User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 151 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 151
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  1. Nov 7, 2012
    8
    Brick has a language, and even a world of its own, and it is utterly fascinating.
  2. Feb 24, 2013
    2
    This movie has a great cast, a seemingly good story, and a ton of eye candy, but even with all that it has going for it. It was just weird. I didn't understand the code, the slang, or the point. I was looking forward to this one and I was incredibly disappointing. This is just one strange ass movie that you can avoid.
  3. Jun 7, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. IF you can accept that Brick is a film about a bunch of high schoolers involved in their own drug trade, you'll love the film. If you try to use logic and disregard the seemingly implausible plot than you'll find the film tortuous. I for one loved the film and thought it was unbelievably believable. The kids are great and Rian Johnson directs with confidence and style. Absolutely amazing! Expand
  4. Oct 20, 2012
    9
    It's a very fun unique film. Joseph Gordon Levitt and Rian Johnson's screenplay carry this film the distance. The dialogue is so well written and so emblematic of 40's crime novels and films it can but only put a smile on your face. And the actors are true to the premise from beginning to end. Not once winking at the audience.
  5. Nov 16, 2012
    5
    High school kids masquerading as characters from an old school hard boiled detective movie. This is an interesting premise, and one that you can tell Johnson probably wanted to make from the moment he decided he wanted to make movies. Unfortunately there is little going on of interest past the niche premise. Some of the acting and writing is pretty decent here, so you will not be bored.High school kids masquerading as characters from an old school hard boiled detective movie. This is an interesting premise, and one that you can tell Johnson probably wanted to make from the moment he decided he wanted to make movies. Unfortunately there is little going on of interest past the niche premise. Some of the acting and writing is pretty decent here, so you will not be bored. However there is nothing in the story or characters that makes you care what happens to them, which gives you no emotional tie to anything that ultimately happens. Overall a disappointing film. Expand
  6. Aug 11, 2010
    8
    Film noir was one of cinemas most popular and most profitable genre or it uses to be back in the last stretch of the golden years in Hollywood (1940-1950). The last neo-noir the golden era pushed out was Orson Welles "Touch of Evil"(1958) while during its release, it was well received but it sadly failed to reignite the flame of a fading genre. Noir seemed almost dead until an up andFilm noir was one of cinemas most popular and most profitable genre or it uses to be back in the last stretch of the golden years in Hollywood (1940-1950). The last neo-noir the golden era pushed out was Orson Welles "Touch of Evil"(1958) while during its release, it was well received but it sadly failed to reignite the flame of a fading genre. Noir seemed almost dead until an up and coming director named Roman Polanski took on the dangerous task of trying to breathe new life into the deceased genre. I never thought it could be done someone being able to bring back one of cinema's most beloved genres but Polanski did it and his film "Chinatown"(1974) was the film that restarted the film noir genre. Launching a whole new era of Neo-Noirâ Expand
  7. Nov 5, 2010
    3
    I am a big fan of film noir and I am open to the concept of neo-noir but this didn't do anything for me. It seemed to be off the pace that it should be keeping up with and although it has some good noir elements to it it didn't provide much entertainment value.----
    ACTING was all round quite odd. The characters seemed pretty unrealistic and dull to me, although there was some good acting.
