The Brave One (2007)



Critic Consensus: Magnetic by between Jodie Foster and Terrence Howard can't quite compensate for The Brave One's problematic and unconvincing eye-for-an-eye moral.

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Movie Info

New York radio host Erica Bain has a life that she loves and a fiance she adores. All of it is taken from her when a brutal attack leaves Erica badly wounded and her fiance dead. Unable to move past the tragedy, Erica begins prowling the city streets at night to track down the men she holds responsible. Her dark pursuit of justice catches the public's attention, and the city is riveted by her anonymous exploits. But, with the NYPD desperate to find the culprit and a dogged police detective hot on her trail, she must decide whether her quest for revenge is truly the right path, or whether she is becoming the very thing she is trying to stop.
R (for strong violence, language and some sexuality)
Action & Adventure , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
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Jodie Foster
as Erica Bain
Nicky Katt
as Detective Vitale
Ene Oloja
as Josai
John Magaro
as Ethan
Julia Garro
as Shauna Nelson
Jermel Howard
as Thug on Subway
James Biberi
as Detective Pitney
Brian Delate
as Detective O'Connor
Lenny Venito
as Mortell
Carmen Ejogo
as Jackie
Dana Eskelson
as Sketch Artist
Angel Sing
as Gun Dealer
Yolande Bavan
as David's Mother
Ivo Velon
as James
Tina Sloan
as Stationary Saleswoman
Jaime Tirelli
as Pawn Shop Guy
Larry Fessenden
as Sandy Combs
An Nguyen
as Ida Combs
Brian Tarantina
as Gun Store Clerk
Nguyen Anh Hoa
as Ida Combs
Jesús Ruiz
as Chief of Detectives
Jemel Howard
as Thug on Subway No. 1
Hope Adams
as Press Conference Reporter
Dennis L.A. White
as Thug on Subway No. 2
Joseph Melendez
as Press Conference Reporter
Ted Neustadt
as Press Conference Reporter
Brett Berg
as Ethan's Friend
Dr. Jeffery Manko
as Emergency Room Doctor
Mick Cunningham
as Precinct Cop
Lisa Joyce
as CPA Worker
Tom Greer
as Desk Cop
David Naizir
as Guy Outside Subway Station
Robert Michael McClure
as Sound Engineer
Tashya Valdevit
as Erica's Nurse
Lai-Si Fernandez
as Shauna's Friend
Moises Acevedo
as Reed's Runner
Jack Caruso
as Subway Detective
Jim Taylor McNickle
as Subway Detective
Rosanne C. Lucarelli
as Subway Reporter
Leif Riddell
as Subway Reporter
DeShaun Stallworth
as Subway Reporter
Michael J. Burg
as Elevator Man
Creighton James
as Elevator Man
Clayton Dean Smith
as Elevator Man
Barbara Gayle
as Elevator Woman
Anna Margaret Hollyman
as Elevator Woman
Lily Mercer
as Elevator Woman
Musto Pelinkovicci
as Russian Cab Driver
Dean Meminger
as NY1 Reporter
Cheryl Wills
as NY1 TV Anchor
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Critic Reviews for The Brave One

All Critics (182) | Top Critics (41)

The Brave One is not merely the most morally repellent film of the year, but a contender for the stupidest.

Full Review… | September 22, 2008
The New Republic
Top Critic

Beautifully played, the tantalising accretion of mutual understanding between Foster and Howard is one of the film's strengths, yet the plot machinations required to lever it into position would overstretch credibility in the clunkiest action flick.

Full Review… | September 27, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

The fire goes out long before the film ends.

September 19, 2007
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

I think The Brave One could have been a better film with a different ending, but it's still a well-crafted, thought-provoking story with outstanding performances.

September 18, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

Foster does her best with a flawed story whose ending rings even less true than the rest of it.

September 14, 2007
USA Today
Top Critic

Uncertainty helps keep The Brave One on its toes.

Full Review… | September 14, 2007
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Brave One


A rather original film, or so I thought - my friends tell me it's a Death Wish rip-off, so I'm adding that one to the list of shame! - in which a radio host becomes a sort of she-Batman (with a gun), a vigilante driven by rage at her lover's murder. I though the premise was interesting and contemporary, but unfortunately the script is grossly overwritten and the story unfolds at a plodding and wandering pace, becoming predictable, too, when the cops repeat certain details or make a big note of given evidence and thereby tell us the formulaic direction this movie will take before reaching its too-contrived "twist" ending. I did like the way Jodie Foster showed several sides of this character, though, particularly the emboldened radio persona she adopts, and Mary Steenburgen's bit part and Terrence Howard's lead cop role were both well played. It was a real shame how little this script rewarded the actors' work in this neo-noir miss.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

This thriller takes the classic revenge story and adds a deeply psychological level: what does violence happening against us and those we love to our soul? In case of Jodie Foster's case here we get so afraid that we start shooting everyone threatening us. The film makes sure to stick to targets that "deserve" that treatment, it never dares to challenge the vigilante point of view by her shooting the wrong guy. The solution to the whole dilemma adds to the fact that the film chickens out on positioning itself. Of course it does not ask for anyone to raise arms and enforce to their own ideas of the law. It does let the character get away with this a little too easily and that leaves a stale taste in your mouth. The camera work and acting is top notch, no complaints there. This could have just been so much more enthralling and morally ambiguous.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

A victim of a brutal mugging becomes a vigilante. Stylishly directed by Neil Jordan, as she did in Flightplan and Panic Room Jodie Foster summons her inner bad ass, and the result is another convincing performance from a very talented actress. The film, however, is not well written. Mercer, the detective assigned to the case of Foster's vigilante killer, is not constructed well, transitioning at a critical moment in the third act illogically; his plan doesn't even make sense within the plot. What is more, the film essentially supports vigilantism without a critical eye. It would be a more complex exploration of this idea if Erica killed someone whom she realizes is innocent of any mortal sin. Also, the style of the film - Neil Jordan moving the camera like it's a boat at sea - is occasionally effective but eventually annoying. Overall, despite all the great work Foster does, I think there's little that could have saved this film as it is written.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

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