In the teachers’ office at my school, it seems at least one movie surfaces during casual discussion everyday (and, yes, I’m usually the one to bring it up). Today was special because three film titles reared their heads in the same conversation. The third one received my song of praise, and it is the one I recommend today. Thanks to Netflix, you should be able to get your hands on this gem of an indie flick. Brick is an intelligent and engrossing little film from 2005 that takes its young cast and suburban high school setting to a genre and a style other films bearing the same make-up never go: film noir. More accurately, Brick could be called a “neo-noir” because, while it draws heavily upon the plot, language, and pacing of old school detective stories like The Maltese Falcon and Red Harvest, the mystery and the action unfold around a much younger set of sleuths, tramps and gangsters – essentially, Brick is a Sam Spade-style detective story set in an all-American high school. The premise alone would be worth a look, but in case that doesn’t convince you, here are five more reasons you should get your hands on a copy:
#2 – The language. It’s as fresh and aggressive as a Dashiell Hammett novel.
#3 – The ending – nice! … And more than satisfying.
#4 – Bloody noses. The amount of times the tenacious main character takes a beating, yet still refuses to quit, is as admirable as it is funny.
#5 – The fact that the other characters have names like Dode, The Brain, Tug and The Pin, and yet it’s all very believable. This film is genius.