Release Date: May 18th, 2007 (AMC/Loews Village 7 and AMC Empire 25) by City Lights Pictures.
The Cast: Alec Baldwin, Freddie Prinze Jr., Scott Caan, Mena Suvari, Jerry Ferrar, Monica Keena.
Directed by Michael Corrente.
BASIC PREMISE: In 1985 Brooklyn, Mike (Prinze Jr.) struggles to stay out of a violence lifestyle with his gangster friends from childhood, Carmine (Caan) and Bobby (Ferrara), while attending college and romancing Ellen (Suvari), a proper college girl.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Brooklyn Rules is not your typical gangster film. It does have its fair share of violence and profanity, but, along with that comes a compelling drama and even a little romance. Michael, Carmine and Bobby have been good buddies ever since childhood and lead a life of mob crime, which gets more intense once Carmine befriends Caesar (Baldwin), a local mob boss. What makes this plot compelling is that Michael and Bobby both have a lot at stake other than their own lives. Michael studies in college and has a new girlfriend, Ellen, who doesn’t like his violent lifestyle. Meanwhile, Bobby gets engaged to his beautiful girlfriend, Amy (Keena). Scott Caan gives a strong, tough-guy performance as Carmine while Jerry Ferrar adds some well-needed humor and charm to his role of Bobby. Unlike in past movies, Freddy Prinze Jr., manages to be rather convincing and likable without getting on your nerves. The weakest link, though, is Mena Suvari, who certainly looks sexy as Ellen, but lacks the charisma needed to generate true romantic chemistry with Michael—some of her scenes, such as a rooftop scene, feel cheesy and contrived. Fortunately, screenwriter Terrence Winter doesn’t delve too much into that subplot and mostly focuses on the relationship between Michael and his two buddies. Winter wisely includes character development which helps you to care about each of the three buddies. With well-needed comic relief, plenty of snappy dialogue and a few surprising plot twists, Brooklyn Rules manages to keep you thoroughly engrossed.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: None, other than the importance of staying loyal to your friends no matter what.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: Smart, witty and thoroughly engrossing. The best crime drama since A Bronx Tale.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater.
The "B" Menu