Mr. Brooks - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mr. Brooks Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ May 29, 2007
Successful business and family man Earl Brooks is secretly a serial killer whose meticulous planning is unravelled when a witness photographs him at the scene of his latest murder. My first reaction to the synopsis of this film was "Just what the world needs. Another serial killer movie..." but I have to say that the novel approach of this film had me hooked from the start. Costner plays Brooks not as a gleeful killer, but a victim of an unwanted addiction which is personified on screen by William Hurt; a kind of Tyler Durden for psychopaths. It sounds gimmicky but the great performances really make it work and Hurt and Costner have really good on screen chemistry, as the killer argues and jokes with "himself". Far less interesting, unsurprisingly, is Demi Moore and it is difficult to care about her domestic troubles although she is nowhere near as vile as usual. The biggest weakness of the film is its seeming lack of confidence in its own premise; it almost seems to feel the need to throw in a load of other plot threads that only serve to make the film less believable and more unlikely; Moore's shoot out in particular looked like it was crowbarred in from another, inferior film. I felt that if the subplots had been stripped away this could have been an excellent film, but as it is it felt like a breath of fresh air in an overcrowded genre and is well worth watching for the Costner and Hurt double act alone.
Super Reviewer
November 24, 2007
With its 80s resurrection cast (plus Dane Cook) and a plot and a visual style more suited to primetime TV, I think a lot of viewers and critics had their knives sharpened long before bothering to watch this film - I know my expectations were low. But what we have here is a movie that goes to some dark places, and a decent performance by Kevin Costner as a compulsive killer, and a consummate professional who hides it from his family and his colleagues incredibly. The Cook character is interesting, too: a hobbyist photographer who takes surreptitious photos of a couple having sex in an adjacent apartment building, he unwittingly captures Costner killing them, and in an attempt to blackmail him he ends up enticed by the crimes and grows interested in taking part. I could take or leave Demi Moore as the cop, and I didn't think her backstory (failed marriage, ex trying to get more than a fair share in the settlement) was very necessary as a subplot, and William Hurt was capable but little else as the personification of the voice in Costner's head, invisible to everyone else and urging him to keep killing. I'd have probably liked it less if my expectations were higher, but it's no better or worse than most mediocre Hollywood divertissement; give it a chance, skeptics, you just might enjoy it.
Super Reviewer
½ September 29, 2007
It's hypnotic, electrifying, fantastic, mesmerizing and pulse-pounding. A mind-blowing and breathtaking thriller. Tremendous twist and turns that you wont see coming. Wickedly brilliant, clever, unique, intelligent and endlessly bone-chilling. It has edge of your seat excitement that never lets up. A cool, captivating and enthralling film. Kevin Costner gives an sensational performance. This is Costner like you never seen him before, dark, bold and brutally charming. One of the best performances of his career. Dane Cook is terrific, giving a worthy and exceptional dramatic performance. William Hurt is brilliant, a sadistic and thrilling performance. Hurt and Costner are magnificent together, proving to have well-developed and rich in character chemistry. Demi Moore is exceptional. An astonishing, riveting, gripping and terrifically original film. Stylish, marvelous, frightening and truly exhilarating. Nothing short of a masterpiece. An instant classic. This film is absolutely perfect. It's a bit of Dexter and a lot of American Psycho.
Super Reviewer
September 29, 2010
Wow, the cinematography is horrendous. Demi Moore is awful. The plot is interesting and it does engages audiences, and in a way, it is a guilty pleasure of mine, but this movie lacks in so many ways.
Super Reviewer
December 27, 2011
The movie does not waste time and dives right into the mind of a man whose alter ego forces him to kill random people. Most of the time that alter ego sits right behind or next to him. That feels a little odd at first but soon works pretty well actually, mostly thanks to Kevin Costner as Mr. Brooks and William Hurt as dark angel on his shoulder having a great chemistry together. The film's problem is detective Demi Moore, whose character is quite the stereotype and whose storyline includes the majority of the film's plot holes. The movie still manages to avoid the genre's most predictable paths and entertains quite well. Some plot threads lead nowhere, but when the film reaches its final chapter you're still wondering how they're going to solve this and of course you're on Costner's side, even when he is playing a psychotic killer. With every plot twist of the last 15 minutes my final judgement of the film went up and down, but thankfully it stayed on top in the very end, because the last but one was dumb as shit. But as it is: Not bad at all.
Super Reviewer
October 28, 2011
Mr. Brooks is a pretty good suspense thriller that blends drama elements into a pretty engaging story. Mr. Brooks is an entertaining film, and for what it is, it manages to be fairly good, but the cast at times are a little flat, and some choices are questionable such as Dane Cook (who is not as bad as you'd might think, but still a weird choice) and Demi Moore. William Hurt and Kevin Costner are the best actors here, and their on-screen chemistry is good. Both deliver great performances, especially Kevin Costner. Mr. Brooks is a good thriller that had potential to be excellent; unfortunately the film does fall flat in some places, and at times is quite boring. The film does boast enough thrills for you to be entertained, and I was entertained for the most part. But at times, I thought that the film could have been better. The concept though for the film is terrific, and is similar to TV's Dexter. Mr. Brooks is a well acted and entertaining film; Director Bruce A. Evans paces the film the film evenly, and therefore is able to create a good thriller that doesn't rush anything. The film takes its time to create the tension and build up the thrills, and that's one of the high points of the film. I did enjoy the film for what it was, and there were some good things about it that did surprise me such as the fact that Dane Cook actually gave a decent performance here, and wasn't his usual irritating self. Mr. Brooks is a good film that could have been done better, but for what it is, it succeeds at delivering a good story and good thrills. A fairly good thriller for what it is, but not the best.
Super Reviewer
½ January 7, 2011

