Mr. Brooks (2007) Poster

(2007)

User Reviews

Review this title
377 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
8/10
There's something about Mr. Brooks all right....
mrband9920 May 2007
This movie was not what I expected, but in a good way. I saw that Kevin Costner was in it, and figured it would be a light-hearted drama. Then I read that it was suspense, and figured he was a good-guy spy or something. Not so.

I don't want to spoil exactly what Mr. Brooks is (even though it's revealed in the early part of the movie), but let's just say he's not a good guy. He is cold, brilliant, methodical, and heartless. Definitely not the traits we normally expect from Kevin Costner. And yet, it's fascinating to watch. I found myself rooting for him, and then had to kick myself because his character is so despicable. Top notch acting from him.

Dane Cook seems an odd casting choice for a suspense thriller, and yet he is believable in his role as a cowardly average joe trying to get the better of Mr. Brooks.

This movie is surprisingly graphic and brutal in some scenes. Yet it is so engrossing that you will be hooked on every twist and turn (and there are some good ones).

Not for the faint of heart, not your normal Costner flick, but a very good movie.
462 out of 552 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Nice alternative to the torture flick du jour
mrmatt1423 May 2007
I saw the trailer for this one, and thought it was an interesting premise, but Costner movies are so hit or miss. He's the LAST person on earth that I'd expect to be playing a serial killer. His demeanor is too gentle and even. WOW was I right, and that's what makes the movie. That slow, gentle, deliberate pace gives it a surreal sense of unease that a lesser actor couldn't match. It is exactly his everyman persona that makes this movie work.

In the tone of the movie, I was thrown by Costner's previous work as well. He's best known for somewhat light and under-realized fare. Mr. Brooks is anything but. This is a very, very dark movie, to the point that it's uncomfortable in places.

Kudos as well to William Hurt, who isn't known for playing this sort of role either. His character could easily descend into cliché, but it doesn't. He holds the right note, and the chemistry between him and Costner is tangible.

Over the top torture/gorefests have been the flavor of the month. Don't get me wrong -- I love High Tension and it's ilk, but it's nice to see a film that doesn't have to go for the visceral reaction to achieve it's tension. This is an assault to the mind, not the eyes, and it's exceptionally well done.
332 out of 406 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Unusual, creative storyline and scripting, exceptionally well done.
brentsoffcenter1 June 2007
The real star of this drama is the story, and the script. Costner's portrayal of a highly complex, sometimes tortured, character is superb in that he is seemingly always in control, always one step ahead of the challenges. One of the best stories in some time, this one covers all of the bases in a satisfying way, keeping the viewer completely involved from start to finish. There are just enough plot twists, blended seamlessly with just the right amount of predictability, to make this story completely believable, and totally satisfying.

Mr. Brooks, Mr. Citizen, is a soft spoken, highly intelligent man of the community, always in control of his job and family, despite the adversities he faces throughout the movie. Very enjoyable is the intricacy, detail, and discipline he is able to maintain throughout the chaos that befalls him throughout the entire plot. His total control of all of the challenges almost makes him a super hero in terms of skill and control in the performance of his self assigned, gruesome tasks at hand. The blending of his alter-ego, bad conscience side, Marshall, is seamlessly accomplished in this psychological escapade, to the point that one almost has to root for "them". Marshall, although the psychopathic side of Brooks, is almost likable, in a twisted sort of way. The ongoing dialog between the two is perfect, in that almost everyone can relate to conscience issues at some point in their lives.

The added sub-plots concerning detective Demi Moore, the would be wanna be killer Mr. Smith, and the ex-gold digging husband and his attorney, are extra, intriguing elements that are very well done. Though told with a considerable dark tonality because of the theme, one finds himself cheering for Mr. Brooks and his incredible ability as a master craftsman. Ironically, one can also cheer for the detective that is out to capture him.

If you are ready for a story that is intriguing, suspenseful, gripping, and present day, then this movie is a good place to start. Costner, Moore, Cook, and Hurt are all splendid. Each one is intense, tormented, fun, and believable in his respective role. Another positive feature about the storyline, and it's conclusion, is that it lends itself to, perhaps, a very interesting sequel potential. Kudos to the directors, producers, and entire cast.
208 out of 265 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Brilliant suspense and tension...Mr. Brooks really keeps you thinking
'Mr. Brooks', 2007's first true psychological thriller, features an all star cast with Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, Dane Cook, and William Hurt. With a thriller like this, and 2 actors (Cook and Costner) who are playing extremely different roles, the film could have failed. It doesn't at all. It is an extremely clever and intelligent film that is a great ride from start to finish.

Earl Brooks (Oscar Winner Kevin Costner) is Portland's man of the year. He has it all, a beautiful wife, a wonderful company, an awesome home, and a daughter (Danielle Panabaker) in college. But Mr. Brooks also has a secret. A secret addiction. He loves killing, mostly because of the maniacal representation of his temptations and desires: Marshall (Oscar Winner William Hurt). After one last killing, Mr. Brooks is ready to quit, but is quickly blackmailed back into killing by the young photographer known simply as Mr. Smith (Dane Cook). Smith just wants to tag along for the ride to feel the rush of killing. But this murderous trio of Brooks/Marshall/Smith must be careful, as tough-as-nails detective Tracy Atwood (Demi Moore) is on their trail.

