Hollywood Product: Brooklyn's Finest (1)

Antoine Fuqua masters the cop thriller

GENRE: Gang-fueled cop drama

THE PITCH: An NYPD officer kills an honor student at a housing project in Brooklyn, escalating the tension between the tenants, the gangs and the police department. The film profiles three cops: Eddie (Richard Gere), a washed-out beat cop; Sal (Ethan Hawke), a troubled, financially challenged SWAT officer; and Tango (Don Cheadle), an undercover officer deeply embedded within a Brooklyn gang and seeking a way out.

MONEY SHOTS: Newly retired Eddie follows a man he suspects of kidnapping a missing woman into the bowels of the projects, hoping to free her from her captor. Inside, he's forced to wrestle with his own fears and demons, resulting in some so-intense-you-can-barely-breathe moments.

Brooklyn's Finest

4 out of 5 stars. Directed by Antoine Fuqua. Stars Don Cheadle, Wesley Snipes. Rated R. Opens Fri., March 5. At area theaters.

BEST LINE: Tango's frustrated with demands from Lt. Hobarts (Will Patton) and FBI agent Smith (Ellen Barkin). When he insists they do something to move the operation forward, agent Smith explains, "I do police work, but that doesn't mean I clean up monkey shit in the jungle," causing Tango to launch himself at her and deliver a long-awaited ass whooping.

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(Photo courtesy Phillip V. Caruso)