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MOVIE REVIEW

Mr. Brooks

MPAA Rating: R-Rating (MPAA) for strong bloody violence, some graphic sexual content, nudity and language

Reviewed by: Cathy Faltermayer
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Thriller, Crime, Drama
Length:
1 hr. 35 min.
Year of Release:
2007
USA Release:
June 1, 2007
Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

About murder in the Bible

Death

Final judgment

Why are humans supposed to wear clothes? Answer

Do Not Enter

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Discover the good news that Jesus Christ offers
Paradise or Pain? Why is the world the way it is?
Why is the world the way it is? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving, would He really create a world like this? (filled with oppression, suffering, death and cruelty) Answer
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Featuring: Kevin Costner
William Hurt
Demi Moore
Dane Cook
Marg Helgenberger
Director: Bruce Evans
Producer: Thomas Augsberger
Marc Schaberg
Adam Rosenfelt
Distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

“The man who has everything has everything to hide.”

“All human beings… are commingled out of good and evil.”
—Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

“Mr. Brooks” has exciting psychological twists, unpredictable story lines and awesome acting. The mannerisms of William Hurt and Kevin Costner resembled each other, at times I cannot tell them apart. Demi Moore does a great job of not over playing her character. Ultimately the acting and plot are not worth the disturbing significance of this movie. Christians and non Christians will be offended by the killings of Mr. Brooks and the likeability of his character.

The main character, Mr. Brooks, is a dual personality serial killer portrayed by Kevin Costner and William Hurt. When Marshall (Hurt’s persona) is controlling the mind, an unsuspecting couple is killed in cold blood as they lie in bed, of course naked. While Mr. Brooks (Costner’s persona) is in control, he attends AA meetings, as a sincere desire to change his behavior by using the 12 steps. In the midst of this conflict are the unsuspecting wife, the daughter, who is cunningly wise to the situation and Mr. Smith.

Mr. Smith’s character (played by Dane Cook) is the embodiment of today’s young generation. He wants to gain knowledge of his fascination quickly, by using Mr. Brooks. The way a teenager uses cheat codes to beat a video game, Mr. Smith wants the quick and easy path to serial killing.

In the center of this plot is Detective Atwood, played by Demi Moore. Detective Atwood is smarter than the average detectives working on the Thumbprint Serial Killer cases. She fascinates Mr. Brooks, by her imperfect search for certainty in her professional and personal life.

Unfortunately, there is too much violence. I am referring to the sensual, methodical foreplay of Mr. Brook’s serial killing. Graphic images of the killing are disturbing, but the psychological aggression leading up to the killing is repulsive. This is the kind of movie that desensitizes society to the evil actions in our society. The audience is forced to see Mr. Brooks/Marshall as the victim. Aside from the violence, profanity and nudity the movie still sends a spine-chilling message. The serial killer, who struggles with family issues and his conscience, is more like you and I.

Bottom line is: I do not want to watch a movie that relays sympathy for a serial killer. We all have evil thoughts, but we also have self control. I would not recommend this movie to anyone, Christians maybe easily offended by the ease at which the murders are planned and committed.

Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—This film is violent and twisted and dark. It is the point of the film. It is a man being pulled in two directions and fighting an addiction that both excites and horrifies him at the same time. Many people will will be revolted by this film, and, in some of the reviews, people have actually crticized others for watching the film in its entierty, but the film is supposed to envoke a reaction from the viewer, whatever reaction that may be, and it does that, and that is what makes it a great film. A person can love this film and still be a decent person.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
Stephanie, age 29
Neutral
Neutral—I wanted to see “Mr. Brooks” because I wanted to see Kevin Costner in this type of role. As an actor myself, I was very interested in seeing “good guy” Costner play a serial killer. I was not disappointed. His acting job was perfection. Flawless. Indeed everyone’s acting was above par. The weakest link was Demi Moore, and even she was good. However, this movie is disturbing. Mr. Brooks is a nice guy with a diabolical problem. He enjoys killing. He goes to AA meetings to try to overcome his “addiction.” He constantly chants the Serenity Prayer and other ritual prayers in hopes of resisting his urges—and his alter ego, whom he has named “Marshall.” (William Hurt—another brilliant performance.) I was offended by the unnecessarily graphic sex scene which was the first killing of the film. It was hard to watch the killings. Even more disturbing was the character of Mr. Smith, who witnessed and photographed the first killing, then blackmailed Brooks into taking him on as a protege. See all »
My Ratings: Offensive / 5
L. B., age 51
Negative
Negative—Mr. Brooks: “American Psycho” and Hannibal Lector Meet Alfred Hitchcock—I was absolutely floored by some of the best writing I have seen in ages. Not since one of the greatest thriller movies of all time, “Dead Again” by Kenneth Brannagh, have I seen such great writing, dialogue, acting and directing brought together in one awesome mystery movie. The violence is not over the edge, and everything you might expect to see in a cliché thriller movie is thankfully left out. I was sitting there mind blown, but what happened next and thoroughly loved this over the edge sophisticated thriller about a conservative mad man with a passion to kill but a will to resist. This has got to be one of Kevin Costner’s best movie of all time, almost topping his performance in Dances with Doggies. Demi Moore is irresistible as the wealthy detective with a drive to capture the “Thumb Print” Killer. Dane Cool is nothing less than thrilling playing the part of the man who is blackmailing Kevin Costner, and William Hurt is amazing as Kevin Costner’s alter ego. See all »
My Ratings: Offensive / 5
John Kehrli, age 33
Negative—The photography was good, the lighting was fine. The script was not good, and truly this movie was pretty stupid. There was a character named Marshall who was Mr. Brooks imaginary friend, whom Mr. Brooks talked to regularly. Marshal was definitely Mr. Brooks’ evil side, and Marshall would constantly remind Mr. Brooks of how much he enjoyed killing people. Like in the movie, “A Beautiful Mind,” Mr. Brooks could see Marshall and carried on conversations with Marshall about everything.