I know my description of the plot is thorough, but it doesn't spoil anything, as all this is introduced within 10 to 15 minutes of the opening. I give director Bruce Evans a lot of credit for moving the film along quickly, because most of it is the self-inflection conversations of Mr. Brooks and Marshall. The acting is very well done, and with a cast like this, you should expect it. Costner has been everyone's hero the past 2 decades, but Costner totally breaks the mold with a daring and riveting performance as the conflicted, murderous, yet loving Mr. Brooks. His performance really allows the audience to root for him, even though he's a vicious killer. Costner effectively displays internal conflicts between the good side of him, and the dark side. William Hurt is equally haunting as Marshall, the figment of Brooks' imagination. No stranger to villainous characters (there is no true villain, but Costner, Cook, and Hurt's characters are all bad men), Hurt will grab the audience's attention with his smooth and liquid delivery and cruel responses to Mr. Brooks's regrets. Demi Moore delivers in a role that is a type of character rarely seen in movies anymore. Moore gives us a very flawed, yet strong woman who is the only truly good and moral character in the entire movie. Her character has a lot going on in her life, and it is definitely conveyed in her impatience and quick temper, but we always know why she is how she is. Lastly, and the biggest surprise of the entire film, Dane Cook steals the show in one of the better performances of recent memory. Cook goes tit for tat with Costner in every scene they share, providing some pretty intense moments between the pair. Being the comedian he is, Cook will get a couple of laughs, but this role is completely serious. Cook looks like he had a lot of fun doing this, as he gives us a very layered Mr. Smith who is very disturbed, but at the same time, we know he's a fragile guy who is just a pawn in Mr. Brooks' master plan. Cook will blow you away with his range, and he does a great job displaying his character arc. Mr. Smith starts off as a sarcastic and overconfident guy who is looking to toy with a killer. By the end of the film, Smith changes radically into a completely different person. Way to go Dane.

Bruce Evans does a great job at the helm of the film, providing a fast paced psychological thriller helped out by clever dialog, and one of the most intelligent characters portrayed on film since Hannibal Lecter in Mr. Brooks. It's almost unreal how smart and clever Costner's character is. Another thing I liked was the symmetry between Costner and Hurt. The actors carry a lot of the same mannerisms into their characters, and with the help of Evans, it looks great. There are times where they will do the same movement at the exact same time. Mr. Brooks is a first rate thriller that any fan of the genre should enjoy. The plot has its twists and turns before the grand finale, which reminds the viewer that...Mr. Brooks always has a plan...

8/10 --spy
226 out of 293 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
nice spin on the serial killer formula
Buddy-513 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Bruce A. Evans' "Mr. Brooks" deserves praise for at least bringing a certain degree of freshness to the well-worn serial-killer genre.

Kevin Costner portrays Earl Brooks, a devoted husband and father and the recent recipient of the Portland, Oregon Man of the Year Award for his work as a successful businessman. He also just happens to be a cold-blooded murderer, known to the media and the law enforcement community as the Fingerprint Killer, so named because he leaves that telltale sign behind at each of his crime scenes (we must assume it is not his own fingerprint, although the script never actually spells that out for us). As the movie opens, Brooks hasn't killed anyone for two years, having chosen to resist the temptation by attending AA meetings and focusing on his wife and daughter. However, lately, Brooks has begun to succumb to the pull of his "addiction," once again allowing his darker angel to lure and goad him into seeking out unsuspecting victims as a means of alleviating the pressure.

What separates "Mr. Brooks" from all other previous serial-killer thrillers is that it has chosen to actually incarnate that bad angel on screen in the form of an unnerving William Hurt, who appears by Brooks' side at strategic moments in the movie to advise, berate and commiserate with Brooks as he contemplates his next homicidal action. Generally, in these movies, we rarely get a sense of the intense mental struggle taking place within the deeply disturbed, psychotic mind of the killer. Through the use of Hurt's character (referred to as Marshall), however, the writers, Evans and Raynold Gideon, are able to verbalize that conflict and show us the two warring factions co-existing within this single warped psyche. Despite the absurdity of it, Brooks truly believes that his "condition" can be "cured" if he regularly and faithfully attends a self-help group for alcoholics. Thus, against our better judgment, perhaps, we find ourselves almost feeling sorry for the man, a position one rarely finds oneself in in a tale such as this one.

The complex plot also includes a wannabe young killer (Dane Cook) who blackmails Brooks into taking him out on his next killing spree; an expert homicide investigator (Demi Moore) who was investigating the Fingerprint Killer case until the trail turned cold; and Brooks' own college-aged daughter, Jane (Danielle Panabaker), who may have inherited her dad's killer "gene" and might just possibly have a murder or two of her own to account for.

