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August 10, 2006

Brick - 5

This is one of the few truly contemporary film-noirs. The Ice Harvest being another. It seems in recent times you can only get so dark, so this is no Touch of Evil. The film takes place in a high school. Brendan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who is mostly a loner with no clique starts discovering clues as he tries to reunite with his girlfriend. Things continue to get worse but he stubbornly follows the trail. He travels in between cliques and infiltrates the drug rings. It is an intriguing film, my one critique being that it all just seems so unrealistic. Some of the school dynamics work, but others are just outrageous. But the story does stay with the noir theme right to the very end, most films would cop out at that point. A tough subject to get right, this film doesn't do too badly.
If you want to see good noir, you'll have to go back to the 40's and 50's with Rififi, Night and the City, and the ultimate - The Maltese Falcon.

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