Brick Mansions

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Brick Mansions Movie Poster Image
Great parkour, cartoonish violence in dumb remake.
  • PG-13
  • 2014
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

In a broad way, the movie speaks out against political powers and the idea of the wealthiest citizens siding against the poorest, separating them and treating them with a lack of respect or humanity. It also shows two different characters learning to work together.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Co-star David Belle is a creator of parkour, the martial art-like skill of moving efficiently through an environment using your body. His training and skill are very impressive, and he may inspire younger viewers to start studying. Unfortunately, his role in the movie requires him to beat up several bad guys -- and even kill a crooked cop.

Violence

Violence is very strong, but it's cartoonish and there's not too much blood. Lots of physical, parkour-style fighting, plus punching, kicking, and slamming; also a lot of shooting and car chases and crashes. Minor characters die. One character is stabbed. Two women have a brutal fight, and one is briefly whipped with a cat o' nine tails. Some violent news footage is shown, with fires and riots. A woman is punched in the face and is kidnapped and walked through a warehouse full of dangerous-looking, leering men who are making catcalls and sometimes reaching out for her (it has a feel of sexual menace). A Taser and a grenade are used. A nuclear device is shown but not detonated.

Sex

The main female character wears a skimpy outfit, with a short skirt that flies up in a few brief shots (nothing sensitive is shown). Another character undoes two buttons on her blouse with a knife (again, nothing sensitive shown). One of the villains is a woman who wears a sexy leather outfit. The main character has an unidentified girl in his apartment, apparently waiting for him in bed. She wears a negligee.

Language

Language isn't frequent but includes the occasional strong word: at least one "f--k," "s--t," the "N" word, "a--hole," "bitch," "damn," and "scumbag." A middle finger gesture is shown.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One of the supporting characters is a drug dealer. Another main character is shown opening several packages of cocaine (or heroin) and dumping it down a bathtub drain. A bad guy visits an underground drug lab, with several masked women working on making and packaging drugs. During a fight, one character throws a handful of the white powder at one of his opponents. The main character drinks a glass of whisky in one scene. Some politicians have a champagne toast. An older character is shown smoking cigarettes; there's talk of him quitting.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Brick Mansions is an American remake of the 2004 French action film District B13; both films highlight the sport/discipline known as parkour (moving efficiently through an environment using your body). Violence includes plenty of fighting and shooting, though for the most part it feels cartoonishly over the top and is light on blood. But minor characters do die, and a female character is shown in situations of menace or peril. Women are also shown wearing sexy outfits, though there's no nudity. Language includes the occasional use of "s--t," the "N" word, and "a--hole." A supporting character is a drug dealer, and great quantities of drugs (either cocaine or heroin) are shown. There's also some minor drinking and smoking. Star Paul Walker died in a car crash before release, and the movie is dedicated to him. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byjoshua martinez April 25, 2014

13 and up.

brick mansions is a great action/adventure movie stars with the remembering actor from the fast and the furious movies paul walker who will be remember in our h... Continue reading
Adult Written bySlaidlaw April 25, 2014

Best Parkour of 2014!!!! But Iffy language.

I thought the movie was amazing but, it had quite a bit of language in it. My son does Parkour and he loves it. It was also the first time I saw David Belle (th... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byManOfMidNights April 27, 2014

A great turn-your-brain-off movie

This movie is, as I do wish many other action movies would be, a non-stop joyride of nonsensicalness that ultimately is very fun to watch. The fast, somewhat-ch... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byStevie111 April 25, 2014
Very fun movie with good twists and action sequences. Frequent strong brutal violence. This movie is only pg-13 because there is no blood. 1 f-bomb, 1 n-word, a... Continue reading

What's the story?

In 2018 Detroit, the government has sealed off a dangerous neighborhood known as Brick Mansions to protect its citizens. Inside the district, the drug business -- led by Tremaine (RZA) -- thrives. Lino (David Belle) uses his parkour skills to try to stop Tremaine by intercepting a drug shipment. Meanwhile, a nuclear device has somehow made its way into the district, and undercover cop Damien (Paul Walker) has been sent to disarm it. He's been ordered to team up with Lino, who knows his way around. To make matters even worse, Tremaine has kidnapped Lino's girlfriend (Catalina Denis), and was also apparently responsible for the death of Damien's father. Can our heroes stop the bomb from going off, or will they discover a more sinister plot afoot?

Is it any good?

None of the characters in this movie is very smart, and their actions seldom make sense. In 2004, writer/producer Luc Besson created the terrific French-language action movie District B13, with Belle as its amazing, parkour-performing star. It was successful enough to warrant a sequel, District 13: Ultimatum (2010) ... and now comes the inevitable American remake, BRICK MANSIONS. Unfortunately, as things often do, the whole thing sounded better in French. Now even the overarching plot seems ridiculous, not to mention just about every twist and turn within.

For one thing, everyone in the movie seems rather easily fooled by each other. For example, two people somehow manage to escape a warehouse full of thugs simply by pointing a gun at the right person. This happens several times. But happily, rookie director Camille Delamarre does a fine job with the action sequences, refraining from too much camera-shaking and showing the parkour sequences in all their exhilarating glory.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Brick Mansionsviolence. Did the characters ever seem to be in real danger? Would you have preferred more martial arts and fewer guns? How does the impact of what you see here compare to the kind of violence in a superhero movie? How about a horror movie?

  • Both of the main characters do what they do partly motivated by revenge. Why is revenge so powerful? Is it ever worth pursuing? Does it solve anything?

  • Is David Belle a role model in real life? What about his character in the movie? What does the character do that you wouldn't want to copy?

  • What do you think of the idea of the government sealing off an undesirable neighborhood? Can you think of any real-life events that are similar?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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