shot by both sides
We finally got around to watching Brick last night, and what can I say, but: wow.

It's got to be the most confident and precisely executed movie I've seen since Cache (albeit a very different beast). The whole thing was just perfectly pitched. I think the transposition of noir genre onto the high school setting works amazingly well. They're certainly not afraid to play it for laughs, as when the hero tells the vice principal (played by Richard Rowntree!): "Write me up or suspend me, but spare me the lecture." But I think the exagerrated life-or-death set up is a fairly neat allegory for how high stakes life feels during your teenage years. And, of course, the often stylised language of the gumshoe is not a million miles from the deliberately impenetrable way in which teens often converse. Indeed, the dialogue is outstanding.

During its cinema release, I was a little suspicious of the idea of teenagers pastiching Sam Spade, but I really regret not seeing it on the big screen. It's got wonderful, low-key production design, and it's masterfully shot and edited, with excellent use of sound. It achieves this kind of impressionistic rhythm whereby what you don't see is as important as what you do; and what you do see you cannot be certain of. Sometimes, it feels like your watching a succession of stills - which, of course, in one sense you are, but it plays on this to the max.

It's certainly the most impressive feature debut that I can think of since Memento. I think it's pretty much a perfect movie - there's not a frame out of place and it's brilliantly paced - it's difficult to find fault with it. It's like watching The Usual Suspects by way of Bugsy Malone (tho mercifully without the song and dance routines, and more towards the former end of the spectrum than the latter). But then I imagine that description will put off as many people as it will excite ;)

The truth is: it's like everything and nothing. Really highly recommended. Anyone else feeling this?
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heavy heavy monster sound
I just watched it this week n all. I don't think it's a total masterpiece - it didn't 'Donnie Darko' me, but it's certainly a great film, a brilliant concept executed well, and the styling is impeccable.
All I could think through it was how much influence and how much Hal Hartley's work must be taught in film schools over there,( no bad thing!! ) it had his hallmarks all over it, and parts of it ( specifically the geek turns to ultraviolence as comedy ) were almost direct references of Hartley's work, esp Trust.
And yeah, the dialogue was superb, I think it was a real coup to actually have great dialogue come out of an American film again. Very 'Sweet Smell Of Success', very funny.


la di da
i agree with mistersloane, it wasnt a masterpiece, but i enjoyed the film

i liked how there were no scenes in the classrooms

dialogue was good

however i did think the character of the best friend was underemphasized. he was the brains so i expected him to have a larger role, and even at one point i sort of expected him to become an antagonist in the end as a cool little plot twist


Well-known member
i saw this recently too and was very impressed,its amazingly well executed,when you think about how horribly it could have turned out,given the premise...

its beautifully shot,the dialogue is spot on and despite the whole film noir...but in high school !conceit it avoids the arch,knowing irony that pisses me off in films like napolean dynamite...