Review: Motherless Brooklyn

He'd do it for me.

Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton) is a private eye whose mentor, Frank (Bruce Willis) is gunned down before his eyes while working a case. He attempts to solve Frank's murder and seeks out the woman Frank was following, Laura. (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) He doesn't have all the pieces, but he does have a brilliant mind...that occasionally causes outbursts as he suffers from Tourette's Syndrome.

I save that for last because Norton mostly uses Tourette's as comedy relief aside from a very sweet scene in a night club (with the lovely Michael Kenneth Williams on the trumpet) and a few interrogations.Perhaps the book this film is based on plays it differently.

I'm finding myself at a bit of a crossroads with this movie too. (and like The Lighthouse, Willem DaFoe makes an appearance here too) I left it thinking I probably would've enjoyed the book more as I love mysteries. One of the reasons is because you can sit with a few chapters before starting the next. With this film and its 2 1/2 hour run time, it throws so much information at you that I found myself getting confused at times. When the film started to drag, I started to over think what I had just saw. Then the pay off doesn't feel very satisfactory for all the hoops we just watched Lionel jump through. 

But the story IS interesting. I just wish they had trimmed it up a bit. I felt like too many things went nowhere. The actors did a good job. I'm always here for Gugu who was the standout. Norton carries the film well and he's a fine director. There's some truly beautiful shots here. 

After reading some pretty terrible reviews of this, I did end up liking it more than I was expecting to, so that was a plus, but it still had plenty of problems.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "You don't know what you're getting into." - Paul (Willem DaFoe)

11 comments:

  1. Totally agreed. I liked this a lot more than I expected to. Cinematography and score are great and the performances outside of Norton are really good. It's surprisingly funny, and not in an unintentional way.

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    1. It is, there were a lot more laughs than I was expecting.

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  2. I'm so glad you liked it, even if you didn't love it. I'm looking forward to this one and the reviews have been disheartening so far.
    You're so right about book mysteries vs movie mysteries, I end up having to rewatch a lot of mystery movies because they move so quickly!

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    1. I hope you like it, I definitely didn't find it as bad as a lot of others apparently did.

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  3. Seems longer than needed to be but I like Norton so I'm onboard. Since it's released now, I wonder if the film is oscar baity?

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    1. I can't see this getting any Oscar nominations. It's just a standard thriller.

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  4. For some reason I've never been able to muster up enough excitement to see this in the theater. And strangely I can't put my finger on why. I will see it eventually simply because of Gugu. She's one of the most underrated talents in the business.

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    1. I wasn't excited about it either until recently. It came as a bit of a surprise.

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  5. It's likely I'll wait for it on TV as I do like Edward Norton and the people in the film though I'm not in a rush to see it.

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    1. It'll make a fine DVD watch as well. I hope you enjoy it!

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