Before LOOPER… before those Breaking Bad episodes… before STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI… writer/director Rian Johnson made his debut with this deliciously clever nouveau noir — the best probably since 1974’s CHINATOWN. Really.
After receiving a frantic phone call from his ex-girlfriend (LOST’s Emilie de Ravin), teenage loner Brendan Frye (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) learns that her dead body has been found. This sets Brendan on a dogged journey through the dark underbelly of his high school to uncover the truth about her murder. Yes, BRICK takes the classic hard-boiled film noir story and sets it down in most high stake universe of all: High School
The result is pretty near perfect, from its brilliantly conceived teenage underworld to its unique slang lexicon, to its ragged, rumpled, and hurting Philip Marlowe-esque protagonist played expertly by JGL — who at the time was just on the cusp of his post “Third Rock from the Sun” career explosion.
BRICK is a modern marvel of cleverly conceived and sharply executed indie filmmaking. Do yourself a favor and get lost in its world awhile on the big screen — then, when the credits roll, get really excited to see what Johnson is about to do with STAR WARS.