The storyline may not always pass the credibility threshold (particularly in the suggestion that psychosis might have a genetic component and can be passed down from generation to generation), but the cleverness of the approach and the genuine creepiness of many of the scenes go a long way towards mitigating the imperfections. Moreover, Costner, Hurt, Moore and Cook give spellbinding performances as the killer and the various persons and pseudo-persons caught in the bloody web he has woven.

Working as a team, Costner and Hurt bring complementary opposing qualities to their roles which, when taken together, add up to a single, well-rounded character. In a complex variation on the Jekyll and Hyde, Faust and Mephistopheles dichotomy, Costner conveys the poignancy and vulnerability of the "good" Brooks, while Hurt shows us the steely-eyed cold-heartedness of the "bad" Brooks. Yet, there are times when even those roles switch, as when Costner coldly laughs at the prospect of a victim's potential suffering and Hurt provides words of comfort to a hurting Costner.

Together, the two talented stars create a complex symbiotic relationship that lifts "Mr. Brooks" several rungs above the ordinary.
101 out of 128 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Applause For Its Edginess
jzappa15 June 2007
The main thing about Mr. Brooks that I love is that it is so convincing in its portrayal of the internal workings of a certain sort of mind, almost as if it were an inside story. Mr. Brooks is a character who is completely unsuspecting to anyone observing him, yet he is a completely different person beneath the skin. He is much more complex than a lot of mainstream audiences will realize upon first viewing. He has deep feelings for his family, which means he's capable of deep feelings. Yet he is completely aware of his manipulative and destructive capabilities and intermittently cannot help himself and must take advantage of them. I think the script is a truly brilliant rendering of a very realistic sort of personality that is so secretive that they can be found throughout the range of all human activity.

Kevin Costner having always been one of the most wooden actors in contemporary movies, I am very impressed that he hit the nail on the head with this very challenging and multi-layered character of Mr. Brooks, and in understanding him completely knew just how much of him to reserve for William Hurt's share, Hurt playing a figure nonexistent to anyone in the film other than Costner, representing the deepest, darkest thoughts of Mr. Brooks. The script and direction are very clear-cut and discern the dialogue between Costner and Hurt as the same character and not a split personality.

Demi Moore is affecting in her portrayal of a cop whose personal life calls upon the part of a personality that would urge with anger towards thoughts of murder and is able to suppress them. It's maybe my favorite of all the performances I've seen of hers. There is lots of subtext in what appears to be a token cop role.

The most interesting casting choice, aside from the impressive comebacks by two aging former box-office magnets, is of comedian Dane Cook as a blackmailing witness to one of Mr. Brooks's murders. His character is a creative blend of voyeuristic and eagerly putzy, and Cook pulls it off very becomingly.

As well as being a very gripping and unpredictable celebration of evil, I think a lot of extra credit is due to this film especially for holding its own at the box office during a summer of conglomerate box-office hogs like the second sequels to Pirates of the Caribbean, Shrek, Ocean's Eleven, and Spider-Man when it is actually very edgy and takes a lot of risks as a mainstream film.
122 out of 162 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Welcome Back Mr. Costner! Perfect Thriller!
Roland443 June 2007
Wow! What a great movie, was actually better than I had hoped walking in.

The script is original and smart, with a few dark comic moments added at the right moments. I am SO happy that "everyone" signed on to this movie! Like or hate Dane Cook, but he did a perfect job in this roll imo, as did everyone.

Looks like Hurt has settled into the perfect "type" of characters for his personality. (see him in A History of Violence, and Nightmares & Dreamscapes ep "Battleground") Was good to see Demi Moore back on the big screen, I hope this movie helps producers and directors give her more roles as she deserves and has the ability to do so much more imo And finally Mr. Costner was PERFECT for this role! We can hopefully look forward to a Mr. Brooks 2 :) A fun, interesting film that my wife and I give 2 big thumbs up and recommend to anyone looking for a very satisfying original thriller, done a bit differently, that executes perfectly.

