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"BRICK"
(2006) (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nora Zehetner) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Extreme Heavy Extreme Moderate Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Moderate None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Minor None Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A determined student digs through the underbelly of high school life while trying to figure out what happened to his ex-girlfriend.
PLOT:
It's been two months since high school student Brendan (JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT) last saw his ex-girlfriend Emily (EMILIE DE RAVIN). Thus, he's understandably curious when he receives a frantic phone message from her where she mentions she followed another girl's instruction about what to do with a brick. Emily then mentions it's good to see him, the phone hangs up, a car races by and a lit cigarette lands on the road. And thus, Brendan is hooked on trying to figure out what's happening.

Enlisting the aid of fellow loner student The Brain (MATT O'LEARY), Brendan starts digging through Emily's belongings, trying to make sense of cryptic notes. Knowing her past, he confronts dope head Dode (NOAH SEGAN), theater girl Kara (MEAGAN GOOD) and jock Brad (BRIAN WHITE), all while keeping Assistant Vice Principal Trueman (RICHARD ROUNDTREE) in the loop but at arm's length.

His investigation eventually involves Brad's mysterious girlfriend Laura (NORA ZEHETNER), and a thug, Tugger (NOAH FLEISS), who serves as the muscle for an enigmatic but powerful drug kingpin known as The Pin (LUKAS HAAS). As Brendan digs deeper into his drug operation as well as the motives fueling the various people he's met, he tries to figure out their connection to Emily in hopes of learning the truth about what happened to her.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
The high school angle might entice some, while the film's buzz may do the same for other teens.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For violent and drug content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT plays a loner high school kid who becomes fixated on finding out what happened to his ex-girlfriend. He shows perseverance, courage and foolhardiness in trying to get to the bottom of the mystery. He fights some people, uses a bit of profanity, drinks a little and it's implied he slept with Emily and Laura (separately).
  • NORA ZEHETNER plays a mysterious girl who may or may not know what's going on regarding Emily as well as Brendan's investigation. It's implied that she sleeps with Brendan.
  • LUKAS HAAS plays the local drug kingpin who's drawn Brendan's attention. He briefly smokes drugs.
  • NOAH FLEISS plays The Pin's "muscle," a thug who repeatedly beats up Brendan and others, and murders one such person. He uses drugs.
  • MATT O'LEARY plays Brendan's fellow loner student who assists him in his investigation.
  • EMILIE DE RAVIN plays Brenda's troubled ex-girlfriend who was involved with drugs and reportedly slept with various guys before disappearing.
  • NOAH SEGAN plays a dope head who's involved with Emily's disappearance.
  • RICHARD ROUNDTREE plays the assistant vice principal who cuts Brendan some slack for being a previous informant, but only gives him so much of that.
  • MEAGAN GOOD plays a theater girl who briefly acts sultrily toward Brendan but won't give him the info he desires. She briefly smokes.
  • BRIAN WHITE plays Laura's boyfriend, a jock who doesn't like Brendan with whom he fights.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 1 variation of the "s" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Some non-explicit, sexually related dialogue is present, as is an implied off-screen sexual encounter and talk of a teen having sex with various boys.