The movie was offensive and ridiculous. The first couple you see Mr. Brooks kill is having sex on a bed, completely naked, and you see way too much for an “R” rating—most definitely mild pornography. The curtains to the couple’s bedroom happen to be open, and a young man who lived across the street was taking pictures of the couple having sex from his apartment window, when he witnesses Mr. Brooks killing them and photographs Mr Brooks doing the killing. They play the killing over and over, too many times. Turns out the young man is sick in the head as well, and blackmails Mr. Brooks into letting him go along to kill people. The whole time Marshall, Mr. Brooks imaginary friend (whom you can see) is constantly giving his opinions and ideas of what Mr. Brooks should do. ***SPOILERS AHEAD*** See all »
My Ratings: Offensive / 2
Donna M, age 51
Negative—I’m glad to see this site has a place for reviewers to give films a moral rating. To talk only about this movie’s high quality of film-making without mentioning the deep depravity of the characters is like admiring the architecture of a beautiful building but failing to mention that it’s a gas chamber.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 5
Urquhart Wood, age 50
Negative—My husband and I went to see this movie on a Sunday afternoon, while our kids went to another movie. It is disturbing to say the least. I had a red flag up beforehand, but ignored it and went to see it anyway. Graphic sexuality, morbid, morally bankrupct individuals… I felt oppressed and angry with my choice, after viewing this film.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3½
Sheila, age 41
Negative—I think a lot of people miss the point of this movie. The offensivness of this film is not found so much in the blood and gore. This movie is a clear story of a man bound by addiction, desiring to be free but unable to do so. In the end after, all his efforts, instead of finding God and freedom, he is left with himself and his sin—a very bad message.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 5
Stephen, age 21
Negative—I found this movie very disturbing. I was disconcerted with having to consider a serial killer as a normal person with normal thoughts, feelings and fears except for his “addiction” to murder. I thought it was a bit unrealistic because I think someone like that has a vested interest in keeping a fair amount of emotional distance from the world, or at least be consumed by a fair amount of hatred and rage. I was disturbed by the Marshall character. I didn’t think he was an alter ego. He was more of a demonic influence, especially considering the manner in which he’d tempt and then accuse Mr Brooks. Generally, this movie did not go down well with me. I felt the need to pray for the person from whose imagination it came from. I wondered if they experienced any of this sort of spiritual oppression, leading to their conceiving this movie.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 5
Anonymous
Negative—I was encouraged to watch this “great” movie by my co-worker. Fifteen minutes into the movie was enough for me. After the first killing scene with the completely nude couple (woman fully naked, of course), I got up and went back to my paperwork. …Shame on you so-called Christians and Jews who sat through this obnoxious film. …Movies like this are what have made us so insensitive to human suffering.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 2
Heidi Rosen, age 55
Movie Critics
…Blood/Gore: Extreme… Profanity: Extreme… Sex/Nudity: Extreme…
ScreenIt
…a strange and silly drama about a serial murderer and his imaginary friend Marshall…
Duane Dudek, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
…Abhorrent… …brutally creepy humanism… Very strong implied humanist worldview often makes murder look like fun and suggests appeals to God for deliverance do not work…
Movieguide
…a stylish psychological thriller… Hurt and Costner make a superb team…
Barry Paris, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
…The uneven film is sometimes electrifying, but with so many different side stories, it’s hard to centralize the key points. …
Garrett Conti, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
…sly, violent and sometimes darkly funny… Costner… gives one of the best performances of his career…
Bill Muller, The Arizona Republic