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Brooklyn's Finest (2009)



Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 145
Fresh: 62 | Rotten: 83

It's appropriately gritty, and soaked in the kind of palpable tension Antoine Fuqua delivers so well, but Brooklyn's Finest suffers from the comparisons its cliched script provokes.


Average Rating: 4.6/10
Critic Reviews: 38
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 30

It's appropriately gritty, and soaked in the kind of palpable tension Antoine Fuqua delivers so well, but Brooklyn's Finest suffers from the comparisons its cliched script provokes.



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Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 100,695

My Rating

Movie Info

Training Day director Antoine Fuqua takes viewers on a dark ride through the streets of Brooklyn, following three New York Police officers as they wrestle with temptation, loyalty, and duty while attempting to uphold the law and deal with the pressures of the job. Eddie Dugan (Richard Gere) is days away from retirement, but he's been burnt-out for years. Unable to remember why he signed up for the job in the first place, all Eddie can think about is retreating to his fishing cabin in


Drama, Action & Adventure

Michael C. Martin, Brad Kane

Jul 6, 2010


Overture Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (146) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (62) | Rotten (83) | DVD (6)

Any movie that ends on a freeze frame of Richard Gere walking stoically away from a crime scene teeming with police car lights can't be all good.

April 29, 2010 Full Review Source: | Comments (2)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As directed by Antoine Fuqua, the film is well-acted, occasionally hair-raising but ultimately made from stale material.

March 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Tawdry, slick and self-consciously gritty.

March 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The problem for filmmakers trying to make this kind of movie is that they are now operating in a post-Wire world.

March 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

On second thought, Brooklyn's Finest does indeed provide a new genre twist. This must be the only cop movie ever made where a character is driven off the deep end by mold.

March 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie is wounded, but it's also too tough to kill.

March 5, 2010
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Fuqua once again proves his mastery of the cop/crime drama genre, making for the best of its kind since 'The Departed.'

January 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Lyles' Movie Files
Lyles' Movie Files

the film's remarkable cast helps Fuqua bring his sprawling web of nastiness to another level

November 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

An impressive and gritty cop drama with three strong leading performances.

October 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Big Hollywood
Big Hollywood

Although Fuqua has already done this material, he is at least able to make some of it engaging, just not enough to recommend sitting through a runtime of over two hours to find it.

October 1, 2012 Full Review Source:

Paints with grimy authenticity a despairing, warts-and-all portrait of cops and criminals, turning the idea of the title on its head and then some.

April 8, 2012 Full Review Source:

Director Antoine Fuqua gives the well-trod material more room to roam than necessary but fails to shade it in anything but the drabbest law enforcement blue.

March 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

While there is plenty going on here, however, the whole film smacks of déjà vu.

October 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Future Movies UK

For all its powerful moments (of which there are many), it feels too calculated and pre-programmed in its downward spiral.

July 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Not likely to go over too well with Mayor Bloomberg and his tourism bureau, is this tabloid cinema crooked cop thriller and ghetto housing project horror spree looking worse than an Afghan war zone on a bad day.

June 27, 2010 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

The drama doesn't just move between the three cops, it prowls between them, occasionally pouncing, and the film builds up quite a bit of tension.

June 16, 2010 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

It's played with considerable intensity -- by Hawke especially.

June 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Uncut Magazine [UK]
Uncut Magazine [UK]

It is certainly the best film director Antoine Fuqua has made since he last traced the thin blue line with Oscar winner Training Day.

June 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Fuqua has delivered his satirical masterpiece, a film that exposes every cop-movie cliché in the book by deploying every cop-movie cliché in the book, all the while -- and this is the genius part -- pretending that no-one has ever done this stuff before.

June 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Scotsman

An ugly, fatuous, macho piece of self-regarding, self-pitying nonsense about New York cops.

June 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

Although slick and occasionally tense, it's also downright predictable and occasionally boring. In fact, top Gere it ain't.

June 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK] | Comments (2)
Daily Mirror [UK]

Strong direction and acting can't compensate for an insubstantial script.