    I am a big fan of film noir and I am open to the concept of neo-noir but this didn't do anything for me. It seemed to be off the pace that it should be keeping up with and although it has some good noir elements to it it didn't provide much entertainment value.----
    ACTING was all round quite odd. The characters seemed pretty unrealistic and dull to me, although there was some good acting. I have to be honest, Gordon Levitt was more or less abysmal. ----PLOT. All the characters seemed dark and there was constant themes of mistrust, which is obviously in keeping with the noir side. Except, film noir was made at a dark time (40s-50s) and I think that now, it is irrelevant to use the same plot devices and themes. It just doesn't work, especially with a colour picture. ----DIRECTING. It was OK, but it didn't save this film from being a drag. ----CINEMATOGRAPHY: Well, a dark theme film and there is a dark tone to it, but I think the film was too active and full on as oppose to being kept subtle with clever fighting scenes blended in, like a noir film should be. ----Overall, I thought the idea of basing a noir in a high school COULD have been good, but was ultimately risky and in the end I think it just didn't work. A modern day Noir (neo noir) shouldn't stray too far away from the old 40s/50s films, after all, it is based on them. Too many elements were changed in Brick and the elements that remained didn't fit it as a result of the off-pace story and the unnecessarily unspecific character depth. Remember, characters like Sam Spade were dark, suspicious and cynical, but not completely distant to the point where we can't relate to them. ----Final thought: Brick tries to borrow from the classic noir but by trying to make it too modern it's changed the dynamic and become a failure.
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  8. Jun 29, 2011
    10
    Well written, Well acted, solid artful piece. The Film Noir/Hard boiled "who dunnit" feel fits really well in the director's childhood California high school setting while only feeling forced for brief moments. It's in my top ten films for sure. The pace is for the patient, and the entire vibe requires an understanding or appreciation of Film Noir. Maybe not for everyone, but I saw it asWell written, Well acted, solid artful piece. The Film Noir/Hard boiled "who dunnit" feel fits really well in the director's childhood California high school setting while only feeling forced for brief moments. It's in my top ten films for sure. The pace is for the patient, and the entire vibe requires an understanding or appreciation of Film Noir. Maybe not for everyone, but I saw it as an incredibly well written script with an obvious intended goal for the film. Expand
  9. DavidP.
    Feb 22, 2008
    10
    i think it is sad people rate this so low, mainly due to the fact that they have no mental capacity to truly understand the plot and all the little subtle clues. not to mention they speak the way they do because it is a take on a film noir movie neo-noir if you will, the movie is well produced and shot, not to mention the actors delved deep into their characters making the film noir theme i think it is sad people rate this so low, mainly due to the fact that they have no mental capacity to truly understand the plot and all the little subtle clues. not to mention they speak the way they do because it is a take on a film noir movie neo-noir if you will, the movie is well produced and shot, not to mention the actors delved deep into their characters making the film noir theme show through better. Expand
  10. AndyM.
    Jun 9, 2008
    5
    This movie is best described as a bunch of 25 year-olds, acting like 17 year-olds, acting like 35 year-olds. It's ridiculous. This isn't high school, and it never will be. It tries to be original by placing a 50-years-late, washed-up detective genre into a high school setting, and it comes off as plain absurd. As the Wall Street Journal puts it, "It's original, yet This movie is best described as a bunch of 25 year-olds, acting like 17 year-olds, acting like 35 year-olds. It's ridiculous. This isn't high school, and it never will be. It tries to be original by placing a 50-years-late, washed-up detective genre into a high school setting, and it comes off as plain absurd. As the Wall Street Journal puts it, "It's original, yet it's not". No high school is filled with smooth talking, drug-running teenagers, who spit 1940's lingo like it's the normal thing to do. If you like detective stories and you just HAVE to have a new angle, despite the complete lack of believability, then this is for you. The movie isn't a bad one, don't get me wrong. The writing and the confined presentation just prevents it from being the amazing movie it desperately wants to be. And I mean desperately. Expand
  11. EricS
    Feb 5, 2009
    10
    I thought everything about this movie yelled class (dialog, story, ambiance, costumes, direction) even though most of it takes place in a middle / lower-middle class environment.
  12. BradC
    Feb 18, 2009
    10
    Amazing movie. Quite different from other high school or murder mystery movies.
  13. theGuardian
    May 9, 2009
    10
    Brilliant film and an excellent way to bring noir to the kids that are missing out on it.
  14. Deunnero
    May 29, 2009
    9
    A great movie for a Friday night after a gruelling week of work. A throwback to films of old. I thought this had simliar tones to "The Night of the Hunter" personally. Highly recommended.
  15. MatthewF.
    Jun 15, 2009
    10
    My favorite movie of all time.
