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By the beautiful sea at Brighton
bkoganbing12 January 2012
A really big step in the career of Richard Attenborough came when he starred in the first film of Graham Greene's novel Brighton Rock. It was so good you'd think no one would try and top it, but in 2010 the story was filmed again and the time of the story updated from post war Great Britain to the swinging sixties and the riots between the Mod and Rocker teens. That is the background for young Sam Riley to try and take a really big step in the rackets.

Which are pretty much the same as they are here although it is rare that guns are used as per the culture. Sam Riley in the lead role that helped give a boost to Richard Attenborough's career is an amoral young man who gets involved in a homicide. A revenge killing really, but a young woman who works in Helen Mirren's store can finger him for the crime.

What to do but woo Andrea Riseborough and marry her so she can't testify against him. But when Riley's crew leans on Mirren's friend John Hurt at his place of business and the guy that Riley killed was Mirren's boyfriend she'll do what it takes to take Riley down.

Some nice shots of Brighton which is like Atlantic City here, a rather run down resort area, or at least Atlantic City was before the casinos arrived. Riley, Riseborough, Mirren, and Hurt do quite well by their roles.

There is a really nice performance by Andy Serkis as a rather flamboyant gay gangster who is head of the other mob. He checks out Riley like a slab of beef on the rack at the butcher shop, but he doesn't let his lust get in the way of squelching a rival.

There's also a little more of the Catholicism of Graham Greene in the plot than there was in the first film. Even as amoral a young man as Riley does get guilt tripped quite a bit for the advantage he takes of Riseborough.

Not a bad film, but not up to what Richard Attenborough starred in.
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muddled and intriguing
SnoopyStyle9 November 2020
It's 1964 in the seaside town of Brighton, England. Disturbed young gangster Pinkie Brown (Sam Riley) kills rival Fred Hale. There is a photo with quiet waitress Rose (Andrea Riseborough). He's taken with her and marries her. Her boss Ida (Helen Mirren) worries that their marriage is less about love and more about him keeping her quiet. On the other hand, Rose is utterly in love with him and his hunger for violence.

The name Graham Greene piqued my interest. There are great actors here. There is good potential but it becomes somewhat muddled. To me, filmmaker Rowan Joffe seem more interested in creating a tone rather than smoothing out a narrative flow. At one moment, I almost surrendered to his flourishes when he put in a hundred hipsters on mopeds to take on black leathered bikers. It's weirdly compelling but it's also very odd. Pinkie and Rose have an intriguing relationship and that pulls through to the end. It's a disturbed love story and I'm willing to buy that.
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Weird and Not Engaging
claudio_carvalho18 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
In 1964, in Brighton, the hoodlum and smalltime gangster Pinkie Brown (Sam Riley) sees the murder of his chief and father figure Kite (Geoff Bell), stabbed by the smalltime crook Fred Hale (Sean Harris) on the street. His gang, formed by Spicer (Philip Davis), Cubitt (Craig Parkinson) and Dallow (Nonso Anozie), sells protection racket to the merchants of the area and they are disputing the territory with the powerful mobster Colleoni (Andy Serkis). They chase Hale and Pinkie kills him smashing his head with a stone. However, the waitress of the Snows restaurant, Rosie Wilson (Andrea Riseborough), sees Spicer running after Hale on the docks and the local photographer takes a picture of the trio and gives the receipt slip to Rosie.

The sociopath Pinkie is assigned by Spicer to retrieve the slip and eliminate Rosie and he gets closer to her. The needy girl falls in love with Pinkie and promises him to keep silence. Pinkie, who is disputing the leadership of the gang with Spicer, does not feel anything for Rosie but decides to marry her to avoid her testimony in the future. Meanwhile, Hale's lover and manager of the Snows, Ida Arnold (Helen Mirren), pursues Pinkie and tries to force Rosie to go to the police to tell the truth.

"Brighton Rock" is a weird and not engaging remake of the 1947 film that is based on Graham Greene's novel. I did not see the original or read the novel, but I did not like this version. There are inconsistencies in the plot regarding why the sociopath Pinkie does not kill Rosie and prefers to marry her. When he records a 45 rpm vinyl record and gives it to Rosie, it is clear that the hoodlum does not feel anything for Rosie but hate. The conclusion with the record repeating "I love you" and the last scene showing the cross to indicate a miracle is awful. My vote is five.

