Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 133 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , ,
  • Summary: Brick, while taking its cues and its verbal style from the novels of Dashiell Hammett, also honors the rich cinematic tradition of the hard-boiled noir mystery, here wittily and bracingly immersed in fresh territory – a modern-day Southern California neighborhood and high school. (Focus Features)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 91
    A Big Sleep with underage bozos, a Maltese Falcon where the stuff that dreams are made of rests in the lockers of a well-worn high school, Brick is a remarkable oddity, audacious and engaging.
  2. Johnson also grabs hold of a fundamental truth and seduces us with it: The schoolyard can be the noirest burg of all.
  3. 80
    Brick doesn't work 100 percent of the time, but it's a striking achievement, beautifully shot, often hilarious and occasionally moving.
  4. Mainly, it's a clever gimmick, cleverly wrought, offering further evidence that you can dress up the student body in all manner of garb for all types of genres.
  5. 70
    Johnson pulls us into his world and keeps things oddly plausible, despite the intense stylization
  6. Like a good campfire storyteller, writer-director Rian Johnson knows how to fuse the amusing and the edgy. And, in Brendan, he has created an endearing character.
  7. It's all so seamy, sordid, lurid and shocking! And dull, despite a noirish gloss of wide-angle cinematography and a jaundiced, smoggy color scheme.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 62
  2. Negative: 13 out of 62
  1. Jun 29, 2011
    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 as an incredibly well written script with an obvious intended goal for the film. Expand
  2. DavidB.
    Sep 12, 2006
    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
  3. DonalM.
    Sep 1, 2007
    Absolutely fantastic film. Brilliant storyline, well told. Very little special effects, adds to the effect. Also found it witty at times.
  4. JohnT.
    Aug 7, 2006
    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 trouble with the dialogue. buy the dvd and watch the movie with subtitles. it WORKS...haha. Expand
  5. Jun 7, 2013
    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
  6. JarodC.
    Jun 14, 2006
    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. Expand
  7. DavisR.
    Aug 29, 2006
    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

See all 62 User Reviews