Motherless Brooklyn (2019) - Rotten Tomatoes

Motherless Brooklyn2019

Motherless Brooklyn (2019)

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Critic Consensus: Motherless Brooklyn's imposing length requires patience, but strong performances and a unique perspective make this a mystery worth investigating.

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Movie Info

Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, "Motherless Brooklyn" follows Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton), a lonely private detective living with Tourette Syndrome, as he ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna (Bruce Willis). Armed only with a few clues and the engine of his obsessive mind, Lionel unravels closely-guarded secrets that hold the fate of the whole city in the balance. In a mystery that carries him from gin-soaked jazz clubs in Harlem to the hard-edged slums of Brooklyn and, finally, into the gilded halls of New York's power brokers, Lionel contends with thugs, corruption and the most dangerous man in the city to honor his friend and save the woman who might be his own salvation.

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Cast

Bruce Willis
as Frank Minna
Edward Norton
as Lionel Essrog
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Critic Reviews for Motherless Brooklyn

All Critics (219) | Top Critics (53)

If that sounds worthy, well-meaning and incredibly dull, I can only say that Norton makes it work, spinning it into a twisting narrative that, admittedly, does require your concentration.

February 25, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The narrative and the characters are so interesting, and the whole theme...so riveting that Norton's immensely ambitious film succeeds as a compelling exercise in neo-film noir.

February 24, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Motherless Brooklyn is a love-letter to the long-held focus across film noir on masculinity in crisis, but through Lethem's source material and Norton's deep engagement with it, something genuinely fresh explodes out of seemingly familiar material.

December 10, 2019 | Full Review…

My only criticism is that it does take its time, because it's not afraid to indulge in its story...but those moment are far fewer than I thought, and the story is not hard to follow.

December 9, 2019 | Full Review…

The rest is a sluggish film noir pastiche (the setting of the novel has been inexplicably shifted from the late Nineties to the Fifties) that aims to emulate the jazzy intrigue of Chinatown, but delivers only clichés and screen-chewing vanity.

December 9, 2019 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

There's something showy and calculated about the whole thing. Still, it's worth watching...

December 8, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

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