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Brick (2006)



Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 137
Fresh: 109 | Rotten: 28

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


Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 35
Fresh: 29 | Rotten: 6

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



liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 103,302

My Rating

Movie Info

A tough-talking teen attempts to uncover his ex-girlfriend's killer in director Rian Johnson's hard-boiled high-school noir, told in the style of a Dashiell Hammett mystery. An outsider by nature, Brendan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is forced to penetrate the elaborate ranks of the high-school social scene and its more insidious underbelly when the body of his former girlfriend Emily is found lying lifeless in a remote creek. Though the pair had been on the outs, Brendan can't seem to shake the


Drama, Action & Adventure, Horror, Mystery & Suspense

Rian Johnson

Aug 8, 2006


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All Critics (147) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (109) | Rotten (28) | DVD (26)

The self-consciously mannered rat-a-tat-tat dialogue also mines a neat overlap between teen slang and noir patois, both of which can be indecipherable to non-initiates.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's great to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Mysterious Skin) in the juicy role of a high-school gumshoe on the trail of his estranged girlfriend's killers.

May 12, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Magazine
New York Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Alas, Brick, from writer-director Rian Johnson, isn't as clever as its conceit.

May 5, 2006 | Comment (1)
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Brick is smart -- perhaps too smart for its own good at times. But in the end, its affectations add up to entertainment.

April 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although Brick can be a bit thick, you have to admire the effort.

April 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Smart, stylized teen whodunit with violence and drugs.

March 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
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.

September 25, 2010 Full Review Source:

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

August 30, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

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

June 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) | Comments (2)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Mostly lives up to the hype.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

This glorified student film is only barely elevated by the talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Brendan Frye a noir-speaking California high school misfit caught in the violent middle of a drug gang responsible for the death of his ex-girlfriend (Emilie de Ra

April 20, 2009 Full Review Source: | Comments (10)

Brick is a black-comic ballet through the peculiar terrors of suburban adolescence...

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source:

Whatever it is, wherever it is, whenever it is, it's not remotely like anything else out there.

August 11, 2007 Full Review Source:

Brick exemplifies the difference between a cinematic talent show and mere karaoke.

July 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Projection Booth | Comment (1)
Projection Booth

the school's cliques, cants and "class" politics are shown to be as amoral and impenetrable as any criminal netherworld dreamt up by Raymond Chandler.

July 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

An innovative ride that carries the viewer into a world familiar from genre films and the novels of Dashiell Hammett, yet quite unlike anything we've seen before.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

A refreshing private-eye thriller in a style now widely identified as neo-noi.

January 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

A good whodunit with some references to films made in the 1940s.

January 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

BRICK announces the arrival of a very unique voice in Rian Johnson.

January 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Murphy's Movie Reviews
Murphy's Movie Reviews

I can't really recommend it to anyone, unless it's one of those lazy video nights and you're in the mood to experiment.

January 12, 2007 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium | Comment (1)
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

Exercício de estilo corajoso e eficiente, o filme busca (com sucesso) ambientar sua trama noir em um colégio norte-americano, criando um "detetive" adolescente saído diretamente da forma que gerou Philip Marlowe e Sam Spade.

December 29, 2006
Cinema em Cena

Suburban kitsch gets played fast and loose.

December 18, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The teens in Rian Johnson's striking debut feature Brick express themselves in jargon that sounds as if lifted straight from the pages of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.

September 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

Brick is just an elaborate noir send-up, and an enjoyably kooky one at that

August 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

Un thriller élaboré avec une vigueur et un savoir faire indéniable dont on doute par contre de la crédibilité à quelques reprises

August 18, 2006 Full Review Source: Panorama

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.
May 23, 2007

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.
August 14, 2013

Super Reviewer

I know this film is several years old, but it makes me happy to see that we still have films being released once in a while that are unique and original, and not a sequel, remake, or just a rehash of the same old crap.

This was my second time seeing a Rian Johnson film, and this is where it's at. I know it came out before The Brothers Bloom, but hey, I can't always get to see a director's films in order.

This film is a hard-boiled detective mystery (complete with period slang) which is already cool, but made even cooler by the fact that it is set in contemporary times at an unnamed high school somewhere in California. Awesome.

This film isn't merely just a nod to a genre though. It stands on its own and is a very compelling and really well made thriller that, if nothing else, could at least get people interested in the stuff that inspired it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is at the center of this tale about an everryman thrust into a situation that quickly sees him in over his head and on very unstable ground as he tries to piece together the truth surrounding a phone call that got him in the mess to begin with.

The film has a great sense of style, look, and atmosphere. The material, which involves drugs and murder, is suitably grim, but thankfully there's some wry humor sprinkled throughout to take the edge of (slightly).

The film seems a bit hard to follow at first, but that's kinda the fun of it. For those who can't keep up though, it all gets answered in the end, so there. This might be a sign that the script could have been better at clarifying things, but I prefer to see it as a way of making the viewer engage with it and think, instead of just sitting there.

This is some really good stuff, and I'm glad I finally saw it. You should not hesitate to do the same.
August 9, 2013
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas, Nora Zehetner, Noah Segan, Noah Fleiss, Emilie de Ravin, Meagan Good, Richard Roundtree, Matt O'Leary, Brian J. White, Lucas Babin, Ari Welkom

Director: Rian Johnson

Summary: When a secret crush turns up dead and the murderer is anyone's guess, teenage loner Brendan Fry (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is forced to navigate his school's social network through intense interactions with thespians, band geeks and druggies (including a grown-up Lukas Haas).
My Thoughts: "I must admit when I watched it, I was a little confused at the begining, but it unravels as it goes. I found it to be intriguing. Its such a different kind of film. I have never seen a movie like this before so it was a great surprise. Joesph Gordon-Levitt was really good in this movie. I have never seen him do a role like this and he was great. It was fast paced and never lost interest. I think its deffinetly a film worth seeing. Loved it..
October 15, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Brendan Fry: I can be such a cad sometimes I just hate myself.
    – Submitted by Katt B (9 months ago)
    1. Brendan Fry: Okay, you got me. I'm a scout. I've been watching your game for about a month, but that story... you clenched it. You've got spirit, kid. When can you get to Minneapolis?
    2. Brendan Fry: Oh yeah?
    3. Brendan Fry: Yeah.
    4. Brad Bramish: Yeah?
    5. Brendan Fry: There's a thesaurus in the library. 'Yeah' is under Y. Look it up.
    – Submitted by Moe J (20 months ago)
    1. The Pin: Like I said he asked for my lunch money first.. good thing I brown bagged it.
    – Submitted by Ralph M (21 months ago)
    1. Brendan Fry: So now we've shaken the tree. Let's wait and see what falls on our heads.
    – Submitted by Perry A (23 months ago)
    1. The Brain: She nearly shook me upside down. Can't say I didn't enjoy it, but why'd she come to me?
    – Submitted by Perry A (23 months ago)
    1. Brendan Fry: I'd have to keep one eye tied to watch both your hands.
    – Submitted by Randall B (2 years ago)
View all quotes (9)

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