Genre: Mystery/Modern Film Noir/Dark Dramedy
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Recommended To: Fans of Cruel Intentions, Veronica Mars, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Breaking Bad, Gossip Girl
Special Warnings: Drug use, violence
Brick kept coming up in our recommended films for weeks; I suspect it was the run I did on rating suspense films and watching B-grade horror that did it. Upon noticing the cast, I decided it was worth a go on the promise of their talent; luckily, it paid off.
Brick is a modern film noir-esque mystery set in the world of high school, much like season one of Veronica Mars. The dialogue stands out as somewhat anachronistic or simply ‘off’ for a group of teenagers, but it’s a calculated approach that works most of the time. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is brilliant in this movie as Brendan Frye, a loner high schooler whose life shifts drastically when his ex-girlfriend (and still crush) turns up dead. Understanding that the police will never unravel the mystery of how she came to die, Frye sets out to do it himself, manuevering his way into the seedy drug world of the spoiled brats among his peers, prying out the clues that will lead him to Emily’s killer, and why she made a desperate phone call to Brendan shortly before her demise.
This film will be a bit of an acquired taste; the storyline shifts all over in the same fashion as Go, and the stylistic elements will either intrigue or irritate you. But the movie is worth seeing for Gordon-Levitt’s performance alone. Intelligent, darkly sarcastic and able to take a beating without missing a sleuthy beat, he steals the entire show. Settle in with a tall drink, and lose yourself in the seedy world of Brick.