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…
"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…
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…
Smart. Feel like I need to watch it again.
A film noire set in a californian high school with overwritten period dialogue and archetypical characters. This movie should be terrible. Really, it should be a ridiculous overindulgent farce, but Rian Johnson brings a sense of style and heart that elevates what seems to be a joke concept into a thrilling crime mystery. Brick is darkly funny, effortlessly cool, and best of all it feels like it's getting away with a concept that simply shouldn't work.
Recommended by Taylor Charles Michel.
Film Club Score (3.09/5.00)
Brick is a mixed bag for me.
Filmed with razor sharp precision and a script that is as tight as (insert lewd analogy here), it is ultimately a film which leaves me cold. Bitterly cold. It is so stylized but only for the sake of looking stylized. Everything is constructed in order to propel the mystery and the dialogue, not the characters themselves-and it is here where Johnson seems to struggle the most. The characters were cartoonishly noir (I know that was kind of the point, but still...) and just plain flat and uninteresting. I didn't care what was happening because I didn't care about the characters and nothing really ever happened for any reason other than just to happen…
this movie could use more murder.
I admire Rian Johnson's 'Brick' more than I like it. As a first film, it's quite something. As an exercise on the functional understanding of cinematic genre, it is even more. The idea of taking the plot, feel, and aesthetics of a film noir and setting it in a contemporary high school sounds ridiculous, but there was something in the air ten years ago that gave us both 'Veronica Mars' and this movie.
As far as a movie can be called effective, or well-constructed, or successful, 'Brick' is all of those things. Props must, and have been given extensively, to Johnson for being able to get away with having Joseph Gordon-Levitt and other high schoolers talk like hard-boiled detectives in…
Brick is a great film that pays homage to the noir films of old (The Maltese Falcon for example), Rian Johnson creates a world that sucks you in with the detail in each frame of the film with complexed and layered characters that all have a element of cautious suspicion about the intentions, yet with a hint of likability about them. The story at first for some may cause viewers to stray due to the dialogue amongst the characters, as is the puzzle of constructing the pieces to fit into what really happened to Emily, though on repeated viewings it gives the film more depth and the viewer a keener insight to finding earlier clues from earlier in the film.…
A terrific mystery noir film.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
There are few movies that not only hook me in from the first frame, but also completely engross me in the world in which said movies takes place. Brick directed by Rian Johnson just happens to be one of those movies. It also happens to be the type of movie I would make. It's almost as if the filmmakers tapped into my brain and made that noir style movie I always wanted to. From the very first scene you'll notice that this movie has a language all its own. I can't imitate it, but just imagine the type of language spoken in the detective films of the 40s, or by Mr. Bookman in Seinfeld coming out of teenager's mouths and…
For five years, film critic Scott Tobias compiled "The New Cult Canon" in a regular column for The A.V. Club…
[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…