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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confusing yet original detective drama
When Brendan Frye (Gordon-Levitt) gets an unsettling phonecall from his panicked ex-girlfriend (de Ravin) he starts to look into the drug dealing clique she has fallen in with. When her body turns up a few days later, Brendan decides to get to the bottom of her death even if it means getting involved with some bad people.

Brick takes all the elements of a...
Published on 2 April 2008 by R. Mullaney

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Raymond Chandler meets Bugsey Malone
Clever-I feel like I have learnt a whole new vocabulary.
Polished and wise scripting.
Original story told by an original cast
Published 5 months ago by Maxine Jarrett


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confusing yet original detective drama, 2 April 2008
By 
R. Mullaney (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brick [DVD] (DVD)
When Brendan Frye (Gordon-Levitt) gets an unsettling phonecall from his panicked ex-girlfriend (de Ravin) he starts to look into the drug dealing clique she has fallen in with. When her body turns up a few days later, Brendan decides to get to the bottom of her death even if it means getting involved with some bad people.

Brick takes all the elements of a 1940s gumshoe detective tale and fuses them with a modern day California high school drama. Instead of using witless Clueless style chit chat, the kids use bizarre detective slang which comes across a little precocious in my opinion but it's a bold move that adds a distinct flavor to the film. All the performances are strong, especially Gordon-Levitt and Lukas Haas who plays a 26 year old drugs baron with an orthopaedic shoe and runs his crime empire from his mums house. There are many eccentricities that make Brick an entertaining watch but it's a little overlong and confusing. Some of the dialogue will be lost on some viewers and as the amazon review points out, it's probably better to watch a second time.

Like this? Try: Donnie Darko
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Weighty, 21 Nov 2011
This review is from: Brick [DVD] (DVD)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes a low-key but still charismatic leading-man in this hard-boiled teen movie meets Film Noir thriller. It takes a while to pick up the tale, as it's pretty abstract and consciously dense in places; once it gets going however you'll be drawn-in by Rian Johnson's stylistically deliberately barren landscapes and the performances of the young cast.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Film Noir Set At Dawn, 30 Mar 2013
By 
Charles Vasey (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brick [DVD] (DVD)
An unlikely but stylish tale surrounding a death takes our hero into the world of high-school drug barons and their muscle. This is not the harsh world of The Wire but of a couple of links further out in the drug supply chain. It remains true to much of the rules of noir; from the muscle of a young Moose Mulloy to the lost Velma, including the beating our hero takes in getting to the truth. Even if the criminal milieu is not quite as hard-boiled as it might be the plot is as traditionally taxing on our intelligence (and memory). I suspect matters of cost determined that the film be shot at dawn (Film Aube perhaps), rather than in the Chandleresque night. The result is, as Greene said of Monaco, a sunny place for shady people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stylish and cool, 19 Aug 2010
This review is from: Brick [DVD] (DVD)
This is an excellent film. It creates an almost believable world of drugs, sex and scandal in an LA school filled with teenagers who act and think like 1930's gangsters. It is supposed to be ridiculous. It is supposed to seduce you with a world that doesn't exist, much like the world of film noir did not, and much like the high school worlds of your more run-of-the-mill teenage drama are seldom representative of the average American high school goers experience.

It is clear that the writer has drawn his influences from all the right places and melded them into his chimeric vision perfectly. The cast are perfect. Cool, sexy, lonely, lost, each character presents an extreme of being, or a caricature. And yet it all works perfectly. There are not many films today that are as slick and cool as this.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a breath of fresh air, 2 Jun 2008
By 
sean paul mccann "mccanns23" (ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brick [DVD] (DVD)
Brick is a film noir that has the basis of a dectective story with a young cast and a fair old pace thrown into the mix to keep things interesting,although the temptation is there to overthink this film,the idea and execution of it isnt really that complicated,yes it wants to be a bit like donnie darko but just isnt that far removed from reality in my humble opinion.
The film deals with a school kid called brendan who is trying to solve the murder of his ex girlfriend and along with his friend brain has a difficult task at hand but walks headfirst into danger at every turn and finds answers he wishes he didnt know almost,the film has a few twists thrown in but nothing that mindbending but the vigilante feel to it,and he doesnt have any weapons really is both comical and refreshing.
There is more to the film than this but i dont wish to spoil anyones enjoyment,the film relies heavily on dialouge so be prepared for that and there are no special effects really,this is a low budget film with an ego for sure but also a great quality,well worth investigating.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twin Peaks meets Shenmue meets Cow Boy BeBop, 16 Dec 2007
By 
Mr. Jamie Panton (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brick [DVD] (DVD)
A high school teen flick mixed with film noir could have been a laughable mess and while Brick does draw a few laughs from its audience as it runs its twisty course through its slightly complex and interesting, character-driven plot, that's only because it manages to balance the juxtaposition between the teen/detective genres so damn well that you can't resist a smile. With clever dialogue, nice direction and photography and cool characters, Brick is an excellent example of a text mixing and playing around with new and old generic conventions, giving it it's own innovative feel while retaining what makes both genres so good. More from this director/writer please.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A contradiction but it works: A clever, deadpan noir about teenagers, led by the excellent Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 26 Mar 2009
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brick [DVD] (DVD)
Here's what the deal is: "I'll have my boys check your tale. Seeing how it stretches, we'll either rub or hire you. You'll know which by the end of the day tomorrow." And, "Drop me off at school."