Title (Brazil): "O Pior dos Pecados" ("The Worst of the Sins")
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It's a grand piano concerto, with the notes all jumbled up
Sleepin_Dragon23 February 2018
You couldn't wish to put together a film with such brilliant assets, a great story, superb production values, Brighton looking incredible, Helen Mirren, Andy Serkis, John Hurt...Sadly overall it's just average, I hadn't seen it for years and thought let's give it another go, and my opinion hasn't altered, a film that should be superb on all fronts, sadly falls short, it's watchable, it's well acted, it looks fantastic, it just fails to engage, what should be exciting is a little dull.

On the plus side, the acting is superb, excellent performances all round, most notably from Sam Riley, who is compelling. The visuals are the films strengths, it looks great, the scenes involving the mods and rockers look so good, they truly managed to capture the era.

Maybe my expectations were too high, it always leaves me disappointed. 6/10
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"It's a good old world out there if you don't weaken."
classicsoncall1 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This is the second movie in a month I've watched with the words 'Brighton Rock' in the title, but the other one wasn't the 1948 original with Richard Attenborough. It was called "Body at Brighton Rock" and took place in an American mountain wilderness. It wasn't very good, so no need to look it up.

But man! - what a lowlife that guy Pinkie (Sam Riley) was. Extremely rude to his girlfriend, didn't buy a ring for the wedding, recorded a hate message for her, and tried to get her to commit suicide! Now love may be blind, but even marriage wasn't much of an eye opener for poor Rose Wilson (Andrea Riseborough). The girl had self esteem issues for sure, and it didn't help that her own father basically sold her to gangster Pinkie for a hundred fifty quid. At about a buck and a half American, that's a little over two hundred dollars, a bargain by most standards, but Pinkie was looking to throw his money away to keep a secret.

For a British gangster flick, this isn't in the same league as the Guy Ritchie films like "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" or "Snatch", so keep your expectations low. I had a couple problems with the picture, like the newspaper photo of Pinkie's victim Fred Hale (Sean Harris) looking nothing like the guy in the story. And the name of the opposing mobster, going by Colleoni (Andy Serkis); that sounded too much like Don Corleone. This was not in the same league as "The Godfather" either.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a terrible story but you won't come away with any redeeming characters to speak of. Helen Mirren and John Hurt provide some class to a somewhat passable picture, and you have to stick around for the Twilight Zone style ending when the widow Rose gets around to playing her record. The needle sticks on 'I love you', which will work for her just as long as she doesn't get another player that isn't defective.
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Brighton Rock
jboothmillard25 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I saw that they were remaking the classic Lord Sir Richard Attenborough gangster film, and I was certainly intrigued, having also seen a live stage play version of the story. Basically set in 1964 (not the 1930's like the original) this focuses on the activities of Pinkie Brown (Sam Riley) and his gang of assorted criminals, appointed new leader after killing the man who was a threat. There is evidence that could get his gang caught when a photograph is taken with the man who was killed next to one of the criminals, and the innocent victim in the middle of it Rose (Andrea Riseborough). She is the young woman working in a café for snooty and suspicious Ida (Dame Helen Mirren), and it is up to Pinkie to convince her he has feelings or something in order to keep her mouth shut and not get the photograph developed. So for a long while of the film we see him pretending to be nice, and hating every minute of his time with Rose, while at the same time keeping the dark underworld of gang culture in order. The pinnacle moment of Pinkie's sheer hatred for Rose is recording seemingly a love message on a record, but he instead confesses to how much he really detests her. Towards the end, the criminal world all crumbles around Pinkie and he ends up being driven towards the edge of a cliff where he is shot, falls to his death, and the record for Rose is scratched so she cannot hear the whole thing, only skipping and repeating the untruthful words "You want me to tell you I love you - I love you - I love you" etc. Also starring John Hurt as Phil Corkery, Philip Davis as Spicer, Nonso Anozie as Dallow, Andy Serkis as Mr. Colleoni, Sean Harris as Hale, Steven Robertson as Crab and Steve Evets as Mr. Wilson. I guess I can see moments where Riley is wrong for the lead part, but he isn't terrible, Riseborough is alright, Mirren does okay with her time, and Hurt, Davis and Serkis I guess are reasonable in the supporting roles. I think the change in time era is a near enough good idea for originality, but knowing the original film well enough there isn't anything significantly different, you just feel throughout it could be better, and not even some inventive camera use can change that, a slightly disappointing period crime thriller. Adequate!
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dark, gritty remake of a dark, gritty film
blanche-226 February 2016
I watched this because of Helen Mirren, not realizing that I saw the original starring Richard Attenborough. That film is highly thought of, but I did not give it a great review on IMDb and actually don't remember that much about it. In fact had I not looked up the 2010 Brighton Rock, I wouldn't have realized I saw the original.