  16. SethP
    Jul 21, 2009
    10
    A damned good neo-noir.
  17. TarkoB.
    Mar 31, 2006
    9
    Pretty damn amazing when it works.
  18. LenW.
    Apr 4, 2006
    10
    The coolest hard-boiled teen crime drama of this or any year. Joseph Gordon-Levitt continues to turn out astonishing performances.
  19. MarcH.
    Apr 10, 2006
    3
    Boring! Very difficult to follow. I fell asleep 3 times, which never happens to me. (Perhaps I'm just not a fan of the film noir genre.)
  20. RitB.
    Apr 10, 2006
    9
    Highschool kids talking and acting like 1940's gumshoes. Silly? --- yeah, maybe --- but it works very nicely and it's preferable to having to listen to teens say 'like' and 'you know' four hundred times an hour. You'll strain your ears trying to follow the smart dialog and your brain will work at hyperspeed in order to grasp and interpret it all but Highschool kids talking and acting like 1940's gumshoes. Silly? --- yeah, maybe --- but it works very nicely and it's preferable to having to listen to teens say 'like' and 'you know' four hundred times an hour. You'll strain your ears trying to follow the smart dialog and your brain will work at hyperspeed in order to grasp and interpret it all but it's all worthwhile. Fun movie that keeps up a good pace --- check it out. Expand
  21. ChrisK.
    Apr 10, 2006
    10
    This is an extremely entertaining and well-written film highlighted by yet another first-rate performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
  22. RichardW.
    Apr 10, 2006
    10
    Great movie, but you have to pay attention and really think about what you are seeing. If you just loaf along and expect everytihng to be painfully obvious, like on most TV shows, you won't get it, and you won't like Brick. But if you like getting into movies that force you to think, you'll love Brick. I liked it a lot the first time, and loved it the second time and got Great movie, but you have to pay attention and really think about what you are seeing. If you just loaf along and expect everytihng to be painfully obvious, like on most TV shows, you won't get it, and you won't like Brick. But if you like getting into movies that force you to think, you'll love Brick. I liked it a lot the first time, and loved it the second time and got much more out of it. Gordon-Levitt is amazing. Hard to imagine it's the same actor as on 3rd Rock or Mysterious Skin. Expand
  23. MaxF.
    Apr 15, 2006
    10
    I'm an age of "hard to please", and this gem pleasured me and two fellow film goers to the brim.. Screen play, direction, acting, and photography excelled. A lack of gutter words and the intro of new lingo added to the pleasure. Still a conversation piece days later.
  24. DWilly
    Apr 24, 2006
    7
    A great idea with a lot of nice directorial flourishes and always entertaining. There are real limitations with some of the actors and major confusions, but I guess this could also be considered consistent with the noir genre (I've heard it said that "The Big Sleep" flat out doesn't make sense). Well worth seeing.
  25. TrevorB.
    Apr 24, 2006
    10
    Joseph Gordan- Levitt has come along way, from 3rd Rock from the Sun. He's on well on his way to becoming a movie star. Rian Johnson has an uncanny ability with language that you don't hear everyday. I can't wait to see his follow up film.
  26. JulioF.
    May 12, 2006
    10
    Noir to its teeth. It's spectacular, consistent, and compact -- no small feat -- and the whole things plays out very nicely on screen.
  27. SeamusM.
    May 17, 2006
    7
    The first half hout or so i thought the film was really pretentious and boring. Then it gathered pace. i didn't think the dialogue was very realistic. Surely nobody talks like that.
