Film Fans: 'Pride and Glory' is a predictable cop drama

EDITOR'S NOTE - Film Fans runs in the Friday Weekend section of the Gwinnett Daily Post. It features local residents reviewing the film of the week: "Pride and Glory." Want to be a Film Fan?

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2 stars out of 4

This is a modern version of the classic good cop, bad cop story. The plot moves along well for the most part. The performances of Edward Norton (Ray Tierney), Jennifer Ehle (Abby Tierney) and John Ortiz (Ruben Santiago) are outstanding. It is helpful to have an understanding of at least conversational Spanish. Many scenes are largely in Spanish with no subtitles and little translation. There is also a limited English vocabulary. The F-word is used at least four times in the opening credits, which sets the tone for its use in the rest of the movie. More than 75 percent of the movie is filmed as if the viewer is literally part of the scene. We run behind the actors up winding staircases and sit with them on a rocking boat. These camera shots will probably make a dramatic effect on DVD, but on the big screen it tends to leave the viewer quite seasick. Wait for the DVD release.

- Tami L. Barratt, Lawrenceville

2 stars out of 4

Imagine watching a docudrama filmed by your 12-year-old brother: the camera trembling, shaking, swinging, never resting on something long enough for your eyes to focus. The resulting nausea would eclipse even the best plot, dialogue, setting or acting in the world, right? That's why I gave this movie 2 stars. Now if you are one of those rare moviegoers who enjoys oscillatory, close-up camera work, then I'll tell you another reason you may enjoy the film: thematic elements. The acting is fine, the setting gritty, the dialogue even grittier (there were at least as many repetitions of the F-word as there were minutes in the movie), and the plot completely is transparent and predictable. But the thematic elements are worth discussing. For example, in an either/or situation between loyalty and integrity, which one wins? Is the better man the one who betrays family and friends for the sake of a cold, objective, emotionless imperative that says "it's the right thing to do"? Further, does he betray (and thereby ruin) loved ones who find themselves in the midst of a compromising situation through little fault of their own? Or is a man only finally, truly whole when he stands up for justice regardless of who gets hurt, even if it is himself? And justice - what is that? Is it justice to kill a man who killed your friends, or is it justice to condemn the man who killed a man who killed your friends? Intriguing thoughts, all triggered by this movie. Would I recommend the movie then? No. Just the thoughts.

- Jenni McKinney, Buford

1 star out of 4

"Pride and Glory" is a misnomer, as it has no pride or glory but a lot of gore, gloom and misused talent. It's a movie that loses its identity at the outset and uses vulgar language and over-the-top dramatics to pull the audience into the fracas and it simply doesn't work. It is the biggest waste of top talent since "Appaloosa." The story depicts a multi-generational police family led by strong men who struggle to live decent lives. From there it's the New York dark drug scene that pulls and twists in many directions. In the end, you have a made for TV movie on steroids masquerading as a theatrical production and this is the big lie. Don't be swayed or waste your time or money on this ditty as you can tell the losers at the gate.

- Rick Wright, Auburn