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2005 mystery film that takes place in a high school

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3 1/2 stars: You think you've got it all figured out when you don't....

  • Apr 30, 2010

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 trying to breathe new life into the deceased genre. I never thought it could be done someone being able to bring back one of cinema's most beloved genres  but  Polanski did it and his film "Chinatown"(1974) was the film that restarted the film noir genre. Launching a whole new era of Neo-Noir’s (as they are called now) and changing the face of cinema forever. Many other films followed that tried and mostly on there part succeeded in creating a viable atmosphere and a plausible noirish story a few were Carl Franklin's "A Devil in a Blue Dress"(1991), Curtis Hanson's “L.A. Confidential"(1997). Robert  Rodriguez and Frank Miller's "Sin City"(2005)  and the film that  brought back the  true style and  feel of 40's and  50's  Rian Johnson's "BRICK" a neo-noir that works better than it should and plays much older than it is. A noir that perfectly and effectively blends two of cinemas most potent genres teen films and film noir together to create a completely new sub genre the teen-noir.




Rian Johnson's "Brick” was recommended to me sometime lat year by a friend  I remember her saying  that it  is  a fantastic film and was definitely worth the watch. Well I procrastinated as I usually do and put this film on my watch list with about 200 hundred other and it just sat there waiting for the day that   I would actually remember it and give it a watch, well today was that day. "BRICK" is a film so original and so old school   you feel nostalgic from the opening of the film until the end. What makes "BRICK" a truly inspired piece of filmmaking is the dialogue, in a film the dialogue is everything and this film is no exception. Here the dialogue and the characters are driving this rather complex tale of murder, drugs and deception it’s the kind of film that transcends its territory, setting itself amongst the keener and darker films of noirs past. "BRICK" is the perfect example of why a good genre cannot stay buried forever.



I loved its tenacious attitude, it dogged determination to its story and to its atmosphere and dialogue, I have watched many films and even more noirs but few have ever impressed me as thoroughly as Rian Johnson's "BRICK.” It works despite obvious designs flaw taking on a genre that most directors would stay away from, but Rain Johnson is fearless and with that, he constructs a film that is homage as well as a new frontier in filmmaking.  


I like Joseph Gordon-Levitt I think he has some very serious potential to be a fantastic actor he already is but he is young and still has not gained the recognition he deserves and "BRICK" is the perfect example of his talent being severely overlooked. Gordon-Levitt is tough, smart, witty, and cynical as the Shamus of our story Brendan Frye. Gordon-Levitt with the help of director Rian Johnson's direction and script  evokes the old school traits of famous P.I.'s from the past such as Sam Spade  and  Philip Marlowe   in fact his character Brendan Frye is a mash of both of those famous characters  while also using a little of Bogart's style to make it even more believable. Gordon-Levitt is the perfect fit for the part as he slips into his role like putting on a pair of gloves or his favorite jacket. He does not over act and he does not under act he is just perfect, he glides through the role as he has done it a million times and comes out as a noir hero   and a tough actor.



"BRICK" may not impress all due to the fact that it is so old fashioned in every aspect of its production. Then older moviegoers roughly between the ages of 45-60 may actually like this film as it may remind them of the old noirs of the past. It is the kind of film that is mainly overlooked due to the fact so few know of its existence and that keeps "BRICK" from being a true full-blown cult classic it gives you one of the most exhilarating and deeply rooted noir stories of the modern era.

You think you've got it all figured out when you don't....

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May 02, 2010
This is still one of the coolest and most original films I've seen in years. Glad you enjoyed it too.
May 01, 2010
well, this sounds like something I can really get into. Nice review. Liked the way you expressed your enthusiasm in the review...I will add this to my list.
May 02, 2010
You still haven't ordered this from that link I sent you. (wags finger disapprovingly) Right now, you can get it for $3.00 at Wal-Mart...
May 02, 2010
dammit! maybe I have it but I forgot...(have to go through my exisitng unwatched 40 movies)...
May 31, 2010
Thank you very much. And it is the kind of movie you can really get into it sucks you into its dark, lurid teenage noir setting it works so effectively.
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, …
Quick Tip by . July 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
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
posted in Movie Hype
Creative and beautiful! The language is like no other movie I have seen, and I just love it.
Quick Tip by . April 29, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
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. …
review by . October 22, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
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C.R. Lopez ()
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Member Since: Nov 6, 2009
Last Login: Jul 7, 2012 09:53 PM UTC
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About this movie


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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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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