Brighton Rock remake rocks for connoisseurs of British crime drama | Film Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Brighton Rock remake rocks for connoisseurs of British crime drama 

Helen Mirren in "Brighton Rock"

Photo courtesy IFC Films

Helen Mirren in "Brighton Rock"

In Brighton Rock, the cold, slate-colored ocean laps the shore of the title town, a wintery resort on the southern coast of England. It's 1964 and there's a gang war on, in which a chilly teen sociopath named Pinky Brown (Sam Riley) is determined to end up top dog. The 1947 version, which launched the career of Richard Attenborough, is a British film noir classic (although it was little seen on these shores before a recent restoration by Rialto Pictures). This remake, which debuted at last year's London Film Festival and has taken its time arriving stateside, has much to recommend it.

Writer director Rowan Joffe has updated the action to the mods and rockers era—somewhat pointlessly perhaps, except to show sinister hordes of rumbling Vespas—but he's clarified the shifting turf loyalties and carved a sharp edge not just on Pinky's sadism (with all the needless gore modern special effects can provide) but also, on the flip side, the masochism of his mousy sweetheart Rose (Andrea Riseborough). He's also kept novelist Graham Greene's focus on the young couple's Catholic faith and their trembling expectations of heaven or hell.

The cinematography has a superb sense of place as well as access; the town of Brighton is no longer concerned about showing its underbelly, as it was in the '40s. The production design, from the seedy rooming houses to the swank hotel where Brighton's godfather (Andy Serkis) rules, is richly detailed, right down to the strategically placed stabs of red. The excellent British cast also includes John Hurt, Phil Davis (the murderous cabbie from Sherlock) and, especially, the peerless Helen Mirren as the hard-boiled Ida, who becomes a reluctant detective when one of her gentleman friends gets caught in the crossfire. Riley is convincing enough but cannot quite summon the terrifying menace of Attenborough's earlier Pinky. Still, Brighton Rock rocks for connoisseurs of British crime drama.

Film Details

Brighton Rock
Rated R · 111 min. · 2011
Official Site: www.ifcfilms.com/films/brighton-rock
Director: Rowan Joffe
Writer: Rowan Joffe and Graham Greene
Producer: Paul Webster
Cast: Helen Mirren, John Hurt, Sam Riley, Nonso Anozie, Andrea Riseborough, Sean Harris, Steven Robertson, Steve Evets, Adrian Schiller and John Warman

Trailer


Now Playing

Brighton Rock is not showing in any theaters in the area.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Film Review



Twitter Activity

Comments

Much as I hate to be that guy, I must nonetheless point out a minor error in your review. The …

by Just Another Malcontent on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs Is an Alternately Respectful and Baffling Parable About Japan (Film Review)

I loved the movie but I'm curious about the Japanese version. Will it be translated or subtitled? I assume they …

by Neil Robertson on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs Is an Alternately Respectful and Baffling Parable About Japan (Film Review)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Most Recent Comments

Much as I hate to be that guy, I must nonetheless point out a minor error in your review. The …

by Just Another Malcontent on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs Is an Alternately Respectful and Baffling Parable About Japan (Film Review)

I loved the movie but I'm curious about the Japanese version. Will it be translated or subtitled? I assume they …

by Neil Robertson on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs Is an Alternately Respectful and Baffling Parable About Japan (Film Review)

Lurid and Trashy? Clint Eastwood is a true pioneer of cinema-in front of the camera and in the directors chair.For …

by jde on In Her Remake of Clint Eastwood's Lurid, Trashy The Beguiled, Sofia Coppola Probes Deeper Rhythms (Film Review)

Americans are really good at watching movies and everyone knows that they spend a lot of money on watching them, …

by Anil Sharma on The Average American Sees Five Thousand Movies in a Lifetime. Half of Them Come Out This Week. (Film Review)

I read a couple of good reviews about this movie in Hungarian papers. Actually it could be my mother's and …

by Gabor Lukacs on Ferenc Török’s 1945 Is a Dark Fable and a History Lesson Wrapped in Fine Cinematic Storytelling (Film Review)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation