"** A Mystery that Really Stacks Up! **"
What You Need To Know:
BRICK is a little independent thriller with big aspirations. It succeeds in its homage to the noir detective flicks of the '30s and '40s. It surprises with clever plot twists and likable characters. Most impressive of all, it presents one of the best dramas about high school students in recent years. BRICK stands out because it defies the stereotypical teenage storyline. It is a solid, well-told story, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Brick delivers an outstanding performance. It is rated R for some violence and drug references, but it has strong moral elements rebuking evil. BRICK is a minor triumph for intelligent and discerning mature viewers.
(BB, P, L, VV, S, AA, DD, M) Strong moral worldview about a teenager seeking justice for a murdered friend, with authority figures (police and vice principal) seen in positive light and a strong emphasis placed on personal responsibility, choices and consequences, plus a promotion of positive American values; four light obscenities; violence includes the execution shooting of a student, numerous fist fights, one knife thrown, and a scary scene where a car is racing at a student; no sex scenes, but story implies some sexual themes regarding a student who is an unwed mother, and brief kissing shown; no nudity, but some female cleavage; brief underage drinking; smoking and much implied drug use, drug dealing, and an implied overdose, but drug abuse is strongly rebuked throughout the movie; authority; and, some themes of deception, lying, stealing and vengeance, but justice is sought by the protagonist.
In the opening scenes of BRICK, high school student Brendan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) discovers an ex-girlfriend (Emilie de Ravin) has been murdered. Still emotionally wounded from the break-up, Brendan commits to investigate the tragedy and bring the criminals to justice.
BRICK’s Brendan is such an appealing character. An outsider to the popular groups on campus, he is practically invisible. Brendan recruits the help of another outsider, a nerdy, brilliant kid nicknamed Brain. Together they unravel a complex drug-dealing organization and work to destroy it from the inside.
Brendan is a quick-witted and street-savvy tough guy willing to risk everything to seek justice. His adventure draws viewers in and thoroughly entertains mystery-loving audiences.
BRICK is a little independent thriller with big aspirations. It succeeds in its homage to the noir detective flicks of the ’30s and ’40s. It surprises with clever plot twists and likable characters, but, most impressive of all, it presents one of the best dramas about high school students since MEAN CREEK. BRICK stands out from the cinematic crowd because it defies the stereotypical teenage storyline. After all, who said teenage movies need to have an abundance of sex, gore or nudity to be a winner? BRICK contains none of these and very little cursing. There is implied drug abuse but it is strongly rebuked throughout the story. Violence is used sparingly but it, too, is subdued far below what viewers might expect in a murder mystery.
BRICK stumbles once or twice with its Mamet-like dialogue but, overall, it is a genuine treat. The plot may occasionally feel coerced but the story delights far more than it disappoints. BRICK does not entirely succeed at developing a few superficial characters, but then these flaws are very easily overlooked. Emilie de Ravin (best known for her role as Claire on ABC’s LOST on TV) plays the tragic Emily and convincingly loses her Australian accent. Lukas Haas also turns in a fine performance as The Pin (i.e., Kingpin of the organization Brendan intends to bring down).
BRICK is a solid, well-told story, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt delivers an outstanding performance worthy of much attention. It is rated R for some violence and drug references, but it has a strong moral worldview rebuking evil. In the movie, authority figures, the police and a vice principal, are seen in a positive light. BRICK also places a strong emphasis on personal responsibility, choices and consequences.
BRICK is a minor triumph for intelligent and discerning mature viewers.