Maxim's Movie Reviews and Opinions Blog

Honest independent fun-to-read movie reviews and opinions


Mr. Brooks (2007) R 120min

October 31st, 2007 by Maxim · 1 Comment · 4,180 Views


Post to Twitter Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to Google Buzz Send Gmail Post to LinkedIn Mixx This Post Post to MySpace Post to Reddit Post to Slashdot Post to Technorati

The plot: Mr. Earl Brooks (Kevin Costner) is a successful businessman, a husband and a father, dedicated to his family. But he has a problem: hunger to kill. He knows about his problem and tries to control his hunger. Mr. Brooks is obsessed with killing and perfectly planned and setup murders, although he knows he’ll be caught some day and wonders if dying from a lethal injection was be a good way out of his addiction. He attends meetings of “Alcoholics Anonymous” and pretends to be an addict, because it helps him to stay in control of his addiction. He’s been on sabbatical for two years until now, when his alter ego Marshall (William Hurt) talks him into murder of a couple in their bed, which Earl meticulously plans and executes and leaves his victims’ bloody thumbprints on the lamp – his signature. But he is seen at the crime scene by an “amateur photographer” from a building across the street, Mr. Smith (Dane Cook), who is often watching the couple through their window, making pictures. Smith blackmails Earl Brooks - not for money, but to bring him along on the next kill. Following Brooks’s crime path is detective Tracy Atwood (Demi Moore). She, in turn, is being chased by another serial killer and his girlfriend.

The good: The film is directed by Bruce A. Evans, who co-wrote the screen play for Stand By Me. Unlike other movies about serial killers like American Psycho and Silence of the Lambs, this is the first movie that lets the viewer into the world and into the mind of the serial killer. Until now the mind of a murderer was impenetrable, and we could not relate to them: they seemed to be just freaks. The great thing about Kevin Costner cast as Mr Smith is that him being a regular family and a serial killer makes him more human and more creepy. ”Regular people do strange things sometimes”. The chemistry between Earl Brooks and Marshall is amazing: Marshall is whispering into Brooks’s ear like Smeagol into Gollum’s ear in LOTR, but unlike latter, Marshall feels so real it’s not immediately obvious that he’s not. Earl Brooks’s wife, Emma (Marg Helgenberger) has no significant presence in this movie – she has almost no lines and nothing to do. His daughter Jane (Danielle Panabaker) though, is a very interesting character because [implausibly] she might have inherited her father’s killer gene and might even have couple of unsolved murders on her resume as well. Dane Cook is out of his comedy mode, playing a man with no morals – in the end he suffered the fate of the journalist who became friendly with Mickey and Mallory Knox in Natural Born Killers – you don’t make friends with devil. It also reminded me of the old vampire movies with all the Mr. Brooks’s torments. Demi Moore was fine, but I saw her in better performances. She’s playing a police detective, who’s rich, but loves the police work because her father told her she couldn’t do it and she does it to prove him wrong. She’s also in the middle of bitter divorce. Could this be a joke?

The bad: some characters and subplots were completely unnecessary. Earl’s daughter’s character was not developed.

The ending is open - I can imagine a sequel to this movie.

Pretty good entertaining thriller in the “serial killer” theme with a lot of suspense and creepy look into criminal’s mind.

If you liked this post, buy me a beer

 ·  · 
| | | | |

Tags: DVD · Detective/Mistery · Drama · Movies · Thrillers/Suspense

Related posts

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Eugene // Nov 1, 2007 at 7:19 am

    Reply  |  Quote

    I think 3,5 stars is the proper rating for this movie. Even though with great cast (William Hurt is great, too bad we don’t see him in a lot of movies lately) at times it felt a little slower than it should have been. The ending was somewhat predictable though still good.
    I would not watch it again but did enjoy watching it first time around.

Leave a Comment