  28. MichaelM.
    May 21, 2006
    0
    This film is what you would get if you gave a bunch of talented 10th grade students unlimited access to the school's audio visual department. But unfortunately, even the most talented 10th graders can't make a watchable commercial film, except maybe a film made for other 10th graders who happen to go to the same school. It seemed that the screenwriter's goal was to pack the This film is what you would get if you gave a bunch of talented 10th grade students unlimited access to the school's audio visual department. But unfortunately, even the most talented 10th graders can't make a watchable commercial film, except maybe a film made for other 10th graders who happen to go to the same school. It seemed that the screenwriter's goal was to pack the dialogue full of as much cool-sounding slang as he could, whether it got in the way of writing a good script or not. This drivel was muttered nearly unintelligably by all the "actors" in this children-trying-to-act-like-grownups mess. How anyone could rate this over a zero is a total mystery to me--I assume it was a gift, so as not to discourage the budding young talent. I had exactly the same feeling about this film as I did about Dogville, except I felt much worse about the latter, because it was made by adults who had no excuse. Come to think of it, if you loved Dogville, you will probably love this film.--please rush out and buy a ticket so I won't feel so bad about wasting my own money. Collapse
  29. JarodC.
    Jun 14, 2006
    6
    Enjoyable...however, dialogue tended to be extremely annoying in parts, not because of the slang etc. but because it just dripped with effort. It seemed like this guy wanted to make his characters sound quirky for the sake of it. Some of it was just laugh-out-loud awful. Other than that, the story seemed to flow well after slowish start.
  30. M.S.
    Jun 17, 2006
    10
    I've got one word for this film...awsome. This was a superb film I must say. The dialog alone was worth the ticket price and the hype but what is good dialog without an incredibly endearing and believable cast? This cast really pulled their weight, every single one of them acting as a cohesive ensemble and with it, creating an aura of fun suspense and mystery that can only be found I've got one word for this film...awsome. This was a superb film I must say. The dialog alone was worth the ticket price and the hype but what is good dialog without an incredibly endearing and believable cast? This cast really pulled their weight, every single one of them acting as a cohesive ensemble and with it, creating an aura of fun suspense and mystery that can only be found in black and white noir mysteries of a similar nature. The camera work was wonderful and the story was incredibly well written. The characters were totally engaging, I even felt a pang of sorrow for Dode when he got killed even though he was a slime bucket! I found it incredibly fresh that they would take the nostalgia of the eighties and highschool culture and food chains and use it as a play ground for a mystery. I also liked how it was all highschoolers in this underground society of misfits who were involved with crimes and investigations and research, it gave the film a refreshing authenticity rarely found in films today. To all of those who scorn it for doing what (literally) no noir mystery has done before...forget you. This was a seriously entertaining and effective film!. Expand
  31. JustinS.
    Jun 30, 2006
    7
    The acting was very good, but this movie has a number of flaws. For example, I found it hard to believe the Pin, a major figure in the local drug trade, still lives with his mother, How old is he supposed to be? I also had trouble following the plot except for its most basic outlines (perhaps it was too complex). It didn't help that I couldn't understand the dialog (I thought The acting was very good, but this movie has a number of flaws. For example, I found it hard to believe the Pin, a major figure in the local drug trade, still lives with his mother, How old is he supposed to be? I also had trouble following the plot except for its most basic outlines (perhaps it was too complex). It didn't help that I couldn't understand the dialog (I thought the actors were mumbling most of their lines or maybe I'm just not up to speed with the latest street slang). I'm going to have to rent the dvd so I can catch what all the actors are saying and what it means. Expand
  32. TheConundrum
    Jul 10, 2006
    8
    A great first effort. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, even when not being able to follow the tortuous plot. Yeah, yeah, some people won't be able to buy into the conceit of SoCal high school kids mouthing Raymond Chandler dialog, but that's their loss. A hard-boiled film noir in sunny Orange County -- pure gold. Ther are some great comic moments, too. Admittedly, the film is a A great first effort. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, even when not being able to follow the tortuous plot. Yeah, yeah, some people won't be able to buy into the conceit of SoCal high school kids mouthing Raymond Chandler dialog, but that's their loss. A hard-boiled film noir in sunny Orange County -- pure gold. Ther are some great comic moments, too. Admittedly, the film is a little rough around the edges, and the acting is inconsistent, but do you expect from a movie made for about $37.98? One last caveat: Although I want to encourage people to support the artists by seeing the movie an a theater, it would actually be better to wait for DVD and rent it. That way you'll be able to go back and catch some of the denser dialog you may have missed, or just pause the action to try to figure out what the heck is going on. I'm sure it would reward many viewings. Expand
