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101 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
A very, very grim look at a London council estate, full of thuggish hoodies doing drug deals and fighting in the street, Harry brown is downbeat in all aspects. The camera work and lighting are a mix of shakey hand held, and monotone colours.

Michael Caine gives a pitch perfect performance as a quiet pensioner living among this hellish estate, watching from the...
Published on 3 Dec 2009 by chelios1981

versus
14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Looks great, Caine's great, but credibility fades
Harry Brown is an enjoyable film that could have been really special if a little more discipline had been brought to the script. The director seems to be caught between two stools - a contemporary western set in South London and a more challenging study of violence and inner city despair.

The silly intro aside - shooting a woman pushing a pram - the opening...
Published on 6 May 2010 by Kentspur


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101 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 3 Dec 2009
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This review is from: Harry Brown [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
A very, very grim look at a London council estate, full of thuggish hoodies doing drug deals and fighting in the street, Harry brown is downbeat in all aspects. The camera work and lighting are a mix of shakey hand held, and monotone colours.

Michael Caine gives a pitch perfect performance as a quiet pensioner living among this hellish estate, watching from the windows of his flat the chaos around him. His quiet existence is shattered when his freind is beaten to death by the young thugs. Not long after he is confronted by one young scumbag and uses his old military skills to defend himself. From this point on it really is a case of Caine getting a gun and exacting revenge on the gang, eventually leading to a tension filled conclusion where few survive.

Whilst the subject matter is very grim, the film is so well constructed in story, characterisation, performances and direction, that it is an enjoyable movie experience. Be warned though this is full of very graphic violence, and bad language. Most people draw a comparison to this and Death wish, but it is actually closer in terms of look, feel and story of the Sean Bean thriller Outlaw.
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83 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caine's best for along time, 22 Dec 2009
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PJ Rankine (Wallington, Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Harry Brown [DVD] (DVD)
This is British cinema at its best. Michael Caine plays Harry Brown; a widowed ex-marine, who lives alone on one of South London's sink estates and keeps himself to himself. One day his one and only friend is murdered by the feral youths who run the estate and something in Harry snaps. He says early on that his military life was locked away and forgotten when he met his late wife and now it comes back with a vengeance as he seeks justice in his own way. Caine is outstanding as Harry Brown and portrays perfectly the hopelessness and loneliness of so many old people in this country today. No punches are pulled in displaying the futility of life on this estates either. Having worked in places like this it was very familiar and discomforting. When you watch this film in the comfort of your comfy living room remember that thousands of people live like this. This film doesn't glamourise violence and gun play in the way of so many American films but shows the desperate lengths that the hero goes to for justice when the police can't or won't get it for him. When Harry Brown gets a gun its because he sees the enemy has them, not because its a natural thing for him to do. If Caine doesn't get at least an Oscar nomination for this then there ain't no justice there either.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A UK Gran Torino?? No, It's Much Darker & Edgier..., 22 Mar 2010
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Adam Jackson "Symphonic Metal Fan" (Stoke On Trent , England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Harry Brown [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Great, gritty Brit movie! Caine is superb - as is his ill fated friend, David Bradley and I was reminded of the Noel Clarke Kid/Adulthood movies - although this is much darker, edgier and more violent.

Many comparisons have been made with Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino but for me they are superficial similiarites. Harry Brown is a harsher movie in many ways and less sentimental than Clint's masterpiece. More blood, knives and good old fashioned putting the boot in style scenes. It's scary stuff and all the more relevant if you have the misfortune to use subways on a regular basis!

Special mention to Joseph Gilgun (Eli Dingle in Emmerdale) and Sean Harris (Creep); these two guys play possibly the grimiest, nastiest, most revolting druggie dealers that I have ever seen. Absolute human scum. Great portrayals, lads! And Ben Drew AKA Plan B was good as street gang leader Noel Winters, with a particularly foul mouth (lots of the rather in vogue C word). The always excellent Liam Cunningham needs a mention for an excellent turn as the shadowy pub landlord, Sid Rourke.

It's Messrs Caine & Bradley though who take the honours as two almost lone stands of decency in a world that is literally decaying around them and eventually driven to drastic and bloody methods of retribution and revenge.

If you like this, I'd recommend a Brit movie from the early 90s called The Young Americans starring Harvey Keitel which treads similiar urban waters and look out for upcoming futuristic, London set thriller, Shank...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stand Up & Fight..., 11 Oct 2010
This review is from: Harry Brown [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Gritty, real British flick with Michael Caine doing what many of us want to do ourselves in standing up for the cause. Thugs, drugs and violence tied into a gripping, believable storyline outlining events on a nasty, London council estate. The story captures life viewed from a vulnerable point of view and typifies the yob culture of today. Good film, worth watching.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Death Wish' meets 'Stannah Stairlift', 17 Mar 2010
This review is from: Harry Brown [DVD] (DVD)
Dark, gritty, and in places chilling.
The first half, illustrating the decay of both Harry and his environment is outstanding in every aspect. Michael Caine puts in a fantastic performance, the camerawork and visuals are washed out and grey, and the story environment is built slowly up to its tense peak. The second half, while well acted and shot, is a like a combined 'Stannah stairlift Terminator' info-mercial.
Essentially this is an outstanding thriller which deliberately taps into the dis-affection of most of middle Britain and the right wing press. It is deliberately provocative and in places over the top.... but then that is what it was intended to do.
The 'yob' characters are very accurate and their attitude/knowledge of the system is, unfortunately, alarmingly realistic (I meet these underclass muppets on a regular professional basis)

Great film, if only we could create more like this....
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Amazing Harry Brown ..., 11 Mar 2010
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This review is from: Harry Brown [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Michael Caine does iy again, 7 Jun 2010
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Mr. S. Mcmanus "Steve McManus" (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Harry Brown [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my name is harry brown - what a brilliant movie, 7 Oct 2012
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Td Richards (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Harry Brown [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Forgotten, 15 Feb 2012
This review is from: Harry Brown [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Michael Caine is his usual best in this gritty expose of modern life in the inner suburbs of our cities. He plays the lonely recent windower and ex Commando with a fine degree of finess. Indeed this film is typical of many cities today showng the urban decay and of the hostle youth that is symptomatic of much of our life today.Where drug dealing is rampant and respect for each other simply doesn't exist. Unfortunately this is repeated over and over again.

Mr Brown is alone save for his one friend who unfortunately loses his life out of fear and frustrations for his own.Indeed Mr Brown's own anxieties and frustrations finally boil over into the chilling encounter with the two drug dealers and the final inevitable showdown in the underpass culmination in the hotel shoot out.Somewhat reminiscent of those eighties films starring Charles Bronson - 'Death Wish'.

Whilst it is somewhat simplistic in its message, good vs evil and social engineers will undoubtedly give it a thumbs down surely this is how life really is? Society has over succeeding generations contorted it self in excusing these mindless acts of violence and blaming every other reason rather than individuals takng responsibiity for their own actions.

The film does have some dark overtones but overall it is a very gritty but true depicton of city life today.

What was most tellng for me were the scenes of those appallng bleak concrete council estates where people eek out an exstance.Is this the best that society can offer?

What a damming enditement of town planning.

All in all a very enjoyable film. Caine in one of his best.

Nifty

Safety Bay
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 31 Jan 2011
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This review is from: Harry Brown [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
I really liked this film. As the previous reviewer so succinctly puts it, it does give a very realistic view of life on an east London estate and it is, to say the least, grim. I thought the camera work was very clever in that it, too, is grim and dark and dimly lit and adds to the feeling of desolation and poverty.

Caine is fantastic as the central character and gives an almost understated performance. He is a pitiful, sad and lonely old man who resorts to extremes because he cannot cope with his life and his personal losses.

There are some extremely violent and awful scenes in the movie but they are, in my opinion, totally realistic and utterly necessary. The violence (both verbal and physical) is not gratuitous as is the case in many American counter-parts (and I don't mean Gran Torino because I really like that movie too).

A really good film in my opinion.
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Harry Brown [DVD] [2009]
Harry Brown [DVD] [2009] by Daniel Barber (DVD - 2010)
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