Brooklyn’s Finest

BROOKLYN'S FINEST directed by Antoine Fuqua, written.

BROOKLYN’S FINEST directed by Antoine Fuqua, written by Michael C. Martin, with Richard Gere, Ethan Hawke, Don Cheadle, Wesley Snipes, Brian F. O’Byrne, Will Patton and Ellen Barkin. An Alliance release. 140 minutes. Opens Friday (March 5). For venues, trailers and times, see Movies. Rating: NN

After a decade of undistinguished genre work, Antoine Fuqua tries to reinvent himself as his generation’s Sidney Lumet with this old-school police drama tracking three New York cops operating in the same precinct.[rssbreak]

Don Cheadle plays an undercover detective who cares too much, Ethan Hawke is a tactical officer who cares about the wrong things, and Richard Gere is a beat cop with a week left on the force who doesn’t care about anything.

Hawke and Cheadle find unexpected depths within their cardboard characters, and Brian F. O’Byrne does a fine job as Hawke’s concerned buddy, but they’re still trapped in Michael C. Martin’s schematic screenplay, which mostly seems designed to accommodate Fuqua’s love of graphic violence and alpha-male swagger.

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