  33. MattC.
    Jul 24, 2006
    8
    A very good film, overall, particularly for a first effort. The performances by Joseph Gordon-Leavitt was particularly powerful, appropriately, while Lukas Hass was very good and Nora Zehetner was breathtaking. The issue that people complain about, not being able to understand the language? That's really more of an issue with them, not the movie. I was able to understand it A very good film, overall, particularly for a first effort. The performances by Joseph Gordon-Leavitt was particularly powerful, appropriately, while Lukas Hass was very good and Nora Zehetner was breathtaking. The issue that people complain about, not being able to understand the language? That's really more of an issue with them, not the movie. I was able to understand it perfectly. My only real complaints would be: It could have stood being tightened up. When a 110 minute movie feels more like 180, you know it drags in places. Additionally, I felt the music could have been more agressive throughout the film. While I understand the usage of the jangly was supposed to convey a certain mood, the language and subject were more than enough to evoke that, and the soundtrack contributed, I think, to the feeling over of-length. Expand
  34. R.Thomas
    Jul 24, 2006
    9
    If your clever enough to follow the film and understand it, you'll love it. However it can be hard to do so, so don't bother unless your ready to sit down and get absorbed in it.
  35. JohnT.
    Aug 7, 2006
    8
    The cinematography of this movie is superb. unique camera angles and impressive acting. like many others said. it's a bit tough to follow the dialogue. sometimes they talk to quick and use word that you usually don't use in a sentence. that's how i felt the first time i watched it. BUT! watching it the second time around i totally caught on. if you're having troubleThe cinematography of this movie is superb. unique camera angles and impressive acting. like many others said. it's a bit tough to follow the dialogue. sometimes they talk to quick and use word that you usually don't use in a sentence. that's how i felt the first time i watched it. BUT! watching it the second time around i totally caught on. if you're having trouble with the dialogue. buy the dvd and watch the movie with subtitles. it WORKS...haha. Expand
  36. TomJ.
    Aug 9, 2006
    6
    Felt like it was filmed by a bunch of high schoolers w/ a cam corder. Just couldn't buy into the whole ridiculous plot or the brooding teen angst.
  37. RichardC.
    Aug 11, 2006
    3
    The sound was very mushy, so I turned on the captions, and when I saw what the characters were saying, the dialogue is almost laughable. Nobody talks like that. It detracted from what might have been a reasonably decent storyline. The sound track was also a distraction. It just didn't work for me.
  38. N.Lee
    Aug 14, 2006
    5
    Visually, it was fun. I also appreciate the attempt to create a new type of neo-noir. But it dragged in places and I had a hard time feeling much sympathy for the characters. There was also a "surprise" regarding Emily, the murder victim, which I predicted and was disappointed in when it was revealed.
  39. AviS.
    Aug 15, 2006
    3
    [***SPOILERS***] This movie just didn't do it for me. Pretentious and over-rated. It felt like I had watched a totally different movie to those who gave it high ratings. Or maybe it's a movie where it's cool to say you enjoyed it and "got" it. I really wanted to like this movie. The characters were two-dimensional, the acting was lacklustre, and the story just didn't [***SPOILERS***] This movie just didn't do it for me. Pretentious and over-rated. It felt like I had watched a totally different movie to those who gave it high ratings. Or maybe it's a movie where it's cool to say you enjoyed it and "got" it. I really wanted to like this movie. The characters were two-dimensional, the acting was lacklustre, and the story just didn't flow. It just wasn't believable; A scrawny kid being able to threaten to beat up a group of half a dozen local tough kids? Didn't buy it. And these kids were supposed to be high school students, but they never went to school? It really did feel as if the screenplay and movie was done by a bunch of high school students. Only the musical score was decent. They should've set this movie back in the 1920's, and use known grown-up actors. If you're into the Film Noir genre, you're better off checking out other movies like "Memento", "The Usual Suspects", "Blade Runner", "Se7en", or the recent "Edmond" with the under-rated William H. Macy. Expand
  40. JohnN.
    Aug 16, 2006
    3
    Took me 3 days to watch because I kept falling asleep. What the heck were they even saying...who talks like that?! Get real! Made very little sense.
  41. JohnH.
    Aug 18, 2006
    3
    I had high expectations for this movie due to the trailer, and I was very disappointed. The dialogue in this film is pretentious to the point of absurdity, and ruined what could have been a decent film. Don't even waste your time on this drivel.
  42. StacyB.
    Aug 21, 2006
    9
    dramatic montage and killer dialogue. this movie is definitely one of the best i've seen in a while.
  43. DanB.
    Aug 22, 2006
    8
    This was really good. I didn' think it dragged anywhere. And the folks who think the dialogue stunk cos "no one talks like that", I think they're missing the point? No one is supposed to talk like that, it's what they call a "conceit", that high schoolers are going to talk like gangsters in old time noir pictures? Anyway, the twist at the end had a bit less impact than it This was really good. I didn' think it dragged anywhere. And the folks who think the dialogue stunk cos "no one talks like that", I think they're missing the point? No one is supposed to talk like that, it's what they call a "conceit", that high schoolers are going to talk like gangsters in old time noir pictures? Anyway, the twist at the end had a bit less impact than it might have and there's certainly flaws, but the originality of making a noir pic in high school totally won me over. Expand
  44. PeteM.
    Aug 26, 2006
    10
    Brick is an intense and powerful noir piece with such riveting performances and stellar writing that it resonates well beyond its slightly gimmicky
  45. MarcK.
    Aug 26, 2006
    3
    Beverly Hills 90210 on steroids. Pretentious and over-rated. Between the muttering of the actors, and the unreal slang, I actually had to turn the sub-titles on my DVD to figure out what the heck was going on. It barely helped.
  46. ChadS.
    Aug 28, 2006
    8
    It's the allusion to Martin Scorsese's mother in "Good Fellas" that really hooked me. Mrs. "Pin['s]" second appearance reminds me of Scorsese when she congratulates Joe Pesci's character for being made a "made man". You think "Brick" is like Larry Clarke's "Kids"(clueless parents) because the mother has such a homespun guileless quality when she's It's the allusion to Martin Scorsese's mother in "Good Fellas" that really hooked me. Mrs. "Pin['s]" second appearance reminds me of Scorsese when she congratulates Joe Pesci's character for being made a "made man". You think "Brick" is like Larry Clarke's "Kids"(clueless parents) because the mother has such a homespun guileless quality when she's entertaining Brendan(Joseph Gordon-Levitt). But no, there isn't a gulf between both the adult world and the "Bugsy Malone"-update world of these matriculating Hammetts. She knows her son is a gangster. "Brick" is almost Tarantino-like in its use of references to other movies. It is so clever, and unexpected. A lot of the fun comes from the filmmaker's use of extrapolation. For example, the femme fatale's true nature doesn't take place in a smoky bar, but on a... Expand
