Brick (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes

Brick (2006)



Critic Consensus: This entertaining homage to noirs past has been slickly and compellingly updated to a contemporary high school setting.

Movie Info

"Brick," while taking its cues and its verbal style from the novels of Dashiell Hammett, also honors the rich cinematic tradition of the hard-boiled noir mystery, here wittily and bracingly immersed in fresh territory - a modern-day Southern California neighborhood and high school. There, student Brendan Frye's piercing intelligence spares no one. Brendan is not afraid to back up his words with actions, and knows all the angles; yet he prefers to stay an outsider, and does - until the day that his ex-girlfriend, Emily reaches out to him unexpectedly and then vanishes. Brendan's feelings for her still run deep; so much so, that he becomes consumed with finding his troubled inamorata. To find her, Brendan enlists the aid of his only true peer, The Brain, while keeping the assistant vice principal only occasionally informed of what quickly becomes a dangerous investigation. Brendan's single-minded unearthing of students' secrets thrusts him headlong into the colliding social orbits of rich-girl sophisticate Laura, intimidating Tugger, substance-abusing Dode, seductive Kara, jock Brad and - most ominously - non-student The Pin. It is only by gaining acceptance into The Pin's closely guarded inner circle of crime and punishment that Brendan will be able to uncover hard truths about himself, Emily and the suspects that he is getting closer to.more
Rating: R (for violent and drug content)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Rian Johnson
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 8, 2006
Box Office: $2.0M
Focus Features - Official Site


Lukas Haas
as The Pin
Nora Zehetner
as Laura Dannon
Matt O'Leary
as The Brain
Emilie De Ravin
as Emily Kostach
Richard Roundtree
as Assistant VP Gary Tr...
Brian J. White
as Brad Bramish
Lucas Babin
as Big Stoner
Reedy Gibbs
as Pin's Mom
Tracy Wilcoxen
as Straggler
Ari Velkom
as Tangels
McJoel Hamilton
as The Pin's Driver
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Brick

Critic Reviews for Brick

All Critics (148) | Top Critics (41)'s impossible not to wish that the first-time filmmaker hadn't leaned quite so heavily on the antiquated shenanigans.

Full Review… | October 24, 2015
Reel Film Reviews

Smart, stylized teen whodunit with violence and drugs.

Full Review… | March 22, 2013
Common Sense Media

Noir fits "Brick" like a glove, stylishly injecting assured tough talk, vice-grip tension, black humor, striking sound design and gunshots sounding like locker doors slammed on options. A great detective story and, for some, a high-school flashback.

Full Review… | September 25, 2010

The movie's rigorous dark-lined elegance leaves a punchy aftertaste

Full Review… | August 30, 2009

That rarest of things: a movie called 'unique' that actually is.

Full Review… | June 3, 2009
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Mostly lives up to the hype.

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

Audience Reviews for Brick

Hard-boiled High.

You know the gimmick right? OC kids do Dashell Hammett - the Maltese Falcon played out in a schoolyard. They keep the undecipherable language and the familiar yet byzantine plot but then - they throw out almost everything else you associate with the genre.

Whatever, let's do this:

OK - I liked the visuals, the music and most of the acting - it really is a very well crafted debut. At the end of the day however, it all results merely in a promising but rather slight exercise in style. The premise is simply impossible to sustain and even if it is, it wasn't.

Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

While some may get more out of it than others, "Brick" is the type of film that you either choose to go along with or you don't. As Brendan discovers his ex-girlfriend has been murdered, he begins to uncover the mystery by working with an underground crew of drug dealers. While you may think all of the answers are given by the end of this film, I surely think the opposite. They try very hard to explain everything through the visuals and through excessive amounts of dialogue, and I think that worked about 75% of the time. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is great as the leading man and director Rian Johnson does a great job for his first ever feature film. With incredibly intriguing cinematography, a great (yet complex) script, and energetic editing, "Brick" is a very solid film. It definitely warrants multiple viewings in order to understand the full message being given. I would highly recommend this movie to film junkies. Other than that, I feel this film will leave too much to be desired. Personally, as a whole, I think this is a great film!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

A mystery with nothing to really figure out, ala the all-tell-no-show style of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy." The scenes are terribly episodic, and they don't show HOW our hard-boiled Encylopedia Brown solves any of the cryptic clues. The scenes merely jump from Brendan following flimsy lead after flimsy lead, then getting beat up, then calling someone to set up something for some reason, then confronting another someone who was implicated in an earlier scene without revealing his thought process. The script suffocates from too much plot and hardly any connective tissue, and it's all covered up with this overcooked, pseudo-hip noir patois. The characters don't SAY anything; they're just written to sound unique.

The big reveal in the end is also anticlimactic. The baby is Tug's and arguably only tangentially related to the drug plot. Emily's first phone call filled with intentionally confusing jargon about "the brick" and "Pin" and "Frisco" is all just a ham-handed inciting incident catalyzing this wild goose chase. The filming is chic and cool with the zooms during the fight scenes and the high class, vaguely "Eyes Wide Shut" high school environment, but the style doesn't atone for the lack of substance.

Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

Brick Quotes

– Submitted by Katt B (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Moe J (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Ralph M (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Perry A (3 years ago)

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