Brighton Rock concerns a rotten-to-the-core thug, Pinkie (Sam Riley) who must become involved with a shy waitress (Andrea Riseborough) in order to keep her from going to the police about a man whom he murdered. Her boss at the tea shop (Mirren) is afraid for her and sets out to try to bring him to justice.

In the original, the tea shop owner, Ida, was played by Hermoine Baddeley. Talk about a difference in casting. Mirren is sexy and well- dressed, sporting a lower-class accent, and is marvelous.

My problem with the original was I couldn't understand any woman, no matter how young, how desperate, falling for Dickie Attenborough. I wrote that had Dirk Bogarde played the role, you could at least believe she fell for his looks.

Sam Riley as Pinkie is cute, if you don't mind that his face was slashed, but this part of the story is still weak. He is too abusive to Rose, and his attempts to be nice are pathetic. We see where she lives when Ida visits her at home. One step into Pinkie's place and I'd have been outside, running and screaming.

Nevertheless, this is a well-acted, atmospheric, and tough film that will attract some viewers. But see the original for Attenborough's amazing performance.
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The gang
jotix10024 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Graham Greene's novel gets another treatment by Rowan Joffe. This new remake glosses the story in ways that pales in comparison with the grittier early version. At the center of the novel was the religion issue that both, the principal character, Pinkie Brown, and the woman he chooses to be his wife, Rose Wilson, felt strongly about. Hell is a dreaded place neither one wants to face.

Pinkie is a remorseless thug who wants to rise among the criminal element operating in Brighton, the seaside resort, where the action takes place. Pinkie is an intense, and ambitious youth hell bent in avenging the death of his mentor, slain by a rival gang headed by the oily Colleoni, a powerful man in the underground. A set of circumstances influence Pinkie in the turn the story takes when he and Rose are photographed by a man at the pier with the man who Pinkie knows is responsible for the death of his friend.

In the background of this version there are two groups, the Rocks and the Mods, two youth factions that meet in Brighton to fight one another, to the consternation of the businesses in town. Ida, who owns a tea shop, had been romantically involved with the man that was murdered; her suspicion falls on Pinkie, realizing he is a ruthless youth making his name among the criminal element. Ida, who employs Rose, realizes her waitress can be easily manipulated because she is weak. The main reason behind Pinkie's marrying Rose is to prevent her from testifying against him.

