Harry Brown

Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 35
  2. Negative: 4 out of 35

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Mark Dinning
    80
    Essential stuff, even by the big man's considerable standards.
  2. 80
    Sitting in the theater, you're liable to buy all this simply for the pleasure of watching Caine work. Like Eastwood and other actors of his vintage, Caine brings to the project not only his own formidable skills but more than half a century of movie history.
  3. 80
    Not to be overlooked are the film's wealth of fine supporting performances and technical contributions-the always wonderful Emily Mortimer, Martin Ruhe's extraordinary cinematography and Kave Quinn's incisive production design each playing a part in what must be considered one of the very best films of the first half of 2010.
  4. 75
    This movie plays better than perhaps it should. Directed as a debut by Daniel Barber, it places story and character above manufactured "thrills" and works better.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    This portrait of the soldier as an old man is deeply moving.
  6. 75
    Unlike "Dirty Harry," this film doesn't particularly have an overt political ax to grind. But it thankfully strips away the veneer of glamour that Guy Ritchie and his imitators have applied to British crime films over the last decade or so.
  7. Harry Brown has more to say, about aging, about old-school courtesy in collision with blind stupid violence, and about how sometimes pensioners on a fixed income get stuck in neighborhoods that turn dangerous.
  8. 75
    My expectation is that Harry Brown will find its strongest adherents among those who remember Caine in The Ipcress File and Get Carter and are fascinated to explore his take on how that sort of character might have aged.
  9. 75
    Those of us who love Michael Caine have to recognize that his capacity for coldness is part of what makes him great. And in that respect, what he does in Harry Brown is something of a bookend to his extraordinary, and extraordinarily chilly, turn in Mike Hodges' cold-blooded 1971 Get Carter.
  10. 75
    A mean and exceedingly well-made little B-picture, but the questions it raises are far too complex to answer with a simple gunshot.
  11. 75
    Caine is magnificent. This is not some laughable Stallone-boxing-at-60 exercise in vanity. He's an old man playing an old man, but one who lived through experiences that both scarred him for life and prepared him for his final test.
  12. A film that's as much a character study as it is a crime drama. At the heart of it is Caine's hauntingly memorable performance.
  13. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    70
    Bleak, gripping, sporadically exciting drama.
  14. Caine makes a grave, soulful vigilante avenger, and first-time director Daniel Barber gives the film a dank, streaky, genuinely unnerving palette.
  15. It's a strong directing debut for Barber, who uses the poignant power of Harry's experience to take a universal cut at decaying communities and the poverty of soul as well as pocket.
  16. 70
    A tight, anxious little film that plays like a call to arms for senior citizens, Harry Brown could be "Gran Torino" reimagined as a subdued episode of "Prime Suspect."
  17. Barber uses various stylistic devices - hand-held cameras, cellphone cameras, etc. - that make a somewhat slow story seem to move at a brisker pace.
  18. Gritty and compelling up to a point, but cheaply exploitive as well.
  19. 60
    We like our secondhand vengeance as sleazy and bloody as the next grindhouse fiend, but even an intentional throwback shouldn’t feel content to coast on so much déjà vu.
  20. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    60
    Tawdry but compelling.
  21. Here's a rough-and-tumble British drama that, despite a strong spine, ought to be more like its title character: quiet and deadly -- and less showy.
  22. Part punk-drab British art-house portrait of underclass despair, part bloody vigilante pic, Harry Brown is shakily held together by industrial-strength sound design and the expertly employed theatrics of Michael Caine in the title role.
  23. 58
    Alas, the drama surrounding him (Caine) rarely rouses anything but yawns.
  24. 50
    Michael Caine is such a consummate actor that it's a major cause of concern to see him in Harry Brown, another hateful vigilante flick the wags in England have already labeled Dirty Harry Brown for reasons that are immediately obvious.
  25. 50
    There's a deceptive gravitas to the British vigilante thriller Harry Brown that some are bound to mistake for class--or even truth--in the way it grapples with one man's violent stand against societal decay. Much of that is owed to Michael Caine, an actor of such rare dignity and stature that audiences are naturally willing to follow him anywhere, including into the heart of truly risible material.
  26. 50
    In "Gran Torino," Eastwood took on the moral issues that screenwriter Gary Young and first-time director Daniel Barber studiously avoid. It's the difference between riveting and repellent.
  27. The stark direction, the brittle performances, the impoverished setting, the scatological dialogue, everything about the film screams out "Gritty social realism." Everything, that is, except the plot, which shouts "Eye-rolling melodrama."
  28. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    50
    After a long run of baroquely plotted crime dramas like "Layer Cake'' and "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,'' it's a little depressing to come across a vigilante drama whose sole twist is its protagonist's advanced age.
  29. 40
    Thoroughly derivative, and it doesn't illuminate youth crime -- it exploits it.
  30. Mr. Caine is one of the few reasons to sit through Harry Brown, an exercise in art-house exploitation directed by Daniel Barber and tarted up with self-importance and a generally striking visual design.
  31. Exploitative and crass, the film paints an ugly portrait of youth gone wild and the ineffectuality of the police to curb the menace.
  32. The tragedy is that the performance comes to nothing. Nearly everything else in the film is vile.
  33. 38
    Michael Caine delivers a stunning performance in Harry Brown, a rancid little revenge fantasy that probably doesn't deserve him.
  34. 20
    Director Daniel Barber's lame handwringing about the root causes of youthful alienation forms a thin veneer over the real purpose of this self-important piece of rubbish--to hold us hostage to the director's bottomless appetite for spurious depravity.
  35. Caine acts dignified throughout, but there's no way to dignify dreck.
User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 67 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 17
  2. Negative: 2 out of 17
  1. DaveJ.
    May 3, 2010
    10
    I really enjoyed this movie. Michael Caine is great! Go see it!
  2. Sep 6, 2010
    9
    This is Michael Caine at his finest. If you like vigilante movies, you'll love this one. It's dark and violent, so be prepared. Good actingThis is Michael Caine at his finest. If you like vigilante movies, you'll love this one. It's dark and violent, so be prepared. Good acting throughout. Full Review »
  3. metagirl
    May 2, 2010
    1
    Extremely violent. With a weak plot and a unrealistic ending. Is this the best we can get from Michael Caine??