Director Antoine Fuqua scoops up the grime off the street and slimes it on the screen.
Julian Roman - MovieWeb
It's built of rigidly interlocking calamities, and the movie revels in the cartooniest details of street life.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
The movie is wounded, but it's also too tough to kill.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
It's good to see Snipes back on the big screen, and the scenes he shares with Cheadle are a highlight. But there's so much unremitting pain, such a constant string of calamities in the lives of all the players, that the dreariness overshadows the story.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
At no time will the viewer be under the impression that the performers are engaged in anything but a recycling project, regurgitating 50 years of corrupt-cop movies. Fuqua is striving for gritty street cred and instead delivers a clone.
John Anderson - Washington Post
Brooklyn's Finest is a billy-club sandwich: three separate cop dramas piled one on top of the other, separated by layers of dramatic cheese, and compressed until the condiments run together.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
Filled with every cop-movie convention since the invention of gunpowder and curse words, Brooklyn's Finest is three movies in one, all of which you've seen before.
Robert Wilonsky - Village Voice
The bravest ones let us in on certain truths about the profession even when they're unpleasant, and Brooklyn's Finest can stand proudly among them.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
Whatever one may think of the overall style -- I think it's ludicrous -- Mr. Fuqua clearly wanted his film to be operatic, and so it is, in a tone-deaf way.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
The problem for filmmakers trying to make this kind of movie is that they are now operating in a post-Wire world.
Tom Maurstad - Dallas Morning News
The film has a basic strength in its performances and craft, but falls short of the high mark Fuqua obviously set for himself.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
It's a movie you truly want to like, because it reminds you of movies you did, most of them made by Sidney Lumet.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Director Antoine Fuqua has come a long way down since Training Day.
Cliff Doerksen - Chicago Reader
Fuqua's sucker-punch of a picture is taut noir of the first order.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
The adventures are sometimes interesting; there are stirring, chaotic outbursts of violence. But yelling and shooting alone don't engage the imagination, and the domestic interludes verge on soap opera.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Tawdry, slick and self-consciously gritty.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Fuqua tries to create the illusion of meaning by copycatting the style and techniques of better directors, but he can't save the naked emperor of the script.
Kerry Lengel - Arizona Republic
Antoine Fuqua is a master of this kind of anxiety -- much like his acclaimed Training Day, there are moments so nerve-racking one is actually afraid to look directly at the screen.
Sara Vilkomerson - New York Observer
The performances are uniformly good, but Training Day helmer Antoine Fuqua seems to lack the maturity as a filmmaker to match his casting or his budget.
John Anderson - Variety
Brooklyn's Finest may well have a future on cable as a drinking game. At one sip per cuss word, though, few viewers will still be conscious for the ending...
Kyle Smith - New York Post
You can see why the actors were drawn to this -- good characters, nice monologues, a few explosive scenes. But in keeping all of them happy and still making room for his own excesses, Fuqua loses any sense of pacing.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
There's nothing particularly original here in this grime-and-grit saga, but the weak material is elevated by the cast.
Linda Barnard - Toronto Star
Christine Champ - Film.com
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.
Jonathan F. Richards - Film.com
As directed by Antoine Fuqua, the film is well-acted, occasionally hair-raising but ultimately made from stale material.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
Fuqua develops the atmosphere with sufficient grit to generate a degree of narrative drive and momentum during the final 30 minutes but it takes an inordinate amount of time to get to that point and it's debatable whether the payoff is worth [it].
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Hugely implausible and relentlessly downbeat cop thriller lacks any sense of authenticity.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
Other than a few dashes of humor managed by Hawke, the movie is relentlessly bleak and barbarous, Fuqua grinding viewers down through his cavemen-with-badges depiction of police work.
David Germain - Associated Press
Brooklyn's Finest is a cop movie so shallow, dumb, derivative and infuriating that it feels like a parody of bad cop movies.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Biblical trilogy bolstered by strong performances and a powerful message.
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
An old-style potboiler about desperate cops in dire straits that overcooks both its story and its stars, with Ethan Hawke, Don Cheadle and Richard Gere the main ingredients left stewing.
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
Fuqua once again proves his mastery of the cop/crime drama genre, making for the best of its kind since 'The Departed.'
Jeffrey Lyles - Lyles' Movie Files
the film's remarkable cast helps Fuqua bring his sprawling web of nastiness to another level
Chris Chang - Film Comment Magazine
An impressive and gritty cop drama with three strong leading performances.
