21 Bridges directed by Brian Kirk is a brilliant dramatic mystery set in the great landscape of New York City that binds action, justice and a pinch of comedy into one enjoyable film. The story follows the life of the city’s police force but most specifically a determined NYPD Detective – Andre (Chadwick Boseman) – who’s job means everything to him, he wholeheartedly believes it’s in his DNA. To him, having that badge means it’s his duty to make a positive difference for the citizens and his family just as his late father did a former policeman.

21 Bridges Review

Andre is called onto a burglary case and he puts together that two guys ransacked a bar and got away but not before leaving several dead policemen in their wake, a horrible scene that hits so close to home. The FBI come onto the scene and try to take over but the NYPD resist as it is their case so they both agree on a deadline. If the criminals aren’t caught before 5am, the case goes to them. Andre is then paired with Frankie (Sienna Miller) a Narcotics Officer and what lies next is a dangerous chase to catch the two criminals who are incredibly tricky, seemingly one step-ahead and are aiming to get out of the city before it’s too late. Knowing this Andre boldly shuts down the entire city, all 21 bridges that lead out of it and the mission begins there, the NYPD flood the streets creating a claustrophobic sea of blue and red lights as they close in on the suspects.

The film excellently depicts the good and bad in society through its range of characters with their brilliant performances and features the police force which is an interesting perspective to take especially for those who don’t know much about the people who serve and protect the city like myself. Through Andre, the only source of goodness in the film we get to see how trust is broken because of what people are willing to do to get away with breaking the law and the creative dark methods they use to mask it. We witness his drive to bring justice to the table through compassion even when it means losing it all including his life, a remarkable unseen bravery.

I definitely recommend watching this film it’s one of the best I’ve seen this year, it’s short and sweet, beautifully filmed and the balance of suspense and action is pretty impressive. I found myself engaged throughout, no dull moments just funny ones that lightened the bleak parts but overall it was superb.

  • Director: Brian Kirk
  • Written by: Matthew Michael Carnahan and Adam Mervis
  • Starring: Chadwick Boseman
  • Rated: R
  • Budget: $33,000,000 est.
  • Running Time: 1 hours and 39 minutes
  • Release Date: November 22nd, 2019

Review by Ren Canga a Dublin based Cinematographer