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Brighton Rock (2011)



Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 25
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 13

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 7,589

My Rating

Movie Info

Screenwriter Rowan Joffe's debut feature Brighton Rock embraces the classic elements of film noir and the British gangster film to tell the story of Pinkie, a desperate youth who is hell bent on clawing his way up through the ranks of organized crime. When a young and very innocent waitress, Rose, stumbles on evidence linking him to a revenge killing, he sets out to seduce her to secure her silence. The film stars up-and-coming British actors Sam Riley and Andrea Riseborough as the young couple.


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Rowan Joffe, Graham Greene (I)

Dec 27, 2011


IFC Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (95) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (47) | Rotten (45) | DVD (1)

Drab in color, with very little of Brighton-they shot in neighboring Eastbourne, apparently because Brighton is too posh now to be its old self.

June 24, 2013 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As remakes go, this "Brighton Rock" is probably unnecessary, but it's a well- acted, stylishly filmed thriller and a good story well told.

September 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's a brutish beauty to the mean world of Brighton Rock that feels very '40s even in the '60s.

September 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Brighton Rock" doesn't rise to classic status, but it's an intriguing mood piece.

September 9, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Joffe commits the novice director's mistake of using every visual trick in the book and a few not yet recorded.

September 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Evocative music and stylish visual flourishes from first-time director Rowan Joffe bring heft to a predictable thriller set during a summer of youthful unrest.

September 1, 2011 Full Review Source: USA Today | Comments (2)
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Joffe's removal of the story from the classical theatricality of the 1930s to the more contemporary and hip aesthetic of the 1960s just doesn't work in all the ways he may have intended.

September 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Trespass

...a worthless waste of time that wears out its welcome almost immediately.

June 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Doesn't capture the whole of Greeneland, but at least portrays one aspect of it reasonably well.

October 11, 2011 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Writer-director Rowan Joffe ... maintains an air of gritty conviction.

October 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

The film is ripe for Helen Mirren to grab, and she handily makes off with it.

September 13, 2011 Full Review Source: School Library Journal
School Library Journal

Please read the book instead.

September 9, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

You'll be fascinated by your visit, but when it's time to leave you'll be more than glad to get out.

September 2, 2011 Full Review Source:

Brighton Rock is frustrating in that it allows glimpses into a world that it refuses to fully embrace.

August 30, 2011 Full Review Source:

It's a hollow film, concerned more with detail than emotion or character and so it comes off more like a filmmaking exercise than an engaging story, and it never justifies its existence.

August 26, 2011 Full Review Source:

An incredibly dramatic motion picture, positively loony at times. There are a few moments so heated, it feels as though the film itself is pointing a loaded gun to its temple, threatening to shoot.

August 26, 2011 Full Review Source:

The story still has the same basic seedy flavor, and contains the same dramatic frustrations.

August 26, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

Audience Reviews for Brighton Rock

Upon the murder of his gangland boss, a young hoodlum kills the perpetrator in retribution but he must find a way to silence a potential witness in the form of a smitten waitress. The idea of transferring Graham Greene's classic novel to the 1960s certainly has its appeal and the scenes involving the rioting mods and rockers are really nicely done by first time director Joffe. He also has a very good eye for an image, which combined with some attractive cinematography, clearly echoing that of the most celebrated Greene adaptation The Third Man, makes for a very good looking film. Helen Mirren also proves she can still turn on the sex appeal as the ageing cougar hell bent on preventing Rose from making the same mistakes of her own youth and John Hurt can always be counted on for some characterful support. Joffe's inexperience behind the camera does show however, in that some of the visual metaphors are rather heavy handed, particularly for the rather unsatisfying concluding scene. But by far the biggest problem for me was the protagonist; Pinkie is a thoroughly unpleasant character on every level and Sam Riley's sullen performance makes for a "hero" it's impossible to like or have any sympathy for whatsoever. For this reason it's not perfect, but Brighton Rock certainly has its moments and shows some promise for Joffe's future career.
April 30, 2013
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Cast: Sam Riley, Andrea Riseborough, Andy Serkis, John Hurt, Helen Mirren, Philip Davis, Nonso Anozie, Sean Harris, Steven Robertson, Maurice Roëves

