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Brooklyn Rules (2007)



Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 40
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 22

Brooklyn Rules' premise is old hat now, but strong performances from Alec Baldwin and the supporting cast are reasons enough to watch.


Average Rating: 5.3/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 11

Brooklyn Rules' premise is old hat now, but strong performances from Alec Baldwin and the supporting cast are reasons enough to watch.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 17,302

My Rating

Movie Info

Director Michael Corrente's coming-of-age comedy drama Brooklyn Rules unfurls in 1985, coincident with the early rise of John Gotti. Three young Brooklyn men of Italian-American heritage -- Michael Turner (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Carmine Mancuso (Scott Caan), and Bobby Canzoneri (Jerry Ferrara) -- make the pivotal, potentially irreversible choices that will determine their directions in life. The boys' periodic run-ins with a sadistic mobster type who rules the neighborhood, Caesar Manganaro (Alec


Drama, Comedy

Terence Winter

Sep 18, 2007


City Lights Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (41) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (22) | DVD (7)

A sometimes funny, occasionally maudlin coming-of-age dramedy that wants to be Goodfellas but might have been called Mild in the Streets.

September 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Aggressively derivative.

September 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

However authentic and heartfelt this film's depiction of life on the meaner streets of the Northeast corridor may be, it doesn't begin to match The Sopranos' epic vision of violence, class struggle and upward mobility in a barbarous culture.

September 22, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Whether it's read as an exclamation of borough pride or as a set of unwritten laws governing its residents, the movie takes a well-trodden path in chronicling the lives of three Italian American friends, circa 1985.

September 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Brooklyn Rules doesn't exactly rule, but fans of the cast will find much to enjoy.

July 13, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Capturing Manhattan's essence is easy. But capturing life inside provincial New York City -- is something that eludes most filmmakers...And now add Brooklyn Rules to the short list of movies that get it right.

July 13, 2007 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Should you see this '80s mafia drama? Fugeddaboudit.

August 22, 2008 Full Review Source:

Top cast delivers terrific characterisations, with all three leads showing deep talents, as does Mena Suvari in a small and thankless but important role.

February 21, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

a fuzzy film sporting more bad Brooklyn accents and mob-movie cliches than Knockaround Guys which, all things considered, is hard to do.

December 18, 2007
Manhattan Movie Magazine

If we were playing by mob rules, this movie would get the 'slicer' treatment for trying to impersonate a Scorsese picture.

August 3, 2007 Full Review Source:

Absolutely nothing to recommend the film as anything other than a sagging collection of predictable clichés and brain-numbing boredom.

August 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Singularly unoriginal, full of clichà (C)s and tough-neighborhood set pieces tied together with GoodFellas-style voice-over narration.

July 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Brooklyn Rules is a watchable flick but it's also tired and derivative, which is a shame given the talent involved.

June 22, 2007 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

Ah, the nostalgic mob drama. No matter the brutality, the blood, or the sheer fear that shape the memory, movies and TV tend to make life in the mob a growth experience.

May 30, 2007 Full Review Source: PopMatters

Although yet another set-in-the-80's coming of age film, it's a familiar but affecting story.

May 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Maxim

It all remains as charming and likable as the mutt that Bobby adopts, and the genuine New York locations sure beat Toronto.

May 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Brooklyn Rules has enough heart and personality to freshen what could easily be construed as stale cannoli.

May 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Reeler

Director Michael Corrente and screenwriter Terence Winter don't miss a cliché, but they spin them smartly.

May 18, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Brooklyn Rules

This film tried a little too hard to be a cheap similar film to ?A Bronx Tale?, but didn?t quite live up to it in the way of casting, storyline or dialogue. Freddie Prinze Jr narrates throughout, which makes it all a little too cheesy for a serious gangster film. With Alec Baldwin as the main attraction in the film, I?m sure many people would have passed this one by.

If you can watch this film without all the comparisons to other Gangster films, then it?s a passable story, but there have been too many better movies within this genre to become any kind of a contender.
February 17, 2009

Super Reviewer

[size=3]If you like TV mini-series, you'll probably enjoy Brooklyn Rules. It's a nearly perfect specimen of that genre.[/size]

[size=3]It clearly is designed for the USA Network (or TNT -- We Know Drama!). How it ended up in theatrical release is beyond me. When I troop out to a theater, clocking in all that travel time, the last thing I want to see is television. [/size]

[size=3][b]Alec Baldwin[/b] looms large in the print ads, but he's only in a few scenes. The movie belongs to [b]Freddie Prinze Jr.[/b], who's the quintessence of a television actor. I could even see him as a talk-show host. He probably could do more, but either he's chosen to limit himself or no serious producers will hire him. It's probably a little of both.[/size]

[size=3]Prinze plays a boy growing up in 1970s-80s Brooklyn. He has two best friends, and we watch them experience late adolescence as a trio. We get the standard TV caricatures: one boy goes to college, one flirts with joining the mob, and one seems destined to work in the Post Office. Alec Baldwin plays one of the local mob figures. [/size]

[size=3]The central drama surrounds the college boy's experience learning the ways of the Manhattan bourgeoisie (the college he goes to is Columbia), and the mob-wannabe trying to decide if he should join organized crime. One sidelight to the drama is that a lot of mob history is imparted. I never knew, for example, that there was a terribly bloody succession struggle whose victor was John Gotti. In the 1980s the last thing I cared about was staying on top of the NYC mob.[/size]

[size=3]Surprisingly, there are quite a few good laughs in the script, mostly in the form of banter between the boys. One boy has an unusual flair when it comes to fashion. When he dons an argyle sweater, his buddy says he looks like "the Italian Fred MacMurray." I howled at that.[/size]

[size=3]The greatest pleasure I had in Brooklyn Rules were the handful of times Alec Baldwin came on-screen. His mixture of menace and grace was quite profound; a heady cinematic cocktail that was infinitely more interesting than anything I've seen from James Gandolfini.[/size]

[size=3]Baldwin's blue eyes never looked more piercing and scary. He gives movie-star charisma such a good name. I believe Baldwin has talent at the level of Sean Penn, but I sense that Baldwin himself doesn't believe that's the case. If he believed in his own talent more, I think he'd be rolling in Oscars. I sense some kind of hesitation in him that prevents his performances from really breaking through.[/size]
June 1, 2007
Bill D 2007
William Dunmyer

Super Reviewer

Cool movie.
September 24, 2007

Super Reviewer

Solid film, it should have been released in theaters everywhere.
December 30, 2011

Super Reviewer

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