Critic Consensus: This entertaining homage to noirs past has been slickly and compellingly updated to a contemporary high school setting.
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as Brendan Frye
as The Pin
as Laura Dannon
as The Brain
as Emily Kostach
as Assistant VP Gary Tr...
as Brad Bramish
as Big Stoner
as Pin's Mom
as The Lug
as The Pin's Driver
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Critic Reviews for Brick
...it's impossible not to wish that the first-time filmmaker hadn't leaned quite so heavily on the antiquated shenanigans.
Noir fits "Brick" like a glove, stylishly injecting assured tough talk, vice-grip tension, black humor, striking sound design and gunshots sounding like locker doors slammed on options. A great detective story and, for some, a high-school flashback.
Audience Reviews for Brick
You know the gimmick right? OC kids do Dashell Hammett - the Maltese Falcon played out in a schoolyard. They keep the undecipherable language and the familiar yet byzantine plot but then - they throw out almost everything else you associate with the genre.
Whatever, let's do this:
OK - I liked the visuals, the music and most of the acting - it really is a very well crafted debut. At the end of the day however, it all results merely in a promising but rather slight exercise in style. The premise is simply impossible to sustain and even if it is, it wasn't.
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!
A mystery with nothing to really figure out, ala the all-tell-no-show style of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy." The scenes are terribly episodic, and they don't show HOW our hard-boiled Encylopedia Brown solves any of the cryptic clues. The scenes merely jump from Brendan following flimsy lead after flimsy lead, then getting beat up, then calling someone to set up something for some reason, then confronting another someone who was implicated in an earlier scene without revealing his thought process. The script suffocates from too much plot and hardly any connective tissue, and it's all covered up with this overcooked, pseudo-hip noir patois. The characters don't SAY anything; they're just written to sound unique.
The big reveal in the end is also anticlimactic. The baby is Tug's and arguably only tangentially related to the drug plot. Emily's first phone call filled with intentionally confusing jargon about "the brick" and "Pin" and "Frisco" is all just a ham-handed inciting incident catalyzing this wild goose chase. The filming is chic and cool with the zooms during the fight scenes and the high class, vaguely "Eyes Wide Shut" high school environment, but the style doesn't atone for the lack of substance.
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