Harry Brown

2010

Harry Brown (2010)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: Its lurid violence may put off some viewers, but Harry Brown is a vigilante thriller that carries an emotional as well as a physical punch, thanks to a gripping performance from Michael Caine in the title role.

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Movie Info

Academy Award nominee Daniel Barber (The Tonto Woman) makes his feature directorial debut with this gritty critique on contemporary British society starring Michael Caine as an elderly shut-in who's spurred to action by a senseless act of violence. Harry Brown (Caine) resides in a desolate public-housing apartment block as his sickly wife lies dying in a local hospital. He spends most of his days in solitude, only getting out to play the occasional game of chess at a nearby pub with his best friend, Leonard (David Bradley). The days of basic human decency seem to be a thing of the past, because in recent years barbarous drug dealers and gangsters have overtaken the dilapidated complex. Killing is a way of life for these young thugs, and as a result overburdened detectives Frampton (Emily Mortimer) and Hicock (Charlie Creed-Miles) are essentially relegated to knocking on doors and notifying parents when their children have been killed in the latest fracas, instead of investigating the crimes and jailing the guilty parties. When Leonard is murdered just feet from his own apartment, former Royal Marine Harry utilizes the skills he learned while fighting the IRA to take on the aggressive chavs who have intimidated the police into inaction. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Cast

Michael Caine
as Harry Brown
Emily Mortimer
as D.I. Frampton
Charlie Creed-Miles
as D.I. Hickock
David Bradley
as Leonard Attwell
Iain Glen
as S.I. Childs
Sean Harris
as Stretch
Plan B
as Noel Winters
Liam Cunningham
as Sid Rourke
Marvin Stewart-Campbell
as Stunt Neighbour
Lauretta Gavin
as Neighbour's Wife
Raza Jaffrey
as Father Bracken
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Critic Reviews for Harry Brown

All Critics (124) | Top Critics (35)

Caine, that master of gentle sadness, lets us know Harry immediately as a good man trying to get by -- and trying to understand what seems like madness.

Jul 1, 2010 | Rating: 3/4

After a long run of baroquely plotted crime dramas like Layer Cake and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, it's a little depressing to come across a vigilante drama whose sole twist is its protagonist's advanced age.

Jun 10, 2010 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
Boston Globe
Top Critic

It's simply the tale of a man who decides to do something and sticks to his guns, so to speak. That the man is played by Michael Caine is what makes it worthwhile.

May 27, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

On one side, it's all compellingly believable; on the other, it's simply incredible. We do our best to straddle the rift but, in the end, the gulf proves too wide, the contrast too great, and a tumbling movie takes us down with it.

May 21, 2010 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

The film ranks right up there with Sleuth, Get Carter and Mona Lisa as being amongst Caineâ(TM)s toughest and best performances.

May 20, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

In Gran Torino, Eastwood took on the moral issues that screenwriter Gary Young and first-time director Daniel Barber studiously avoid. It's the difference between riveting and repellent.

May 14, 2010 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Harry Brown

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]

Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

½

A bitter and disenchanting look at urban violence in modern England. An old man and former Marine is facing more and more deaths and crime in his neighborhood until he finally refuses to ignore it any longer. It is Michael Caine's face and outstanding acting that carries the film through the slower passages as his character gets more and more involved into the bloody events. Most viewers will catch themselves cheering for revenge, which is quite interesting because the film certainly does not try to praise vigilante tendencies. It is uncertain why the film feels the need to add a riot towards the end, but the finale is exciting nonetheless. A pretty gloomy and bloody film, but one that raises interesting questions without pretending to know the answers.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

Depressingly realistic film about a british OAP who finally has enough and decides it's time to clean up his council estate. Death Wish meets cocoon.

Stuart Brooks
Stuart Brooks

Super Reviewer

½

An ex-Marine becomes a vigilante in a crime-ridden estate. Michael Caine is a vulnerable badass and gives a strong performance in the lead role of this morose action film. But it is unfortunate that he is the sole highlight of this film. Emily Mortimer is about as believable as a cop as Charlton Heston was believable as a Mexican. There is not an ounce of toughness to her character, and her attempts at the "wise detective" trope fall flat. What is more, the story packs no surprises except for the improbable ones, and even these feel like a writer over-manipulating his plot. Overall, I like Michael Caine, but I can't like this film.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

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