Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
A detective story.
A teenage loner pushes his way into the underworld of a high school crime ring to investigate the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend.
Noir- November Challenge! Movie #44
I have to compliment the director for his mad skills created a dark violent world within the realm of high school! No this isn't your mothers high school, hell its not even mine!
I never would have believed a neo noir involving high school kids could work! But this film proved me wrong! Joseph Gordon-Levitt was absolutely incredible in this and I truly believe the film never could have pulled it off without his gripping performance and high believability factor!
Recommended by Brendan via my list "Movie Request Hotline"
Thanks for recommending this film! I adore Joseph Gordon-Levitt!
It's really quite amazing what Rian Johnson can do with an incredibly limited budget. Brick is nothing if not creative—it may utilize genre conventions, but it does so in a unique way. As a lover of inventive cinematography the biggest standout for me was the framing: everything is shot from an extremely low angle, and many characters are defined as much by their shoes as anything else (and speaking of signature imagery, there's a pervasive fear of garbage bags running through the film that definitely gave me chills once or twice). The editing is also phenomenal, constantly pushing the envelope and using every trick in the book to keep you on your toes. The dialogue's snappy imitation-noir…
If there are two types of movies that have been done to death, it's noir pastiche and high school movies. But, in one of the great bits of movie alchemy, Rian Johnson takes these two subgenres and smashes them up with the reckless abandon of someone who doesn't seem to care if anyone likes it or not, even though we all know that's impossible.
Johnson and the cast are all smart enough to know that a conceit like this will work best if it's played completely straight, and with the exception of one (arguably 2) scene(s), it is. And amusement at the idea of high school students living out a Dashiell Hammett nightmare eventually gives way to genuine and shattering…
It's not often we get to see a debut film that is made with such verve, one that truly stands out daring to be so unique. As a whole it is very much a film that delivers style over any meaningful content but what style it turns out to be. This fast talking, sharply edited modern noir appears to constantly challenge itself scene after scene, seeing if it can continue to raise expectations.
The details of the plot are almost impenetrable, the basic premise being that a spectacle wearing loner called Brendan (a rather downsized and far more agreeable Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is attempting to trace an ex-girlfriend who has asked for his help. Beyond that it's a case of suburban…
So now we've shaken the tree. Let's wait and see what falls on our heads.
Brick is a film that shouldn't work.
It actually took me a few tries to get fully submerged into Rian Johnson's bleak neo noir high school drama thriller. Yes, all those words belong in the same sentence.
I've tried several times to watch Brick but every one of those times I've been distracted, disengaged, or the film just failed to pull me in. I finally powered through the film last night and I feel incredibly silly for not being able to finish it. Brick is one of those films whose clawed grip only sinks deeper into your flesh and fills your veins with colder and…
"Whatever befalls you I'll deal with. Just tell me about the trouble with the brick, the pin."
Brick is writer and director, Rian Johnson's, feature debut which he delivered with great craftsmanship and an original and unique vision. Despite having seen Looper first, I think Brick is still Johnson's best film and most impressive one. It has a very original and smart concept which I haven't seen played out so well an any other film. Brick has all the classic noir conventions of films from the 30's like The Maltese Falcon, but it is set in a very different and drastic manner. So in a way Brick has a similar mood and atmosphere of classic film noir, but by setting…
a lighter shade of noir.
moping with fantastic performances laden with the obvious indie-feel but worth noting of its veteran approach.
This is a weird movie, and I'd argue an esoteric one too; definitely not a film that's going to work with a mainstream audience – and that's by no means a bad thing, and (presumably) by no means it's intention.
For a film set in a contemporary highschool, the dialogue is bizarre. It uses a certain dialect – that of the hardboiled detective novels, where it's better to speak slick than speak straight. For those who have little experience with the hardboiled literary genre or noir film genre, I'd guess Brick's dialogue will pretty quickly pass the point of quirky charm or nostalgic/allusionistic hark-back and become utterly alienating. But, if you do have some experience with and inclination for those…
A modern day film noir updated to give it a youthful feel, Brick tells the story of a young detective of sorts (played in a great performance by Joseph Gordon Levitt) that sets out to find a friend in trouble and ends up caught in the middle of a turf war. All the key film noir aspects are present: stylish cinematography, unique dialogue that pops in each scene, tight action sequences with twists and discoveries around each corner and a captivating storyline. Throw this all into the world of a high school and it makes the film noir relevant and accessible to a whole new generation that may have never seen Double Indemnity or Maltese Falcon. The rest of the…
This could easily be a masterpiece, with some editing.
The story was intense, and the main character's nothing-to-lose attitude just added to it.
The dialogues are too idiosyncratic - and while i usually love that in movies - the pacing didn't fit them, making the whole experience a bit of a jumble. You can still tell what's going on, sure, but it'd be more enjoyable with a more paced script.
What a bold film.
I loved it, and I will definitely watch a few more times to get into its secrets.
I love the style of it, and it looks so beautiful, too.
Perhaps too many lens flares for my taste, but that's the only flaw I see in it.
Thumbs Up: An amazingly assured debut from Rian Johnson, the visuals and story all feel totally uncompromised which is pretty impressive considering the kind of budget this was made on, JGL is great and doesn't flinch once no matter how hard-boiled his lines get, a nice premise complimented with solid supporting "suspects", simple yet effective score.
Thumbs Down: Even though a genre mash of high school teen drama and Dashiell Hammett detective noir is a funny idea, the film is utterly humourless - even lines which are clearly comedic (e.g. "He's old, like 26") are shot matter-of-fact and delivered stoney-faced. So am I supposed to find it funny? Similarly the film's dialogue (another obvious stylistic choice) seems like it's trying to shake you at every turn, and for a school that's supposedly so rife with heroine trafficking it seems a bit cheap that we don't see a single character doing any hard drugs.
everyone should watch this movie, like i can't even believe jgl was able to do such a good job i just liked it, it was entertaining
Brick is remarkable for many reasons, most notably so for it's almost cartooney script, balanced and performed brilliantly by some truly great young actors. Under any other direction this film with this script would be laughable, but the director gives the film enough depth and sincerity that by the end of the film, you'll want to start it all over again. Truly a unique film.
A slick and smart neo-noir detective thriller. Oh you've seen hundreds of them? Well you haven't seen any like this one. Rian Johnson's feature film debut takes two incredibly worn out genre movies and mashes them into one unique and very creative concept movie and it does this with a very low budget and a bunch of relatively unknown (at the time) actors. Impressive to say the least. Who's excited for Johnson's Star Wars?
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For five years, film critic Scott Tobias compiled "The New Cult Canon" in a regular column for The A.V. Club…
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[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…