What happens when the old-school, compulsive psychopath with cushy job and upper-bourgeois house and family joins forces with the post-modern, culture-shocked-punk-psycho who's been inundated by his gore-obsessed, desensitized, and voyeuristic anomie?Maybe something interesting, if you can keep those lines drawn firm. Kevin Costner as the titular Mr. Brooks - our daytime "Man of the Year" and nighttime 44 calibre killer - even has a proverbial red-devil on his shoulder in the form of a slyly "kill-kill-kill," imaginary friend named Wallace (William Hurt). Dane Cook is that twenty-something imp and peeping-tom with a proclivity for the dark side. Costner plays sensei to Cook's young-grasshopper in the ways of effective stalk-and-slaughter.

An intriguing premise if left to simmer, but director Bruce A. Evans can't keep his hands off. He's going for moody goth-art, but ends up with pseudo-sophisto, pastiche and never realizes his hand is B material from first deal. It doesn't help that his screenplay stacks the deck with listless subplots and tertiary do-nothings, like, Demi Moore's Detective Atwood who does less detection than divorcee, deposition-room whining and fist fighting superfluous baddies in head-shakingly inapt action sequences. Throw in Brooks' daughter as a possible next-in-line, hatchet wielding, suburban-death-angel, and now you've got the consummately preposterous in a shapeless, distracted, digression of plot threads with more pretension and less focus than CSI: Miami.
Super Reviewer
½ May 8, 2009
oh, what might have been. Such a wonderous premise, and yet in the end, too many loose ends and leaps of faith cause this otherwise taught thriller to become a merely watchable bit of entertainment.

Simply watching the interplay between Costner and Hurt is worth the price of admission, and they are wonderful as alter egos who, by the end of the film switch roles; the adventurous Hurt pleading caution, while the more cautious and conscientious Costner hatches an elaborate plan to not only remove himself from the tangled prediciment he's found himself in, but save his daughter, who, the film reminds us in a nice touch at the film's end, really shouldn't be saved.

