Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emilie de Ravin
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Brendan Frye is a loner, someone who knows all the angles but has chosen to stay on the outside. When the girl he loves turns up dead, he is determined to find the "who" and "why" and plunges into the dark and dangerous so... more »
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Member Movie Reviews
Anthony S. from TIPTON, IA
Reviewed on 7/21/2012...
Barbara W. from MANCHESTER, NH
Reviewed on 6/28/2011...
HS who-done-it thriller. With homages to other classics.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Steve J. (DarkReader) from HILLSBORO, OR
Reviewed on 11/16/2009...
I LOVED THIS MOVIE! It is a well acted, well scripted and truly a delight to watch. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is fabulous in his role as a high school student looking for the killer of his ex-girlfriend. Think Sam Spade and 30's private eye movies BUT set in a modern setting and you'll have an idea. The lines are crisp and smart and the action is fast paced. Its a very intelligent movie and you can take nothing for granted. Everything blends in perfect and you put pieces of the puzzle together. Take a chance and watch it, you'll be glad you did.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jessica S. (thequeen13) from WASECA, MN
Reviewed on 9/2/2009...
I watched this movie and it was like watching a poem, it was beautiful and touching. It inspired me to write some of the best work I've ever produced.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
"There's not much chance of coming out clean..."
Michael Crane | Orland Park, IL USA | 08/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have to say it, "Brick" is probably the best movie I have seen this year so far, and I don't think I'll see another that will top it. I had heard about "Brick" for a while now, and when I heard the premise of it, I knew that it was something that I would have to check out. I'm glad I did, because not only did I end up enjoying it the first time I saw it, but I watched it again the next day. Not many films can do that for me, but this one most certainly did. There was no way I could have ever bet that I would've ended up loving this movie the way I do.
If you're unfamiliar with the approach to the movie, it's pretty much a detective-murder-whodunit movie with a catch; it's set in modern times and it involves high school kids. Yet, the kids talk in the manner that you would expect from your typical hard-boiled detective movie. The story concerns Brendan Frye, who is contacted by his ex-girlfriend by phone. On the phone, she sounds frightened and troubled, but doesn't say much about what is the matter. Two days later, she ends up dead. Brendan knows that she got involved with the wrong crowd, so in order to find out who is responsible for her death and why, he has to go in deep into the underground drug world that has consumed a good amount of his schoolmates. The deeper he goes, the more risk he puts himself in.
This film is extremely well done and well made, and that caught me off guard. I wasn't expecting a movie like this, nor was I expecting that I would end up loving it so much. The film seems innocent and fun at a glance until you really get into it, and then you realize how dark and brutal it can get. Just because it involves high school kids, it doesn't mean it's child's play. It's film noir at its finest, and it even pokes fun at itself a little here and there, but overall it's a pretty dark and serious movie. What really sells the movie in the end is the great performances from the cast, especially the lead actor.
Because of how odd and different "Brick" is, there's a good chance that more people will end up not liking it so much. That is the risk these kinds of movies take, but it's nice to see something that isn't so "commercial friendly" for a change. It stands out, and that's something that has to be admired to some degree. I would recommend renting it first because of this. Also, I recommend that you see it more than once. As much as I liked it the first time, I really appreciated it for what it was more during the second viewing. The DVD doesn't have a whole lot to offer, sadly. There are some deleted/extended scenes, audition tapes from two of the actors in the movie, and cast/crew commentary. It's a shame that they don't give you the trailer, which I thought was really good. I also would've liked to see some behind-the-scenes features.
"Brick" took me for a ride and I have to say that I loved every minute of it. It's an exhilarating and brilliant film that takes a lot of chances without apologizing to anybody in the end. It's one you'll either love or hate, but I think it's definitely worth the time checking it out. If you're looking for something that isn't typical or dull, then I highly recommend it. It's too soon to say, but I think if you give it enough time it could become a classic. It's high up on my list of favorite movies now, and that only took two days. -Michael Crane"
"The Big Sleep" meets "The O.C."
Miles D. Moore | Alexandria, VA USA | 05/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rian Johnson's "Brick" won a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Festival for originality of vision, and seldom has an award been more deserved. This witty, breathlessly entertaining low-budget flick conflates modern-day high-school angst with the mean-street conventions of 1940s detective fiction and movies. The surprise is that director/screenwriter Johnson plays the story absolutely straight, and gets away with it, while at the same time touching on some uncomfortable truths about growing up in America. Brendan Frye (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), whose delicate, poetic looks belie his limitless resources of toughness and courage, goes underground among his school's drug-addled "upper crust" to uncover the murderers of his ex-girlfriend Emily (Emilie de Ravin). He endures multiple beatings from the goon Tugger (Noah Fleiss), as well as threats from both The Pin (Lukas Haas), a cadaverous criminal mastermind who still lives with his doting mother, and Assistant Vice Principal Trueman (Richard Roundtree), who basically plays the Barton McLane role to Gordon-Levitt's Bogart. Then there are the femmes fatales in training, Laura (Nora Zehetner) and Kara (Meagan Good), who may or may not be helping Brendan. "Brick" is remarkably stylish and atmospheric for its miniscule budget; Johnson is masterful at capturing the claustrophobic milieu in which Brendan and his antagonists lurk. There are scenes of action and suspense here that put big-budget epics like "V for Vendetta" to shame, simply because Johnson knows how to edit, and because he makes us care about the characters, especially Brendan. I never paid much attention to Gordon-Levitt until I saw his performance as an emotionally damaged male prostitute in Gregg Araki's "Mysterious Skin." Based on his performances here and in that film, I would say that Gordon-Levitt is quickly becoming one of the truly great American screen actors. All the other actors are also fine, including Matt O'Leary as The Brain, Brendan's informant and only true friend, and Noah Segan as the pathetic "reef worm" Dode. Some critics have complained about "Brick's" convoluted plot and stylized dialogue--Johnson creates a language for his characters that is half Chandleresque slang, half teen speak. But for me they only added to the film's fascination. You'll probably need to see the film more than once to catch all the details, but, then again, you'll WANT to see it more than once. Myself, I can't wait for the DVD to come out."
"Come to see the show?"
Westley | Stuck in my head | 05/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in "Brick" as Brendan, a high school student searching for his ex-girlfriend, Emily. After they broke up, Emily started "eating lunch" with a more popular, yet mysterious crowd ("The Upper-Crust"). As he delves into their world, he finds a sickening subculture of drugs, double-crosses, and worse.
The movie is set in Orange County (San Clemente), and the movie's big hook is that it's an update of those terrific film noirs of the 1940s and 1950s. Yes, the movie sometimes comes across as "The O.C." mixed with "The Lady from Shanghai," with just a touch of "Blue Velvet." However, as such, "Brick" succeeds very well. The dialogue is full of clever pithy lines and slang that went out with Eisenhower (Beautiful woman: Do you trust me now? Brendan: Less than when I didn't trust you before.). The directing is also terrific - kudos to first time director Rian Johnson. Finally, Jospeh Gordon-Levitt makes a likeable protagonist amidst the crazy proceedings and characters, including a rather magnetic Lukas Haas as "The Pin."
Although making the film in noir style is essentially a stunt, the tone helps make the movie deeper, more satisfying - easily one of the most intricate teen dramas ever made. The plot is full of holes (what film noir isn't?), but the noir style and look smoothes out the rough edges; yes, style does sometimes trump content. There were a few times when the "Brick" verged on being a typical teen movie; fortunately, Johnson manages to get back on track. Highly recommended for fans of film noir or sophisticated teen dramas.