John Hanlon - 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.
Jeff Beck - Examiner.com
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.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Aaron Hillis - Time Out
Dave White - Movies.com
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.
Mark Pfeiffer - Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
While there is plenty going on here, however, the whole film smacks of deja vu.
- Future Movies UK
For all its powerful moments (of which there are many), it feels too calculated and pre-programmed in its downward spiral.
James Kendrick - 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.
Prairie Miller - 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.
Andrew O'Hagan - This is London
It's played with considerable intensity -- by Hawke especially.
Tom Charity - 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.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
Fuqua has delivered his satirical masterpiece, a film that exposes every cop-movie cliche in the book by deploying every cop-movie cliche in the book, all the while -- and this is the genius part -- pretending that no-one has ever done this stuff before.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
An ugly, fatuous, macho piece of self-regarding, self-pitying nonsense about New York cops.
Although slick and occasionally tense, it's also downright predictable and occasionally boring. In fact, top Gere it ain't.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
Strong direction and acting can't compensate for an insubstantial script.
Alice Levick - 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.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
A well made and acted film but ultimately rather pointless.
Roz Laws - 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.
Ben Rawson-Jones - Digital Spy
Each of the three stories of cops in extremis is schematic, formulary, hokey.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
A boozy Irish-American cop, a sweary African-American cop and a bent Italian-American cop walk into a brothel. What do you get? The climax of the least original cop movie in the world. And that's exactly what we've got here.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
The many messy deaths suggest that if crime doesn't pay, neither does faith. But treat it like the raw Friday night fodder it is and you'll be redeemed with your money's worth.
- Sky Movies
Watchable, well made cop thriller with strong performances from its three leads but the stories are cliched and predictable and the finale fails to land its intended emotional punch.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Antoine Fuqua returns to the familiar territory of his Oscar-winning Training Day, weaving together three storylines with confidence and a steady hand.
Terry Staunton - Radio Times
For fans of Fuqua's previous work, this is exactly what we would expect the director to deliver.
Neil Miller - Film School Rejects
A great cast and a mediocre script create an average show in 'Brooklyn's Finest,' the gritty grownups-only story of three flawed police officers whose lives intersect.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
The film's complete lack of originality will leave many wondering why it was even necessary to make a movie that we've seen countless times before.
Jason Zingale - Bullz-Eye.com
Working from a script by first-time screenwriter, Fuqua skillfully juxtaposes their storylines. The danger is losing track of one of the threads, but he mostly avoids this.
Annlee Ellingson - Moving Pictures Magazine
A mostly strong cast and well-done depiction of the New York locations pretty much overcome the lack of originality.
Stephen Silver - The Trend
The film is more inclined to look to the cop dramas of the '70s for its inspiration, pouring on all the quasi-realism and downbeat inclinations that films of that era thrived on. It's a style that suits Fuqua and his actors.
Scott Collura - IGN Movies
The movie doesn't tell us anything we haven't heard before, and more eloquently, in other movies.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
For such a potentially great concept to result in such a thoroughly mediocre product is baffling, especially given the talent involved.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Not great police drama or film noir, but engrossing.
John Wirt - Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
The screenplay... is overcooked, with outsized emotions and nary any subtly or breathing room, but director Antoine Fuqua adds some vivid gritty cityscapes and intense performances and mostly pulls it through.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Violent, profane, ambitious, pretentious, overcooked and entertaining...
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
[The] sterling cast ... makes it worth watching to the bitter end.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
In Brooklyn's Finest, the cycle is familiar: no one deserves what he or she gets, but they've all got it anyway.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
A trio of talented actors elevates a sometimes contrived plot.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
a moral murkiness pervades the film, refusing to allow for easy answers, and provoking in the audience the discomfort of not being able to sit in easy judgment of what unfolds
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
Unfortunately, forgettable but Fuqua still has an incredible vision for cinema; I would be interested to see him explore films outside of the crime genre.
Clay Cane - BET.com
Fuqua indulges the rather unfortunate belief that movies with multiple characters need to Come Together and Mean Something.
