4.4 13
Director: Rian Johnson

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nora Zehetner, Lukas Haas


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A tough-talking teen attempts to uncover his ex-girlfriend's killer in director Rian Johnson's hard-boiled high-school noir, told in the style of a Dashiell Hammett mystery. An outsider by nature, Brendan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is forced to penetrate the elaborate…  See more details below


A tough-talking teen attempts to uncover his ex-girlfriend's killer in director Rian Johnson's hard-boiled high-school noir, told in the style of a Dashiell Hammett mystery. An outsider by nature, Brendan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is forced to penetrate the elaborate ranks of the high-school social scene and its more insidious underbelly when the body of his former girlfriend Emily is found lying lifeless in a remote creek. Though the pair had been on the outs, Brendan can't seem to shake the hysterical phone call that he received from Emily the day before her body was discovered, a call in which she rattled off a number of cryptic words: "brick," "pin," "tug," "poor Frisco." He's determined to find the guilty party, and to do that he'll need to uncover the meaning behind her enigmatic phone call. From the highest-ranking athlete to the lowest-level burnout, no one is above suspicion of leaving her in that creek or putting her in the position to end up there. Brendan's skill for getting the right attention from the right people leads him to a local drug dealer of urban-legendary status (Lukas Haas), who walks with a cane and lives with his mother. As Brendan infiltrates the social and political web more deeply, his theory solidifies and each player's role becomes clear, from the shifty-eyed pot slinger to an upper-crust innocent who may well be a femme fatale. Brendan may soon be ready to make his case, even if it's too late for him to get out.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
A film noir that takes place at a high school sounds impossible to pull off. It smacks of a director mashing together disparate styles just to watch them clash. And yet, Brick transcends all of these trappings to become one of the best films in years. It might seem impossible, but only if you forget what the film noir approach really is. The style has become such a part of the historical lexicon, we start to characterize it through clichés, the superficial hallmarks that pop up in well-known examples. Soon we're defining it with the stereotyped voice-over narrative and pointlessly ambiguous dialogue that comedians employ when the audience calls out "film noir" on Whose Line Is It Anyway? But Brick goes to something much deeper; it relies on those well-worn artistic qualifiers only as they serve the story and all the characters in it, since they were all created in the noir world from the bottom up. What's far more fundamental to noir than its deadpan one-liners and femme fatales is the way it alludes to a dark, scary world that lurks just below the surface of the ordinary. Behind plain-looking streets, inscrutable men, and enigmatic women is a sinister web of deceit and betrayal, corruption and greed. Brick accomplishes this seamlessly, and makes the setting seem like a natural fit; the goings-on in high school can be just as arbitrary, complex, and potentially dangerous as drug-running or insurance fraud. The effortless use of rapid-fire slang -- a standard cinematic behavior both for 1930s gangsters and modern-day teenagers -- comes off as perfectly organic. The heroes of noir are flawed everymen, only smarter, quicker, and cooler, and leading actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt scores a home run in this role. His protagonist is bitingly intelligent and magnetically relatable, constantly prompting the audience to cheer him forward and fear for his peril. The real magic of film noir is how it subtly repaints its content, warping the frightening, brutal nature of the darkest human behavior and making it into something both dangerous and beautiful: the ultimate cool. The way Brick accomplishes this task is perhaps the most impressive of its feats. It avoids both gum-snapping trendiness and unreasonable characterizations, finding a middle ground where what you see is strange enough to draw you in but believable enough to keep you watching.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Focus Features
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Over 20 minutes of deleted and extended scenes; The inside track: casting the roles; Feature commentary by cast and filmmakers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joseph Gordon-Levitt Brendan Fry
Nora Zehetner Laura
Lukas Haas The Pin
Noah Fleiss Tugg
Noah Segan Dode
Matt O'Leary The Brain
Meagan Good Kara
Emilie de Ravin Emily
Lucas Babin Big Stoner
Brian J. White Brad Bramish
Richard Roundtree VP Trueman
Reedy Gibbs The Pin's Mom