Congrats Cast & Crew on a job well done! Roland
131 out of 180 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Costner and Cook Surprise, Moore was decent.
grovcom31 May 2007
I saw this movie at Showest back in March and was really impressed. My initial thought was that this movie would be a cheesy rip of "Dexter" or any other "Behind the Serial" type of Movie/Series. Costner gives us an interesting view into the life of an upstanding family man that just happens to be a serial killer on the side. Dane Cook isn't his predictable wacky self, and actually helps round out the film with his twisted comic/perverted view of serial killing. Take every film that you have seen by Costner, Cook and Moore and throw it out the window. This film is surprisingly original and has plenty of plot twists to keep you alert and anxious to see where the story will head next.
123 out of 173 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Keven Costner's star shines again!!!
hockeyvoodoo1 June 2007
I saw this movie with high hopes to see a good performance out of Kevin Costner. He didn't disappoint in a movie that very well could have failed--but didn't! I liked the idea of a 'nice-guy with a conscience' serial killer theme, but serial killer movies have been done to death. Costner and the script writers manage to give new life and a refreshing twist on this movie theme, and William Hurt's performance as his evil alter-ego is first-rate. This arrangement was better than just a run-of-the-mill voice-over by Costner's character. It reminded me a bit of a modern-day version of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," which is one of my favorite novels. I'm happy to see all of the actors in this film finally get a good script and story to work with after many disappointments for them and the movie-going public.
109 out of 159 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
creepy!
Im_Martin_Scorsese22 May 2007
I saw an advanced screening for this movie tonight. I absolutely loved it. The movie kept me on the edge of my seat all night. Kevin Costner is extremely creepy as the villain. He played his character very well. The scariest "bad guy," I have seen in awhile. Demi Moore was great. Everyone in the audience laughed, gasped and cheered at the same time, as if we were on cue. The suspense is held through out the movie. THe amazing part is that the end was not anti-climatic. I was not disappointed in the end. I felt satisfied. The trailer does not do the movie justice. The movie is much better than the trailer indicated. Do not wait for this movie to come out on video. Go see it. Although, I did not have to pay to see this movie, I would have gladly given 10.75 to see it. Enjoy!
148 out of 226 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Costner Worthy of Oscar Nomination
alexkolokotronis20 February 2008
For now I will review the movie overall. This movie has some both good and bad parts to it. The good parts of it were the writing, William Hurt and Kevin Costner. The bad were Demi Moore and Dane Cook.

When I watched movie it was not really what I expected. It had some other elements to it such as Kevin Costner's thought process and his family. The idea of putting William Hurt in this movie was great and very creative casting him as Kevin Costner's mind. This was very original in many way and displayed something different and unique that has not been really shown in serial killer movies.

The best part of this movie was Kevin Costner's performance. His performance was probably the most unique and different compare to other serial killer movies, making his character realistic. The movie was mostly based and revolved around him it allowed for his character to develop and open up. He showed something that I would never expect from Kevin Costner. He was perfect fit because he displayed exactly how many psychopaths are: intelligent, calm and precise. He also fit perfectly because it actually made sense that someone with a personality and status like Costner's could actually be like a Jack the Ripper sort of person. He displayed how he is fighting himself(William Hurt) on whether he should kill or not. But like most psychopaths it eventually becomes repetitive and automatic. He had this obsessive compulsion of just killing people. Costner shows how he is in constant pain and just cannot escape his temptations and paranoia. It was really amazing watching him and William Hurt together. I think the ending perfectly illustrated his performance.

What really ruined this movie was Demi Moore. She just did not bring anything at all to this story. She did not seem into the character and was just too average. Dane Cook was just really not a fit at all. When I look at him I think comedy. He was not too convincing and kind weirded me out the wrong way. That could be a good thing though.

Believe or not this movie does have a message showing how are temptations can eventually take over us if we give into them. It shows by giving in you are really going for the quick fix and not thinking long term.
40 out of 63 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Still Buzzing The Day After!
daynoelle15 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
It has been a long time since I felt this way about a movie. I had the same feeling after watching Robert De Niro in Cape Fear and Sir Anthony Hopkins in Silence of The Lambs.

The mood of the film is very dark and it slowly creeps into you like a gossamer mist. I found myself drawn to Mr. Brooks, (Kevin Costner), due to his fight with his darkness, his internal evil nemesis Marshal, played by William Hurt. He appears to have been able to control his demon for a spell and then collapses back into the darkness to return to his old ways.

Killing for Earl Brooks is a form of art. He researches his victims, he gets to know his victims, he is an artist of the macabre.

The relationship that Earle has with Marshal is one of the best love/hate relationships that I have seen on screen in a while. Marshal is like the worst best friend that anyone would need, but yet, Earl seems to need him around.

Detective Atwood, played by Demi Moore, isn't a complete character in my books. I just couldn't identify with her and as such it was hard to care about her. Her "drama" with her divorce was a bit loose and flimsy and almost seemed to out of place.

Dane Cook, Mr. Smith, took of his funny man hat and put on a serious role and it worked. This could be Dane Cook's "Punch Drunk Love" that makes him an actor...not just a comedian. I was really impressed how they under wrote his character so as to give Dane a bit of latitude to stretch his acting muscles and have a real presence on screen. There was a moment between Earl and Mr. Smith where Mr. Smith flashes this look ...and it was almost like seeing Dane's dark side.

Emma Brooks, Marg Helgenberger, was almost like part of the set. She was window dressing.

Danielle Panabaker's portrayal of Earl's daughter Jane is chilling. You could tell from her first moments on the screen that something is not quite right with her. The stories she tells her parents about why she left school are like incorrect math answers, the numbers just don't add up. The undercurrents in Jane are almost a carbon copy of those of her father.

There is one fantastic twist in the film that almost made me fall of my seat. You will know what I'm talking about if and or when you see this movie.

I am thinking that there could be a bit of Oscar buzz about some of the players in this film. Kevin Costner, William Hurt, Danielle Panabaker and Dane Cook all deserve accolades for their performances.

