

Gavin O'Connor.
Running Time
130mins minutes

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Pride And Glory
Or NYPD Bent

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Megan (Bell) is married to tough cop Jimmy Egan (Farrell). When she discovers her husband's complicity in a police corruption scandal that her brother (Norton) is investigating, she must choose between her husband and her family.

Pride And Glory
Originally scheduled to shoot in 2001, this police corruption/family drama was postponed following the September 11 attacks, with it deemed inappropriate to suggest dishonesty in the wake of the NYPD’s heroism in those days. But the strange thing about this film is that, despite the institutional cover-ups and the bent cops that appear, this is a remarkably balanced look at the police force, one that’s even, at times, idealised.

Its problem is that the subject of corruption among Irish-American cops felt clichéd — a given — by the time of On The Waterfront, never mind following The Wire or The Departed. So the focus here is on the clash between the brotherhood between fellow officers and the literal fraternal relationships at its heart: between Edward Norton’s Ray Tierney, assigned to investigate the deaths of four cops in an apparent drugs bust, his brother Frannie (Noah Emmerich), the head of the dead cops’ precinct, and brother-in-law Jimmy (Farrell), the dead men’s sergeant. When Ray learns that his family may have been involved in the deaths, he’s placed in an impossible ethical dilemma.

Shot in the gritty style of a CSI or Law & Order, under cloudy skies and amid decayed street scenes worthy of a post-apocalyptic horror movie, this has atmosphere to spare, and a cast that bring even simple scenes to life. Norton doesn’t stretch even a little as the cop with a conscience — he’s played much the same thing before in the second half of American History X, say. Farrell, too, is on familiar ground, mixing likable, dodgy and guilt-tortured in the way that only a true Irishman can (Irish stereotypes are touched on regularly throughout, from the numerous redheads, to the endless Irish bars, to a climactic fistfight). The rest of the cast is solid, but so uniformly that it’s a kind of miracle. Noah Emmerich and Jennifer Ehle in particular create their own Catch-22 subplot, while John Ortiz’ nervy cop sweats and squirms magnetically as the net tightens around him.

It’s an eminently serviceable thriller, then, one that sketches a convincing portrait of brotherhood among New York’s Finest amid moments of effective high drama — but it can’t quite convince when so many of the ingredients are so terribly familiar.

A well-acted and tightly structured piece that would be more impactful if there weren’t a feeling that we’ve seen it before.

Reviewed by Helen O'Hara

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Pride And Glory
Empire Star Rating

RE: Very Good

I thought it was an average gritty cop thriller in the vein of Serpico, eliveted by some good performances from Farrell and Voight. I think it would have been a much more interesting film had Farrell and Norton swapped roles and played against type though. ... More

Posted by Workshed at 10:24, 06 April 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Very Good

Not Bad But Sidney Lumet has done it soo much better with Serpico and the hugely neglected Prince Of The City 6.5/10 ... More

Posted by filmburner30 at 10:21, 06 April 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Very Good

I enjoyed it, but Colin Farrell wasn't in it that much, and he and Ed Norton didn't have enough scenes together. Plus Farrell's character is not allowed to be really bad, (the baby scene was a bit YIKES but he only threatens) most of what he does is off screen, the characters talk about it a lot and don't show much. We never find out about THE SCAR, or what actually happened to him. SPOILERS aside from crushing that guys larynx) even then Norton shows up and stops him. Jon Voight's impromptu... More

Posted by JoeyPottr at 03:34, 04 April 2009 | Report This Post

Very Good

There were so many top drawer performances in this movie I simply had to give it four stars. I agree it had that samey corrupt cop movie feel to it initially with the usual dilemmas surrounding loyalty and doing the right thing, but the acting is so damn good it keeps you glued to the screen for the length of it. Colin Farrell gives another blinding performance (along with In Bruges the guy is officially back with a bang), Norton is great as usual and chuck in Jon Voight, Noah Emmerich an... More

Posted by Fluke Skywalker at 13:48, 04 March 2009 | Report This Post

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