Casting Sam Riley as Pinkie, changes the novel's tone. It is clear he is much older than an ideal man to portray the man at the center of the story. Not that Mr. Riley, a wonderful actor, is not up to task, but comparisons with the previous Pinkie of Richard Attenborough, he pales in contrast. Andrea Riseborough makes a mousy Rose and the excellent Helen Mirren is perfect as Ida. The supporting cast includes John Hurt and Andy Serkis among the players.
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Badly cast and boring
preppy-320 June 2011
This takes place in Britain of 1964. Basically it's about the rise and fall of totally amoral Pinkie (Sam Riley) and the woman who inexplicably loves him named Rose (Andrea Riseborough). I never saw the original film so I can't compare and contrast. On its own I think this is a terrible movie. For starters--Sam Riley is seriously miscast. Pinkie is supposed to be a teenager--Riley is 30 and LOOKS it! He seems far too old to be so naive and spends most of his time just scowling at the camera. Riseborough is great but her character is so damn trusting and lets Pinkie walk all over her. I seriously couldn't see WHY she was in love with him. More than once I wanted to slap her silly. Helen Mirren has a small role and is great (as always) but she can't save this. Also it's far too long and moves VERY slowly. It IS well-done with some great visuals and a neat little touch of black humor at the end--but I was bored through most of it. I give it a 2.
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High production values can't disguise a lacklustre adaptation of a thought-provoking book.
CinemaSerf8 April 2021
This is the second screen adaptation of Graham Greene's novel, and it is not a patch on the Richard Attenborough 1948 iteration. It has been updated to a Mods vs Rockers scenario with Sam Riley as "Pinkie Brown" an aspiring psychopathic mobster bent on eliminating both his boss Phil Davis ("Spicer") and the opposing gang leader "Colleoni"" (Andy Serkis). Andrea Riseborough ("Rose") manages to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and next thing she knows, she is implicated in a murder and married to "Pinkie" much to the annoyance of her boss "Ida" (Dame Helen Mirren) who determines to rescue her charge from the clutches of her increasingly desperate husband. The updated storyline works OK, in so far as it goes, but much of the gritty nuanced effect of Greene's book is lost. Partly because this is, technically, a well made piece of cinema and colour is frequently the enemy of a suspenseful story, but the acting is shocking. Riley exudes no menace at all, nor does Serkis and Mirren is dreadful - not that she has much depth as an actress at the best of times, but every role she plays features the same puzzled, head in hands expressions and her attempts at anger and threat are about as intimidating as yesterday's potato peelings. The pace is fine, the story remains reasonably faithful to the book but there is just far too little left to our own imagination, and what is offered by way of a substitute for that is weak and soul-less. I wouldn't bother, if i were you...
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You wanted to hear my voice....
FlashCallahan24 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Brighton Rock is one of those weird movies. We have an eclectic cast, but are they really doing their best here? Riley is as good as always, but his Pinkie feels a little too over the top to be as threatening as he appears to be, it's as if he needs a hug from his mother.

The story stays reasonably faithful to the source material, but setting it in a different decade is strange, and makes the sixties feel a little dated (the inclusion of the mod and rocker riot is out of place).

Then we have the rest of the cast. Serkis looks uncomfortable without a blue screen, Hurt is mundane, but Mirrien and Davies lift up the movie into the watchable oddity it is.

Joffe makes Brighton, Hove, and Eastbourne look as beautiful as it is, but he cannot narrate or develop characters, which is fundamental to this story.

And to make the 'romance' between Pinkie and Rose dull is unforgivable.

It's nice to look at, with some okay performances, but at the end of the day, it's one of those movies I like to file under 'highly unnecessary'.
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Don't bother the story is just too dated
phd_travel4 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The story is filled with uninteresting one dimensional characters. So unpleasant and silly. It's just shouldn't have been remade. It's not even worth a watch for Helen Mirren.

Andrea Riseborough plays Rose looks too intelligent to play the half wit character with the lowest self esteem in the world. The object of her affection played by Sam Riley speaks in an indecipherable squeaky accent that I couldn't understand half of what he said. Helen Mirren looks younger with her darker thicker hair. Why she wants to bother with that silly Rose is just beyond me.

Don't bother with this ugly story full of idiotic characters.
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Good versus Evil, Sin and Redemption: Graham Greene Revisited
gradyharp3 September 2011
BRIGHTON ROCK is a British remake of the 1947 brilliant film noir based on the novel by Graham Greene an adapted for the screen by Graham Greene and Terrance Rattigan. This BRIGHTON ROCK has been updated from the original 1930s setting to the 1960s and the screenplay is by Rowan Joffe (who also directs) - tough competition with the original writers! The result is a dark film that relies on performances by some actors who are not up to the task and makes them seem even more weak by the presence of such brilliant actors in smaller roles as Helen Mirren, John Hurt, Philip Davis and Andrea Riseborough.