  47. DavisR.
    Aug 29, 2006
    0
    this film is tied with Kevin Smith's dreadful Clerks 2 as the worst film of the year. Besides the dialogue which is obviously the worst thing about this film, it is Joseph Gordon-Levitt who propels this disaster toward "Rushmore"-territory. Just because a hack like Gregg Araki sees the irony in casting the kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun in his borefest Mysterious Skin, now everyone this film is tied with Kevin Smith's dreadful Clerks 2 as the worst film of the year. Besides the dialogue which is obviously the worst thing about this film, it is Joseph Gordon-Levitt who propels this disaster toward "Rushmore"-territory. Just because a hack like Gregg Araki sees the irony in casting the kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun in his borefest Mysterious Skin, now everyone wants to cast this American version of Kal Penn in their movies. It's not fair to say he ruined this film because had he been replaced with Curtis Jackson the film would still be a failure. Johnson delivers the worst film debut since Reservoir Dogs and unless you want to waste 2 hours of your life stay far away. Expand
  48. H.Carter
    Sep 5, 2006
    8
    what a great little movie this is! I do love film noir so a friend had recommended this movie. --I was skeptical I admit, but other than a few times where the dialogue fell flat, the movie worked wonderfully through and through. The direction, writing, tight plot, cinematography/sets, the story--everything was impressive for whomever this first time writer/director is (much like Hustle what a great little movie this is! I do love film noir so a friend had recommended this movie. --I was skeptical I admit, but other than a few times where the dialogue fell flat, the movie worked wonderfully through and through. The direction, writing, tight plot, cinematography/sets, the story--everything was impressive for whomever this first time writer/director is (much like Hustle and Flow). however, if you're not a fan of noir movies, Brick does follow a lot of those concepts so it may not be the movie for you. However, I do think it does goes above and beyond the selling slogan of "updated noir set in high school". I highly recommend this film and can't wait to see what this new filmmaker will do next. Expand
  49. JeffS.
    Sep 11, 2006
    9
    Effortlessly guides the viewer into its own high concept and once hooked, the film is a pleasure to scrutinize. Not a film for easy viewing, but sure to be a repeat offender on cult-friendly dvd players. Easily one of the best films of 2006.
  50. DavidB.
    Sep 12, 2006
    10
    Yes. It's a ten. But then Dashiell Hammett is a favorite author, and Houston's Maltese Falcon a desert island movie. Rian Johnson captures the voice and tone of the American hard-boiled detective story perfectly. A couple of times I laughed with sheer pleasure how note-perfect the acting (Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Nora Zehetner are simply outstanding) and dialog were. This is the Yes. It's a ten. But then Dashiell Hammett is a favorite author, and Houston's Maltese Falcon a desert island movie. Rian Johnson captures the voice and tone of the American hard-boiled detective story perfectly. A couple of times I laughed with sheer pleasure how note-perfect the acting (Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Nora Zehetner are simply outstanding) and dialog were. This is the best detective story since Chinatown Expand
  51. DavidH.
    Sep 24, 2006
    3
    While one is hard-pressed to write off the allusions to hard-boiled film noir as inaffectionate or insincere. The end result is still insipid and incapable of retaining interest. The villain known as the
  52. DanC.
    Sep 30, 2006
    8
    This film seamlessly (and fearlessly) transfers film noir to an unlikely setting - it takes real chances and it succeeds. Especially good are the small moments of humor that remind the audience of where they are, without any of the wink-wink cleverness that could have undermined the atmosphere. A fascinating, visual inventive, and impressive film.
  53. LeahB.
    Oct 5, 2006
    10
    This film was purely entrancing.
  54. AlexS
    Dec 10, 2006
    9
    Being a fan of film noir hardboiled styles Brick came as a nice surprise when I was expecting a simple high-school drama. It's fast and well planned pacing draws you in, and you soon realise this is so much more than it seems. The characters seem entirely realistic; there being no real villain (I wouldn't classify the Pin as a villain), and a dark protagonist, seem like real Being a fan of film noir hardboiled styles Brick came as a nice surprise when I was expecting a simple high-school drama. It's fast and well planned pacing draws you in, and you soon realise this is so much more than it seems. The characters seem entirely realistic; there being no real villain (I wouldn't classify the Pin as a villain), and a dark protagonist, seem like real people you might find around any high-school social scene. The brilliant acting also brings the story to life as a film noir work. It can sometimes be a little hard to follow considering it's speed, but once you're on the level, it's a great story through-and-through. Expand