June 10, 2010
Little White Lies

This darkly shaded cop drama has an effectively moody tone, although it never feels any more gritty or realistic than a TV series. And despite solid acting, the plot feels both contrived and rather lethargic.

June 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

A well made and acted film but ultimately rather pointless.

June 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post

It makes for a reasonably absorbing watch and is a potent reminder of the underappreciated talents of several members of the cast and crew. It's just a shame that the storyline and characterisation lacks sufficient spark and innovation.

June 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

Each of the three stories of cops in extremis is schematic, formulary, hokey.

June 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

Audience Reviews for Brooklyn's Finest

Brooklyn's Finest is yet another Cop movie that takes a road well traveled. It's cliche after cliche, after a while you wonder if that is the point? Is this a clever and subtle sarcastic critique on the modern Cop film? Probably not, but why didn't anyone sit director Antoine Fuqua and writer Michael C. Martin down before filming and ask; Do you think the 'soon to be retired cop' story-line has been overdone? Do you think you will achieve the sympathy the story asks of the audience in reference to the low pay cops receive when you portray said cops as corrupt murderers? Do you think it's justifiable or realistic that Cops will turn to criminal activities, including murder, if they don't receive more pay? Do you think a mans colour always comes before making the right decisions? As a couple of Black gentlemen, do you think you've represented your Black characters in the fairest and realistic of ways? Are you happy with the lack of diversity your Black characters have? Now, I'm not saying corruption doesn't happen but the mixed message of cops are good, cops are bad, isn't thought out very well. If the intention was to humanise them then that was achieved even less so. I liked the scene where all three unrelated character cross paths momentarily and i thought Wesley Snipes was pretty good but apart from that, this film would be forgetful were it not so frustratingly irresponsible.
March 17, 2014

Super Reviewer

This hard and realistic thriller follows the fate of three New York cops: one of them has only one week left until retirement, one has been working undercover for years and the third is trying to make a cut to get his growing family out of a moldy house. Their paths only cross marginally, even up until the end, but they all have something in common: they are real human beings with flaws and no shiny heroes. The movie may take the pessimistic look on the job and what it makes out of men a tad too far, but it is still flawlessly acted and gets more exciting by the minute. In the end, only one of them is gonna make the right decision.
May 2, 2012

Super Reviewer

I don't know why this was so universally bashed, it's really a great move and in many ways beats out its contemporaries like Crash. The main reason for that is fact that it doesn't have a single overbearing message that it's trying to convey for the entire movie, each character has their own message. I think Antoine Fuqua usually has a great style that he brings to his movies and this is a prime example of it. This often times has a visual style that mirrors each central character's tone, which I thought was pretty cool. Also, just from a visual standpoint Brookyln's Finest is extremely impressive. It reminds me a lot of The French Connection in that it has a realistic element that you can't quite put your finger on, but it's undeniably there. The story lines did a perfect job of intersecting; it wasn't obtrusive or cheesy, but gave you a feeling that this was just a massive city. The depiction of the police and criminals was really interesting; I liked that neither side was labeled as outright heroes or villains. (on a side note, I think it's hilarious that Richard Gere is rescuing hookers again). The core stories depend on individual decisions and morals rather that simple foreshadowing or having a plot that needs to go a certain direction. When the final climax finally hits, it's truly beautiful how everything works out. This is also strengthened by its performances; Richard Gere, Don Cheadle and Ethan Hawke all turn in extremely good performances. All of their characters are conveyed in a way that makes them feel like real people. The acting isn't overblown or drawn out for oscar season. Chances are, if you're willing to give this a chance, it'll probably be a really nice surprise.
August 10, 2011

Super Reviewer

If this was finest, God forbid me from seeing its worst. Except for a single scene, the complete movie was boring to the core.
February 16, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Sal Procida: Change that skirt. People are gonna start to think we're Catholic only on Sundays.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Det. Patrick Leary: My shorty is black. Don't we go shopping for cocoa butter together?
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
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Foreign Titles

  • Gesetz der Straße - Brooklyn's Finest (DE)
  • L'Elite de Brooklyn (FR)
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