User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 59 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 59
  2. Negative: 5 out of 59

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  1. 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 acting throughout.
  2. Sep 10, 2010
    8
    The film is very reminiscent to myself of Gran Torino (and that can only be a good thing). It's mood and colour palette are both very dark in nature and It's tough and gritty viewing without the sprinkling of fake-dom that Hollywood can does provide from US based films with their soft lens focus to life and their characters. The film is a canvas of life today in some parts of the UK, with feral teenagers on the loose, and general problems that exist in inner cities in the UK today. The film takes a while to "get going", and seems almost sloth like until events turn Harry Brown into something more than an old codger. The acting is fab' throughout and worth a watch purely to watch Michael Caine and Harry Brown. I would wholeheartedly recommend this film. The film is worthy to be checked out and in your DVD/blu-ray collection as it is mine. Don't be put off by negative reviews, you will not be disappointed, I wasn't. Expand
  3. Oct 1, 2010
    10
    I don't expect everyone will like this movie and that's fine.because of its hard edged close-to-the-bone presentation. I however enjoyed it. I say enjoy what i mean is it was a very well presented and acted drama that shocks you to the core in the first few minutes as we see a young teenager forced into smoking a bong and then beaten up for what we can assume is his initiation into the gang. We then see a view from a phone camera of two teenagers riding a motorbike, firing a few shots from a handgun into a woman pushing a pram. She immediately dies and the two teens flee the scene on their motorbike only to be hit by a truck and killed. If you don't enjoy being confronted you should either turn off the movie then or walk out of the cinema because you won't enjoy this film. Expand
  4. Oct 11, 2010
    8
    A great British film with some good acting, especially from Michael Caine. He plays his role well and in ways invites the audience to sympathise with him.
  5. Nov 25, 2010
    9
    A great movie with Michael Caine playing a role that one would not immediately expect to see him serving in which only helps to make the movie that much stronger. Wonderfully dark and gritty, something to recommend to anyone who enjoys such movies.
  6. May 29, 2011
    5
    Although Michael Caine buts in a fantastic performance the rest of the movie does not live up to this standard. I expected a 'Death Wish' type vigilante movie instead the revenge is very tame and predictable. With a little more imagination and better support casting this could have become a very clever movie but sadly it didn't.
  7. Apr 13, 2011
    1
    Disappointing, outlandish and barely credible, this formless film hinges on an unlikely and morally suspect "Broken Britain" theme, where plucky old men have no choice but to fight back against local toughs in the only language they understand - extreme violence with guns. Emily Mortimer never fails to annoy but here she's also poorly cast as a police detective whose sheer helplessness and apathetic limpness is infuriating. Michael Caine should really know better, but given that he recently endorsed David Cameron, he clearly doesn't. The effect is unremittingly bleak and depressing, without having any redemptive qualities, and certainly without coming across as representing any kind of true vision of Britain. It sounds trivial, but the fundamental procedural mistakes made by Mortimer's character finally torpedo the entire sorry exercise. Expand
  8. Sep 10, 2011
    10
    Awesome movie! It handles the problems of modern times, like drugs, violent in streets and how innocent people suffer from the crimes of bastards. Michael Caine's cold charisma makes this even better.
  9. Aug 29, 2011
    10
    Excellent film, with a strong, interesting plot of the film with realistic features of the film. This film has great acting by Michael Caine and is defiantly a stimulating thriller worth watching.
  10. Oct 7, 2013
    8
    Here we have a film that shares similarities with the excellent 'Gran Torino' where we seen Clint Eastwood take a stand against the thugs and random acts of violence in his town, Michael Caine is the focused and emotional pensioner in this film who takes the law into his own hands after it fails the one friend he had, he is Harry Brown, and he now wants to put a stop to the hooded youths who terrorise his estate. The admirable aspect of Caines performance is his ability to control his character throughout the film, he doesn't conform to a bloodthirsty animal seeking justice, he shows his age but uses it to his advantage to cut a more rugged and emotionally-driven man, Caine never acts out or completely changes what is or isn't moral, he simply has bottled up fear and anger which now surfaces in mighty swoosh, he has stood by too long and watched as many of his neighbours are beaten, harassed and sometimes murdered by the violent criminals who have taken over, his friend makes the mistake of confronting these people and ends up losing his life, but the last straw for Harry is when the case against those who are believed to have committed the crime, nay get away with a manslaughter charge instead of murder because of the weapon Harry's friend, Len (David Bradley) was carrying. The film takes a smart and character driven approach as Harry is an easily approachable man who seemingly just wants a quiet life to grieve for his wife, but the gang, led by actor/rapper Ben Drew/Plan B will not let anyone rest, this involves some very graphic content throughout the film, at its highest effectiveness when shown as a form of mobile phone footage. A scene where he attempts to buy a gun from two crazed drug dealers, where he sees a helpless woman off her head, we then see the ex-marine that we have heard about throughout the film. On the tail of Harry is detective Frampton (Emily Mortimer) who feels sympathy and cuts a very weary and fed up individual, but she won't let a vigilante do her job for her. She can see who may be responsible but can't do much about it at that moment. We then see a third act unfold which takes a realistic approach, the police get involved which erupts into a messy riot, but this has relatable tendencies and doesn't turn into a blockbuster showdown, the film keeps playing its cards close to the chest right until the credits role, we get a good sense if closure but not that of complete eradication, this highlights the real problem of crime, dramatised in the film for effect of course, but outlines a real problem of always being scared. Expand
  11. Sep 23, 2013
    7
    Harry Brown is a sick film innit?

