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Brooklyn's Finest is an American crime film starring Richard Gere, Ethan Hawke and Don Cheadle. It is directed by Antoine Fuqua, and written by Michael C. Martin, a one-time subway flagger from East New York. It was the first film to sell at the 2009 Sundance film festival for a sales price of "under 5 million dollars," per Nicole Pederson, citing a report in Variety, to Senator Distribution.



The film was filmed in 3 boroughs in New York Citymarker: Manhattanmarker, Queensmarker, and Brooklynmarker. In Brooklyn, locations included Brownsville and the Van Dyke Houses. Martin was paid $200,000 for the script, the total budget was in the $25 million range, and many of the actors took large pay cuts to make the movie.


Martin went to South Shore High Schoolmarker, where a film appreciation course sparked his interest and an ACL injury derailed a possible future basketball career, and he studied film at Brooklyn Collegemarker. He originally wrote the Finest script for a screenwriter's contest after having been injured in a car accident in 2005. He didn't win the contest but his second prize included a subscription to the IFP newsletter. The script also continued to gain attention. Martin found an agent, interest in him writing a New Jack City sequel, and, finally, interest in making the film of the original script.


Brooklyn's Finest was screened at the Sundance Film Festival in January, 2009. One review from Sundance is posted on IMDb.

The Pederson report said Senator "was apparently also willing to promise a few million extra to Fuqua for eventual promotion and advertising costs in the hopes that Finest will not become this year's Hamlet 2 – a real concern when you sell to a distributor few people have ever heard of. After the sale, the Senator folk talked about their ... purchase being a 'work in progress' and mentioned that the ending of the film may eventually be reworked, quickly adding 'but Antoine must be happy with it.' [... At Sundance, t]he film ... has been somewhat polarizing – ... some positive things [written] and at least one report that made [her] think that, no matter how they rework that ending, "Brooklyn's Finest" is destined to disappoint. You can see what you think in about ten months as Senator plans on releasing the film in time for Oscar consideration." The Waxword blog reported Mark Urman (Awesome; I ... Shot That!, Primer), the president of Senator, comments about the company's "aggressive" interest in the movie. The score was identified as temporary, due to a last-minute plan to bring the film to Sundance. The blog also speculated about the finances of the film, with the large cost relative to the sales price, and a "pricey first dollar take" for Richard Gere.

A later report in The New York Times identified Marco Weber as chief executive of Senator, and the sales price as "in the low seven figures." Weber, in the report, mentioned editing plans and planning for a new score.Overture films purchased the film for $5 million to be released in Mar.5,2010.


  1. "Brooklyn to Hollywood: That’s Some Subway Ride" by Trymaine Lee The New York Times August 10, 2008 p. AR1 NY edition. Retrieved 1-17-09
  2. "BROOKLYN'S FINEST Is First Sundance Sale" by Nicole Pederson, 1/18/2009
  3. Brooklyn's Finest - Full cast and crew
  4. "Sundance Dispatch: Hoping to Buy Low" Carpetbagger blog entry by Michael Cieply January 17, 2009, 1:50 pm
  5. Sundance Review: ‘Brooklyn’s Finest’ is Bloated, But Brutal by Neil Miller from 17 January 2009, 3:50 PM, PST.
  6. "BROOKLYN'S FINEST Is First Sundance Sale" by Nicole Pederson, 1/18/2009. Retrieved January 25, 2009.
  7. "Sundance News: 'Brooklyn's Finest' Snagged by Senator" and "Sundance News: Magnolia Buys 'Humpday'" by Amy Kaufman, Jan. 20, 2009 8 am and Jan. 19, 2009 8:22 am posts. Retrieved 2-2-09.
  8. "Movies Sell Slowly at Sundance" by Michael Cieply, The New York Times January 26, 2009 p. B3 NY edition. Retrieved January 26, 2009.

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