Brooklyn's Finest is a 2009 American crime film starring Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, and Wesley Snipes in his first theatrical film since 2004's Blade: Trinity. The film also stars Will Patton, Ellen Barkin and Vincent D'Onofrio. It is directed by Antoine Fuqua, and written by Michael C. Martin, a one-time subway flagman from East New York. The film was released in North America on March 5, 2010.
The film takes place within the notoriously rough Brownsville section of Brooklyn and especially within the Van Dyke housing projects in the NYPD's (fictional) 65th precinct. The action revolves around three policemen whose relationships to their jobs are drastically different. The opening scene shows two men sitting in a parked car having a conversation, the man in the driver's seat, Carlo (Vincent D'Onofrio) is then shot unexpectedly in the face by the passenger, Detective Salvatore "Sal" Procida (Ethan Hawke). Sal grabs a bag of money out of Carlo's lap and runs away. Sal immediately confesses to a priest, not seeking God's forgiveness but his help with his situation, which he sees as dire. His wife (Lili Taylor) is pregnant with twins. His house is too small for the four children he already has, and it also has wood mold, which is jeopardizing his wife's health and the twins'. Desperate to move, Sal has arranged to purchase a larger home through a woman who owes him a favor. The down payment is due the following Tuesday, and Sal is still short. Sal appears to be a highly skilled and accomplished narcotics detective, but he has begun to try and pocket money from police raids. Officer Eddie Dugan (Richard Gere) is a week from retirement after twenty-two years of less than exemplary service to the force when he is assigned to oversee rookies in the tough neighborhoods. His life in shambles, Eddie is barely hanging on, swilling whiskey in the morning to get out of bed. His only friend is a prostitute he frequents. Detective Clarence "Tango" Butler (Don Cheadle) is an undercover cop working the drug beat. Losing himself in his role as a drug dealer, he is tired of the kind of attention that a black man in a black car attracts. Having been promised a promotion and a desk job for years, he is finally offered a way out but it means betraying a close friend Caz, a known criminal (Wesley Snipes) recently released from federal prison. Federal Agent Smith (Ellen Barkin) instructs Tango to set up the drug deal that will assure Caz's arrest and return to federal prison. Eddie's first rookie assignment (Logan Marshall-Green) is a former Marine, who becomes disgusted with Eddie's lack of professionalism and cynical outlook, and asks to be reassigned only to be killed on his next assignment. Eddie's second rookie assignment (Jesse Williams) accidentally fires his gun near a teenager during a petty theft investigation causing him to go deaf, leaving the NYPD facing a public relations nightmare. During the investigation, Eddie is remorseful for what happened, but refuses to play along with his superiors' attempts to imply that the teenager was a drug dealer. When Tango goes to warn Caz to abort their upcoming drug deal, they are ambushed and Caz is shot dead on the street, under orders from Red (Michael K. Williams), a gangster Tango had humiliated earlier in a rooftop incident. After Agent Smith makes a racist remark and refuses to pursue Red, Tango lunges at her, but is restrained by fellow officers. Eddie turns in his badge and visits his regular hooker, Chantal (Shannon Kane), who does not want to change her life by moving with him to Connecticut. On his way home, Eddie sees a woman, (Sarah Thompson), who was reported missing being shoved into a van. He follows the van to the Van Dyke housing projects. Meanwhile, Sal's latest raid on the complex is cancelled, but he decides to go to the location and rob the money he needs for his house. One of his team members, Detective Ronny Rosario (Brían F. O'Byrne), tries to stop him but fails. As he approaches the building, Sal passes Tango, who has come there to kill Red. Sal raids the apartment. After killing three people and finding their stockpile of cash, Sal is shot in the back and killed by a young man who became suspicious when he saw Sal enter the building. Meanwhile, Eddie locates the sex-slave dungeon in the basement. Eddie apprehends one of the men and is confronted by a second. Eddie tells the second man to get down, but the man threatens him. Eddie shoots the man in the chest, and a big fight ensues in which Eddie eventually chokes him with a zip tie. Tango gets his vengeance on Red, but he is mistaken for a gangster and is shot by Rosario. Only after shooting Tango does Rosario realize he has shot another law officer. Rosario, still determined to stop Sal, is forced to continue his search for him. He witnesses the young man who shot Sal running away from the crime scene and is devastated when he finds Sal's body in the drug dealers' apartment. The closing scene shows Eddie, having found redemption by rescuing the three missing girls.