  55. KipM.
    Dec 19, 2006
    10
    What a feat. Rian Johnson is shaping up to be one of the best directors out of the mainstream today. His debut "Brick" is completely new take on both the detective and high school genres and blends them mostly seamlessly. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, miles away from his alternative teen idol days on "3rd Rock" and "10 Things I Hate about You," is absolutely brilliant as Brendan, alone by choice, What a feat. Rian Johnson is shaping up to be one of the best directors out of the mainstream today. His debut "Brick" is completely new take on both the detective and high school genres and blends them mostly seamlessly. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, miles away from his alternative teen idol days on "3rd Rock" and "10 Things I Hate about You," is absolutely brilliant as Brendan, alone by choice, who is smarter than anyone in the room and uses that to his advantage. The labyrinthe plot (involving an ex-girlfriend's murder and a giant web of drug dealers and users) is never too confusing or unnecessary. You learn every detail along with Brendan, piecing it together in search of closure and justice. The noir dialogue doesn't take you out of the plot; it envelops you into its world. Expand
  56. JS
    Jan 2, 2007
    10
    Brick bleeds Dashiell Hammett and it amazes me how seamlessly the filmmakers brought hard-boiled detective fiction to a high school setting.
  57. xiti
    Jan 26, 2007
    10
    I saw it by chance and I think it's very very interesting, it has a very intelligent script and a very good rhythm
  58. JW
    Feb 11, 2007
    10
    In my mind, the noirisms hit their stride when the character of Brain is introduced and he utters the line: "Lunch? Lunch is difficult...." A better summation of high school I've never heard. And NO LAPTOP! He got the reputation as "Brain," not by being a geek computer whiz or building robots, but by his detailed knowledge of social strata and teenage communication. In fact, aside In my mind, the noirisms hit their stride when the character of Brain is introduced and he utters the line: "Lunch? Lunch is difficult...." A better summation of high school I've never heard. And NO LAPTOP! He got the reputation as "Brain," not by being a geek computer whiz or building robots, but by his detailed knowledge of social strata and teenage communication. In fact, aside from a loner cell phone, most communication in the movie is done longhand - either person-to-person or in symbollic notes, etc. I love all of it. The Brat Pack movies have at last been put under. Expand
  59. DomenicP.
    May 3, 2007
    10
    This is a great take on the traditional noir. The actors all deliver surprisingly great performances for people their age, and Johnson's direction is pitch-perfect.
  60. DonalM.
    Sep 1, 2007
    10
    Absolutely fantastic film. Brilliant storyline, well told. Very little special effects, adds to the effect. Also found it witty at times.
  61. deebbeeb
    Oct 1, 2009
    2
    Too painful to watch, I could only withstand about 30 minutes of this comic caper. No character development at all, I wished the main protaganist would die horribly.
  62. BrittaL.
    Jun 12, 2010
    0
    The plot is inexpressibly below the belt. Another boring college setting. Young spoiled students meet each other at school yards, bee eaters and in upperclass parties and try too much to look like "we make an independent film", but with good looking girls and with extraordinary pseudo-intellectual dialogs. But they are not intellectual, not even pseudo. It looks like college kids are The plot is inexpressibly below the belt. Another boring college setting. Young spoiled students meet each other at school yards, bee eaters and in upperclass parties and try too much to look like "we make an independent film", but with good looking girls and with extraordinary pseudo-intellectual dialogs. But they are not intellectual, not even pseudo. It looks like college kids are trying to be Wim Wenders, David Lynch and Stanley Kubrik all together. It makes me feel embarrassed for somebody else. What next? A John Cassavetes wanna-be film with preteens? C'mon! Expand
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Reviewed by: Jeremy Mathews
    90
    With brilliant dialogue out of the 1940s and graceful visuals that add depth to the dark comedy, Johnson debuts with a smart, self-assured feature that portrays adolescence like no other film has.
  2. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    70
    Writer-director Rian Johnson gives the usual teen angst an entertaining kick. But the joke wears off, and what's left is as convoluted and monotonous as any conventional hard-boiled mystery.
  3. 75
    "Sensational" is the word for Joseph Gordon-Levitt (equally striking in Mysterious Skin), who stars as Brendan, the teen outsider who becomes a budding Bogart.