This film was well made. The cinematography was fantastic, the editing was smart and tight and the soundtrack was perfectly matched to not only the characters moods, but the mood of the film as a whole.

I would highly recommend this film as one of the best thrillers of the year, if not the past few years. The twists, the turns and the characters will pull you into a movie that allows you to feel, if only for a moment, the rush of the kill.
17 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Very Strange And Extremely Entertaining
ccthemovieman-127 October 2007
Wow! This has to be one of the more unusual movies I've ever seen, one that is leaves you shaking your head in amazement. I am hesitant to say too much for fear of ruining this for anyone who hasn't seen it. There is so much one could write, pro and con, about the material in here. Suffice to say if you like modern-day film noir, or "neo noir," as its often called.....then check this out.

An hour after watching this, I was still muttering to myself, "Man, I can't believe what I just saw. This was a wild two hours."

I think that's the best recommendation I can give: this is pure entertainment, two hours of a story that grabs you right from the start and never lets go; a very involving story.

Kevin Costner and William Hurt are tremendous in here, and worth the price of the rental alone. The whole cast was good but the dialog between those two guys - one real and one imaginary - have to be heard to be believed.

There are a few parts I would have changed, including the ending, and I didn't particularly care for most of the characters but overall this is so fascinating a story and so entertaining, it didn't matter what I thought of the characters.

If you want something entertaining, a little thought-provoking, edgy-yet-moralistic, good acting and photography, this is a pretty good value for your rental money.
17 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Boy was this a dog!
osyenka6 January 2008
This movie is bad. The acting... eh, passable. I guess. It's hard to tell given the ghastly characters the actors were given to animate. The main character is the only one who can be called 3 dimensional, and that's only because his id hangs out in the backseat filling us in. Cheaters.

The main character is the only one with half a brain. The writer lets you know repeatedly that he's exceptionally brilliant. The usual cat-and-mouse that is the fun part of a murder mystery is completely absent. The detective has no amazing insights. She has a hunch. Yes, that's the brilliant sleuthing with which the writer has decided will entertain us. The only thing we know about the detective is that she's going through an idiotic divorce, where we're supposed to feel sorry for her for having to give up 1/60th of her networth. That's it. Oh. And there's a vapid "revelation" at the end about her life's motivations.

Death is never realistic. None of the victims are made to be remotely sympathetic or even human except in the sense of being human-shaped. They're just plot points. The only exceptions are a couple of people we've met just long enough to establish them as Scummy Enough To Kill.

In the end there is STILL no one likable. What's more nothing is resolved. In the meantime you've watched several gratuitous deaths and a death scene reminiscent of Paul Reubens's in the original Buffy movie.

Whoever wrote this must have been some 22 year old guy wishing he could try out serial killing for a living. And that was the extent of his writing expertise. He (and I assume it's a "he") has no experience with grey areas, and no experience with human motivations and complexities that make watching thrillers entertaining.

Worst of all, he has no idea of the horror that is murder. Clearly to this writer it's an abstract idea that moves the plot along and provides some gore with which to wash it down. If you're going to do gore, go over the top and make it cartoonish, a la Sin City or any Tarantino. Then we can enjoy it. Mr. Brooks, however fails as a cartoon, and fails as a horror film. That just leaves us with thriller, and this amount of context-less blood is out of place. Chandler described Hammet as "having taken murder out of the drawing room and dumped it in the alley where it belonged". If this movie is any indication, significant backsliding has taken place.
64 out of 123 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
what a clever film
cinewoman27 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I wasn't a Costner fan so went in with some skepticism in terms of liking this. I thought this would be the usual run of the mill, typically plotted character vs. his alter ego. It was not. I didn't expect this of an American movie with well known actors.

I also would have never known that Dane Clark had done mostly comedy previously as he was excellent as just one of the psychos.

This film intertwined several story lines simultaneously and manage to connect them without doing so obviously--as has been done in so many films of late.

I was surprised at almost every turn. It was a true roller coaster producing startled reactions from audience members. There are some plot flaws because there are some strings left untied. But-- it was so well done and mostly clever that, who cares!
19 out of 32 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Here's a film that definitely deserves the mixed reviews...
Doylenf1 June 2007
MR. BROOKS is the kind of suspense film that manages to hold your attention from the very start and then, just when you think you know where it's all going, you find out you've been duped. Midway through the film you realize you don't even know where the story is going with its many strands that don't seem to connect.

In other words, there's nothing predictable about the outcome but while that would ordinarily be a good thing, here the effect is a handicap because there are too many unexplained elements in the script and too many loose ends.

Nevertheless, some of it is very clever and intriguing, a sort of Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde story with KEVIN COSTNER struggling to be good and leave his bad deeds behind him but egged on by his alter ego (WILLIAM HURT) to kill again.

What the screenplay fails to do is to connect the three main stories that are being spun into one cohesive whole. As a result, at the end there's a letdown feeling that nothing has really been satisfactorily explained.

It's taut and suspenseful and should satisfy most fans of this genre, but it's a psychological thriller that would have been even better with a fully realized script.

