Brick

Critics Consensus

This entertaining homage to noirs past has been slickly and compellingly updated to a contemporary high school setting.

79%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 140

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 105,600
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Movie Info

"Brick," while taking its cues and its verbal style from the novels of Dashiell Hammett, also honors the rich cinematic tradition of the hard-boiled noir mystery, here wittily and bracingly immersed in fresh territory - a modern-day Southern California neighborhood and high school. There, student Brendan Frye's piercing intelligence spares no one. Brendan is not afraid to back up his words with actions, and knows all the angles; yet he prefers to stay an outsider, and does - until the day that his ex-girlfriend, Emily reaches out to him unexpectedly and then vanishes. Brendan's feelings for her still run deep; so much so, that he becomes consumed with finding his troubled inamorata. To find her, Brendan enlists the aid of his only true peer, The Brain, while keeping the assistant vice principal only occasionally informed of what quickly becomes a dangerous investigation. Brendan's single-minded unearthing of students' secrets thrusts him headlong into the colliding social orbits of rich-girl sophisticate Laura, intimidating Tugger, substance-abusing Dode, seductive Kara, jock Brad and - most ominously - non-student The Pin. It is only by gaining acceptance into The Pin's closely guarded inner circle of crime and punishment that Brendan will be able to uncover hard truths about himself, Emily and the suspects that he is getting closer to.

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Cast

Lukas Haas
as The Pin
Nora Zehetner
as Laura Dannon
Emilie De Ravin
as Emily Kostach
Matt O'Leary
as The Brain
Richard Roundtree
as Assistant VP Gary Trueman
Lucas Babin
as Big Stoner
Brian J. White
as Brad Bramish
Reedy Gibbs
as Pin's Mom
Tracy Wilcoxen
as Straggler
Ari Velkom
as Tangels
McJoel Hamilton
as The Pin's Driver
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Critic Reviews for Brick

All Critics (140) | Top Critics (38)

Audience Reviews for Brick

  • Nov 09, 2015
    While some may get more out of it than others, "Brick" is the type of film that you either choose to go along with or you don't. As Brendan discovers his ex-girlfriend has been murdered, he begins to uncover the mystery by working with an underground crew of drug dealers. While you may think all of the answers are given by the end of this film, I surely think the opposite. They try very hard to explain everything through the visuals and through excessive amounts of dialogue, and I think that worked about 75% of the time. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is great as the leading man and director Rian Johnson does a great job for his first ever feature film. With incredibly intriguing cinematography, a great (yet complex) script, and energetic editing, "Brick" is a very solid film. It definitely warrants multiple viewings in order to understand the full message being given. I would highly recommend this movie to film junkies. Other than that, I feel this film will leave too much to be desired. Personally, as a whole, I think this is a great film!
    KJ P Super Reviewer
  • Feb 25, 2015
    Brick falls squarely in to my favourite genre of film, something I like to call: "Fucked Up Coming of Age". There are not many films in this genre.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 24, 2013
    If there is something you can argue, is that it comes off as very original. The concept of a high-school noir plagued with characters that have deceiving appearances, young women pulling off femme fatale stunts and a classy language employed throughout like the finest of classic noirs would do, may not seem like an appealing idea to everybody. Yet, <i>Brick</i> is an engaging thriller with smart cinematography and a disturbing nature of its own, smart plot twists and enough calibre to prove that Rian Johnson may still have some smart cards to play under his sleeve. 74/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 20, 2013
    Writer/director Rian Johnson's film debut Brick is a modern neo-noir thriller that has a captivating visual aesthetic. After discovering the body of his ex-girlfriend, Brendan sets out to uncover those responsible for her death by entering the criminal underworld. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emilie de Ravin, and Nora Zehetner, the casting is quite strong, featuring some very good performances; particularly Gordon-Levitt. Johnson's writing is also extraordinarily good, especially the dialog; which uses classic noir language and syntax. Additionally, the film is given an interesting dynamic by placing the story within a high school setting. While at times it's over stylized, Brick is a clever and unique film that's remarkably compelling.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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