Brick - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Brick Reviews

Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
May 13, 2009
| Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Ben Walters
Time Out
June 24, 2006
The self-consciously mannered rat-a-tat-tat dialogue also mines a neat overlap between teen slang and noir patois, both of which can be indecipherable to non-initiates.
Top Critic
May 12, 2006
Like the best noirs, Brick is a triumph of attitude, and there's no arguing that its brand of deadpan cool is precisely unique.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
May 12, 2006
It's great to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Mysterious Skin) in the juicy role of a high-school gumshoe on the trail of his estranged girlfriend's killers.
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 5, 2006
Alas, Brick, from writer-director Rian Johnson, isn't as clever as its conceit.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
April 28, 2006
Brick is smart -- perhaps too smart for its own good at times. But in the end, its affectations add up to entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
April 20, 2006
Although Brick can be a bit thick, you have to admire the effort.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
April 8, 2006
Brick drops down like a frenzied teen fever dream of criminal patter and hairpin plot turns. A word to the wise: Pay attention, or you'll feel a lot less wise.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
April 8, 2006
There's no denying that Brick is weirdly expressive, often when it seems most artificial. What begins as the most gimmicky sort of genre retread somehow evolves into that most elusive of films: a personal statement.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Susan Walker
Toronto Star
April 7, 2006
It is possible to leave Brick without fully appreciating how all the pieces fit together, but still satisfied by a well-crafted tale undertaken by a director who pays homage to a film tradition in a truly original way.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
April 7, 2006
Brick is a first feature for Johnson, and while it's not an unqualified success, it definitely marks him as a young filmmaker to watch.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Neva Chonin
San Francisco Chronicle
April 7, 2006
Johnson isn't the first director to subvert suburbia, but he's probably the first to have done such a fine job of it on his first outing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
April 7, 2006
It's a clever gimmick, cleverly wrought, offering further evidence that you can dress up the student body in all manner of garb for all types of genres.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
April 7, 2006
If Brick isn't totally successful, it does make Johnson a director to watch.
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
April 7, 2006
Yet in being so unlike the typical high school flick, it captures anew the alienation, the ridiculously earnest intensity of feeling, the insularity of experience that are part and parcel of those blunder years.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Allison Benedikt
Chicago Tribune
April 7, 2006
The mystery feels elementary and his characters, though compelling as sketches, remain one-dimensional from the first to the last good-looking frame.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
April 7, 2006
Brick is almost fiendish in its insistence on finding modern-day parallels to classic pulp-fiction figures.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
April 6, 2006
It has insolent wit, a taut style and strong characterizations. But it lacks the special quality needed to make a movie spring to life, a divine spark of real imagination.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
April 6, 2006
Even as you struggle to keep up with its speedy chatter and multi-character complexity, Brick is always entertaining.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
April 6, 2006
Brick would be better with a bit more Lynch in its soul, but Johnson is his own man, and I look forward to what he comes up with next.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
April 6, 2006
This movie leaves me looking forward to the director's next film; we can say of Rian Johnson, as somebody once said about a dame named Brigid O'Shaughnessy, 'You're good. You're very good.'
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steve Murray
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
April 6, 2006
What sounds like a stunt, or a genre-mashup oddity like Bugsy Malone, proves to be a sharp, tongue-in-cheek exercise, balancing deadpan menace with well-timed comedy.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
April 5, 2006
Johnson also grabs hold of a fundamental truth and seduces us with it: The schoolyard can be the noirest burg of all.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
April 3, 2006
You can't deny the fellow who made it has talent.
Top Critic
Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
April 1, 2006
Brick is as difficult to categorize as its hard-boiled, made-up lingo is hard to understand -- neither of which should deter anyone from seeing it. It's rare to see a debut as witty and assured as this.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
March 31, 2006
It's Gordon-Levitt's pitch-perfect work that makes Brick a hardboiled treat.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
March 31, 2006
It's an A+ film school exercise with zero emotional or social impact.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
Newsday
March 31, 2006
Brick's low-key, post-modern approach (indie-film euphemism for on-the-cheap) mingles '40s and '50s costume accents with the institutional drab of a suburban high school.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
March 30, 2006
Rian Johnson's flashy cinematic stunt grafts the hard-boiled argot of Dashiell Hammett onto an upscale Southern California high school.
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
March 30, 2006
If John Hughes had directed The Maltese Falcon instead of John Huston, it might have looked an awful lot like this.
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
March 30, 2006
"...packed with geeky allusions to everything from Raymond Chandler to Blue Velvet"
| Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
March 29, 2006
The unspeakable dialogue is so incomprehensible it seems like a whole new language.
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
March 28, 2006
Brick represents an impossible dream, though: the reuse -- with conviction -- of cinema's most calloused and beloved genre as applied to contemporary middle-class life.
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
March 28, 2006
All in all, this twerpy little movie is one of the most entertaining pictures to be released so far this year.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
March 21, 2006
A spoof would have been easy. Instead, Johnson plunges off the deep end, risking ridicule by shaping this spellbinder with grit and gravitas.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
April 2, 2005
The picture gains in finesse and confidence to the point where Johnson more or less pulls off his peril-fraught exercise.
Top Critic
Duane Byrge
Hollywood Reporter
February 5, 2005
Brick is a dazzling slab of hard noir storytelling.