by Xavier Toby in New Film on Tuesday 11 March 2008

Films involving characters faced with an impossible choice never make easy viewing, an example being the Nick Cave Australian gem, The Proposition. A nightclub manager, played with understated power by Joaquin Phoenix, is the victim here, and you actually feel truly uncomfortable as his predicament unfolds. Set in the 1980s, We Own The Night shows a real nostalgia for that period — particularly in the costumes. The interior of the nightclub is then an interesting baroque cool – a place you’d want to party at. A car chase using torrential rain is dissociating, the blurred shots showing the terror of the characters involved. Too often the audience is shown too much; by being only given snippets from a removed position it is all the more powerful. Trekking through tall grass at the end creates similar feelings of confusion and tension. The lack of action also works to this intelligent film’s advantage, as the focus is instead on the plot. We Own The Night is a standout among an otherwise mediocre mainstream.