"Pride and Glory" is an underpowered movie with a powerhouse cast. Because of studio politics, it is just now being released after languishing for two years on the shelf. No wonder. It's yet another movie about familial strife in the New York City Police Department. If you think you've seen it all before, you have.
Jon Voight plays top cop Francis Tierney Sr., whose two sons, Ray (Edward Norton) and Francis Jr. (Noah Emmerich), as well as his son-in-law Jimmy (Colin Farrell), are all on the force. When four New York cops are killed in what at first looks to be a routine drug bust, Francis Sr. puts Ray on the case, even though the murdered cops served under Francis Jr. and beside Jimmy. This glaring conflict of interest doesn't seem to rankle anybody but Ray, who rightly suspects the investigation will end up fingering his brother and brother-in-law.
In the real world, Ray would likely not have been assigned this case at all, or would staunchly have refused it. But this is Hollywood. Ray's dilemma – should he serve the cause of justice or family? – becomes the crux of the melodrama.
It would be easier to buy into this dilemma if director and co-writer Gavin O'Connor – whose father was a New York cop – wasn't so keen on engineering a statement. The actors, keyed up for greatness, look as if they're flailing about in a roadshow Eugene O'Neill production. The overacting by Voight and Farrell is countered by the underacting of Norton and Emmerich.
At times, "Pride and Glory" seems to be about a war between actors, not cops. Nobody comes off well. Grade: C+ (Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, and brief drug content.)