    Michael Caine plays the titular character Harry Brown a disgruntled O.A.P. widower who after hearing the news of his friends death at the hands of local thugs takes matters into his own hands.

    The back story informs the audience that Harry was in the marines and stationed in Northern Ireland during the troubles. This handles the notion that Harry
    Brown can be adept w/ a weapon and be able to kill.

    He lives alone and keeps a picture of his wife and deceased child by his bedside and his loneliness and isolation is represented by his hand on the pillow where his wife would lay if she was alive.

    In fact Harry misses the last minutes of his wife's life as he had to circumvent the subway en route to the hospital due to the presence of local thugs.

    To make matters worse these local thugs are also harassing his best friend who he plays chess w/ in the local dingy pub. Ultimately this will result in his friends death and result in Harry's switch to vigilantism.

    The film is directed by newcomer Daniel Barber who had previously directed some award winning short. The film has a gritty realism which includes hand-held shots. Some of the exterior shots are lovely evoking the feel of Loach, Leigh etc

    However the interior shots are a lot more clichéd and shot in desaturated colours of brown and green etc they work well in the normal environments but the drug den for instance is overkill on the cliché. Ultimately the style is to look as grimy and mundane and atypical of an urban lifestyle.

    Michael Caine gives the lead character gravitas and a world weariness which makes his descent into brutal revenge that little bit more convincing despite some of the ludicrous set pieces.

    The film is excessively violent and might actually deter the audience it is aimed at which is the type of person who reads The Daily Mail and exclaims how the world has gone to pot and how something must be done but not doing anything themselves. In that respect it has become a wish-fulfilment movie and exploitation movie for the kitchen table newspaper reader.

    No problems with that but there have been recent movies such as Gran Torino and Dead Man's Shoes which deal w/ the idea of vigilantism, turf war and the nature of revenge in a more stylish and thoughtful manner. This is more like Death Wish in its approach.

    The fact that Harry brown isn't made accountable for his actions no matter how justified the audience feels is a tiny bit suspect on the writers approach.

    Overall an entertaining movie which is well shot if unoriginal and can often delve into ludicrousness especially in its depiction of violence which almost tapers towards the Tarantinoesque.

    The film doesn't explain the causes or symptoms of gang infested tenements but it's kind of implied that poverty, drugs (footage of some crack pipe action) and negligent parents (Plan B's mother is ineffective and defensive of her son's actions) are all factors in this cycle of crime.

    One last thing Plan B is excellent he plays an obnoxious chav w/ relish and his affectionless psychopathy is pretty nauseating. I didn't realise it was him until I saw the end credits.
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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
  1. Reviewed by: Mark Dinning
    80
    Essential stuff, even by the big man's considerable standards.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    70
    Bleak, gripping, sporadically exciting drama.
  3. Caine makes a grave, soulful vigilante avenger, and first-time director Daniel Barber gives the film a dank, streaky, genuinely unnerving palette.