Parents' Guide to

The Bricklayer

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Lots of fighting, violence in generic spy action-thriller.

Movie R 2024 110 minutes
The Bricklayer Movie Poster: Vail (Aaron Eckhart), wearing a leather jacket and holding a gun, shoots a grim look over his left shoulder; behind him is a red "brick" pattern, with faces of other characters seen in the bricks

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Ranging from utterly generic to totally ridiculous, this action-thriller is like a second-rate version of a 1990s movie; it's all bickering, one-liners, and overly familiar plot turns. If only The Bricklayer had had even the slightest bit of self-awareness—or a more playful sense of humor—it could have worked. But Eckhart's steely turn in the title role makes it seem deadly serious. (Jason Statham might have been a better choice.) Everything in the plot is creaky and obvious, from the MacGuffin (the secret file that could sink the entire United States) to the "guy who can get you anything" to the many clunky fight scenes. A character even utters the oft-heard line, "We had a deal!"

Perhaps most insulting is the pairing of Vail and Kate. He immediately views her as a weakling who's unfit for service in the field, and she, perplexingly, still eventually falls for him. Their predictable bickering centers on her wanting to do things by the book vs. doing things "his way"; he won't even let her drive a car. The movie was directed by Renny Harlin, who had some hits back in the 1990s—Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger, etc.—and perhaps he's still trying to copy his once-winning formula? Stupidest of all is the "bricklayer" idea. Vail insists on bringing his tools everywhere he goes, which allows him to stab two minions with a trowel, but also allows him to—no kidding—find evidence hidden in a brick fireplace. In the end, The Bricklayer is as dumb as a bag of hammers.

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