Brooklyn, 1988. Crime is rife, especially drugs and drug violence. A Russian thug is building his heroin trade, while everyone laughs at the cops. Brothers have chosen different paths: Joe has followed his father Bert into New York’s Finest; he’s a rising star. Bobby, who uses his mother’s maiden name, manages a club. Bobby too is on the rise: he has a new girlfriend and a green-light to develop a Manhattan club. Joe and Bert ask him to help with intelligence gathering; he declines. Then, Joe raids Bobby’s club to arrest the Russian. From there, things spiral out of control: the Russian puts out a hit on Joe, personal losses mount, and Bobby’s loyalties face the test. —IMDb
Bio: Writer/director James Gray made his first film Little Odessa (1994) at the age of twenty-four. The film, which starred Tim Roth, Edward Furlong, Vanessa Redgrave and ‘Maximillian Schell’, received critical acclaim and was the winner of the Venice Film Festival’s prestigious Silver Lion Award in 1994.
Miramax Films released James Gray’s second feature, The Yards (2000) starring Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Faye Dunaway, Ellen Burstyn, Charlize Theron and James Caan in fall of 2000. The film was selected for official competition at the 2000 Cannes International Film Festival. Prior to ‘The Yards’ and ‘Little Odessa’, Gray attended film school at the University of Southern California. It was there that his student film Cowboys and Angels was first seen by producer Paul Webster, who encouraged Gray to write his first feature script.
As a child growing up in Queens, New York, Gray aspired to be a painter. However, when introduced in his early teenage years to the works… read more
How come this is his worst rated work in here? Never the core of his stories reached such shakespearian and epic levels as in this film. Once again you’ve an individual that tries to rebel against the social standards and live outside the moral code, who’s eventually crushed by the system and the weight of the family so he can fulfill his duty. Everything about the 80’s is here and excesses are presented in such a way it’s almost intoxicating. Also, it features some of the best perfectly composed moments of his whole filmography in astonishing and cutting sequences. Damn.
I'd go 3.5. Solid thriller, if a bit melodramatic toward the end. Great car chase.
An in-depth interview with James Gray about his new film, The Immigrant.
Jordan Mintzer’s collection of interviews is an indispensable source of insight into one of today’s best American filmmakers.
Gray is at BAMcinématek tonight. And Offscreen focuses on Fellini and Powell and Pressburger.
OK, so let me get this straight. If you have a father and brother in the NYPD and your regular drug use qualifies you as having “special knowledge” about a drug case, you can become a deputy NY police… read review