The story takes place in 1964 in Brighton, once a quiet seaside town, is suddenly overrun by gangs of sharp suited Mods and greasy Rockers looking for a riot. Looking to be the top Mod gangster, Pinkie Brown (Sam Riley) will stop at nothing to be the biggest name in the crime world - bigger than the competitor Colleoni (Andy Serkis). Pinkie witnesses the vicious death of fellow Mod Kite (Goeff Bell) and is determined to kill the perpetrator Hale (Sean Harris). Pinkie's ruthless and violent ambition takes over his mission and when he discovers that a waitress named Rose (Andrea Riseborough) who works at Snows, a café run by Ida (Helen Mirren), is involved tangentially in the murders, Pinkie decides to court the plain Jane Rose, knowing that if he marries her she cannot testify against him should she discover Pinkie's guilt in the murders. Ida had a 'connection' with Hale and sees through the veils of deceit Pinkie is placing on the innocent Rose, and she and her longtime friend Phil (John Hurt) undermine Pinkie's plans. Pinkie marries Rose - a gesture that secures Rose's fascination and new love for Pinkie - to keep her from testifying against him. As factors around the conflicts between the two gangs tighten and Pinkie fears for his end, he convinces his new bride to take part in a mutual suicide, an act that has a surprising end.

What is missing in this updated adaptation is Graham Greene's important emphasis on the theme of sin, guilt and Catholicism: there are attempts to bring these concepts into the script but they become of lesser importance than the action and dark evocation of a period piece. There mood is well described by the cinematography of John Mathieson, but the single most effective aspect of this film is the brilliant music score by the gifted British composer Martin Phipps, godson of Benjamin Britten. Were there not an original film for comparison the film would likely be better accepted. But for those who are ardent fans of the novels of Graham Greene this film adaptation will likely disappoint. It is currently available On Demand and simultaneously in theaters before the DVD is released here.

Grady Harp
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Although the forerunner was unwinnable this remake deserves respect!!!
elo-equipamentos4 February 2021
A remake of the British Noir gem "Brighton Rock" from 1947 starred by Richard Attenborough, inspired on Graham Greene's novel and adapted to the sixties, while the original is quite sure unwinnable, this one deserves fully respect, the story took place at Brighton, a seashore city, where two opponent mobsters come to blows over the profitable gambling housing that are spreading in the city, the Mobsters's gangs sell as "the protectors" for these bookmakers work without getting pestered, when the weak side's boss Kite (Geoff Bell) is killed by the Colleone's greater gang (Andy Serkis), afterwards the small group are assessing the loss of their leader and may left the game for good, however first they must settle a proper revenge against the alredy recognized killer Fred Hale (Sean Harris).

Pinkie Brown (Sam Riley) an immature pickpocket raised by Kite a wannabe to the new Boss's position was drafted to kill Fred, sadly the assignment left a clue when Spicer (Philip Davis) was photographed on the pier with side by side with the victim Fred and a girl called Rose (Andrea Riseborough), this untimely occurrence may take the police raise suspicions over them, thus the unkind Pinkie closing in of the naïve Rose in order to reach on the photo that links them to the crime, on the approaching Pinkie seems enthralled by the girl, thereafter she knows the whole thing, Pinkie is concernned that Rose blows the whistle he offers a marriage to her, wondering that she never will testify against him.

When enters the ripened Ida (Helen Mirren) interposing between the Rose and Pinkie, granting to him that no harm comes to her, nevertheless has a small vinyl record that includes an awful truth, hardly negligible as the IMDB's users and reviewers tried implied, don't be fooled by them, watch yourself!!

Thanks for reading.


First watch: 2021 / How many: 1 / Source: Blu-Ray / Rating: 7.5
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Has Its Own Virtues
JamesHitchcock23 February 2012
One of the perils of remaking a classic film is that your version will be compared unfavourably with the original. Of course, there have always been film-makers who have dared to brave this peril, and it is as well that there have been, otherwise we would have been deprived of, for example, Kenneth Branagh's interpretation of "Henry V", which spoke to the eighties just as Laurence Olivier's had spoken to the forties.

Graham Greene's novel "Brighton Rock" was famously adapted for the screen by the Boulting brothers in 1947, and their version is widely regarded as one of the greatest films from the "Golden Age" of the British cinema during the forties and fifties. Rowan Joffé's recent remake has not been universally well-received, particularly by those who believe that nothing can ever compete with its illustrious predecessor. Much as I admire the Boultings' film, however, I have to admit that the newcomer has many virtues of its own.

The main character is Pinkie Brown, the youthful leader of a gang of thugs whose principal activity is protection racketeering. Early in the film, Pinkie murders Hale, a member of a rival gang, in revenge for the murder by Hale of Pinkie's colleague Kite. (In the original novel and the 1947 film, Hale was a journalist who had been investigating the gang's activities. Another change is the date at which the story takes place; although the novel and original film are both set in the 1930s, this adaptation is set during the Mods and Rockers era of the 1960s).

