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Mr. Brooks

A movie directed by Bruce A. Evans

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A Fascinating Twist on the Subject of Addiction

  • Oct 25, 2007
  • by
MR. BROOKS is a surprisingly good film, one that from the response of critics and audiences at the time of the theatrical release last Spring might make the casual viewer pass by the DVD. But step into this strange world of the successful, philanthropic, loving husband and father Mr. Brooks and discover one of the more clever twists on the themes of addiction and serial killings, courtesy of a smart script by writer/director Bruce A. Evans and Raynold Gideon.

Earl Brooks (Kevin Costner, in what may be his best role) has it all: wealth, fame, Man of the Year, a gorgeous home in Portland, a stunning wife Emma (Marg Helgenberger), a perky college freshman daughter Jane (Danielle Panabaker) - and a secret: though he has not been active for two year while attending AA meeting for his addiction to killing, Brooks has a history of being a serial 'Thumbprint' killer. Brooks is accompanied in his darker life by an alter ego Marshall (William Hurt) who encourages him to take up his old addiction to killing 'because he is so good at it'. Brooks follows the need and performs another staged murder of a couple during intercourse. Mistake - he forgets to close the drapes in the room, opening the possibility that he has been seen, a possibility which is realized when he encounters a funky young 'Mr. Smith' (Dane Cook) who just happened to have photographed Brooks' latest adventure and blackmails him into promising to allow 'Mr. Smith' to accompany him on his next murder!

Twists and turns occur: daughter Jane returns from college having dropped out apparently because she is pregnant, though there are darker reasons for her move. A spunky detective Tracy Atwood (Demi Moore), a distraught woman plowing her way through an ugly divorce, takes interest in the newest episode of the return of the Thumbprint killer and faces her own demons from her past experiences as a policewoman. Feeling that Atwood may uncover his crime and thus history, Brooks plans a strange caper that includes 'Mr. Smith' and fearing that daughter Jane may have inherited his bad genes for killing addiction, he takes care of her threatening business before the surprise conclusion of the story.

To tell more of the plot would deprive the viewer of the any secrets that unfold in the hands of Brooks and his man Marshall. The story is smart, well scripted, intense, and exciting. And in addition to the very fine performances by the stars, there are excellent cameos by Yasmine Delawari, Aisha Hinds, Jason Lewis, Reiko Aylesworth, and Matt Schulze. Give this poorly reviewed little thriller a chance. It is very much worth watching on every level. Grady Harp, October 07

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More Mr. Brooks reviews
review by . December 13, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Mr. Brooks has a disease: he is addicted to murder. He tries to treat himself by going to AA meetings and prayer, but eventually he will give in. His alter-ego, played quite well by William Hurt, is the side of him that he doesn't like to let out. The chemistry between his two selves works well -- and the filmmakers do a good job allowing his conversations with his other self to integrate seemlessly into the action, so that he can think out loud in the presence of others and not be heard. To others …
review by . October 16, 2008
Pros: interplay between Hurt & Costner     Cons: ...     The Bottom Line:   "To bow out at the end   With a dignity only   A murder can bring   With sweet violation   That versatile thing"  ~The Copper Temple Clause           Mr. Brooks was a delightful little romp, quite bizarre, into the life of Earl Brooks. Outwardly he is a successful businessman. …
review by . December 30, 2007
Two hours of non-stop anxiety . . . that pretty much sums up Bruce Evan's psychological jaunt, "Mr. Brooks" starring Kevin Costner in the title role. Earl Brooks has just been named businessman of the year. The owner of a carton manufacturing firm, he lives quite the life; married to the more than attractive Marg Helgenberger with a fine Portland, Oregon home, and a cutsey-tootsey college aged daughter who wants nothing but to quit school and get down to business, following in her father's illustrious …
review by . December 16, 2007
"If I thought my reply were meant for one/ who ever could return into the world,/ This flame would stir no more; and yet, since none/--if what I hear is true--ever returned/ Alive from this abyss, then without fear/Of facing infamy, I answer you" Dante's `Inferno' Canto 27, lines 61-66    (2 1/2 *'s) Enjoying `Mr. Brooks' in many ways has to do with your take on Mr. Brooks (Kevin Costner). At first conversing with his alter ego, Marshall (William Hurt), one wonders if he has …
About the reviewer
Grady Harp ()
Ranked #96
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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Kevin Costner as a warped serial killer, a pillar of the community whose dark side is embodied by an on-screen William Hurt? You have to admit, it sounds intriguing, right?Mr. Brooksis the vehicle for this unsavory story, and it turns out to be a lot less kicky than it sounds. Mr. Brooks is a Portland, Oregon tycoon and philanthropist whose "addiction" to murder is suddenly re-surfacing--with plenty of help from his sneering alter ego, who generally sits in the back of the car, goading Mr. Brooks on. (The other characters can't see William Hurt in all this, of course.) The unbelievably convoluted plot has Mr. Brooks confronted by a blackmailer (comedian Dane Cook) who has a surprising twist on things, and trailed by a cop (Demi Moore) who comes equipped with her own set of professional and marital woes. As if that weren't enough, when Brooks's daughter (Danielle Panabaker) comes home, it becomes clear that some traits run in the family.

The scenes with Costner and Hurt are the best stuff in the film, even if director Bruce Evans can't figure out how to play fair visualizing their presence to others. But the script, which among other whoppers make Demi Moore's character a millionaire, is just too unbelievable to stomach. If William Hurt's character provided a running commentary for this movie, there wouldn't be anything left after he got through mocking it. --Robert Horton

The Cast of Mr. Brooks
Kevin Costner

William Hurt

Demi Moore

Dane Cook

Marg Helgenberger


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Director: Bruce A. Evans
DVD Release Date: October 23, 2007
Runtime: 120 minutes
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
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