Parents' Guide to

Brighton Rock (2010)

By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

British gangster remake cranks up the violence and language.

Movie R 2011 111 minutes
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This second movie adaptation of Graham Greene's classic novel lacks the 1948 original's stylish film noir atmosphere and performances. Director Rowan Joffe also wrote this 2010 version of Brighton Rock, which transplants the action to 1960s seaside Britain. But he does little with the notorious mods and rockers -- two rival British subcultures so associated with the city and era -- with Pinkie and the other gangsters feeling bolted onto the city in which they operate, rather than being integral to it.

Joffe's attempt to expand the role of Rose only creates an awkward, unconvincing romance between her and Pinkie, and a character that lacks any real consistency. Riley is miscast in the lead role too. He's too old and not menacing enough. He's also partially hamstrung by a script that tries to reintroduce more of the original book's questions about faith and fate to little dramatic effect. The supporting cast fair better, with Helen Mirren making the most of her turn as Ida, the movie's moral center. With the superior 1948 film -- and the original book -- available, this haphazard version is best forgotten.

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