Pinkie tries to cover his tracks by creating a false alibi for himself, which leads to the commission of further crimes and to Pinkie's marriage to Rose, a young waitress who he believes might be in possession of evidence which could send him to the gallows. Pinkie is not in love with Rose, but marries her because at the time the film is set there was a rule of English law that a wife could not give evidence against her husband. The ending is closer to the one Greene wrote in his novel, although Joffé keeps the famous twist which the writer introduced when he produced the 1947 screenplay.

Joffe said that he made the film because, on reading the novel, he "fell absolutely in love with the character of Rose", and the treatment of this character is, in my view, the one area in which the modern film is better than the earlier one. Andrea Riseborough's interpretation of the character- downbeat, dowdy, bespectacled and needy- seems just right for the role. Rose responds to Pinkie's overtures because he is the only person to have shown her any affection, and she is naïve enough to overlook his obvious criminality and not to realise that his affection for her is feigned. Carol Marsh's Rose, however, was rather too glamorous; it was difficult to imagine her as someone lacking in male admirers.

There are also good performances from two veterans of the British cinema, John Hurt and Helen Mirren. Hurt plays the bookmaker Phil Corkery, who has a more important role in this adaptation than he does in the book. Mirren plays Ida Arnold, the woman whose determination to get at the truth results in Pinkie's downfall. In the 1947 Ida was played by Hermione Baddeley as a blowsy, ageing showgirl and a casual acquaintance of Hale; here she becomes the manageress of the café where Rose works and a close friend of the murdered man.

I was less impressed by Sam Riley who, as Pinkie, lacked the sense of menace and evil which Richard Attenborough brought to the role. At 30, moreover, Riley seemed too old to play a teenager. (Attenborough would have been 24 in 1947, and looked younger). Also, I couldn't see the point of setting the story in the 1960s, as the "Mods and Rockers" element added little, or nothing, to Greene's story. Pinkie's gang, and the rival Colleoni gang, were both part of Brighton's own criminal underworld, whereas the Mods and Rockers were drawn from all over the country, especially London, and merely chose Brighton, and other seaside resorts, as convenient places for their battles.

Joffé has also discarded a lot of the religious content of the original novel. Greene made Ida an atheist whose system of values was based upon secular ideas of "right" and "wrong", as opposed to Pinkie and Rose, both believing Catholics who believed firmly in "good" and "evil". This opposition between two contrasting attitudes to morality was an important theme of the novel, but it is not something dwelt on at length in either film. The 1947 version downplayed Pinkie's religious beliefs, possibly as a concession to Catholics unhappy with the idea of one of their flock being portrayed as a violent criminal, although it did concentrate on Rose's spiritual development. The modern film acknowledges that both Pinkie and Rose are "Romans", but for the most part avoids theological issues and turns Greene's story into the basis for a grim, grey neo-noir type crime thriller. (The 1947 film was set during a sunny summer Bank Holiday; this version appears to have been shot in winter, with Brighton largely deserted by holidaymakers). It is up to the viewer to decide which approach he or she prefers. 7/10
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Universal Undertones
jdesando20 October 2011
British noir, as in The Third Man, is more than shadows and murder. As in Brighton Rock, noir is about hoods and innocents locked in a personal struggle for identity and love, youths and elders battling for Brighton and the right to rule the lives of those who just want to enjoy the beach.

Pinky and Rose are the Romeo and Juliet of the beach, he a small time gangster fighting the Colleoni mob (noir's not always subtle), she a naïve who becomes entangled in his life through happenstance and then love, which binds her to him despite the danger. More than the young Turk vs. establishment motif, the story turns on love as much as greed. Pinky needs to save himself from the hangman for murdering a rival, and Rose, a wall flower, needs love. Pinky can't shake his dependence on Rose, perhaps his growing love, and she has been lost in his Leo DiCaprio charm since the first time they met.

Ida (Helen Mirren) represents the voice of older reason that fears not having justice for the murder of her friend. And so it goes with generations fleeing each other yet careening closer as fate stalks them. Meanwhile Brighton is photographed in crisp noir black and white, and the sky shows little sun. As the youthful protesters swarm down the boardwalk, evil lurks underneath with generations fighting hopelessly for power while above them the power is going to the people. Way up above even the heavens (aka religion) are conspiring for control.

