Shadows and hazy blue light, cryptic notes and phone booths, lonely foot chases and treacherous redheads. It’s the everything-old-is-new-again vision of debut writer-director Rian Johnson. A hard-boiled detective story set in high school, Brick follows Brendan (3rd Rock From the Sun’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a quiet, smart-ass outsider, as he tries to solve the murder of his ex-girlfriend (Lost’s Emilie de Ravin). Like any good noir, the twisty tale takes Brendan to seedy locations (this being the Cali suburbs, that means squatty ranch houses and strip-mall parking lots), bumping into manipulative people (this being high school, that means Richard Roundtree, wink-free as a tough-talking assistant vice principal, and Lukas Haas as an elegant gangster who deals drugs to teens out of his mom’s Brady-quaint home). Johnson knows his genre: He shoots from sinister angles and includes nice touches, like an old flame of Brendan’s (Meagan Good), who’s literally a drama queen, holding court at the school’s theater in a series of fab costumes. Those who don’t love noir will still get sucked into the hypnotizing smoke-ring dialogue: ”You’re going to make me curious, being so curious,” purrs Haas, in a valentine to Double Indemnity’s ”I wonder if you wonder.” But Johnson’s flick is no mere gimmick: It’s a smoothly acted, cleverly worded, gorgeous film, set in the world of kids, but perfectly mature.
(Brick: Steve Yedlin)
Genre: Mystery and Thriller, Drama; Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas; Director: Rian Johnson; Author: Rian Johnson; Release Date Wide: 04/21/2006; Runtime (in minutes): 117; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Focus Features
Posted August 8 2006 — 12:00 AM EDT
- Joy Behar turned down an offer to return to 'The View'
- Valerie Harper hospitalized before performance in Maine
- NBC wants Beyonce for 'The Wiz' (but there is no deal)
- 10 retro love song suggestions from breakout blues star Anderson East
- This is what it looks like when 1,000 people cover Foo Fighters' 'Learn To Fly'
- Caption this: Your best responses to our cheeky 'Walking Dead' photo
- Kurt Russell western 'Bone Tomahawk' chosen as Fantastic Fest closing night film
- 10 must-have items from the 'Mad Men' auction: Exclusive
- Stars go back to work! 'Scandal,' 'Arrow,' 'The Good Wife,' more return to set
- Charlie Hunnam and Excalibur glisten in 'King Arthur' first look photos
- Here are the 2015 games we're looking forward to most
- #50Scoops50Days: Keep up with the latest in fall TV news
- Jennifer Lopez, Brad Pitt, Candace & Lori and More!