I had no problem believing that a serial killer could have a conscience, trying to keep his demons at bay with a 12 step program, nor did I have a problem with Dane Cook's vouyeristic charactor getting a charge out of witnessing a murder and blackmailing Costner for a repeat performance - that seedy side of humanity struck a certain chord of moral ambiguity where the perceived wants of the individual supercede the cival contract of societies mores; and I think that simply being "outside the box" was part of the allure.

What the film portrays of human nature is a strength here - from the glee in Cook's eye as he imagines actually killing an idiot driver who has cut him off, to the split personality of Costner/Hurt - who both are necessary parts of the whole.

Where the film loses its luster is with the Demi Moore charactor. The psycobabble explainations for rich girl turned cop simply doesn't wash, and the scene where the "hangman killer" shoots and misses Moore in a lighted hallway from 20 feet away when he had all the time in the world to take careful aim... seemed so out of place in a script that was otherwise so well conceived. The following gunplay, shot in strobe light jerks and odd angles also seemed to have been edited in from a different film.

The pentultimate scene where Costner, after managing to make his persona (the thumb print killer) disappear (leading the police to believe that the lately deceased Cook was the killer), then calls Moore to ask a rather inane question - thus revealing that he is still around, made the entire setup before it superflous. He's far to intelligent to fall into the old "all serial killers want to draw attention to themselves" routine. He and his alter ego even have a discussion about it - and then he goes and reveals himself anyway. Nooooo!
Super Reviewer
October 28, 2007
I quite liked this movie but its starred demi moore and kevin costner so i thought it would be a lot better but never the less it was pretty good but its not action packed but it is watchable
Super Reviewer
½ October 24, 2008
"The man who has everything has everything to hide."

A hardened detective enters into a tenuous symbiotic relationship with the vicious serial killer she is tracking after earning the respect of the murderous madman in this vicious psychological thriller starring Demi Moore, Kevin Costner, and William Hurt. Earl Brooks (Costner) is a successful businessman, noted philanthropist, and loving father. He's the kind of man that no one would ever suspect of being a notorious serial killer, but then again history's most dubious psychopaths are often the quiet neighbor who no one would ever suspect capable of committing such unspeakable atrocities. Until now, no one has had any reason to link Earl Brooks with the heinous crimes of the dreaded Thumbprint Killer. Even his beautiful wife (Marg Helgenburger) and teenage daughter (Danielle Panabaker) could never conceive of such an awful truth. But when Mr. Brooks's dark side begins to outshine his sane exterior, an amateur photographer (Dane Cook) captures the killer succumbing to his murderous instinct on film. Now, as Mr. Brooks is pursued by tenacious detective Tracy Atwood (Moore) and forced to bend to the will of an opportunistic bystander, the killer who was once able to keep his murderous alter ego (Hurt) in check finds his control steadily slipping.

It takes Hollywood vets like WiIliam Hurt and Kevin Costner to fill the screen with such rich, nuanced characters - -- These guys are so good together they have inadvertently formed a new acting team. It should be noted that it is Costner who has really taken the chance here -- for Hurt this was a no-lose situation and an extension of his work in A History of Violence (which is not to take away from how superb he is here.) But Costner was risking looking desperate or failing at re-invention.

This film is a true black comedy insofar as it is not really a comedy but the lines and the situations are so exquisitely cruel and deadpan that they become droll and you have to laugh. True the film is saddled with what was likely some executive's decision to push the police angle into Seven-ish territory, but the director is able to keep things reigned in and not lose the main focus.

