Warner Bros. | Release Date: November 1, 2019
4.6
USER SCORE
Mixed or average reviews based on 49 Ratings
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Positive:
21
Mixed:
7
Negative:
21
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10
CSNYNov 5, 2019
A thriller in the classic noir style. Norton delivers a great performance worthy of an Oscar nomination. Stylish and sleek!
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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10
GinaKNov 7, 2019
A film reminiscent of Roman Polansky’s magnificent noir “Chinatown,” “Motherless Brooklyn” is an interesting and beautifully acted film about political corruption, directed by and starring Edward Norton. Although I found the detective’sA film reminiscent of Roman Polansky’s magnificent noir “Chinatown,” “Motherless Brooklyn” is an interesting and beautifully acted film about political corruption, directed by and starring Edward Norton. Although I found the detective’s Tourette’s Syndrome more distracting and annoying than effective, the plot is well-handled and the supporting cast generally excellent. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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8
uhbroncofanNov 6, 2019
Great film with a great cast. Has a little bit of pacing issues but I feel like that’s almost to be expected in movies like these. Loved the jazz throughout.
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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8
gereihingNov 4, 2019
I scored the movie high because the acting was great (especially Ed Norton and Gugu Mbatha-Raw). The storyline was coherent and you could follow but the pace was noticeably plodding. I would wait till this comes out Pay per View, but I wouldI scored the movie high because the acting was great (especially Ed Norton and Gugu Mbatha-Raw). The storyline was coherent and you could follow but the pace was noticeably plodding. I would wait till this comes out Pay per View, but I would not miss it. It was a good movie just slow enough to make it borderline tiring. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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10
alexshNov 2, 2019
Motherless Brooklyn and the Joker are two main Oscar contenders this year. Each of these movies brings a very powerful message to its audience. Be sure to check it out in theaters.
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
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10
Jerome_KirbyNov 1, 2019
Don't look at all those ratings. Those are the bots who try to undermine the film's quality. Be sure - the movie is nice, nearly 9 out of 10. I give it 10 only 'cause some "bad people on the right" decided to bury it and promote JokerDon't look at all those ratings. Those are the bots who try to undermine the film's quality. Be sure - the movie is nice, nearly 9 out of 10. I give it 10 only 'cause some "bad people on the right" decided to bury it and promote Joker instead. That's the truth, though it may sound like a conspiracy theory at first. Just visit all the user's profiles on this page and check their stats. Everybody is literally the same person who has 14 ratings, who writes only 2 reviews (regarding Motherless Brooklyn and Arctic Dogs), giving the movies mad 'zeroes'. And then, there's Joker, rated by them with 10/10. So.. the conclusion: bots, darn! Expand
5 of 8 users found this helpful53
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4
TVJerryNov 4, 2019
Edward Norton plays a private detective in 50s New York, who also has Tourette Syndrome. Other than the expected twitches and outbursts, it didn't add much interesting to his character. What was especially weird was that everyone in the movieEdward Norton plays a private detective in 50s New York, who also has Tourette Syndrome. Other than the expected twitches and outbursts, it didn't add much interesting to his character. What was especially weird was that everyone in the movie freely accepted it (in the 50s!). Considering that he also wrote and directed, it's pretty apparent that he was looking for an Oscar-bait showcase (remember Rain Man?). He's learned a few things about making a movie, but sadly, his script rambles too much and his direction creates little emotional connection for him or any of the other relationships. The plot revolves around corrupt politicians and a scheme to displace black citizens for the sake of "progress." The film does manage to capture some of the darker elements of film noir, but still lacks much stylistic punch. At 2.5 hours, the slow unraveling of the mystery has no real shocking revelations and lacks interesting depth. This is more a curiosity than an updated extension of the genre. Expand
2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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4
amheretojudgeNov 4, 2019
You will be rewarded. But that reward is piled under white lies that are obviously not convincing.

Motherless Brooklyn Edward Norton, the second time director's definitely-a-first official writing credit, is everything. Has everything. From
You will be rewarded. But that reward is piled under white lies that are obviously not convincing.

Motherless Brooklyn

Edward Norton, the second time director's definitely-a-first official writing credit, is everything. Has everything. From a commercial look in its bigger picture to an art-sy rhythm in details. You'd think that a script with these qualities will be balanced. And instead if anything it is immensely unsettling. The film tries to be everything and gets only few handful of things right and it had small hands and loose grip. This was the actual "big reveal" it was going for. And when it finally discloses the curtains, you are disappointed. I mean they did work hard and had an incredible cast to put up a dazzling show.

The film also gives room for the performers and the audience to chew in the material properly. In order to do so the film celebrates, flaunts, milks on probably wrong moments that might be correctly motivated but is amateurishly staged to ever connect with the audience. It explains things more than it should. So it could be smart but it also often suggests that we, the audience are slow along with the characters floating around, swinging a bat that is nowhere near in contact with the ball.

