Pride and Glory (2008)

March 04, 2011 By Mike B
Movie Review

What Worked?

A cop drama that’s rough and beaming with emotional fire, Pride and Glory is a fine film with searing performances. Edward Norton adds another notch to his belt, as he turns in another powerful performance, leading a fantastic cast that turns in solid work as well.

The film revolves around the Tierney family of cops in NYC.  After officers are killed, Ray Tierney is put on the case to help. Norton, as Ray Tierney, turns in a devoted performance, creating a character that has an obvious gift as a detective, but also holds the memories of a past that almost beat him down.  His performance is perfectly subdued at times, and appropriately striking at others. Jon Voight, as Francis Tierney Sr, is humorous , warm and honest as the father of Ray. Noah Emmerich,  as Francis Tierney Jr, also puts in a solid performance as a cop trying to stay pure in a position where corruption is more seductive.

Pride and Glory deals with classic themes: family, honor, and the distance between right and wrong. It’s a throwback to the dramatic tones of such films as East of Eden or On the Waterfront. There are several scenes in the film where we see man facing his demons. Additionally, there are many scenes that are shocking, and may hook at our emotions . The film is truly underrated because of its typical plot.

Potential Drawbacks:

Although most of the performances are stellar, it seems as if there are some instances where the drama is contrived and unnatural. In addition, it feels like some scenes are inserted to purposely shock us, pushing the plot nowhere.

I’m on the fence with Colin Farrell, playing the corrupt Jimmy Egan, as he does well in some scenes and completely pushes it too far with his performance in other scenes. For the consistently solid performances, the script and plot do not match their devotion. How many times are we going to get a cop drama about corrupt cops and vengeance? A lot, so if it’s done it should be done with creativity.

Gavin O’Connor’s direction is mediocre at best, as he doesn’t really do anything to enhance the performances or create a tangible atmosphere for the audience.  In better hands, and better editing of the script, this could’ve been something worthy of the acting talents involved.

Film Recommendations:

L.A. Confidential
We Own the Night

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