Demi Moore manages (barely) not to embarrass herself although admittedly her role is essentially a thankless jumble of police procedure cliché and gun-toting trailer-fodder.
Super Reviewer
July 8, 2008
Kevin Costner goes against type in this 2007 thriller about a businessman who has a little addiction on the side- murder. With his alter ego Marshall (devilishly played by William Hurt) Mr. Brooks succumbs to his needs and murders a couple in the throws of passion. The always careful Mr. Brooks made one mistake this time- he was spotted by a photographer (Dane Cook) across the street and this, coupled with problems with his daughter, causes Mr. Brooks psychotic world to spin out of control.
Mr. Brooks is a great thriller that has steadily grown in popularity since its initial theatrical release. Costner is able to turn on and off the viscous creature that stirs in him.
The real standout is the actor who gives that creature depth and a presence. William Hurt steals the show Mr. Brooks alter-ego Marshall. He is the evil that men do. He is that devil that sits on your shoulder, yet there are a few instances where he seems to be the more subdued of the pair. Dane Cook and Demi Moore also give solid supporting performances as well.
If Hitchcock was still alive he would have made Mr. Brooks. Would it be better? Probably, but it has that flair that makes this film unique compared to the other thrillers that have come out in the last few years. You're rooting for the villain, aren't you?
Super Reviewer
½ May 13, 2008
The lovable Kevin Costner as a serial killer? LMAO But you know what? It works! Being put into the role of a successful businessman that no one would dare dream in a thousand years is actually a vicious murderer is exactly why this film and role were right on for Mr. Costner, who hinted at two more films. William Hurt comes out of nowhere as Brook's alter-ego and Demi Moore gets out of bed to portray Detective Atwood, who has her own problems to deal with while she tracks down...Dane Cook, who has his breakthrough role right here. A wonderful movie with a very interesting plot far different from typical killer flicks.
Super Reviewer
June 9, 2008
A smarter version of American Psycho
Super Reviewer
½ May 15, 2008
Jibblies! Taut cat-and-mouse thriller with many twists and turns. Costner is so cool. Should have ended with the dream though.
Super Reviewer
May 16, 2008
A preposterous movie. Mr Brooks is a businessman who is a serial killer on the side. He has an alter-ego, an apprentice, a daughter with the same tendencies, and involves the cop who's trying to catch him. Not too believable, but watchable just the same.
Super Reviewer
August 13, 2007
What happened to the Serial Killer genre with its intelligently written plot twists which get you deep inside the mind where the dark heart lives...
Enter, "Mr. Brooks."
It has been a while since I have been taken so by a thriller of this nature as they have tended to go the way of the least common denominator sacrificing all integrity in the face of the masses screaming for slash and hack. This film does not do that. This film will bring you inside and have you feel the hunt and the struggle.
Kevin Costner surprises in the role of Mr. Brooks and William Hurt is magnificent as always. Demi Moore does a fine job and Dane Cook is thankfully innocuous, but effective in his very necessary role.
I cannot go on here without revealing and there is SO very much to be revealed.
Go into this allowing yourself to be consumed by that which compels Mr. Brooks and check your own thirst for a pulse.
Super Reviewer
November 24, 2007
A great film about a top businessman who has a dark secret, he is addicted to killing people! Definitely not the normal run of the mill serial killer film. The acting is great and the story is very good with some new ideas on the theme. Overall not the usual cat and mouse thriller but a very good film!
Super Reviewer
June 24, 2007
I watched this movie twice as well. I caught a few more things, but not enough to give it an overwhelmingly positive review. Costner and Hurt are fantastic, and Dane Cook surprisingly gives a great supporting performance. I found Moore to be unbearingly annoying at parts, yeah, maybe that's the way her character was, but she overdid it at parts. Not to mention her side of the story gets as much screen time (another unneeded aspect) as the whole "Mr. Brooks" side gets as well, kind of unfair in my opinion.
Super Reviewer
May 30, 2007
Much better than I ever anticipated.

Kevin Costner totally sells it, and even though there's somewhat of a "twist" to look look forward to, it not the best part of this one.

The look and feel of the movie is really crisp and clean, and I liked it overall....

Lots of people recommended this to me, and I can see why.
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