Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Aug 24, 2011
    63
    I know the novel, and as dark as this film is, I believe it hesitates to follow Greene into his dark abyss. It is about helplessness and evil, but isn't merciless enough.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Aug 26, 2011
    75
    Joffe for the most part amps up the melodrama without tearing Greene's complex weave, but everything unravels toward the end with some staggeringly bad staging. It's as if the film itself had been mugged.
  3. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Aug 25, 2011
    70
    By discarding most of the theological debate, the movie is no longer a passion play but a gritty and despairing noir. That's good enough for me.
  4. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Sep 1, 2011
    75
    While the two leads emerge soulless as melodrama hovers around the edges of the tale, the era is convincingly portrayed and the melancholy mood is hauntingly rendered.
  5. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Aug 25, 2011
    50
    Although Joffe appears to be making a Brighton version of the seductively natty evil we find stateside in "Boardwalk Empire," this Brighton Rock remains muffled, half-formed pulp fiction.
  6. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Aug 25, 2011
    50
    Joffe, a British screenwriter (The American, 28 Weeks Later) debuting as director, hits some of these notes in his adaptation of Brighton Rock, but the movie's religious flourishes seem more rhetorical than heartfelt.
  7. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Aug 25, 2011
    50
    There's a lovely moment with Mirren and John Hurt that helps send Brighton Rock toward its final note of tenderness. With so much style to burn, Joffe handles the tinge of Greene-ian ambivalence just right.
  8. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Aug 26, 2011
    60
    Though he has a true appreciation for detail, Joffe has the scar-faced Pinkie so scurvy that Rose ought to run the minute she sees him.
  9. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Aug 26, 2011
    50
    Graham Greene's guilt-and-gangsters tale "Brighton Rock" gets an even more melodramatic telling than in the 1947 film version courtesy of first-time director Rowan Joffe, whose histrionic adaptation screams "student film" with practically every frame.
  10. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Aug 28, 2011
    50
    This Brighton Rock doesn't live up to the greatness of the novel (or even, really, the very-goodness of the 1947 movie), but it doesn't betray Greene's book either, which may be all a reasonable reader and filmgoer could ask.
  11. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Aug 24, 2011
    58
    Rowan Joffe (son of Roland Joffe) provides busy, if never particularly distinctive direction, but it's the leads that continually threaten to sink the film.
  12. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Aug 24, 2011
    80
    What might have been a long walk off a short pier becomes a valid, vital rethinking of a crime classic.
  13. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Aug 20, 2011
    50
    Joffe's first feature never shakes off the feel of a telepic with above-average production values, and its unsteady lead performances and often garish stylistic touches make a muddle of the source material's psychological acuity.
  14. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Aug 23, 2011
    50
    The extreme innocence of Rose (Andrea Riseborough), the young girl whom Pinkie seduces in order to keep her quiet, is no longer very convincing, or even interesting.
  15. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Aug 26, 2011
    70
    You can't accuse the new Brighton Rock of being untrue to the book - it actually reinstates the novel's climax, placing violent events back atop a cliff as Greene had originally, rather than on the Brighton Pier, as he had in his screenplay.
  16. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Aug 25, 2011
    50
    Richard Attenborough nailed that purity 64 years ago, and Sam Riley nails it now. His Pinkie is a slim, mesmerizing package of immaculate and undiluted evil, clear as a stick of Brighton Rock candy.
  17. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Aug 25, 2011
    70
    The film is almost distractingly beautiful to look at, something that accentuates the tension between the film's conflicting quantities, i.e., the glories of the physical world, and the corrupted humanity it hosts.
  18. Reviewed by: Ray Bennett
    Aug 20, 2011
    50
    Rowan Joffe's film of Graham Greene's 1938 novel "Brighton Rock" takes a gothic approach to the story of a young thug obsessed with hell with little of the writer's subtlety and too much reliance on a loud quasi-religious choral score.
  19. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Sep 10, 2011
    75
    Doesn't rise to classic status, but it's an intriguing mood piece.
  20. Reviewed by: Mark Feeney
    Aug 25, 2011
    50
    Joffe's biggest mistake isn't visual, it's chronological. What makes Pinkie so terrifying in the novel is that he's just 17.
  21. Reviewed by: Pam Grady
    Aug 20, 2011
    100
    Control's Sam Riley steps into a role made unforgettable by a young Richard Attenborough in the 1947 original and makes it his own, slipping into the character like a second skin.
  22. Reviewed by: Bill Weber
    Aug 22, 2011
    38
    Brighton Rock never brings its baby-faced hood antihero, the scarfaced Pinkie Brown (Sam Riley, pouting and hunched in the late-DiCaprio manner), into a semblance of human plausibility.
  23. Reviewed by: S.T. Vanairsdale
    Aug 25, 2011
    65
    Where Joffe purposely departs from "Brighton Rock" deprives his movie of the book's most revelatory element: Faith. Gorgeous, ambitious and daring as it often is, Brighton Rock has no soul.
  24. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Aug 23, 2011
    50
    The leads are compelling and the chase and fight scenes - scored to a propulsive bass-drum beat - are kinetic, but as Brighton Rock attempts to zero in on Rose and Pinkie's dangerous relationship, it loses momentum.
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 2
  2. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. Oct 9, 2011
    5
    Couldn't get into this film at all. I usually love" period pieces" which show localised social entropy, especially Brit-related. Helen MirrenCouldn't get into this film at all. I usually love" period pieces" which show localised social entropy, especially Brit-related. Helen Mirren was brilliant as usual - but as for the rest of it - very "meh"! Full Review »
  2. Sep 12, 2011
    3
    There is something off about Brighton Rock. The atmosphere and mood surrounding the action does not match what is going on. Based on aThere is something off about Brighton Rock. The atmosphere and mood surrounding the action does not match what is going on. Based on a Graham Greene novel, Brighton Rock follows a low level gangsterâ Full Review »