The White Cliffs of Dover give director Rowan Joffe an opportunity to show Nature's dramatic indifference to the little dramas teetering on its edge, to suggest a strength that buttresses England from the contemporary youth riots. Similarly Brighton's Royal Pavilion seems invulnerable to the little skirmishes, even murders, playing out, not like in Lear or Matthew Arnold's poem, but in the mean lives overshadowed by the rock of Brighton.

Based on the Graham Greene story, Brighton Rock is an enjoyable film noir with universal undertones.
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Average British gangster movie set in 1964 - forget literary reference
dierregi9 March 2017
Pinkie is a violent, dangerous member of a mini-gang, lead by Kite and operating in Brighton in 1964. The problem is that a larger and better organized gang is already "protecting" the city. Trouble erupts when Kite is killed by Hale, a member of the Colleoni big gang.

Pinkie revenges his boss and mentor, but Colleoni is not too happy about Pinkie killing Hale and thinking of being at his level of organized crime. It does seems absurd that Pinkie's gang, composed by three members plus himself can expect to be taken seriously, but Pinkie is supposed to be a psycho, disconnected from reality.

To protect himself Pinkie ends up marrying Rose, a Roman-Catholic like him who witnessed part of the Hale killing. Since a wife cannot testify against the husband, Pinkie thinks he got it made, without noticing that everything is already crumbling around him. The only way out is predictably bad.

The Mod/Rockers battles make for an intriguing background, despite the unrelenting gloominess of the story. Some relief is given by John Hurt and Hellen Mirren, playing relatively glamorous roles in the unglam setting. The biggest let down is the soppy ending

Before I started reading the reviews, I found this a decent British gangsters story. However, it seems that every single reviewer felt compelled to compare this with the original 1947 movie or at least, mention the Greene novel and the lack of sufficient Catholic anguish.

I am a cinephile, but I did not see the 1947 movie, nor feel the need to do so, just to compare it to this. Also, I am familiar with Greene, but again, I think each work should stand on its own and this movie is OK, without being a masterpiece - apart from the silly ending.
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I was fond of him. poor old Fred.
lastliberal-853-25370826 October 2014
Sometimes it's a character you liked that attracts, like the role Philip Davis played in Midsomer Murders. Other times it's to see a great star like Helen Mirren.

Whatever the reason, it's always good to see a film based on a Graham Greene novel, like The Third Man, This Gun for Hire, The Quiet American, and many more.

A young Richard Attenborough played in this movie in the 40's, here is falls to Sam Riley (Control, Maleficent) to play the lead. He is capably assisted by Andrea Riseborough (Oblivion, Shadow Dancer), as the waitress he marries to keep her from testifying as a witness.

A good neo-noir with contributions from William Hurt and Nonso Anozie (The Grey, Game of Thrones).
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Far from the tragedy bad rating indicates, but worse than it could have been
guisreis7 May 2021
It is well filmed and casting is great (John Hurt! Hellen Mirren!), but story is not solid or engaging enough. Manipulation is a unique trait that is well addresses, while most relationships, affinities and loyalties are quite inconsistent. Rose is a convincing character in her fragile naivety, but Pinkie is neither charismatic nor really frightening. He is a tepid leading role for a mafia thriller. The very last moment in the movie was interesting.
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Mildly engaging crime drama
bandw13 February 2012
The main character of this movie is Pinkie Brown, a small-time thug in Brighton, England, in the 1960s. Pinkie's true evil nature comes out when he tries to take over a small gang of criminals after their leader had been killed by a rival gang. As played here, Pinkie is in his 20s and, as brash and amoral as he is, he and his mediocre cohorts are no match for the rival gang that basically runs underground crime in Brighton.

The action is sordid and ugly, but the glossy color photography works at cross purposes to conveying that mood. Much of the photography is more appropriate for an art film than for this down-and-dirty fare, making me think that maybe black and white would have been a more appropriate choice. As Pinkie, I found Sam Riley just a little too handsome for the part--he does not exude the menace and harsh personality that is Pinkie's nature.