Director: Rowan Joffe

Summary: In hopes of silencing a waitress (Andrea Riseborough) who saw him kill another criminal, a young thug (Sam Riley) decides to romance her and suss out how much she knows. But at what point does his premeditated plot blossom into true passion? And are either party's motives 100 percent pure? John Hurt and Helen Mirren co-star in writer-director Rowan Joffe's film adaptation of Graham Greene's novel.

My Thoughts: "I've never read the novel nor have I seen the previous film, so I have nothing to compare it to. I feel those of us who haven't read the book will be at a disadvantage, for this film was made for those who have read it. There are some things that happen that are not explained which sometimes doesn't bother me, but in this case it does cause you feel lost. The screen writer and director should have been more clear with some of the scenes. Like for instance, Pinkie. Does he or doesn't he love Rose? But then maybe were suppose to come to our own conclusion on the matter. All I know is this film makes me want to read the book just so I can fully understand the film cause it is an interesting one besides the plot holes. Some of the character's are under-developed and leave you guessing at how they all fit. Helen Mirren is Rose's boss, but then there is incident where you are to believe she may be Rose's mother, but it's never confirmed. Things like that can drive a movie lover mad. Moving on...The acting is pretty great. Helen Mirren is fantastic. I try to see any and every film she attaches herself to. I think she's a wonderful actor. The movie itself is a dark tale of love, murder, and revenge. See it if you've read the book or like being lost in a film."
March 3, 2012

Super Reviewer

I thought the idea of updating the story and setting it in the early 60's was quite a good idea, a slightly more modern telling of the classic novel by Graham Greene, why not I thought. Well, Rowan Joffe proves why not in this dreadful and dreadfully boring film. Helen Mirren and John Hurt try their very best to prop up this pointless film but it's pretty much doomed from the beginning. What all the fuss is about Sam Riley I really don't know, putting on a stupid gruff voice does not make you into an instant villain! Also, the whole battle of the Mods and the Rockers is fiction, it's urban myth! I always had issues with the way the final scene with the vinyl record played in the original but this updated version is bordering on sacrilege as far as the book is concerned. A huge disappointment and above all, just really boring!
November 23, 2011

Super Reviewer

Based on a Graham Green novel, Brighton Rock was previously made into a British adaptation back in 1947. But where the novel and original were both set in 1939, this modern re-telling has been updated to 1964. The re-imagining adds to the narrative immensely. There's a certain stylishness to 1960s era England amidst the clashing Mods and Rockers that's very appealing. These are hoodlums, but they wear natty suits and ride Italian scooters. It all kind of suggests the British New Wave, a neo-noir thriller if you will.

Brighton Rock is highlighted by an expressionistic style that uses shadows, rain and religious iconography to set the mood. These stylish visual flourishes are further complemented by a musical score by award-winning composer Martin Phipps. At once ominous and beautiful, it's reminiscent of the sumptuous music of a classic 1940s film noir. It's decidedly old fashioned and I enjoyed how the vocal cues complemented the action on screen. This is the feature debut for screenwriter Rowan Joffé who just happens to be the son of director Roland Joffé (The Killing Fields, The Mission). Talk about pressure. Brighton Rock is not the hard-hitting political story his father is know for, but he does have a way with setting a mood. The evocative music and poetic visuals help dress up a slight story that is still is an excellent character study. There is much to enjoy in this minor, but entertaining period drama.
September 13, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Rose: Pinkie!
    – Submitted by Susan W (2 years ago)
    1. Pinkie Brown: You're good, and I'm bad. Were made for each other.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Pinkie Brown: What's your name?
    2. Rose: [clears throat] Rose.
    3. Phil Corkery: Your like me, old fashioned. You're the kind of girl I like.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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