Triple 9 combines together the story of a few different cops and criminals into a film about robbery, family and corrupt cops. Who the main character is is debatable, seeing’s as how it seems to change every twenty minutes or so. There’s Michael (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Jorge (Clifton Collins Jr.), two ex-military members who team up with a cop named Marcus (Anthony Mackie) to perform crimes and robberies for Irina (Kate Winslet), who has assigned them one last job, and the only way to get this job done is to get all the police distracted by the death of a cop, and the cop they’ve chosen to kill is Marcus’ new partner, Chris (Casey Affleck).
Hillcoat certainly knows how to make a movie, his direction and cinematography here is solid, but what he fails to do is create suspense. The action is handled well and you can feel the grittiness and realism of these locations and these scenarios, but for some reason, the suspense is all gone. It's handled well, but there's never any stakes. He just lets the scenarios play through, hoping we'll be on the edge of our seats, but when there's nothing to lose, I... just... kind of... sat there, waiting for it to be over.
Within the clichés and the familiarity, there's plenty of moments of entertainment. They're far and in-between, but they're there, waiting patiently for their chance to pounce into the spotlight. There's plenty of twists and turns in the plot that, while predictable, are at least enjoyable to watch unravel, and on top of that, the few robbery sequences that take place are certainly the best parts of the film, especially a getaway on a bridge that was hinted at in some of the trailers.