Mr. Brooks

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Mr. Brooks Movie Poster Image
Parents recommend
Costner's delusional serial killer isn't for kids.
  • R
  • 2007
  • 120 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The protagonist is a serial killer; detective character is getting a divorce and has arguments with lawyers; college student drops out and announces she's pregnant (leads to discussion of abortion); discussion of genetic "passing on" of desire to murder.


Bloody, graphic early murder scene (two people in bed are shot by the film's "hero," who puts bullets through their heads and chests) is repeated during the film from various angles in flashbacks. Killer keeps photos of dead bodies as "trophies" frequent discussion of methods of murder and images of stalking; discussions of other serial killer cases; crime scene shows blood on walls; detective is assaulted and ends up with sutures (bloody); dead body is pierced by multiple needles; shootout between detective and killer. Grisly late scene shows a man stabbed in neck with scissors, gasping, bleeding, and lurching as he dies.


Serial killer's victims are shown in the middle of sex, in bed (naked back) -- their deaths result in explicit views of their naked torsos (woman's breasts visible repeatedly). Lots of cleavage shots. Discussion of sexual experiences ("You could see her nipples"). Killer appears naked (not explicit) as he ritually burns photos of dead bodies. A murder witness plans to use violent images to arouse himself sexually. Man appears in his bedroom in boxers; couple strips to their underwear and begins to have sex on a couch.


Repeated use of "f--k" (usually in anger, once with "mother"); other language includes "s--t," "a--hole," "goddamnit," and "ass."


USA Today headline.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Killer attends meetings resembling Alcoholics Anonymous, identifying himself as an "addict." Meeting attendees smoke cigarettes; mention of steroids.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this graphic thriller isn't for kids, despite the fact that popular comedian Dane Cook co-stars (he plays a dark, repulsive character). There's graphic sex (breasts are visible, and plenty of activity is implied) and violence, including frantic murder scenes (victims realize they're about to be killed, scream, then suffer brutal injuries). Shots of broken, bloody dead bodies abound in crime scene tableaus and close-ups. Characters discuss murder and its motives and argue about family relationships (especially fathers and daughters). Language includes frequent use of "f--k."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byharrisonfordlova January 12, 2009

My most fav movie

This movie is my most fav of all time. It is clever and keeps you engrossed in the characters and movie. You just cannot predict wat is going to happen and Kevi... Continue reading
Adult Written bykiba_akota_pup November 25, 2008

Oh geez

The movie would have been great, but it was one rock skip away from pure porno in the sex scene! There was nothing left to the imagination in the sex scene exce... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byhottiesuperbuff April 9, 2008
Teen, 13 years old Written bymoviefan333 April 9, 2008

Surprisingly graphic...and surprisingly good.

First off, this movie was very, very graphic. The rating info says this movie is for people ages 16+, and I'm younger than that, so I have to say that this... Continue reading

What's the story?

Earl Brooks (Kevin Costner) knows he has a problem. He believes he's addicted to killing, which he's apparently been doing for years. It helps that he's a wealthy businessman, which gives him both the leisure time to plan and execute his perfect crimes and access to all kinds of transportation and equipment. His whole life is arranged to cover up his "hobby" from his wife, Emma (Marg Helgenberger) and daughter, Jane Jane (Danielle Panabaker). But there's another side to MR. BROOKS -- Earl has regular conversations with an alter ego named Marshall (William Hurt). The two share entertaining, even charming contemplations of their methods and drives. When Earl leaves a bedroom curtain open, one of his crimes is photographed by the utterly slimy Mr. Smith (Dane Cook). Earl's problems multiply when he learns he's being pursued by a detective, Tracy (Demi Moore), who's very good at what she does but is also battling her own demons. That her troubles involve her wealthy father creates an alternately clunky and nuanced parallel to Earl's increasingly fraught relationship with Jane -- especially when it turns out that his daughter decides to leave college not just because she's pregnant, but also because a young man she knows has been murdered. As Earl contemplates the possibility that "she has what I have," he also struggles to rid himself of both Smith and Tracy, stylishly and efficiently.

Is it any good?

Director Bruce A. Evans' second movie (after the teen comedy Kuffs) is uneven and contrived. Yet the mutual admiration club formed by Costner and Hurt offers some smart, taut comedy in the midst of grim commentary on the impulse to consume violence. While the movie doesn't exactly break new ground by indicting viewers (who are aligned, at least initially, with Smith), it does make your inclination to identify with Earl aptly uncomfortable.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about our culture's fascination with serial killers. Do you think the media glamorizes these criminals and their brutal crimes? Does Mr. Brooks have anything in common with another famous movie serial killer, Hannibal Lecter? Families can also discuss the film's suggestion that murder can be "addictive." Do you think a tendency toward violence (or other addictions) can be passed on genetically? How does the film make its killer protagonist look relatively sympathetic? How does the movie frame the murders as art?

Movie details

  • In theaters: May 31, 2007
  • On DVD or streaming: October 23, 2007
  • Cast: Dane Cook, Kevin Costner, William Hurt
  • Director: Bruce A. Evans
  • Studio: MGM/UA
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Run time: 120 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong bloody violence, some graphic sexual content, nudity and language.
  • Last updated: September 20, 2019

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