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USA: Focus Features
UK: Optimum Releasing
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nora Zehetner, Lukas Haas, Noah Fleiss, Matt O'Leary, Emilie de Ravin, Noah Segan, Richard Roundtree, Meagan Good, Brian White, Jonathan Cauff, Reedy Gibbs, Lucas Babin, Tracy Wilcoxen, Ari Velkom, Cody Lightning
Director: Rian Johnson
USA & UK: 110 mins
USA Rated: R for violent and drug content
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong violence and drugs references
USA Release Date: 7 April 2006 (Limited Release - wider)
USA Release Date: 31 March 2006 (Limited Release - New York and Los Angeles)
UK Release Date: 12 May 2006
BRICK, the dynamic debut feature from writer/director Rian Johnson, won the Sundance Film Festival's Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision.
BRICK, while taking its cues and its verbal style from the novels of Dashiell Hammett, also honors the rich cinematic tradition of the hard-boiled noir mystery, here wittily and bracingly immersed in fresh territory - a modern-day Southern California neighborhood and high school. There, student Brendan Frye's (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) piercing intelligence spares no one. Brendan is not afraid to back up his words with actions, and knows all the angles; yet he prefers to stay an outsider, and does - until the day that his ex-girlfriend, Emily (Emilie de Ravin of LOST), reaches out to him unexpectedly and then vanishes. Brendan's feelings for her still run deep; so much so, that he becomes consumed with finding his troubled inamorata.
To find her, Brendan enlists the aid of his only true peer, The Brain (Matt O'Leary), while keeping the assistant vice principal (Richard Roundtree) only occasionally informed of what quickly becomes a dangerous investigation. Brendan's single-minded unearthing of students' secrets thrusts him headlong into the colliding social orbits of rich-girl sophisticate Laura (Nora Zehetner), intimidating Tugger (Noah Fleiss), substance-abusing Dode (Noah Segan), seductive Kara (Meagan Good), jock Brad (Brian White), and - most ominously - non-student The Pin (Lukas Haas). It is only by gaining acceptance into The Pin's closely guarded inner circle of crime and punishment that Brendan will be able to uncover hard truths about himself, Emily, and the suspects that he is getting closer to.
This film was shot entirely on location in beautiful San Clemente, California, USA.
A partial glossary of words and phrases used in Brick, and their definitions
Blow - to leave, depart; e.g. "Did she blow last night?"
Bulls - cops; e.g. "What first, tip the bulls?" also, as a verb, to turn over to the cops; e.g., "I bulled the rat."
Burg (or Burgh) - town, city; e.g. "He knows every two-bit toker in the burg."
Copped - stole; e.g. "She copped the junk."
Dose - to take drugs; e.g. "He dosed off the bad junk and it laid him out."
Duck soup - easy pickings; e.g. "It's duck soup for you yegs"
Gat - gun.
Gum - to mess things up; e.g. "Bulls would only gum it."
Heel - to walk away from (, and show your heels to); e.g. "I'm not heeling you to hook you."
Hop; Jake; Junk - drugs.
Pick - a ride in a car (as in "pick-up"); e.g. "Did she get a pick?"
Reef worm - a stoner (abbrev. of "reefer").
Scape - a patsy to take the blame (abbrev. of "scapegoat").
Scraped - begged off of, cadged from; e.g. "Ask any dope rat where their junk sprang and they'll say they scraped it off [name]..."
Shamus - a private detective.
Shine - to wield (as with a weapon); e.g. "He shines a blade."
Sprang - originated; e.g. "His gat sprang from Tugger's gang."
Take a powder - to slip away; e.g. "Why'd you take a powder the other night?"
Yeg - (generic for) a guy; e.g. "They'd probably find some yeg to pin it on."