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Screenwriter Rowan Joffe’s debut feature BRIGHTON ROCK embraces the classic elements of film noir and the British gangster film to tell the story of Pinkie, a desperate youth who is hell bent on clawing his way up through the ranks of organized crime. When a young and very innocent waitress, Rose, stumbles on evidence linking him to a revenge killing, he sets out to seduce her to secure her silence. The film stars up-and-coming British actors Sam Riley (Control, On the Road) and Andrea Riseborough (who has 3 films at this year’s Toronto Film Festival, BRIGHTON ROCK, MADE IN DAGENHAM and NEVER LET ME GO) as the young couple. Veterans Helen Mirren and John Hurt co-star as two friends who set out to save Rose from Pinkie’s deviant designs. BRIGHTON ROCK is based on the iconic 1939 Graham Greene novel of innocence and evil but the action has been updated to 1964 Britain, the year the Mods and the Rockers were rioting across the South Coast. The 60s were also the era of the great British gangster, the kind of working class hero, the frightened and ambitious Pinkie longs to be.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 89
- Fresh: 47
- Rotten: 42
- Average Rating: 5.7/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Mr. Joffe has turned "Brighton Rock" into a full-scale film noir with the stylistic undertow of a more modern British gangster movie.
Fresh: Evocative music and stylish visual flourishes from first-time director Rowan Joffe bring heft to a predictable thriller set during a summer of youthful unrest.
Rotten: The film as a whole often feels like an exercise in style over substance, especially as it becomes clear just how many times we've seen these kinds of characters in this kind of story before.
Rotten: The new film version of Graham Greene's 1938 novel "Brighton Rock" isn't very good, but if you haven't yet seen the 1947 film version of Greene's book, do so! It's the right time to do so.