Mr. Brooks

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

Kevin Costner, William Hurt, Demi Moore, Danielle Paabaker, Marg Helgenberger, Dane Cook. Written by Bruce Evans, Raynold Gideon. Directed by Bruce Evans.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Earl Brooks is a loving family man and local business icon, a hero to all. But Mr. Brooks has one small character flaw. You see, he enjoys murdering complete strangers. And while committing one of his clandestine killings, spurred on by his devilish alter ego (William Hurt), the crime is witnessed by a voyeuristic neighbor. And this is where Mr. Brooks life becomes a bit more complicated. It turns out the spying neighbor has an unusual blackmail demand he wants to go along for the ride.

Also dogged by tenacious detective Tracy Atwood (Demi Moore), whos battling her own demons and a vengeful ex-con bent on killing her, Mr. Brooks soon discovers that his college dropout, pregnant daughter has her own sick secret she too enjoys the thrill of the kill.

PREVIEW REVIEW: This may be Mr. Costners best performance. Its intense, controlled, and mesmerizing. The story, though over the top (three serial killers for the price of one), is nonetheless suspenseful, even terrifying. And the premise is unnerving an upper crust, praying, pro-lifer breaks into locked houses with the mastery of a Mission Impossible regular and shoots people in their beds. Doesnt get any creepier than that.

Although it is well made, I have a couple of problems with Mr. Brooks. Along with having to sit through the usual R-rated explicit content, which is neither creative nor soul satisfying, the movie stirs up a paranoiac fear that each new person met may harbor a dangerous secret side. And of course, the maniac is a hypocrite who prays and believes in the rights of the unborn.

From years of studying movies and their makers, I get the feeling that some in that industry relish the exploitation of a religious person who is discovered to be a wrongdoer. Now, to be fair, perhaps this films intent is not so covert. Maybe the character is written as a man of prayer and a pro-lifer merely to give him dimension, and not meant as a swipe at religious folk. But have you noticed, these found-out hypocrites are never followers of Buddha or Gandhi? In the movies, its always a conservative Christian who turns out to be the real threat. Why is that?

Video Alternative: HARVEY. Heres a story about another guy with a secret. James Stewart stars as a gentle soul by the name of ElwoodP. Dowd who likes everybodyincluding his invisible six-foot rabbit, Harvey. Funny and heart-warming.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: A couple of crude sexual comments.

Obscene Language: Around 30 obscenities, mainly the f-word from Mr. Hurt and Ms. Moore.

Profanity: Six profane uses of Gods name and Christs.

Violence: Several very disturbing graphic murders, including point blank shootings, dangerous car chases and one poor soul getting stabbed in the neck with a pair of scissors; another victim is beaten with a shovel that gets real messy. Blood: Oh, a lot of blood.

Sex: One explicit sex act; the killer derives sexual satisfaction from killing and inflicting pain.

Nudity: One scene has full nudity.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: There are a couple of crude sexual conversations.

Drugs: Some drinking.

Other: None

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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