Harry Brown


Harry Brown

Critics 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.



Total Count: 125


Audience Score

User Ratings: 42,661
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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


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 (125) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (78) | Rotten (47)

  • 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…

    Ty Burr

    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…
  • The film is dark, beautifully half-lit and as controlled as it needs to be so Caine can work his way deeper into the character. His performance is astonishing: Harry is stooped, no longer physically strong, but he has immense reserves.

    May 21, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Stylishly filmed in a grimy palette of putrescent green and muddy brown, the movie seems at times almost to revel in the nastiness it depicts.

    May 21, 2010 | Rating: 2.5/5 | 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…

Audience Reviews for Harry Brown

  • Feb 28, 2016
    There's been a few films like this before, Usually set in America and always ends up being just another action movie, This is set in London and is very believable, Michael Cane was brilliant and carries the film, It has some quite gruesome scenes and the film fires on all cylinders from the acting, The whole tone of the movie is done well, It's even emotional at times, It can be hard to imagine anyone Michael Canes age doing something like this but it works well and is different to other films like it, A very unappreciated film that maybe not for everyone but is very gripping from start to finish.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Apr 09, 2013
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 26, 2012
    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 H Super Reviewer
  • Feb 06, 2012
    Caine's Harry Brown represents the vigilante in any individual caught in a neighbourhood with seemingly unreversable problems involving crime and drugs. Very much a metaphor for the generational clash in modern Britain.
    John B Super Reviewer

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