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4.4 out of 5 stars352
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 17 August 2010
We had read reviews of this film and it sounded the sort we have enjoyed in the past. It did not disappoint. It was, of course, not suitable for kids up to teenagers due to the violent content. Perhaps because I am an old wrinklie I was able to relate to the main characters who were about the same age as me. This made me sympathetic to their predicament and Harry Brown's reluctant (at first) retribution (says a lot about me!). The initial inability of the police to deal with the problem is typical of today. The liberals say we must deal kindly to the poor young hoods in the estates. Yes, there are many ways to change the conditions which lead young gang members into the sort of life they grow into. These conditions must be changed but, at the end of the day, lawlessness and antisocial behaviour cannot be excused and must be punished. If we do not have sufficient prisons, then produce more, stop locking up old folk who try to defend themselves and concentrate on the perpetrators.
These are some of the topics dealt with in this excellent film. Strongly recommended.
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on 5 January 2011
Not sure how many women will have written a review on this, but I am a woman so here goes...

I'm not going to go on about the storyline as loads of people have already done that; this film although it is grim and in parts unbearable to watch, is so well made that it somehow kept my attention to the end. Other films depicting similar storylines I simply have to walk away and leave the endings to my husband to watch.

Michael Caine delivers the title character with enormous conviction and humility as one would expect with him, but it is the character of the estate's ringleader hoodie, played by Ben Drew that is so realistic, I kept having to remind myself he was acting. The same applies to the man running the drugs/guns outfit where Harry goes to buy a gun (I'm sorry, I can't remember his name), but it is gritty performances like these that makes me proud to be British! American film-making could never be as capable of showing such graphic subject matters (hard drug use, violence, sexual violence, murder) in the same way. It was so life-like that when Harry gets his revenge on these moronic wastes of space I couldn't help but applaud!

This review isn't very technical I'm afraid (no analysis on camera-work etc) , but I would like to say I would thoroughly recommend it, but it's not for the faint-hearted. All in all, it's a well-told and sadly, all too familiar story these days that is brilliantly acted. It's probably one to avoid watching when your Mum comes over though!
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on 11 March 2010
A slapdash reviewer in the national press described 'Harry Brown' thus: 'It makes Reservoir Dogs look like The Magic Roundabout' ...'

No it doesn't. That kind of comment is the sort of flip and ignorant stuff that patronises the audience and should never appear in print. To describe 'Harry Brown' like that is to miss the point of this extraordinary film completely.

If anything, 'Harry Brown' should be compulsory viewing for all those MPs and local councillors and police chiefs who try and kid us that all is well in our society. As we all know, it isn't - and this is one of the best indictments of our attitude and the attitude of our 'rulers' that's appeared in a very long time.

Made entirely without preaching or sermonising, this film depicts horrifying situations and horrifying acts of physical and sexual violence without once attempting to glamourise or play the voyeur. Anyone hoping for a quick fix of the classic 'video nasty' type will be sadly disappointed: the makers have been far cleverer than that, and ensured that voyeurism is never allowed so much as a look-in: the viciousness shows itself for what it is.

The production is blessed with a superb screenplay, performed by actors who are in their turn surperb at what they do. From Michael Caine's sympathetic and iron-willed Harry Brown - who sets out to clean up the sordid world around him - down to the smallest minor role, the cast is second to none.

The film is a triumph - and rather like the novels of Dickens, it may soon serve to hold up a mirror to the way in which some people are forced to live their lives in a country now ruined by the values of Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. This in turn may force those in power finally to do something about it.

A tour de force on every level - and while it is not easy viewing at any stage, it is astonishingly powerful.

Highly recommended.
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This really is one of the best 'Brit' movies i've seen for some while.
After the brutal killing of his best friend 'Harry' ( Michael Caine ) sets out to serve justice on the culprits after it becomes obvious the police couldn't bring a murder charge for the killing.
The estate is ruled by 'Yobs' and Dealers, the residents not involoved in crime live in fear......however 'Harry' is so incensed by the loss of his friend....he'll stop at nothing despite his ageing years.
This really is a gritty drama which i regret to say does relate an element of reality in todays world.
'Michael Caine' has graced our screens with distinction for many years, i remember with fondness his first 'Major' role in the timeless classic 'Zulu' and of course his more recent efforts as 'Batman's' loyal butler 'Alfred'.....great roles, as is this.
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on 7 June 2010
Whether you are a fan of Michael Caine or not the credulity of the characters he portrays is always convincing - Harry Brown is certainly no exception. From a shocking, if not jolting, introduction; the pace, to begin with, is slow and tedious to the point where one wonders when the story will come to life, but when it does, it does so with a gritty realism and truly shocking and violent climax. Made very believable in the times in which we live, I thought about this film for days - a reflection of how moving the story, acting and direction were. Then I had to watch it again!
More realistically violent than Get Carter, an accurate and brutal synopsis of life for the underclasses where housing estate living is dominated by ferral conscienceless youths - Harry Brown sums up the pathetic state of a once proud nation which originally built these social cess pits as "homes for heroes" after the 2nd world war.
An accurate social commentary on the way many people are forced to live today - and a cracking good movie!
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on 4 May 2010
This was one of the most gripping films I have seen in a long time. Did not expect the level of violence and language but it was appropriate.

