Every Man Has A Breaking Point.
"Like Eastwood and other actors of his vintage, Caine brings to the project not only his own formidable skills but more than half a century of movie history. J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader
|Two time Academy Award winner Michael Caine (The Prestige, The Dark Knight) stars as Harry Brown. An ordinary, law-abiding citizen, who just wanted to quietly live out his retirement. But in this desolate urban wasteland, the residents live in fear of the drug dealers who rule the streets...and the police offers little protection. When Inspector Alice Frampton (Emily Mortimer, Shutter Island) can't convict the thugs who killed Harry's best friend, he decides to take the law into his own hands. Using skills honed as a Royal Marine, Harry begins to serve his own brand of justice-- and no one will stop him.|
"Essential stuff, even by the big man's considerable standards. Mark Dinning, Empire
Academy Award nominee Daniel Barber (THE TONTO WOMAN) makes his feature directorial debut with this gritty critique on contemporary British society starring Michael Caine as an elderly shut-in who's spurred to action by a senseless act of violence. Harry Brown (Caine) resides in a desolate public-housing apartment block as his sickly wife lies dying in a local hospital. He spends most of his days in solitude, only getting out to play the occasional game of chess at a nearby pub with his best friend, Leonard (David Bradley). The days of basic human decency seem to be a thing of the past, because in recent years barbarous drug dealers and gangsters have overtaken the dilapidated complex. Killing is a way of life for these young thugs, and as a result overburdened detectives Frampton (Emily Mortimer) and Hicock (Charlie Creed-Miles) are essentially relegated to knocking on doors and notifying parents when their children have been killed in the latest fracas, instead of investigating the crimes and jailing the guilty parties. When Leonard is murdered just feet from his own apartment, former Royal Marine Harry utilizes the skills he learned while fighting the IRA to take on the aggressive chavs who have intimidated the police into inaction.
Cast & Crew
Los Angeles Times
"Like smokestack soot, revenge colors HARRY BROWN, the smartly done socio-economic killer thriller that has Michael Caine at 77 armed and dangerous..."
3 stars out of 4 -- "Michael Caine as the title character is no pale imitation of other iconic law-abiding men. He's quietly mad as hell and raises the level of the film with his grave intelligence and contained ferocity."
3 stars out of 4 -- "HARRY BROWN is a revenge thriller poised somewhere between DEATH WISH and GRAN TORINO....Caine is a subtle actor who builds characters from the inside out."
4 stars out of 5 -- "An old-fashioned vigilante revenge drama burnished with art film sensibilities and a classicist's attention to detail, HARRY BROWN is a triumph of both technique and substance."
New York Times
"[I]t features an Expressionistic palette and steady, even stolid, camerawork and precise framing, which first complement Harry's routinized life and then underscore his resolve."
Chicago Sun-Times 7 of 10
Harry Brown is a revenge thriller poised somewhere between Death Wish and Gran Torino. All three depend on the ability of an older actor to convince us that he's still capable of violence, and all three spend a great deal of time alone with their characters, whose faces must reflect their inner feelings. Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood, Michael Caine: Those are faces sculpted by time...Caine plays an old man with a dying wife. He lives in a London housing estate used by a drug gang as its own turf. Pedestrians are terrorized and beaten, drugs are openly sold, there are some areas understood as no-go. From his high window, Harry hears a car alarm and looks down to see the car's owner come out and be beaten by thugs. This is the daily reality...The police investigation is misdirected for political motives. Frampton has an excellent notion of who may be responsible for the killings of neighborhood hoods, but cannot get a hearing. It would not do for a geezer to outdo the police. Vigilante activity is of course not the answer to urban crime, but what is? In Chicago, Daley floods many area with cops, and shootings continue nearby. It's all fueled by drugs and drug money, of course. You know, one of the areas where I think Libertarians may be right is about the legalization of drugs. There would be less of them with no profit motive for their sale. Less money for guns. Fewer innocent bystanders would die. Who knows?...This movie plays better than perhaps it should. Directed as a debut by Daniel Barber, it places story and character above manufactured "thrills" and works better. We are all so desperately weary of CGI that replaces drama. With movies like this, humans creep back into crime stories. There is a clear thread connecting this Michael Caine and the Caine of The Ipcress File. You may not be able to see it, but it's there.
- Roger Ebert