Earl Brooks is a highly respected businessman and was recently named Portland's Man of the Year. He hides a terrible secret however: he is a serial killer known as the Thumbprint Killer. He has been attending AA meetings and has kept his addiction to killing under control for two years now but his alter ego, Marshall, has re-appeared and is pushing him to kill again. When he does kill a couple while they are making love, he is seen and photographed by someone who also has his own death and murder fetish. In a parallel story, the police detective investigating the murder is having problems of her own. She is going through a messy divorce and a violent criminal who had vowed revenge some years before has escaped from prison and is after her. Written by
Mr. Brooks' glasses are made of glass and aren't prescription lenses. You can see this in two scenes in particular: the scene in the beginning where Mr. Brooks and his wife go out for ice cream and the scene where Mr. Brooks is burning the pictures. Also, it is unlikely that this could have been intended by the filmmakers because Mr. Brooks' daughter puts them at least once when she is in his office. See more »
Mr. Earl Brooks:
Oh God... God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
Why do you fight it so hard, Earl?
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A thumbprint forms the backdrop for the end credits. See more »
Unusual, creative storyline and scripting, exceptionally well done.
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.
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