Brick, an independent movie written and directed by Rian Johnson, is part stunt, part style and part energetic riff on gumshoe movies. Movie references are dropped like names but with more subtlety. It takes place in and around an affluent, sunny Southern California high school populated by the usual prom queens, rockers, vamps, brains, thugs and drug dealers. This is a Thirties gangster movie with all the clichés, played straight but with almost everyone a teen. You have to keep asking yourself, is this just a parody? Well, not exactly. It's...it's...it's part stunt, part style and part energetic riff on gumshoe movies. Rian Johnson, who graduated from USC's School of Cinema-Television in 1996, knows what he's doing. The tough acting is deadpan; the dialogue is quick, clever and loaded with jargon; things are said so quickly you'd better keep track of context.

What could have been just another tiresome melodrama of teen angst turns into a sort-of-serious crackpot tribute to old gangster movies. It works so well not just because Johnson is unusually gifted and slightly off the wall, but because of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays the tough-talking, resourceful and relentless Brendan Frye. He may be a teen, but Brendan also is Sam Spade, George Raft, the Continental Op, you name it. This particular homage covers a lot of Thirties ground. It all starts when Brendan, a classic high school loner, finds his former girl friend he still has feelings for is in trouble. She calls him and pleads for help. The next thing, she's killed running from Brendan and into a dark drainage pipe. Brendan's smart but not one for school rules or social niceties. He starts asking around and gets beaten up. He is determined to find out why Emily was killed and do justice to those responsible. His only ally is The Brain, a super nerd and friend who knows a lot and sometimes can link unexpected dots. Soon we meet Laura, a high school femme fatale who can afford excellent manicures; Kara, a drama queen who seems to have no heart and a fondness for manipulation; Dode, a high school greaser with a shiny pompadour who dresses in black and says, gee, I loved her, too; and Tug, a blonde muscle boy who combines the build and the temperament of an enthusiastic steroid aficionado. Tug's rages should be avoided. Brendan doesn't. Lurking behind Brendan's search for the "why" of Emily's death is The Pin (Lukas Haas), a young man about 26 who wears a black cape and uses a cane. He admires the Hobbit books. The Pin knows heroin pays a lot better than a community college Associate of Arts degree. The Pin has a basement office with cheap paneling and a mom who obliviously serves homemade cookies and apple juice to Brendan just after Tug, on The Pin's order, does a number on Brendan's face. Mom is a friendly sort without a clue to her son's activities. Her cookies look really good. I think they were raisin oatmeal.

When Brendan figures things out and forces a violent, nasty, clever showdown, a lot of bad guys pay the price, with a betrayal Brendan will never forgive. For Brendan? Well, Emily will always have a place in his heart.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt manages all this with complete assurance. He never winks at the audience. Those who saw him in The Lookout (2007) know just how fine and authentic an actor he is. As part of the generation now closing in on Pitt, DiCaprio and the like, Gordon-Levitt, if he isn't seduced by Hollywood's obsession with action heroes and the associated fame and cash, should find himself with a great reputation as an actor, not just one more dime-a-dozen superstar.

Brick is odd, clever, fast and coherent. Sure, it's something of a stunt. If you don't mind sometimes smiling along with your favorite movie genre, you'll probably like it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a bang-up job. He may wear glasses but he never carries a gat.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 27 Mar 2014
By 
M. Hayland (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brick [DVD] (DVD)
An indie classic. A strangely wonderful film, even if you don't like the typical indie films I recommend that you watch this at least once as it will never leave you once you've seen it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Raymond Chandler meets Bugsey Malone, 16 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Brick [DVD] (DVD)
Clever-I feel like I have learnt a whole new vocabulary.
Polished and wise scripting.
Original story told by an original cast
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3.0 out of 5 stars Brick DVD, 25 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Brick [DVD] (DVD)
Acting ok but storyline has been done many times before so lost my interest in places but still a watchable film.
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Brick [DVD]
Brick [DVD] by Rian Johnson (DVD - 2007)
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