Jeffrey Bloomer - Paste Magazine
Bleak, brutal, pretentious, over-agitated and only somwhat suspenseful.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
Brooklyn's finest aren't. Compared to films of the genre, Brooklyn's Finest isn't either. It is, however, one hell of a good try.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
Offers no surprises, is far from a classic and has forgettable characters, but at least it's mildly engaging thanks to solid performances and Fuqua's stylish directing.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
All roads in this cleverly-concealed, triangulated tale serendipitously lead to some godforsaken projects in Brownsville where live ammo is routinely employed as the ghetto equivalent of a calling card.
Kam Williams - NewsBlaze
In a way Brooklyn's Finest falls prey to the paradox it sets up in its first and most riveting scene.
Michelle Orange - Movieline
Features a few decent performances and a heady dose of style but its positive elements are buried by a misguided script and a director who thinks brutality is the same thing as drama.
Brian Tallerico - Movie Retriever
Despite its strengths, Brooklyn's Finest has weaknesses that keep it from being great. It's simply not as tight as a three-pronged narrative needs to be.
Alissa Wilkinson - Christianity Today
Fuqua once again proves his mastery of the cop/crime genre, making for the year's first must-see film
Jeffrey Lyles - Gazette (MD)
So what's the problem, Officer? Exploring the lives of three disparate policemen with a snapshot here, a brief scene there, what we get is more akin to a two-hour episode of Law & Order than a film.
Kimberly Gadette - Indie Movies Online
It's got good acting, and moments of great intensity but Fuqua's overly episodic film feels like three marginally related stories rather than one cohesive tale.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
Brooklyn's Finest is a realistic, disheartening and brutal look into the lives of three different cops at three different stages in their careers.
Kevin McCarthy - BDK Reviews
The one shining bright spot is Snipes, who makes it clear that he still has it. As an old drug kingpin who's recently been paroled, the actor is menacing, weathered and charming as hell. His talent has been missed onscreen.
Peter Paras - E! Online
Fuqua is interested in the pressures that make cops go bad, and his characters are as startled by their own behavior as we are.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Call it "Training Day 2," but this film doesn't come close to Fuqua's previous effort. Paul Chambers, CNN
Paul Chambers - CNNRadio
Brooklyn's Finest is an entertaining rehash of every cop movie cliche committed to celluloid.
Christian Toto - What Would Toto Watch?
The film makes almost no effort to stand apart from its genre brethren, but it does benefit from solid casting and Fuqua's gritty, no-nonsense style.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
'Brooklyn's Finest' juggles three separate but interlocking storylines, and it takes considerable effort and intense audience concentration to decide which of the trio is the most tedious.
Dan Lybarger - eFilmCritic.com
A jagged, hard-hitting thriller, Fuqua's Training Day follow-up expertly traces shades of light and dark in its conflicted cops.
Liz Beardsworth - Empire Magazine
Has a few moments of undeniable performer's grace ... lost in a wash of pretentious symbolism, cluttered staging, and fuhgeddaboutit accents. Bombast is too subtle of a word, really.
Andrew Wright - The Stranger (Seattle, WA)
It's quickly clear that this is textbook pseudo-heft, a creeping case of pompous bloat disguising a thoroughly hackneyed core.
Tim Robey - Daily Telegraph
Despite the script's too-neat constructions, this pulpy potboiler is a solid think piece and companion film to Fuqua's 2001 Oscar-winning Training Day.
Jen Yamato - Movies.com
Movies detailing the lives of corrupt, disinterested and/or otherwise tempted New York cops could and probably should constitute their own subgenre Netflix listing, so those inclined to like this sort of thing will find just enough about it to like; other
Brent Simon - Shared Darkness
Brooklyn's Finest certainly isn't Hollywood's finest.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
With Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke and Wesley Snipes leading the charge, there's enough intensity and well-acted performances to wet your appetite. 'Finest' is 'New Jack City' meets 'The Wire.'
Wilson Morales - BlackFilm.com
A smothering pall of corruption and futility.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Follows a recognizable footing, but the film's conviction to examine the reasons as much as the results keeps it from becoming simplistic morality fare and makes it a thoughtful character study of three men under the heaviest strain.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
The film is quick and dirty, somewhat cliched at times and hugely violent, and it also has a dubious ending; on the other hand, some of the action sequences and all of Don Cheadle's scenes make the thing worth seeing.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
We may never be done with seeing cop dramas on the screen, but what we really don't need is more like this one.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
Only a genre picture, maybe, but one of the best in recent years.
Kurt Loder - MTV
Outstanding performances from Richard Gere, Don Cheadle and particularly Ethan Hawke lift this genre material into something special for fans of the actors.