It has a background score that doesn't ring a bell and editing that misleads its audience. I can point out ten moments easily where they should have placed and moved the camera differently or would have chosen the other angle shot in post production. The actor-turned-filmmaker has got the former job to the point. We are following him in every frame and never, not even for a second, he, Norton, manipulates us into empathy, with his complex situation in this hefty case. Motherless Brooklyn's cast is cradled carefully, Norton cares the most in the film, it's just that no one looks out for him as he looks out for everyone else.
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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4
tropicAcesNov 2, 2019
I love the noir era 50s and really respect Ed Norton as an actor. But this is just a mess, and feels like a directorial debut despite being his third go-around. Maybe it would be worth a light recommendation if it wasn’t needlessly 2.5 hours,I love the noir era 50s and really respect Ed Norton as an actor. But this is just a mess, and feels like a directorial debut despite being his third go-around. Maybe it would be worth a light recommendation if it wasn’t needlessly 2.5 hours, but *shrugs* Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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0
hudsodoclNov 1, 2019
I fell asleep thankfully 30 minutes in hoping I wouldn't be forced to waste any more of my life on this 144 minute bore fest- however, I woke up for the last 45 minutes and was still bored out of my mind and flabbergasted how good actors canI fell asleep thankfully 30 minutes in hoping I wouldn't be forced to waste any more of my life on this 144 minute bore fest- however, I woke up for the last 45 minutes and was still bored out of my mind and flabbergasted how good actors can be in such a obtuse film. It's goofy, not believable, script is weak and full of cliches. I've seen student films better than this. I got to see this film for free and I'm mad I wasted my time. If you can sit through this whole movie without looking at your phone or walking off you deserve an award. Expand
2 of 9 users found this helpful27
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0
ufodsfcsNov 1, 2019
Starts off really slow but picks up by the end. It's 2 hours and 25 minutes long so be prepared for that. Great acting but some of the plot lines are predictable. It's worth a watch only once and then move on. I think they confused Tourette'sStarts off really slow but picks up by the end. It's 2 hours and 25 minutes long so be prepared for that. Great acting but some of the plot lines are predictable. It's worth a watch only once and then move on. I think they confused Tourette's syndrome with a Savant so the characters abilities were unrealistic. Expand
1 of 9 users found this helpful18
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6
FilmreactiviewNov 1, 2019
Audience REACTIONS at its International PREMIERE:
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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9
slant_notNov 11, 2019
I wonder what score reviewers would give if they knew how much of this movie is true? For example Robert Moses (on whom the character of Moses Randolph is based) really did decree that the bridges out to Coney Island should be low enough thatI wonder what score reviewers would give if they knew how much of this movie is true? For example Robert Moses (on whom the character of Moses Randolph is based) really did decree that the bridges out to Coney Island should be low enough that buses - carrying black New Yorkers - couldn't fit under them. And he really did invent those powerful entities called "authorities" so that he would have more power than the mayor. But that's not what makes this movie so good. What really elevates this film is the directing, the storyline and the uniformly good ensemble acting. Oh - and add Edward Norton's masterful performance as Lionel. All in all, this is simply an enjoyable, satisfying and important film. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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5
MarkHReviewsNov 12, 2019
It’s been reported that Writer/Director Edward Norton wanted to make a movie based on Jonathan Lethem’s novel “Motherless Brooklyn” ever since the book was published in 1999. Perhaps this film might have been fresher if Norton hadn’t hadIt’s been reported that Writer/Director Edward Norton wanted to make a movie based on Jonathan Lethem’s novel “Motherless Brooklyn” ever since the book was published in 1999. Perhaps this film might have been fresher if Norton hadn’t had twenty years to write and re-write the script.

While the book is set in contemporary times, Norton chooses to re-set the film in 1950’s New York City. This offers the visual advantages of huge, boxy cars careening around corners, suits with impossibly wide lapels and fedoras all around. There are also opportunities for timeless shots of steam rising through manhole covers in the streets, a lot of streetlights casting long shadows late at night and lingering looks in low-lit lounges, just in case the viewer isn’t fully aware the film is neo-noir. The costume design, cinematography and even the story line invite inevitable comparisons to 1974’s “Chinatown.” Unfortunately, the shortcomings of “Motherless Brooklyn” are quite glaring in that light.

The story centers on Lionel Essrog (also Norton), sometimes called Motherless or Freakshow. After his boss and idol Frank Minna (Bruce Willis) is gunned down, Lionel determines to avenge his mentor’s death. In his dogged pursuit of justice, Lionel still has time to reflect on racism, observe the corrosive effects of unbridled power and to offer a few observations about the intended and unintended consequences of urban planning. Carrying it all along is a great jazz score by Wynton Marsalis, with Michael Kenneth Williams (“The Wire”) as the trumpet-playing frontman.

A core problem for “Motherless Brooklyn” is that it’s way too earnest for the genre. In stark contrast to Jack Nicholson’s hard-boiled character in “Chinatown,” Lionel’s motives, consistently, are surprisingly pure. This departure from the genre does offer one key benefit: because the story spends so much time revealing Lionel’s virtues, it reveals clearly his neurological condition (Tourette’s?) while allowing Lionel to retain his dignity, his nervous tics a peripheral quirk not a defining element of the man.

Regrettably, most of the other characters are more cardboard cutouts than interesting individuals. This is particularly unfortunate given the actors involved – Willem Dafoe, Alec Baldwin, Cherry Jones, Bobby Cannavale and Leslie Mann, in addition to the short-lived Willis. As Laura, Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“Belle”) is a captivating, luminous exception.

Finally, the film relies way too much on exposition and way too little on action. As a result, the film frequently bogs down in talk-heavy, inactive scenes that are plodding, preachy and pedantic. With a running time of 2:24, that’s simply too much to ask.
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0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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