    Violence consists of a murder by gunshot (and discovery of another murder victim's body) and various scenes where people fight and/or pummel others, occasionally with rather bloody results. Some of that might be unsettling to some viewers, while various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes. Some characters drink or smoke and a few use drugs, while other drug-related material and dialogue are also present. Some behavior might be enticing to imitate, while there's brief talk of a teen who was going to have an abortion but was killed before she could.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are varying amounts and styles of camera movement in different parts of the film, including a view up at a ceiling fan where the camera rotates at the same speed as the fan, thus making it look like the ceiling is what's spinning around.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Miscellaneous people drink at a party where we later see Brendan holding a glass of something. He later pours a drink for himself and then Laura, with him gulping his down.
  • Dode lights up a joint and we see another person smoke one.
  • Brendan refers to Dode as a hash head.
  • There's talk about milk and vodka and then that The Pin is a dope dealer.
  • Brendan talks of a past involvement in dealing drugs that also included Emily.
  • Brendan removes what looks like some drug paraphernalia from a thug who's been knocked out.
  • There's talk of some guy who had heroin in his system.
  • We learn that the brick that was earlier mentioned is a reference to a block of heroin.
  • Brendan discovers a brick of heroin on the floor.
  • There's more talk of drugs.
  • Referring to Dode, Brendan says that he has more hop in his head than blood.
  • Tugger smokes a joint.
  • The Pin smokes a joint.
  • Looking for a clue, Brendan asks Tugger for a cigarette, but the thug says he doesn't smoke. Brendan says he's seen him smoke, but Tugger says he doesn't smoke cigarettes (meaning it was pot).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see Brendan looking at a teenager's dead and clothed body lying face down near a culvert at the mouth of a dark tunnel. We see close-ups of her legs, hair and hand that's in the running water, but beyond being dead, there's no blood or deterioration.
  • Dode has a little bit of a bloody lip after being punched there.
  • Brendan has a red mark on his face from where he was punched.
  • Brendan has bigger red marks on his face following a fight.
  • Brendan has a lot of blood on his face from three cuts.
  • A guy pulls a switchblade and slices Brendan with it, drawing a little blood.
  • Brendan coughs a lot from some sort of internal injury and then collapses (Laura later says he swallowed a lot of blood but we don't see any of that).
  • We hear the sounds of violence upstairs from a basement room, followed by a gunshot. A guy then stumbles in and some blood trickles down his hand before he collapses.
  • We briefly see a body in a car trunk (no blood).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The person or people responsible for a teen's death obviously have bad attitudes (as do those who won't tell Brendan the truth about what happened).
  • The Pin is a drug kingpin who uses Tugger as his "muscle" to deal with others.
  • Brad has a bad attitude toward Brendan.
  • For those concerned with such matters, there's talk that a teen was going to have an abortion, but was killed before that happened.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • We see Brendan back at looking at the girl's body when he hears something in the dark tunnel. He then runs inside where everything quickly goes dark and we then hear someone punch Brendan.
  • Tugger twice punches Brendan and then backhands him to the ground. He then opens his car door into Brendan (we don't see the impact) and then speeds off, with Brendan throwing a rock at him. Tugger then stops for a moment, drives off and then races back at Brendan who stands his ground, causing Tugger to just miss him off to the side.
  • A guy pulls a switchblade and slices Brendan with it, drawing a little blood. Brendan then takes off running, with the thug giving chase. Brendan eventually turns a corner, removes his shoes and then races back toward the corner, sliding down and thus tripping the thug who's knocked unconscious when he slams face-first into a pole (we don't see the impact).
  • Brendan returns to The Pin's house and sneaks down into his office where he goes through his desk and then explores another room, using sunlight reflected in a large mirror to look around.
  • Brendan coughs a lot from some sort of internal injury and then collapses (Laura later says he swallowed a lot of blood but we don't see any of that).
  • Tugger knocks Brendan out of the way to get to another guy who he pummels just off camera. He then pulls a gun and shoots the guy in the head (from a distance, with no blood, but it looks like smoke comes out of his mostly silhouetted head before his body slumps down).
  • We hear the sounds of violence upstairs from a basement room, followed by a gunshot. A guy then stumbles in and some blood trickles down his hand before he collapses.
  • Tugger punches The Pin and then draws his gun. Brendan grabs him and they struggle over the gun that fires but doesn't hit anyone. Brendan then leaves and we hear the sound of Tugger pummeling The Pin (Brendan slides the gun back into the room but then leaves the house).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Switchblade: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Just shooting the shat," "I screwed up," "I don't know a damn thing," "Shut up," "She's some piece of work," "To hell with you then," "Nuts" (crazy), "A real cad," "Shacked up," "Raising hell," "Hell of a thing (to spring on a guy)," "The hell I am," "You scheming tramp," "The hell I don't," "The hell you'll take mine" and "Let's shake and blow."
  • Some kids may be enticed to imitate the noir-ish dialogue and its rat-a-tat delivery. The same holds true for Brendan acting like a contemporary gumshoe.
  • Brad spits several times.
  • We see miscellaneous graffiti.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "s" word (used as "shat"), 11 hells, 1 damn and 1 use of "God."
  • The comment "ass VP" is made, but that's verbal shorthand for "assistant vice-principal."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We briefly see Laura and Brad kissing in the parking lot.
  • Brendan tells Laura, "I'm not heeling you to hook you."
  • Kara shows some cleavage.
  • Kara acts sensuously toward Brendan, putting her finger on his clothed knee.
  • There's talk of Dode and Kara being "shacked up" in the past.
  • Dode implies that Emily was pregnant by him, but we later hear differently.
  • Mad at Kara, Brendan storm out, followed by Kara, He then whips off her robe and she drops down behind something to block her nudity from others (we don't see anything explicit).
  • Referring to Emily having slept with various guys, Kara tells Brendan that it was a crowded field at the end.
  • Laura comforts Brendan in bed (he's injured and both are clothed). She then pulls his face over to her and starts passionately kissing him. The scene then cuts to them in bed later, clothed, and she's smoking (thus suggesting they had sex).
  • SMOKING
  • Laura and Kara each smoke at least once, while a miscellaneous person smokes and a cigarette is thrown from a moving car.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • High school and its social strata.
  • Drug dealing and use.
  • Trying to solve a crime by yourself without going to the authorities.
  • There's talk that a teen was going to have an abortion, but was killed before that happened.
  • VIOLENCE
  • While we don't see the act, we do see (via the clothed body) that someone killed a teenager and left her body in a culvert.
  • Brendan punches Dode in the face, drags him a short way across the parking lot and then smacks him several times.
  • We see Brendan back at looking at the girl's body when he hears something in the dark tunnel. He then runs inside where everything quickly goes dark and we then hear someone punch Brendan.
  • We see a flashback to Emily slapping Brendan, followed by him grabbing her and Emily then falling to the ground.
  • Prepping to have a parking lot fight, Brendan sucker punches Brad in the face and then drives him backwards across the pavement. He then punches him again before Brad drives him backwards. The two then exchange punches, while Brendan twice kicks Brad in the legs quite hard, followed by a final punch (we don't see the impact of that one).
  • Tugger twice punches Brendan.
  • Tugger twice punches Brendan and then backhands him to the ground. He then opens his car door into Brendan (we don't see the impact) and then speeds off, with Brendan throwing a rock at him. Tugger then stops for a moment, drives off and then races back at Brendan who stands his ground, causing Tugger to just miss him off to the side.
  • Tugger knocks Brendan to the floor and starts to strangle him, but Laura stops him. Later, he strikes him again.
  • A guy pulls a switchblade and slices Brendan with it, drawing a little blood. Brendan then takes off running, with the thug giving chase. Brendan eventually turns a corner, removes his shoes and then races back toward the corner, sliding down and thus tripping the thug who's knocked unconscious when he slams face-first into a pole (we don't see the impact).
  • Tugger grabs Brendan and drives him back to a wall where he holds him off the floor by the neck.
  • Tugger knocks Brendan out of the way to get to another guy who he pummels just off camera. He then pulls a gun and shoots the guy in the head (from a distance, with no blood, but it looks like smoke comes out of his mostly silhouetted head before his body slumps down).
  • Mad at Kara, Brendan throws a chair across her dressing room and then throws a small clock into a dressing mirror, shattering it.
  • We hear the sounds of violence upstairs from a basement room, followed by a gunshot. A guy then stumbles in and some blood trickles down his hand before he collapses.
  • Tugger punches The Pin and then draws his gun. Brendan grabs him and they struggle over the gun that fires but doesn't hit anyone. Brendan then leaves and we hear the sound of Tugger pummeling The Pin (Brendan slides the gun back into the room but then leaves the house). We later hear that a number of people were killed during this incident.



  • Reviewed April 5, 2006/ Posted April 7, 2006

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