The performances are fine. KEVIN COSTNER is especially good in some of the climactic scenes after a rather dull beginning but it's DANE COOK as Mr. Smith, the twisted and temperamental photographer who catches a murder on film and has a strange request, that gives the film its most intense moments as he tries to outfox the clever Mr. Brooks.

I've liked WILLIAM HURT in many other roles, but find his character more annoying and repelling than merely evil.

Summing up: A psychological thriller that is sometimes dull, sometimes riveting as it tries hard to rise above the level of a cluttered script and only partially succeeds. There's a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde flavor to the whole story. The Demi Moore sub-plot is totally out of whack with the rest of the story.
29 out of 58 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
One of the worst ever
pabloschiki11 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Certainly this movie doesn't deserve even the ride to the theater. It has toooooo many and gruesome mistakes, for instance how do you expect to fire a gun and keep the round inside a bag where your hand is? Guess what, you are going to burn your hand baby!!! not to mention that the plastic bag would melt too. That was so stu.....d that the movie from there on was almost unbearable, even more than founding a piece of plastic inside the corpses's heads from the same plastic bag after the first shoot??? Later on Demmi Moore is kidnapped in a van. Of course that in some scenes the lateral door is open, then closed and then again open it doesn't matter, at least for the filmmaker though. Anyway, she flies off the lateral door after some bizarre fight and she fell on top of a car hitting it with her back, sure hard enough to leave anyone of us simple mortals in a wheelchair for good. But not so for her, who is taken to a hospital and while the doctor is stitching her head, she keeps talking about the case whitout even blinking for pain!!! Really guys, this movie is too much. The best part is about the last 10 seconds when our killer is having a nightmare, that says everything. Absolutely not recommended.
31 out of 64 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
is too mediocre to be a camp classic, but you might have some laughs at the filmmaker/actors' expense
Quinoa19847 June 2007
Mr. Brooks brings out its bag of tricks early on, but its a bag that's sort of moldy and with the scent of contentment with the average as opposed to more outrageous tendencies. It was a good time for the wrong reasons during the film, a vehicle for Kevin Costner to try to make a grasp at star-defiance of type (instead of a hero he's a killer, woo, big leap), but I wondered if maybe the writers would've fared better if they hadn't gone on to make it a "legitimate" thriller. The aspect to the Costner/William Hurt dynamic, where it's a blatantly obvious contrivance of the script where almost every scene without Brooks with a different person in the room or other to talk to is with Hurt's character of Brooks's ego, or Id, or whatever Freudian tick-tack may apply. Some of there scenes, however stupid they might be (including one where Costner cries, have mercy), show some interesting bits and pieces of psychological unease between the two, as if it's been too long that Brooks has listened to his egger-on and doubting Thomas, but still does as the two have wicked laughs at the possibilities of murder and deceit.

However, it's director/co-writer Bruce Evans's idea to make Mr. Brooks crammed with the typical elements of a mystery-thriller involving a serial killer, and in some equally expected and inane ways. Demi Moore's character is the given, the tough pro who is saddled with her other motivation that she has to crack the case or else be fired due to a divorce case happening the same time (this is a totally inexplicable plot line made so that Moore can act even more 'tough', and to eventually tie it into the Brooks killing line). Then there's Dane Cook, who doesn't act so much as just use his sort of twitchy 'skills' at acting like he can act to play the almost blackmailing photographer who catches Brooks in the act of killing two of his latest, and then is brought along by Brooks to see someone else get killed. On top of this, we get the 'other wise' to Brooks's life, which is that he's a legitimate businessman and a loving husband and father, the latter of which to a girl who may turn out to be as dysfunctional as him, in the worst ways possible.

Instead of possibly giving the characters and developing situations much serious thought, Evans and his co-writer make it all too ridiculous to take as something more interesting, and at the same time tries to make it a conventional thriller to make it experimental. Although Evans isn't necessarily incompetent as a craftsman with the camera- there are, in fact, many well done shots in darkness and silhouettes and other moody scenes of Brooks in his dark home or in thought or Moore swimming in the pool- the story is just too stupid to really make it on either side, with some minor exceptions (the moment when Cook's "Mr. Smith" finds the newspaper in the car with the words circled to spell out instructions, to his total anger, is hilarious), and the actors are left with material to flounder in. Cosnter can show his talents from time to time, but again he's saddled himself to a work that might have at some point allowed him for extra room to challenge himself, but in the end he almost challenges his audience to actually see if he has anything, at all, going on emotion-wise, which is next to none. William Hurt takes a nose-dive following his smashing Oscar nomination a couple years ago. Moore is, well, the usual, not bad but nothing more worthy of potential. And Cook is close to being a non-entity in a role that should require more chutzpah.

