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…
I knew that Brick is highly thought of, but I really struggled with it. When I got to the end I went to tick it off on icheckmovies and discovered that I had already watched it in February 2012, but have absolutely no memory of having done so. I didn't rate or review it back then (which is why I ended up rewatching it) so have no idea what I thought of it but guess I wasn't any more fond of it than I am now.
Taí um filme que se saísse de outras mãos poderia ter dado muito errado. Amo quando os dois personagens tão na praia e um pergunta despretensiosamente pro outro se ele gosta de Tolkien.
"What'd she whisper to you?
"She called me a dirty word."
"Alright, you don't have to tell me."
Fucking killer movie. It looks really shitty, considering it was filmed for nothing on 35 mm film stock, but it actually works towards the film's benefit. Some of the camerawork is jarring and amateurish, but Johnson knows what he's doing and that confidence is palpable. A neo-noir set in a modern high school setting shouldn't really work, but Brick does. The plot is solid, JGL is great, and it all just feels really special.
Listen to ScreeningNotes and I discuss this film and much more on our podcast,Movies Now and Then.
I remember watching Brick when it first came out on DVD. I had heard several people talk about how great it was, but none of the theaters around me were playing it. I watched it, and I remember really liking it. I remember thinking that the language was difficult to understand, and it made it difficult for me to understand what was happening in the film. I also remember feeling the pressure to think this film was great, because so many people I respected that it was. I didn’t want to be the person that didn’t like it, and I sure as hell…
It's like watching a live-action detective themed episode of Rugrats.
As a neo-noir in a modern day high school setting, this really shouldn't work but it mostly does.
Plot summary: Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets punched in the face a lot.
God, I miss payphones.
A total achievement. Brick is twisty, engaging stuff, with the right performances coaxed out of a knowing director and framing that simultaneously goes unnoticeable and looks better than a lot of independent cinema. Like most of the best crime stories, it asks us to engage with what systems and scenarios create the problems we're watching, what our feelings are on morality and justice, and whether or not we ought to trust anyone who decides to be an arbiter.
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…