Technical Credits
Rian Johnson Director,Screenwriter
Ram Bergman Producer
Johnson Communications Executive Producer
Norman Dreyfuss Executive Producer
Susan Dynner Co-producer
Dennis Grzesik Sound/Sound Designer
Nathan Johnson Score Composer
Lisa Johnson Executive Producer
Craig Johnson Executive Producer
Dana Lustig Co-producer
Shannon Makhanian Casting
Mark Mathis Producer
Kristin Mente Asst. Director
Jonathan Miller Sound/Sound Designer
Michele Posch Costumes/Costume Designer
Angela Roessel Co-producer
Jodie Lynne Tillen Production Designer
Steve Yedlin Cinematographer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Brick
1. Sarmentosa and Del Rio [8:36]
2. Fearless Flyer [5:31]
3. Coffee and Pie [3:37]
4. Lunch Is Difficult [6:11]
5. She's Gone [6:27]
6. Show of Hands [4:49]
7. Can't Trust You [4:22]
8. The Pin [7:24]
9. For Rub or Hire [4:44]
10. You Trust Me Now? [4:43]
11. The Lug [3:49]
12. The Beach [5:27]
13. The Brick of Brock [7:15]
14. In Over Your Head [2:54]
15. The Tunnel [4:20]
16. She Sprung It on Me [4:20]
17. Smooth Things Out [5:50]
18. War [5:29]
19. It's Not Over [9:13]
20. End Titles [4:43]


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Brick 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was surprisingly good. It's not a movie I envision people running out to see in the theaters. It's the type of film that you'd catch on cable. The movie brings to life a genre which has all but disappeared from mainstream cinema, but also brings a refreshing feeling of originality through its use of unconventional characters. Joseph G.Leavitt was great in this film he has taken a lot of risks in the roles he plays -- from troubled teen in MANIC, to the gay hustler in MYSTERIOUS SKIN). The movie unfolds slowly, and it nearly makes you want to give up on it because the script employs verbiage in the vein of a 1940's James Cagney film. Snappy dialogue, delivered at a rapid fire pace and flowery turn of phrases that you have to pay attention to decipher. As a 1940's noir type film, it has the standard archetypes: the hero who is seeking justice, his brainy sidekick, the femme fatale, the gal with the heart of gold, the larger than life villain (played by Lukas Haas) and his dunderhead henchman. While very inventive, it could easily turn a person off, but as the movie progresses, you learn to appreciate the tone and the simple fact that the film doesn't talk down to you. Another thing I liked about the movie is that it's not trying to pull the wool over your eyes. At first, hearing these young-ish actors speaking this type of dialogue feels as if they're playing grown-up, it threatens to be campy, but by alluding to rides from parents and trips to the Vice-Principal's office, you realize that these are teens and they are not trying to be anything other than teens. My only gripe is the sound. Editing must've been tough and several times lines were garbled or mumbled, making it necessary to rewind and find out what was said. Despites it's flaws, this Brick doesn't sink This film is daring, brutal and at times actually fun. If this was shoot in black and white then it would've been a cult classic authenticitied. It should be seen for the simple fact that it's unlike anything coming out of Hollywood.
Janus More than 1 year ago
This little known gem is a sort of love-letter to the film noir of old. Essentially, it's a mystery centered on the murder of the main character's ex-girlfriend. The pacing, dialogue and moody feel are what give it its real charm. Take an old Humphrey Bogart mystery, update the script and set it in a very real modern high school and that's what Brick is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film surpased all of my expectations. For a first time director, this film is a masterpiece. The pulse of this movie can be felt in the heart of the story. The characters seem like they could lurk in the hallways of my own high school. The writing is like nothing I have heard before. The lines displayed a new form of dialogue that I haven't seen in a movie before. The words were in English, but the phrases seemed to be in something else. After the first half an hour the watcher is well adjusted and can't wait for the next witty, back-handed comment from our hero. The writing could have never been pulled off if it wasn't for the supurb delivery by the actors. Every one of them was truly their characters heart, soul, and fist! There is not a faulty role in this film, just too much of a punchline when you see where the pin lives. I expect to see a lot more talented movies coming from Rian Johnson. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who is in the mood for something different, exciting and most of all of lot of fun.
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