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
- Even Taylor Swift's mom thought it was 'Starbucks lovers'
- Two of B.B. King's daughters allege father was poisoned by employees
- Hear Icona Pop's new single 'Emergency'
- 'It' on hold; director Cary Fukunaga exits
- 'Jurassic World' director Colin Trevorrow dishes on deadly new dino Indominus Rex
- Drake: 'Madonna' out, 'Rihanna' in?
- Ben Stiller tweets about mom Anne Meara
- 15 scary movies we saw as kids... that still haunt our nightmares
- Summer Movie Preview: 10 must-see documentaries
- 'Fear the Walking Dead' First Look: 7 photos from the set
- Cannes 2015: What's buzzing in film and fashion
- 'Survivor': Meet 20 alums you picked for a 'Second Chance'
- Christina & Matt, Kendall Jenner, Jordin Sparks & More!