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Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 59 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Set in modern day Britain, Harry Brown follows one man's journey through a chaotic world where teenage violence runs rampant. As a modest, law abiding citizen, Brown lives alone. His only companion is his best friend Leonard. When Leonard is killed, Brown reaches his breaking point. (Samuel Goldwyn Films) Expand
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: Claudia Puig
    75
    This portrait of the soldier as an old man is deeply moving.
  3. 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.
  4. Gritty and compelling up to a point, but cheaply exploitive as well.
  5. 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.
  6. 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."
  7. Caine acts dignified throughout, but there's no way to dignify dreck.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 2 out of 15
  1. 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. Expand
  2. 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
  3. 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. Expand
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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. Expand
  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

See all 15 User Reviews

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