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Motherless Brooklyn (2019)

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Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, Motherless Brooklyn follows Lionel Essrog, a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette's Syndrome, as he ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna.

Director:

Edward Norton

Writers:

Jonathan Lethem (based on the novel by), Edward Norton (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
12 ( 4)

Edward Norton Talks Directing 'Motherless Brooklyn'

Edward Norton describes the creative obstacles he faced during the long development period for Motherless Brooklyn and what it was like to work with his incredible cast.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward Norton ... Lionel Essrog
Gugu Mbatha-Raw ... Laura Rose
Alec Baldwin ... Moses Randolph
Bobby Cannavale ... Tony Vermonte
Willem Dafoe ... Paul
Bruce Willis ... Frank Minna
Ethan Suplee ... Gilbert Coney
Cherry Jones ... Gabby Horowitz
Dallas Roberts ... Danny Fantl
Josh Pais ... William Lieberman
Radu Spinghel Radu Spinghel ... Giant Man
Fisher Stevens ... Lou
Peter Gray Lewis ... Mayor (as Peter Lewis)
Robert Wisdom ... Billy Rose (as Robert Ray Wisdom)
Michael Kenneth Williams ... Trumpet Man
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Storyline

Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, "Motherless Brooklyn" follows Lionel Essrog (Norton), a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette's Syndrome, as he ventures to solve his friend's murder. Armed only with a few clues and the powerful engine of his obsessive mind, Lionel unravels closely-guarded secrets that hold the fate of the whole city in the balance. Written by Warner Bros.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout including some sexual references, brief drug use, and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Filmnegah [Iran] | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Motherless Brooklyn See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,500,454, 3 November 2019

Gross USA:

$8,149,438

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,904,868
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was addressed during Comedy Central's "Roast of Bruce Willis". During Edward Norton's speech he gave a heart felt thank you to Bruce. See more »

Goofs

During the car chase early in the film, the car carrying Edward Norton and Ethan Suplee runs over the sidewalk as it rounds a corner, clearly showing the curb ramps for the handicapped, that would not have been installed until after the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. See more »

Quotes

Lionel Essrog: There's something going down, and it's big, and they were not happy about what he found.
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User Reviews

 
Great acting, excellent jazz score, good but loooong film.
27 October 2019 | by richard-1967See all my reviews

In his second directorial effort, Edward Norton has cast himself as the "motherless" Lionel, a smart-as-a-whip film-noir "gumshoe" with a photographic memory who suffers from Tourette's. No surprise: He's excellent in a difficult role, having carefully studied the ticks and other idiosyncrasies Tourette's causes. Indeed, almost the whole cast is terrific, filled with great character actors -- Willem Dafoe, Michael K. Williams, Robert Wisdom, Cherry Jones, Bobby Cannavale, Leslie Mann. Bruce Willis has a great role as Lionel's friend and mentor. And with many street scenes, Brooklyn ably stars as itself.

Norton spent years working on this film, keeping intact his own character and the gang of detectives led by Willis. But Norton changed almost everything else, setting the film in the late '50s, and focusing it on a character based on NYC power broker extraordinary Robert Moses. It's perfect film noir fodder: power and corruption, progress vs. community, race and a bit of sex, all with a jazz score in the background.

The characters are great, and for the most part, the plot works well. The tight first hour devolves into a more muddled and "fat" second half that could have been cut by 10-15 minutes. And Alec Baldwin as the "bad guy" might have worked better if I hadn't had his SNL Trump riffs in my head. But good character development and a great film-noir "look" makes this film worth seeing.


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