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Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989)

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No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 2

audience

74

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 2,267

My Rating

Movie Info

Hubert Selby's controversial 1964 cult novel Last Exit To Brooklyn is adapted to the big screen by director Ulrich Edel in this drama. The story is set in the early 1950s in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a blighted waterfront town of boarded-up storefronts and striking factory workers. Harry Black (Stephen Lang), a machinist put in charge of the local union strike office, suddenly finds himself one of the most important men in town. But for all his sudden power, there's something disturbing Harry. He

R,

Drama

Hubert Selby Jr., Desmond Nakano

Dec 19, 1990

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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All Critics (24) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (4) | DVD (6)

Cinematic style and Jennifer Jason Leigh make this worth watching.

December 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

For the most part, Edel captures the harrowing grim tone of the book and the compassion the author had for his unsympathetic flawed characters.

September 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

German director Eli Edel has fashioned a grim yet coherent and extremely well acted tale out of Hubert Selby's 1964 collection of short stories about misfits, criminals and outsiders in Brooklyn's Red Hook, circa 1952.

November 25, 2010 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

So bleak a vision as to be obsessive and ultimately shallow.

March 8, 2004
F5 (Wichita, KS)

The pockmarked buildings have a peeling grayness, as if some forgotten battle had been waged there and dulled everything in its wake.

February 7, 2003 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Audience Reviews for Last Exit to Brooklyn

Hubert Selby Jr's novel of life and hard times in 1950's Brooklyn is a web of interconnecting stories involving work lock-outs, domestic violence and Jennifer Jason Leigh as local hooker. Despite some powerful scenes, there's too much self-importance in the narrative, no real perspective and a woeful lack of humour.
April 15, 2007
deano
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

"Last Exit to Brooklyn" starts out with a group of soldiers impugning the honor of Tralala(Jennifer Jason Leigh), followed by the predictable beatdown by some of her friends. To be fair, not only is she a prostitute, but one who also helps to fleece some of her customers. To be honest, times are tough all over in 1952 Brooklyn with the strike going on which probably does not make it the best time for Big Joe(Burt Young) to learn his daughter Donna(Ricki Lake) is pregnant with Tommy's(John Costelloe) baby. Maybe they were just looking for love which is why Georgette(Alexis Arquette) is looking for Vincent(Peter Dobson).

As watchable as it is, "Last Exit to Brooklyn" is also very much an odd duck, taking Hubert Selby's novel of down and out Brooklyn life in the 1950's and showing it through a European prism. So, even with an American cast that includes Jerry Orbach and a couple of stunning set pieces, it still feels a little off. On the one hand, the movie desperately wants to be provocative in its use of sex and violence. While it might also seem it is about loss of innocence, it is only in perception, like Big Joe not being aware that his daughter is not a virgin, much less very pregnant. Or maybe this is how it really was, except no police have ever responded to a call that quickly.
May 19, 2013
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Although critically revered, Last Exit to Brooklyn is not compelling enough to keep your attention. These are unsympathetic characters that you feel nothing for despite the film's best efforts.
December 18, 2013
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

I usually don't approve of comparisons between source material and film, but I can't prevent myself from doing it here. Selby Jr.'s novel presents some of the most violent, depraved images of desperation and hopelessness in literature. The book got under my skin and has stayed there through the years since I read it. The film, although distinctly stylized and directed with precision, fails to deliver the same kind of visceral impact. It is violent, but it is not violent enough. It is bleak, but it never approaches the hellish gloom of the source material. The performances are all impressive, and it is a polished piece of work overall. It just doesn't hit hard enough.
November 13, 2010
michaelcorleone

Super Reviewer

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