Every character was believable with first rate acting from all. Will definately be recommending it others(though probably not my mum!)
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on 7 October 2012
what a brilliant movie - michael caine is superb all the actors all superb in fact, fantastic movie really worth buying and passing around i cant see how you wouldnt love it - it takes you through a lot of emotions and aint that what movies are supposed to do ?
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on 28 July 2014
Despite being somewhat contrived, this is a stylish look at inner-city crime among the White lower class. Despite the large-scale absence of Black people here, the Whites adopt UK Black slang as their favored argot to express their emotional limitations born of being unwanted children.

A sort of Get Carter for senior citizens, this offers only curative solutions to the structural problems presented, yet is as entertaining as these serious limitations allows.

The characterization is good but not profound – yet just deep enough to make this rise above the usual violent revenge-thriller. The over-eager desire to please its audience with action scenes creates a tension between the film being plot- and/or character driven. (This becomes more obvious with deleted scenes that reveal some rather good acting left on the cutting room floor.) The high quality performances remaining require special mention and Michael CAINE is especially moving as the old Royal Marine at the end of his tether: His world weary and quiet performance as a lonely widower quite dominates the film. Moreover, Ben DREW, as the depraved criminal’s son, is extremely scary along with his two henchboys: Jamie DOWNEY & Jack O'CONNELL. The drug- & arms’-dealer (Sean HARRIS) is also superbly-unhinged while being balanced by Emily MORTIMER & Charlie CREED-MILES as two police officers caught in the middle of all the mayhem.

Without this classy casting, this movie would simply be another cloned cross between Taxi Driver and Death Wish - with none of the brilliance of the former.
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on 25 May 2014
I saw this at the cinemas and was very glad I did, right from the start the realistic documentary style footage and violent subject matter shows how relevant, gritty and fierce this film is going to be. The cinematography, editing, lighting and colouring is effectively stylised to overall give a convincing, realistic, gritty and recognisably British look to the darker side of life in Britain's run-down estates.

Performances by young and old are astounding, very convincing, especially Ben Drew (a.k.a Plan B), Emily Mortimer and other gang members & drug barons throughout the film. Of course Michael Caine is on top form in a lead role, which looks back to his similar character in Get Carter, except Caine has matured in many ways with age - in this role expressing much more raw emotion and cold determination. His age is the characters vulnerability and what risks him throughout his vendetta, which is ultimately what keeps us on the edge of our seat and helps us relate and feel empathy to a character who is suffering and in fear from violence & anti-social behaviour.

The film still feels very relevant today; hard-hitting, controversial and unfortunately realistic in its subject matter and anti-social commentary, which is why in the end I suppose we as the audience feel so much for Michael Caine's character fighting back against it. Overall, I would highly recommend this film for any fan of Michael Caine's edgier work and any action / British / gangster film fans who somehow haven't yet seen this.
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on 21 January 2014
Ever since Charles Bronson starred in `Death Wish' the theme of a - usually - mild-mannered individual taking up arms in pursuit of avenging a loved one lost to the undesirable elements of society has been well-known. Over the years there have been various takes on it and here, for the first time to my knowledge, we have the British take on it.

Our very own Michael Caine takes the titular role of `Harry Brown' - an ex-marine who now lives in one of London's roughest estates. When his best friend is murdered by a gang of young thugs, he takes the law into his own hands and starts meeting out deadly retribution. However, anyone expecting anything in the way of `action' will be left sorely disappointed. This has to be the most `subdued' version of the `classic revenge-thriller' ever made. Whereas you could almost cheer Paul Kersy on in Death Wish, here, you can almost feel the reluctance in Michael Caine as he is forced to `despatch' yet another brainless thug from his housing estate.

Like I say, there isn't much action and - believe it or not - there isn't as much violence as you might expect from a film like this. This is more about the man himself and how he deals with having to -technically - kill out of wartime (and also civilians, albeit evil ones).

This is a dark and gritty tale of one of London's worst parts. It's definitely not feelgood and the overall vibe I took from this film was one of sadness. So, if you're a fan of Michael Caine, you should automatically love this. Otherwise, it's one that you have to prepare yourself for a peek into a world you probably do your best to avoid.
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