A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A teen tries to solve a crime, but it's likely that his motivations are more selfish than having to do with the greater good.
Positive Role Models
A fascinating, but flawed, high school teen uses his brains and wits to solve a crime, but he also resorts to trickery, lying, and violence. In his dealings, he treats people with disrespect, giving orders and refusing to trust anyone.
Violence & Scariness
Most of the violence here consists of teens beating each other up. One violent character called "Tug" especially uses his fists for everything. A dead body is shown. The main character gets his face bloodied and bruised and is knocked unconscious. A character is stabbed, with blood shown. Guns are drawn, and one character is shot and killed. An intense climactic scene is depicted through sounds of screaming, fighting, and shooting, though nothing is shown.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There's some discussion of a teen girl being pregnant, and some background kissing is shown.
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The movie's highly stylized language leaves very little room for vulgar words, but "damn," "hell," and "butt" can be heard roughly once each. A character mutters something that sounds like "s--t" under his breath in one scene; it may pass by unnoticed.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A secondary character is a drug dealer, and most of the characters in the film either work for him or associate with him. Some minor characters are said to be drug users, but no one is seen actually using or high on drugs. A "brick" of cocaine is shown. An unseen character is said to have died from taking "bad" drugs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Brick is a highly stylized crime drama, wherein a teen detective tries to solve a case involving murder and cocaine. There is some strong violence, mostly punching and fighting, though characters are stabbed and shot (with blood shown). Teen pregnancy is discussed. A secondary character is a drug dealer, and though a "brick" of cocaine is shown, characters are not seen using drugs or high on drugs. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Rian Johnson made his writing and directing debut with this remarkably unique item -- an old-fashioned, stylized detective film transplanted intact to a modern high school setting. The dialogue in BRICK is the high point, mixing antique terminology and made-up slang with extreme conviction and coolness. The characters seem to have evolved to play certain kinds of roles in this enclosed universe; no two are alike, though each knows exactly what he or she wants.
Some viewers will no doubt be put off by the oddness of it all, and the stoic way the characters behave toward one another. But for the patient, a few very satisfying moments of tenderness provide entry points. Above all, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is onscreen almost all the time, gives an extraordinarily confident performance, channeling classic movie tough guys, but with his own personal touch: his floppy hair, glasses, and hands permanently clenched inside his jacket pockets tell volumes about him.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.