I found the initial setup scenes rapid-paced and confusing, requiring close attention; if you don't follow what has happened early on, you will be at a loss to fully understand what happens later. An additional complication to my following the opening scenes was the fact that I am not a Brit and didn't always follow the cadences and clipped manner of speaking. I confess to starting the movie over after about fifteen minutes, with English subtitles turned on. That was a great help.

The score that often seems to aspire to the transcendent seems greatly out of place.

I wish I had seen this movie before having read the book, since having some of the images in mind would have been good. Never having been to Brighton, my mental picture of it would have been greatly enhanced by what is well captured here. While the movie strips from the book much of the depth of the themes of sexuality, morality, loyalty, and sin, there are things in the movie that I found improved upon the book. I liked Helen Mirren's portrayal of Ida as a more centered person than the blithe Ida of the book, and John Hurt fleshed out Ida's friend Phil better than what I got from the book. And there are a lot of little things. For example, I pictured the candy, Brighton rock, as being something like a candy cane rather than the weighty rod seen in the movie. I regret that Pinkie's lawyer Prewitt was deleted--he was a truly Dickensian character in the book. And why the great ending in the book was changed is beyond me.
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A somewhat soft rock
stensson22 May 2011
Graham Green not only has his admirers, he has his worshippers. But to estimate him, you mostly must have a quite deep knowledge in Catholic thinking. It can't be helped, that you otherwise may feel a little left out.

This takes place in Brighton 1964 (the novel takes place in 1938). The young petty murderer is hunted and haunted. He meets this girl and marries her, both from calculation and for something which reminds of love and disgust at the same time.

The problem is that the English environment of 1964 anyway becomes more interesting. You walk around there, beside the plot, and that takes you quite far away from Green's intentions.
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427th Review: Gothic Mods
intelearts11 June 2011
While Brighton Rock is receiving a certain amount of stick (geddit?) from critics and reviewers who want to solely compare it to the original - I for one was lost in this - it's evocative, dark, broody, and a nice angsty character study of post-war Britain going hell for leather into the 60s.

This is a film about anger and loss, about opportunity and ambition, and crime - and the elements that Graham Greene satirized so brilliantly in his novel are there - the Catholicism post-Evelyn Waugh, the rise of the working-class with money, and above all, desperate lonely early 20s love.

All in all, the production values, the cameos, the central roles are more than competent - this is a very good British film, and it should be allowed 50 years on to stand on its on. There are a number of excellent iconic scenes, from the scooters, to the bosses; and we liked that it's not just about petty crime or gangs, there's a lot going on here - it's nowhere near in any sense a bad film, and deserves a good audience.
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It's just not coming together.
punishmentpark9 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
It's been a while since I saw 'Brighton rock' from 1947, but it was a lot better than this attempt to recreate a book for the screen. The acting may be strong in itself, but the drama and crime aspects never come together. One example is the scene where Pinkie takes Spicer on his last ride (or at least it is supposed to be) to the beach under the pier: the beautiful images of Brighton, its streets and dozens of mopeds (I'm not sure they're called that) are promising, but it hardly works, especially when Pinkie finds a little time to kneel down and pray(!) on the run from a couple of serious hard men. The ending has that same problem, it's over the top in its gestures, but there is no dramatic impact to match it.

The locations, settings and costumes are pretty great, and the cast try their best, but it is all to very little avail.

4 out of 10.
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Not soo good movie..
kamalbeeee29 July 2020
The story is good but i expect atleast twist in climax...really its disappointed me eventhough story and casting is good
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How Love Fulfills Us and Fills our Lives.
vitaleralphlouis26 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The center of this movie is not the criminals but the waitress who happened to witness something that could put people in jail. In order to keep her quiet, Pinkie, a handsome murderer, involves himself in her life. However selfish and shallow his intentions, he brings her out and gives her purpose, happiness and challenge way beyond what she's gotten serving tea and crumpets to customers in a tea shop.

By the time the girl gets a glimpse into the "real" Pinkie, she's fully committed to him and the alternative offered by well meaning people in her life has a big price tag: eradication of all her newfound joy and purpose, and a return to loneliness; now equipped with an even more battered ego than before.

The film offers wonderful on-location photography of Brighton, England; and in contrast to the boring garbage of most 2011-2012 films there is not one single car blown up in the entire film.
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