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Mr. Brooks (2007) As the title psychopath of Mr. Brooks , Kevin Costner plays an executive good citizen — the kind of fellow who wins Man of the… 2007-06-01 R PT120M Drama Mystery and Thriller Kevin Costner Demi Moore Dane Cook William Hurt MGM
Movie Review

Mr. Brooks (2007)

MPAA Rating: R

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DEVIL INSIDE Costner connects with his dark side in Mr. Brooks , but his promising turn as a serial killer eventually careens off the rails
Image credit: Ben Glass
DEVIL INSIDE Costner connects with his dark side in Mr. Brooks, but his promising turn as a serial killer eventually careens off the rails
EW's GRADE
C-

Details Release Date: Jun 01, 2007; Rated: R; Length: 120 Minutes; Genres: Drama, Mystery and Thriller; With: Kevin Costner and Demi Moore; Distributor: MGM

As the title psychopath of Mr. Brooks, Kevin Costner plays an executive good citizen — the kind of fellow who wins Man of the Year awards — who is also a brilliant serial killer, and the actor, looking sleek in dark hair, with that politician's wary fish-lipped smile, slips into this image-shifting role as if it were a crisply tailored suit. Mr. Brooks' homicidal desires may be invisible to the world, but they're right in front of us. The killer inside — his id, his Mr. Hyde — is played by William Hurt, who keeps popping up in Brooks' office or the back of his car, cackling with delight to goad him into another murder. It's a fascinating strategy: Hurt acts out the killer's sick inner child so that Costner doesn't have to.

Mr. Brooks begins promisingly, but it grows steadily more preposterous as it goes along, becoming the first feel-good serial-killer movie. Dane Cook, still trapped in his innocuous comedy rhythms, turns up as a disturbed young man who has photographed (through a convenient open window shade) Brooks' latest handgun execution. He tries to blackmail the killer into taking him on his next ''outing,'' but their relationship converts the movie, in essence, into a far-fetched buddy film. Things just get worse from there. Did Brooks need to have a collegiate daughter who's a chip off the old psycho? And the Costner/Hurt duality should get thornier; instead, the film's notion of complication is to have these two collapse into a teary hug. Costner's bold career move turns out to be a thriller in which even the dark side cares. C

Originally posted May 30, 2007 Published in issue #938 Jun 08, 2007 Order article reprints