Motherless Brooklyn (2019) Poster

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A Calm, Engaging Mystery
kjproulx11 September 2019
Edward Norton, by most film fans, has been and will always be known as one of the best actors out there. Appearing in classics like Fight Club and more modern masterpieces like Birdman, he's never been one to pick a bad project on purpose. Motherless Brooklyn marks his latest leading role, while also directing and writing. As ambitious and difficult as that is, he has pulled it off quite well. Motherless Brooklyn is a very well-made period piece.

Set in the 1950s, this film follows Lionel(Edward Norton) after the murder of his closest friend and colleague. Hellbent on discovering who the killer is, he finds himself on a paper trail across Brooklyn, never giving up on his plan. Being someone who also happens to suffer from Tourette Syndrome, he is a character that has a lot of depth to get behind. Personally, this particular character needed a great performance in order to be authentic, which is where this film shines the most.

It's been a while since I've seen Edward Norton this committed to delivering a powerful performance. There are hardly any instances where he feels like he doesn't actually suffer from this condition. His devotion is what kept me engaged because the overall story does slightly meander at times. At nearly two and a half hours, this film can feel its length at times, but that's simply due to the fact that this movie cares about its characters and spends a lot of time on long conversations, some of which do lead to revelations though.

Based on a book, this screenplay here definitely feels inspired and the voiceover work by Norton calms the viewers throughout, making for a sort of relaxing experience. In addition to that, the use of classical and jazz music is so much in the forefront that it nearly became a character of its own in the film. I really admired that aspect. Still, the overall movie doesn't leave too much for the audience to figure out, since the narration does lend a hand.

In the end, Motherless Brooklyn is a really, really solid crime mystery that has the perfect setting and feel for this sort of premise. I found myself completely engrossed in this world and was eager to see where the movie ended up. Edward Norton gives an award-worthy performance and his direction only adds to that, making for a great overall movie. Motherless Brooklyn may be meant for a more mature audience as it is quite niche in terms of the nature of the story, which may lend itself better to an older crowd. Even so, I quite enjoyed myself.
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A tight and gripping movie
rakeshroy3112 October 2019
The movie recreated the 1950s NY in an amazing way. Great cast who portrayed their roles with authenticity. It had a nice leisurely pace but held on to the suspense till the end. Saw during the NYFF premier ... it was a great choice to end the 2019 festival. Would recommend the movie for anyone who can appreciate good meaningful cinema.

Motherless Brooklyn is the kind of movie Hollywood almost never makes anymore, and a complexly conceived, robust evocation of a bygone era of New York that speaks to our present moment.
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Incredible performance
rldimension12 October 2019
Ed Norton does an amazing performance. Alec Baldwin was terrific!
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Mixed feelings
jim9tan1 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Watched it in October at the VIFF in Vancouver. Lots of big names and respected actors. Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Willem Dafoe etc.

It's a historical drama. Set in 1950s New York, the protagonist (Norton) works for a P.I. (Willis). After Frank Minna is killed, Lioniel sets about unraveling the reason.

Set against a backdrop of corruption at city hall, the film touches the right buttons. Ugly real estate developers and the need for justice. Friendship and loyalty. A protagonist with a handicap who has courage.

The problem is that the film does not cover new ground.

It is a carefully crafted film. The veteran actors all do a good job, but I was turned off by the the theatrical dramatics. Too loud.

IMO, the film will appeal to film buffs and fans of Norton. The general public may not be equally enthusiastic or even patience. It is a long film for a gumshoe genre.
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Really gripping
imdb-ikysmoviedatabase11 September 2019
Really good story fantastic performance by bruce Willis and the rest of the cast it's a must watch
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I enjoyed it and recommend it
bandblawrw24 October 2019
#MotherlessBrooklyn has the authenticity of a period piece like Road to Perdition combined with the corruption & intrigue of The Departed. Writer/director/actor Edward Norton paid homage to the classics in this movie. Featuring an All-Star cast, there was no way he could lose with the characters' performances. I think that is the one drawback of the film, with such a stellar cast he had to give everyone time and the movie boasts a runtime of 2:24 minutes. A bit lengthy for a crime drama/who done it because there will be slower portions of the film. However, it was never boring and the dialogue is spot-on with the snappiness of Sin City but it doesn't come across as a caricature. A very entertaining film and please don't be emo like me and cry after the opening scene.
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Goofy snooze fest
Marlenewilliams573 October 2019
I fell asleep thankfully 30 minutes in hoping I wouldn't be forced to waste any more of my life on this 144 minute bore fest- however, I woke up for the last 45 minutes and was still bored out of my mind and flabbergasted how good actors can be in such a obtuse film. It's goofy, not believable, script is weak and full of cliches. I've seen student films better than this. I got to see this film for free and I'm mad I wasted my time. If you can sit through this whole movie without looking at your phone or walking off you deserve an award.
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Perfect Film Noir for those who love this genre
corriek-7044813 October 2019
Audience REACTIONS at its International PREMIERE: 😄😄😄😄😄😂😄😄😄😄😄(11 scenes with laughter) ⏳(touch long)
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