Pete Hammond - Boxoffice Magazine
As a rule of thumb, if you're going to revisit formula, you better have a spectacular story to tell or a great set of compelling characters to occupy it. Fuqua has neither...
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
- National Post
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.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
Excels when focused on its amazing cast
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Antoine Fuqua's follow-up to Training Day is a bloody and sexually explicit drama that unravels like episodes of The Wire, but without that series' dense plotting and insight into human nature
Thelma Adams - Us Weekly
From the moment Gere is introduced waking up to whiskey for breakfast, Brooklyn's Finest segues smoothly and slickly from one cliche to another.
Nathan Rabin - AV Club
Even in the film's supporting roles, a lot of terrific actors portray characters who are let down by this film's rudimentary and cliche-ridden script.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
In the end, audiences will be neither shaken nor stirred. Just bored and confused.
Joe Holleman - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
[W]ails with a quiet, desperate urgency amidst the loud brashness that it wears like, well, a badge...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Fuqua's "Brooklyn" Finest Film of the New Year.
Charles Koplinski - Illinois Times
The picture isn't perfect, but Fuqua shows newfound control and maturity as he quests to make his mark on an overworked genre, keeping the film gripping and anguished long enough to make a substantial impression.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Brooklyn's Finest is day-old bread: Not horrible, but too much like better things you've had before.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
Or 'Favorite Cop Cliches'...feels like three standard-issue episodes of any police TV drama squeezed together.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Deeply, insultingly flawed.
Justin Strout - Orlando Weekly
Somebody must have drawn up a computer program on Crash-like multi-narrative screenplays, because it's infected the system and won't go away.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
Parental Content Review
Jim Judy - Screen It!
I was emotionally involved in the film's final showdowns. It's a shame this involvement is largely earned by Gere, Snipes and Fuqua in spite of some false moments on the page that hold the film back from the greatness it craves.
Mike Russell - Oregonian
A melodrama about three cliches in search of a bloodbath.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Make a list of every police movie cliche and you will find them all here.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
... Antoine Fuqua gives New York three levels of the rot he explored in L.A.'s "Training Day," and, unfortunately, only one and a half of them work.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
What's intended as Greek tragedy most resembles Andy Samberg's "Dear Sister" short from Saturday Night Live.
Graham Killeen - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Ultimately, Brooklyn's Finest is engrossing in the same way a halfway decent, made-for-television movie is.
Tom Keogh - Seattle Times
[Hawke is] the least convincing Italian-American in recent cinematic movie history.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
"Brooklyn's Finest" isn't. But it's not bad.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
While it's true that the characters here are types -- the frazzled family man, the tortured undercover agent, the just-punching-a-clock loser -- Fuqua gets some great actors to inhabit them.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
Off the wall it may be, but it's a policier as only Hollywood can do
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Overheated drama boasts better-than-average star power.
Daniel Eagan - Film Journal International
meat-and-potatoes filmmaking... plenty of substance, but not enough flavor
Sean O'Connell - Filmcritic.com
Director Antoine Fuqua knows how to create unbearable tension.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
Intense. That's what Antoine Fuqua does best and his fast cutting, depressed cop story is nothing if not intense.
Joanna Langfield - The Movie Minute
By stepping up his game, Fuqua's gone from his usual bullcrap to horsehockey.
Armond White - New York Press
By turning Brooklyn's Finest into a morality tale, Fuqua lets the movie slip right through his undeniably talented fingers.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
Watching an Antoine Fuqua film can be exhausting; the Training Day helmer directs every scene as if it's the most important thing that ever happened.
Andrew Schenker - Slant Magazine
Fuqua massages the script's obvious cliches with a sense of personal attachment to his characters that makes you believe in them nonetheless.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Tough and sorrowful...A dirty little beauty, a cop tale in which nobody wins and the best one can hope for is a draw. Except for the audience, that is.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
As crime-policier, this follow-up to Fuqua's brilliant Training Day (for which Denzel Washington won an Oscar), is inferior in every way, dramatically (too familiar) and especially acting-wise; Gere lacks gravitas and no chemistry between the other men.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Despite several good performances, including a superb turn by Ethan Hawke, Brooklyn's Finest has difficulty being as emotionally involving as it would like.
Tim Grierson - Screen International
Richard Gere and his one facial expression are woefully miscast as Eddie Dugan.
Joshua Tyler - CinemaBlend.com