In short, wait for TV, real late night I'm-drunk-and-there's-nothing-else-on TV, for this mainstream clap-trap.
23 out of 46 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Like a half eaten bag of chips left open for months...
What a horrible experiment for all of these actors and actresses to be involved with. Kevin Costner and Demi Moore seem to have been missing from Hollywood for years now, and then they pop back up with THIS? This is one of the stalest, most unimaginative scripts I have had to sit through in a while. It's like, "Oh...this is a SERIOUS movie. About murder. With plot twists". CHEAP plot twists, that don't really make you feel anything.

Dane Cook tries hard to be mean and serious, but just looks like a goon doing so. His acting is poor in this. See him in DAN IN REAL LIFE instead. Demi Moore gives it her best but isn't given any decent lines to work with. William Hurt is given the opposite - he was cast as the schizophrenic "other" personality of Costner, and basically has to recite the most ridiculous, nonsensical cheeseball ramblings. I feel bad for him. He's just plain annoying in this - and that's coming from me who's favorite movie of all time features him in the lead role (Altered States). And Costner just feels like Costner, reading memorized lines as well. STALE! Boring! Nothing makes this movie standout. The interesting ensemble makes you think want to check it out, but in my opinion it is absolutely not worth it.

There is one very cool, surprising scene towards the end - but unfortunately it is not enough to save this stinker!
22 out of 44 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Good Movie in spite of Demi Moore
shazrahman14 September 2008
I really enjoyed this Movie, William Hurt and Kevin Costner had me believing them the whole way. Even as the killing force, I felt a great connection and sympathy for their characters. There was clever argumentative dialog between them and they really had a great chemistry.

The only reason I gave this movie 6 points was Demi Moore. She came along as this supercop - who seemed to know everything before it happened. If she was psychic it should have made clear - no detective in real life or imagined has been that good. If you put Columbo with Sherlock Holmes with a Nancy Drew and Angela Lansbury thrown in they wouldn't have been half as insightful as Moore's character. Her know-it-all arrogance and her super tough behavior was laughable. Yes you do Yoga, but you cant fight a prison hardened criminal with your arms tied behind your back. Well at least I cant.

It would have been a great movie... oh well...
8 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
There is no reason for this movie to exist.
mark-fraunhofer3 May 2012
Tried very hard to find anything about this production to redeem it, but if you start with awful writing then there is not much you can do. I couldn't find a shred of truth in any of the characters, all the actors were basically acting, they had to, none of them developed any connections with the character they were portraying, coming back to the bad writing. Direction was also non existent. Clever editing to be sure but even that did not salvage the production, it's a complete miss, waste of time. Lucky for you I had to watch it, so you can avoid it.

There is really no reason for this movie to exist other then to burn some money while making it.

I can't even say that the idea was interesting, it wasn't...
22 out of 46 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Solid and fairly original thriller with nice performances from Costner, Hurt, and Cook
ametaphysicalshark4 June 2007
Mr. Brooks (Costner) is addicted to killing. He doesn't do it because he wants to- he does it because he's an addict. Mr. Brooks derives sexual pleasure from the kill, adding a disturbing element to the film. He's the Portland man of the year, and apparently the CEO of a boxing company, as well as the notorious 'thumbprint killer' (an alias derived from his strange after murder acts, in which he leaves the bloody thumbprint of each of his victims on a surface on the scene of the crime). Mr. Brooks hasn't killed for two years, but is persuaded early in the film by his alter ego Marshall (William Hurt) to kill again. Not surprisingly, he goes through with it, killing a couple making love and conveniently not noticing that the curtains were open during the act. Again, not exactly surprising that a Mr. Baffert (Dane Cook) was snapping photos of the couple for his own sexual pleasure when the murder occurred, which gave him evidence against the Portland Man of the Year.

In the first of many 'twists' which grow increasingly convoluted over the course of the film it appears that Baffert (or Smith) doesn't want to report the murder to anyone, but instead wants in on the next kill. Demi Moore plays a determined policewoman going through a divorce (worth noting that her soon to be ex husband is notably younger than her... get the joke?) who has been working on the case of the thumbprint killer for what appears to be forever. There's a whole bunch of subplots which are poorly developed and quite unnecessary, and disturb the flow of the film.

The script is the main problem with the film. Costner has stated that the idea for Mr. Brooks was planned for a trilogy, and this feels too open-ended, too packed with twists, turns, ,and largely unnecessary subplots. There's no doubt that "Mr. Brooks" had the potential to be much better than the end result. However, the film does look good, a huge improvement (visually at least) over director Bruce A. Evans' only other directorial venture "Kuffs". The performances are excellent; Costner has only been better in "Dances With Wolves" and "Open Range" and turns in a very, very good, understated performance ast he title character. Though Demi Moore is miscast, the most controversial casting choice Dane Cook goes far beyond expectations. Expecting disastrous results, I was shocked to find Cook perform very well in the role of Mr. Baffert (or Smith), he accurately portrays his character's nervous anticipation.

"Mr. Brooks" is a lot of fun. As entertainment, it unquestionably delivers, and it is a good thriller which breaks the Hollywood mold, but it would have been a far better 150 minute film than how it currently stands. There are too many subplots and they're too confusing. This film would have easily gotten an 8 or 9 out of 10 from me had it concentrated more on the interaction between Costner, Cook, and Hurt, and less on Moore's character. Costner wants this to be a trilogy, and personally, I'm hoping for at least a direct to video sequel because Mr. Brooks' story is a lot better than this film.

