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Brick (R)

Release Date: March 31st, 2006 by Focus Features.
The Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nora Zehetner, Lukas Haas, Noah Fleiss, Matt O'Leary, Emile de Ravin, Noah Segan, Richard Roundtree, Meagan Good, Brian White.
Directed by Rian Johnson.

BASIC PREMISE: Brendan (Gordon-Levitt) investigates the disappearance of Emily (Ravin, his ex-girlfriend.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Not since L.A. Confidential or Memento has there been such a unique and stylish murder mystery. Brick hooks you in with the scene of the crime as Brendan finds Emilyís corpse face-down in a canal. The plot flashes back a few days earlier when Brendan receives a strange, cry-for-help phone-call from Emily. Clearly, she has mixed with the wrong gang in her high school, but itís suspenseful to figure out why sheís in trouble and, eventually, who killed her. Brendan enlists his dorky friend, The Brain (OíLeary), to help him solve the mystery. What makes Brick so much fun is observing how all the intricate plotís details connect. Not surprisingly, given the high school setting, Emilyís disappearance has something to do with drugs, but itís not that simple at all. As Brendan gets deeper into the investigation, he finds himself in more and more trouble with a gang, led by The Pin (Haas). The high school principal serves as Brendanís closest connection to the police without involving any real detectives to solve the case. Just like in Memento, you know as much the protagonist does, so you feel just as surprised or confused as he does. Writer/director Rian Johnson borrows from classic noir films such as The Maltese Falcon as well as David Lynch's films, but adds his own amazing visual style that gives every scene its own poetry and style. The press notes include a list with definitions of key slang words used throughout the film, yet the plot still seems a bit confusing. This is the kind of movie that you must pay close attention to or else youíll end up even more confused. A second viewing would also be very helpful to observe new details within the smart, intricate plot.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.



IN A NUTSHELL: Complex, smart and visually-stunning! Destined to be a classic for the new generation!

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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