A frustratingly not-terrible action thriller.
"Pride and Glory" is the kind of film where you feel like you know the words and ought to be singing along. It follows the well-worn pathways of countless police dramas before it. We find a drug deal gone bad, corruption on the force, brother against brother, an alcoholic dad who is both their father and their superior officer, family friend as a traitor, plus one dying wife and another one who is fed up. There's a stroke of originality: A baby seems about to be branded by a hot steam iron.
If you set this in New York, provide all the characters with strong ethnic identities, film under glowering skies, add a lot of dead bodies at the start, and have characters shout at one another, all you'd have to do is change the names and hire different actors, and you could do this all again and again.
The set-up: Four cops are killed in a drug bust gone wrong. They are under the command of Francis Tierney Jr. (Noah Emmerich). The moment you bring a Junior onstage, the formula requires a Senior, in this case played by Jon Voight as a high-maintenance boozer. Senior confronts his other son, Ray Tierney (Edward Norton), who has fled the streets for a low-risk assignment after Something Very Bad happened a few years ago, and persuades him to rejoin the tough guys: After all, he has to help out Junior.
Also involved is the Tierney brother-in-law, Jimmy Egan (Colin Farrell). Oh, and Junior's wife, Abby (Jennifer Ehle), is dying of cancer and has lost her hair to chemo. And Ray's wife, Tasha (Carmen Ejogo), has split with him, and in the tradition of all cop wives, accuses him of neglecting his family and of, on Christmas, receiving a visit from a guy who would be the first one you would pick out of a lineup, whether you recognized him, because he looks like he has just done Something Very Bad.
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