Brooklyn Rules (2007)



Critic Consensus: Brooklyn Rules' premise is old hat now, but strong performances from Alec Baldwin and the supporting cast are reasons enough to watch.

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Director Michael Corrente's coming-of-age comedy drama Brooklyn Rules unfurls in 1985, coincident with the early rise of John Gotti. Three young Brooklyn men of Italian-American heritage -- Michael Turner (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Carmine Mancuso (Scott Caan), and Bobby Canzoneri (Jerry Ferrara) -- make the pivotal, potentially irreversible choices that will determine their directions in life. The boys' periodic run-ins with a sadistic mobster type who rules the neighborhood, Caesar Manganaro (Alec Baldwin), suggest the ever-present option of drifting into a career of crime. On the surface, Michael courageously and doggedly bucks this choice, opting instead for the pre-law program at Columbia and a straight-laced romance with blonde-haired, blue-eyed coed Ellen (Mena Suvari), yet this path is not as antiseptic as it may seem, for he actually scammed his way into the law program. Meanwhile, Carmine idolizes Caesar, and his desire to emulate this thug not only compromises his own moral integrity, but threatens to jeopardize the stability of Michael's life as well by drawing him into a sticky web of criminal activity. While the first two men navigate these treacherous paths, the third friend, Bobby, stakes out safer ground with a low-key job at the post office and married life with his intended. Over the course of it all, the boys' bonds of friendship become stressed and strained given the divergence of their paths. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi
R (for violence, pervasive language and some sexual content)
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
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Freddie Prinze Jr.
as Michael Turner Jr.
Scott Caan
as Carmine Mancuso
Alec Baldwin
as Caesar Manganaro
Mena Suvari
as Ellen
Jerry Ferrara
as Bobby Canzoneri
Robert Turano
as Mr. Canzoneri
Phyllis Kay
as Mrs. Canzoneri
Ursula Abbott
as Angela
Paulo Araujo
as Young Michael
P.J. Brown
as Earl Webber
Chris Caldovino
as Philly Cabrese
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Critic Reviews for Brooklyn Rules

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (16)

Aggressively derivative.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

A sometimes funny, occasionally maudlin coming-of-age dramedy that wants to be Goodfellas but might have been called Mild in the Streets.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007
Top Critic

However authentic and heartfelt this film's depiction of life on the meaner streets of the Northeast corridor may be, it doesn't begin to match The Sopranos' epic vision of violence, class struggle and upward mobility in a barbarous culture.

September 21, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic

Whether it's read as an exclamation of borough pride or as a set of unwritten laws governing its residents, the movie takes a well-trodden path in chronicling the lives of three Italian American friends, circa 1985.

Full Review… | September 19, 2007
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Capturing Manhattan's essence is easy. But capturing life inside provincial New York City -- is something that eludes most filmmakers...And now add Brooklyn Rules to the short list of movies that get it right.

Full Review… | July 13, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Against all odds, it remains surprisingly watchable.

Full Review… | July 13, 2007
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Brooklyn Rules


Solid film, it should have been released in theaters everywhere.

Chosen 718
Chosen 718

Super Reviewer


This film tried a little too hard to be a cheap similar film to ?A Bronx Tale?, but didn?t quite live up to it in the way of casting, storyline or dialogue. Freddie Prinze Jr narrates throughout, which makes it all a little too cheesy for a serious gangster film. With Alec Baldwin as the main attraction in the film, I?m sure many people would have passed this one by. If you can watch this film without all the comparisons to other Gangster films, then it?s a passable story, but there have been too many better movies within this genre to become any kind of a contender.

Lady D'arbanville
Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer


Cool movie.

Yinalí Ríos
Yinalí Ríos

Super Reviewer

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