6/10
17 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Pleasantly Surprised
gelatin254 December 2007
I didn't expect much considering all the bad reviews (not that those matter) but actually found this to be quite entertaining for the most part. It really plays with your mind, an original psychological thriller compared to most others out there today. Kevin Costner, in an interesting new turn for him, plays Mr. Brooks, a self-made multi-millionaire with a beautiful house and a loving wife and daughter. His business colleagues have nothing but respect for him. But he has a dark secret... he's addicted to killing people and has been for years. He fights his addiction by attending AA meetings at church and just calling himself "an addict." William Hurt plays "Marshall," his twisted inner-voice who eggs him on. I found Costner and especially Hurt to be quite a hoot in a very darkly comic sort of way, they actually make quite a duo. The ending could have been worked with better, but overall this was well-done and a must-see for any fans of Costner or Hurt, or any fans of thrillers that actually show a good sense of humor.
12 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Very very bad movie. Here's why
omarstphn29 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Demi Moore's character. Det. Tracy Atwood = Batman with a v0gina. She's rich with a net worth of 60 million. Yet she fights crime. Although she's a cop, she's not afraid to break the rules. She can take on a steroided super villain. She took down her own partner, a black man, jiu-jitsu style, like it was nothing. She talks to herself while visiting the crime scene to give the audience, us,idea of what she's thinking. sudden corpse dropping from the ceiling doesn't faze her, instead she just delivers pseudo cool die hard like line. And why does she do all this? Because her father wasn't happy that she was born a girl and made her quite aware of it. Really? So that's what you do. If you look close enough, she comes off as a psychopath herself. Like when Bane or whatever had her in the van, she screams "shoot me m0therf0cker!" And this guy who is supposed to be a serial killer, who's escaped from jail and is out to get her, for some reason stalls when she screams those words, giving her time to somehow fight and escape. The only reason I can think off as to why he would do that is because he too must have been shocked, like 'this b1tch is crazy !' Oh and when she gets flung out of the van onto another vehicle, the next thing is, she's just getting some stitches on her head. Mental...

Mr. Brooks. I didn't like the whole bi-polar thing right from the start. I mean, it's done enough number of times, Primal Fear, Fight Club, The Machinist, etc. it's like Hollywood thinks Serial Killer = Bi-Polar. And Bi-Polar = Person who literally has two personalities and engages in full on conversations with his schitzo self.

The other characters are useless or retarded. Atwood has an ex-husband who the movie tries to make you feel, deserves to be killed. I don't understand, what's with Brooks' daughter. And Why would he want her to have a bastard son, even after he knows that she has what "he's got".

The violent dream scene in the end, was just gratuitous violence, for no reason what so ever.

Anyway, this movie is nonsense. Deserves may be a 3/10. But I gave it a 1, because it had such a high rating here.
22 out of 48 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Horror thriller about an elegant psycho-killer well performed by Kevin Costner
ma-cortes17 July 2010
The picture starts with some phrases as : ¨The hunger has returned to Mr Brooks' brain. It never really left ¨. Earl Brooks (Kevin Costner , also producer along with Jim Wilson) is a highly respected family man , successful manager and happily married ( to Marg Helgenberger of CSI). He was recently named Portland's Man of the Year though hides a horrible secret nevertheless : he is a schizophrenic serial killer with a creepy charm , murdering people in cold blood and known as the Thumbprint Killer. Sicko Mr Brooks has kept his addiction to killing under control for previous years now but his alter ego (William Hurt) has re-appeared and is pushed at the behest of his demented character to murder again . Mr. Brooks has a paternal despair about his teen daughter (Danielle Panbaker) that his so-called evil have passed on her . When he murders a couple while they are making love, he is seen and photographed by a viewer (Dane Cook ). In a parallel story, the police Inspector (Demi Moore) investigating the killings is having problems of her own. She is going through a troubled divorce ( to Jason Lewis) and a violent criminal (Matt Schulze)who had vowed avenge some time before has broke out from jail and is after her.

This intriguing film pack suspense , thrills , tension and some of violence and gore . Good performances from Kevin Costner who relishes his character as relentless non-emoting killer and William Hurt as his demented alter ego . Furthermore Demi Moore is very good as intrepid police detective with messy relationship to her ex-husband . This pseudo-Freudian criminal story is plenty of twists and turns and results to be pretty interesting . Suspenseful musical score by Ramin Djawadi and glamorous cinematography by John Lindley . The motion picture is professionally directed by Bruce A Evans . He is a good writer (nominated to Oscar for Stand by me ), producer (Assassins, Made in heaven, Starman) and occasionally director , this one his second film , the first was Kuffs . The picture will appeal to Kevin Costner and Demi Moore fans . Rating : Good , better than average . Well worth watching .
6 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed