Brick

2005

Crime / Drama

165
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 80%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 86%
IMDb Rating 7.5

Synopsis


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January 24, 2013 at 4:07 am

Director

Cast

Lukas Haas as The Pin
Meagan Good as Kara
720p 1080p
700.27 MB
1280*720
English
R
English
23.976 fps
1hr 50 min
P/S 3 / 41
1.50 GB
1920*1080
English
R
English
23.976 fps
1hr 50 min
P/S 2 / 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jaredmobarak 10 / 10

"Where do you eat lunch?" …

This is a film I have been highly anticipating for over a year. After first hitting the festival circuit in January of 2005 it went through the cycles, finally getting a stateside limited release at the end of March 2006. Buffalo, I ask you now to open your eyes to a masterpiece of cinema as Brick finally debuts at the Amherst Dipson.

Brick is a not a film as much as a symphony where each instrument is tuned to the beat of the conductor. Each frame is carefully orchestrated and composed to perfection. The dialogue is metered and spoken with a contemporary Shakespearean beat. Writer/Director Rian Johnson has created poetry with his first feature length film. It may be tough to understand the lingo and overall speech used, but as the film advances you begin to know the characters and the words just make complete sense.

We open with the stare of our protagonist—hard and piercing, yet on the verge of tears—eyes slowly welling up as he peers down on a motionless body, facedown in a tunnel's steady, flowing stream. This is film noir at its best: wrong men and notorious women. Our leader into this underbelly of society has recently rolled on his boss to skate clean of a drug deal he was involved with. The cops allow this plea and decide to keep him in their pocket, with what happened as leverage. He stays low, nose clean, until an old love brings him into her world as it's spiraling out of control. Using all his resources around the city, he begins his search to find her and make sure she is OK. He does this for his own means, with a stoicism that hearkens back to Bogart's Sam Spade.

Wait…Did I tell you that the city this is set in is a suburban high school? Johnson has flipped the genre on its head to brilliant effect. Brendan, our medium into the story, is played to perfection by Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a senior at the school who has alienated himself by ratting on his drug supplier. The vice-principal is using him to gain intel on the dealings around school, but Brendan will have none of it. He needs to find out what happened to his old flame Emily and see what she got involved in. Enlisting the help of a colleague, Brendan plays his enemies off each other to gain access to the mob boss and dope runner The Pin ("I hear he's supposed to be old, like 26"), whom Emily has wronged. The truth must be found at all costs, either to assuage some personal guilt, to rescue love, to do what's right, to get the bad guys, or maybe all the above. The search for answers leads to betrayal and secrets uncovered and I was there for the entire ride.

Brick is not the 21st century's answer to Alan Parker's Bugsy Malone. This isn't a satire on mob life with children playing men. This is a reawakening of the genre, a subversion of what you expect of it, but played straight as a razor. None of these actors break character and lines like this, echoing a hardened criminal telling off an over-zealous officer, "No more of these informal chats! If you have a disciplinary issue with me, write me up or suspend me and I'll see you at the Parent-Teacher conference," are delivered with straight faces and a piercing confidence. The wit is there and you will laugh to the seeming absurdity, but the weight of the story holds strong. Well-placed humor helps you realize the gravity of everything even more.

Levitt shines in the role and proves to be the best up-and-coming actor of his generation. Following pitch-perfect turns as a violent teen in the wonderful Manic and as a teenage hustler, vagrant in Gregg Araki's disturbing yet unforgettable Mysterious Skin, Levitt is making bold choices and continues a great run with Brick. He is flanked with solid support from "Lost's" Emilie de Ravin as his lost love; Lukas Hass as The Pin, with loyalty straying muscle Noah Fleiss; Matt O'Leary's The Brain, Brendan's life-line to what's happening as he sinks deeper; and Nora Zehetner flawlessly playing the femme fatale which one can never be sure whether to trust. Also, the accompanying score of piano and brass jazz fits perfectly to the atmosphere, especially on a late scene close-up shot of Levitt and Zehetner—faces close- up, lips with an atom of air between them, and a single tear slowly following down the contours of her face—uncannily mimicking the infamous shot of Bogart and Bergman in Casablanca.

Any cinephile with $8 to spend will regret missing an opportunity to see this film. If you love film noir of the 50's, 60's, and 70's check Brick out while you can. Doubtful that it will stay up more than 2 or 3 weeks, it will be coming to DVD on August 8th, however go out and see this gem. It will not be everyone's cup of tea, but whether you love it or not, it holds a place on the timeline of cinema as an experiment in stripping down the essence of noir and showing it in a new and no longer angelic world of children on the cusp of adulthood. "Here's looking at you kid."

Reviewed by El Gato-4 8 / 10

Transposing geography

The geography of film noir is usually a neighborhood, a city, a region ... BRICK transposes this geography onto a high school with surprisingly successful results. Watching it brought to mind not only the black & white films of the 40s and 50s, but glimmers of Gus van Sant, David Lynch and River's Edge. What gives BRICK its filmic authenticity (much different from realism) is its language -- the language of Chandler and Hammett, but re-imagined from the lips of contemporary teens.

The effect is staggering. BRICK essentially re-creates a world we thought we knew. Suddenly there are forces at work that we recognize because we knew they were there. But to see them in this noir glow is to give them an exciting new life ... "to see them again for the first time." There are plot twists and surprises aplenty here, although familiar once you realize the inspirations for the film. But familiarity is more than compensated by a superb cast and (not generally noted in these comments) excellent music. Contemporizing the soundtrack keeps us on our toes and makes a significant contribution to the tension of BRICK.

A terrific debut!

Reviewed by dylan-89 9 / 10

Film Noir meets 90s High School flick

I saw this film at a sneak preview the other night not knowing what to expect. To say the least I was pleasantly surprised. Film Noir being one of my favorite film genre's, "Brick" follows the same story structure, odd-ball characters, right down to the very smart and quick paced dialogue of a 30s/40s hard boiled detective thriller. The twist that lifts it above parody and even a mere homage is the presentation of these elements with high school kids in Southern California. The direction by Rian Johnson is very expert and confident in telling the story, giving the audience smooth and quick editing along with skewed and distorted camera angles. He manages to maintain suspense throughout the film, only in a couple of parts letting it drag (the scenes with the Drama Queen are some of the weakest). The actors are great, the most memorable being the "villains" Pen and Tugger. Rather than just being atypical baddies, their portrayals give them depth, sympathy, and at the same time a degree of likability. Kudos also goes to the actor who played Brain, the partner of Frye, who is nearly flawless in his somewhat small role. John Shaft himself, Richard Roundtree, shows up as the Vice Principal, but it is obvious they only had the budget to hire him for one day. I have to say this isn't a classic film by any means; I merely decided to give it such a high rating because it attempts something different and succeeds fairly successfully. I've been tired of the mundane films that get released every year, and for once this is something that is completely different; the use of archetypal characters in the setting and delivery not expected. It's a low budget film, but it is obvious to me that that this filmmaker will be heard from again. Keep an eye out.

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