Brooklyn’s Finest

The cop a week away from retirement. The cop forced into corruption to support his family. The cop so deep undercover that he doesn’t even know who he is anymore. Clichés? Sure. But Antoine Fuqua’s police drama “Brooklyn’s Finest” is a gritty and compelling film, made all the better by three actors who find the humanity in their characters. Richard Gere captures the broken down and disillusioned Eddie, a veteran cop close to retirement who still wakes up in cold sweats and has a death wish. With a week to go, he’s assigned a rookie partner to teach. Don Cheadle is the cool but conflicted Tango, undercover so long that he’s losing his life and his identity. He is forced into a complicated situation when the feds want him to take down the kingpin (Wesley Snipes) who saved his life while under. And Ethan Hawke is Sal, a cop working tirelessly to move his ever-expanding family out of their asbestos-riddled home. His ways of earning more money on the side are questionable. Michael Martin’s screenplay makes good points about New York’s poor treatment of cops as well as the imperfect system that is the NYPD. The moral, mental, and personal strain the job takes on these men keeps the stories moving, and the bloody shoot-outs, shady sexual material, and dialogue contribute to its street credibility. You’ve seen it all before, but “Brooklyn’s Finest” draws you in nonetheless.

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