7.2/10
83,113
257 user 224 critic

Harry Brown (2009)

R | | Action, Crime, Drama | 14 May 2010 (USA)
Trailer
2:03 | Trailer
An elderly ex-serviceman and widower looks to avenge his best friend's murder by doling out his own form of justice.

Director:

Daniel Barber

Writer:

Gary Young (screenplay)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Caine ... Harry Brown
Emily Mortimer ... D.I. Alice Frampton
Charlie Creed-Miles ... D.S. Terry Hicock (as Charlie Creed Miles)
David Bradley ... Leonard Attwell
Iain Glen ... S.I. Childs
Sean Harris ... Stretch
Plan B ... Noel Winters (as Ben Drew)
Jack O'Connell ... Marky
Jamie Downey Jamie Downey ... Carl
Lee Oakes Lee Oakes ... Dean Saunders
Joseph Gilgun ... Kenny
Liam Cunningham ... Sid Rourke
Marva Alexander Marva Alexander ... Nurse #1
Liz Daniels Liz Daniels ... Kath Brown
Marvin Campbell ... Stunt Neighbour (as Marvin Stewart-Campbell)
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Storyline

In England, retired Royal Marine Harry Brown spends his lonely life between the hospital, where his beloved wife Kath is terminally ill, and playing chess with his only friend Leonard Attwell in the Barge pub owned by Sid Rourke. After the death of Kath, Len tells his grieving friend the local gang is harassing him and he is carrying an old bayonet for self-defence. Harry suggests he to go to the police. When Len is beaten, and stabbed to deatry detective Inspector Alice Frampton and her partner Sergeant Terry Hicock are sent to investigate. They pay Harry a visit but don't have good news; the police have not found any other evidence, other than the bayonet, in order to arrest the hoodlums. This mean that should the case go to trial the gang would claim self-defence. Harry Brown sees that justice will not be granted and decides to take matters into his own hands. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The law has limits. He doesn't. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language throughout, drug use and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Features three actors who portray characters on HBO's Game of Thrones (2011), including David Bradley (Walder Frey), Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), and Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth). See more »

Goofs

When Harry is buying the gun there is a girl lying on a the couch. When viewed from Harry's perspective her head is laying flat on the couch, in the shot from across the room her head is propped up against the arm of the couch. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Man1: Do you want it, fella, huh?
Man2: Yeah.
Man1: Because you wanted this yesterday, brother. You wanna do this shit?
Man2: Let's go.
See more »

Connections

References Taxi Driver (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

End Credits
Performed by Chase & Status featuring Plan B
Written by William Kennard, Saul Milton and Plan B (as Ben Drew)
Published by Universal Music Publishing/Pure Groove Music Ltd
Master Recording courtesy of Vertigo Records
Under LIcense from Universal Music Operations Ltd
See more »

User Reviews

 
The Michael Caine Show
21 May 2010 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

Harry Brown is a pensioner, and former Marine, living in a very run-down apartment complex (or is it flat) in the urban quarter of London. It's a crappy place to be; kids ling their drugs and guns, and beat up those who happen to venture just a little far out into the path. One of those is Harry's friend, Leonard Atwell, who tries to defend himself against the scum on the streets and winds up stabbed with his own knife. Brown is distraught over this (already he's been all alone since his wife just died and a daughter died many years before, perhaps during childbirth or as a child), and knows the cops won't do much about it despite doing some investigations. So, Brown takes his skills as a former Marine, before facing off against the Northern Irish years before, and uses it to exact payback.

Immediately moviegoers will flash to Gran Torino, as a story of a lonely, grumpy old man mixing it up with gang-bangers in a part of town he should have moved out of. But it actually owes more to Taxi Driver in some part- an ex-Marine wiping "the scum off the streets"- and of course Charles Bronson in Death Wish. But as Michael Caine points out in interviews, there was a certain underlying joy Bronson had with his character of Paul Kersey in the Death Wish movies, even in the first one which was most gritty. This film, about the horror of gang violence and drugs and prostitution as an everyday occurrence, really hits the spot far better than the shots of gang-bangers in Eastwood's film. In fact, I would go as far as to say Harry Brown trumps Gran Torino in the department of being about "something" (Torino about racism, Brown about vigilantism).

And at the center of a film directed with an artful, patient eye by newcomer Daniel Barber, and written with wisdom and tough attitude when it needs to be by Gary Young, is Michael Caine's performance. He's so good in a film like this because we believe this is Harry Brown, or what he might be like, and we can see ourselves in a part of Brown due to Caine's sympathy (or even empathy) with the character. This is a man of reserve, but also resolve, and when he takes to the streets it's because it's really a last resort, a kind of fight for survival as well as revenge, and Caine doesn't hold back when Brown needs to shed some tears, or to have that fierceness in his eyes against these young punks. One such scene, which I'll not soon forget, is after he plugs a bullet into the gut of a junkie dumbass who tries to pull a gun on Brown as he's purchasing a few weapons, and tells a story about a fellow officer he was fighting alongside who had to die in the trenches because of a lack of medical care.

It's one of the best scenes I've ever seen with Caine in it, and overall the film provides him the opportunity for another piece of superb work. Less remarkable, though still decent, is Emily Mortimer, who provides some sensitivity but also is a little soft in a way for the character of a no-nonsense detective hot on the heels of the Atwell/young-punks case (in some scenes, frankly, I just didn't buy her as a detective). But this is so small a flaw that it's hard to judge the film against it. Harry Brown takes its subject matter by the throat, treats it cinematically with care, and when it's violent you get shaken up and when Brown is in the shadows one suddenly wonders why Caine didn't play Batman in Nolan's movies. A serious near-classic on street violence and revenge. 9.5/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 May 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Harry Brown See more »

Filming Locations:

A12 in Marks Gate, Essex, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$173,353, 2 May 2010

Gross USA:

$1,818,681

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,371,451
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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