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Brick

2005 mystery film that takes place in a high school

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Hits You Like a Ton of...Bricks

  • Oct 22, 2006
Rating:
+3
It's not easy being a teenager. Belonging or not belonging to a clique or gang can bring horrible expectations--ones that aren't easy to fulfill. Brendan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is an outsider, the way many outsiders are, but he is different. Brendan is devoted to his love, Emily Kostich, and will do anything to protect her. When she brushes off his love interest, she puts herself in harm's way. She is killed and Brendan finds her washed in a creek near an underground tunnel. From here he becomes Generation Next's Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) with all the resident toughness of the private eye, willing to get beat up to get some answers and meet the teenage equivalent of a head mobster, "The Pin" (Lukas Haas), whose presence is quiet, yet formidable. His dress is with a cloak and he has a walking stick, making him a dead ringer for Barnabas Collins in the old vampire serial 'Dark Shadows'. The gap bridge is between himself and "Tug," a Pin thug who pummels Brendan until he is impressed enough to let him into his lair. The young actors are so convincing that you get the impression that the high school they populate is one big, organized crime syndicate. One sharp scene is where Brendan roughly negotiates with the school Vice Principal (Richard Roundtree of the first 'Shaft' film fame). In the midst of the murder there are love interests and notes that provide clues in Brendan's investigation.

'Brick' is the little film that could--or one that can and does. It is gripping and has all the anticipation of a whodunit with some violent, but convincing fight scenes. Hardly a video game, the violence makes us feel every punch, like it was our own. It is an artful enterprise with editing and music that underscores the nerve-wracking atmosphere of the movie. We can feel the room spinning as Brendan looks up to his bedroom ceiling fan. There is some needed irreverence to boot. When "The Pin"'s mom dotes over whether Brendan is sure about wanting apple juice for breakfast, we have to laugh. 'Brick' is an effective and often startling teenage murder mystery with a earnest cast and an intelligent script. Rian Johnston deserves praises for his screenplay and directing skill.

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More Brick (2005 movie) reviews
review by . February 08, 2012
Wonderful qualities that sink....just like a brick
Film noir has to be one of my favorite genres in the realm of story weaving. As a mixture of crime drama, mystery, German expressionism, thriller, melodrama and even a few drops of horror film noir has had a presence in cinema since the 1940s.  I do not proclaim myself a film noir expert per se, but I have seen plenty of films in this category to be a fair judge of what is good and what is not.  The best analogy I have for this film is being on a date with a woman who is beautiful and …
review by . February 21, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Here's what the deal is: "I'll have my boys check your tale. Seeing how it stretches, we'll either rub or hire you. You'll know which by the end of the day tomorrow." And, "Drop me off at school."       Brick, an independent movie written and directed by Rian Johnson, is part stunt, part style and part energetic riff on gumshoe movies. Movie references are dropped like names but with more subtlety. It takes place in and around an affluent, …
review by . April 30, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
You think you've got it all figured out when you don't....
Film noir was one of cinemas most popular and most profitable genre or it uses to be back in the last stretch of the golden years in Hollywood (1940-1950). The last neo-noir the golden era pushed out was Orson Welles "Touch of Evil"(1958)   while during its release, it was well received but it sadly failed to reignite the flame of a fading genre. Noir seemed almost dead   until   an up and coming director named Roman Polanski took on the dangerous task of …
Quick Tip by . July 27, 2010
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A great modern film-noir. Joesph Gordon Levitt is Amazing. hard to think thats the kid for 3rd rock from the sun.
Quick Tip by . June 29, 2010
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Creative and beautiful! The language is like no other movie I have seen, and I just love it.
Quick Tip by . April 29, 2010
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A potent mix of teen drama and film noir thrown into the modern day setting of a crime filled High school underworld
review by . December 23, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Brendan
In up and coming director Rian Johnson's film Brick, audiences are treated to a truly unique and memorable mystery film. Inspired by the literary work of the great detective novel writer Dashiell Hammett, who is best known as the creator of Sam Spade and The Thin Man, Rian Johnson set out to create a hip, contemporary noir film. While simultaneously following in the footsteps of great mystery writers like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, Johnson succeeds in revitalizing the detective genre …
review by . February 13, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: True indie look and feel, easy to like characters by and large      Cons: The story gets lost more than once, ending is sudden and tacked on.      The Bottom Line: It'd hard to recommend or say avoid.  It is ok and worth considering, beyond that . . . if you like any actor, you will likely not be disappointed.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. I just glanced at the average …
review by . June 23, 2007
Thinking about high school, it's odd that no "high school noir" films existed prior to the last few years. High school is such a perfect setting for a film noir, and though it may seem ridiculous at first, there's many parallels between the world of a teenager and a character in a 1940s noir, be it the battle between the police and the shamuses and the battle between the administrators and the students or the shady meetings under bridges and the shady meetings in the parking lot after school. In …
review by . April 13, 2007
"Brick"    Enjoyable and Unique    Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride    While looking for something to watch for the weekend, I came upon "Brick", a very enjoyable film noir set in high school. It is something new and different--a bit over-the-top but very well done. This is not a kind of movie that allows you to sit back and relax as you watch it. It is very dark and sinister and keeps you on the edge of your seat once the action gets moving. …
About the reviewer
John L. Peterson ()
Ranked #99
I am a substitute teacher who enjoysonline reviewing. Skiing is my favorite pastime; weight training and health are my obsessions;and music and movies feed my psyche. Books are a treasure and a pleasure … more
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About this movie

Wiki

High school collides with hard-boiled film noir in the twisty, cunningBrick. When he gets a mysterious message from his ex-girlfriend, a high school loner named Brendan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt,Mysterious Skin) starts to dig into a crisscrossed web of drugs and duplicity, eventually getting entwined in the criminal doings of a teenage crime lord known as the Pin (Lukas Haas), his thuggish henchman Tugger (Noah Fleiss,Joe the King), and a mysterious girl named Laura (Nora Zehetner,Fifty Pills).Brickhas not only the seductive, labyrinthine plot of a crime thriller by Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon) or Raymond Chandler (Farewell, My Lovely) but also a dense high-school version of hard-boiled lingo that's both comic and poetic. The movie unfolds with headlong momentum as Brendan manipulates, fights, and staggers his way through layers of high-school society. Gordon-Levitt is excellent; between this and the equally compellingMysterious Skin, he's left his3rd Rock from the Sundays behind. Also featuring Meagan Good (Waist Deep) and Richard Roundtree (Shaft).--Bret Fetzer
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Details

Director: Rian Johnson
Genre: Drama
Release Date: March 31, 2006
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: August 8, 2006
Runtime: 1hr 57min
Studio: Universal Studios, Focus Features, Rogue Pictures
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