Mr. Brooks (2007)

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Successful business and family man Earl Brooks is secretly a serial killer whose meticulous planning is unravelled when a witness photographs him at the scene of his latest murder.

Despite my reservations about the need for yet another serial killer movie, I have to say that the novel approach of this film had me hooked from the start. Kevin Costner plays Brooks not as a gleeful killer, but a victim of an unwanted addiction which is personified on screen by William Hurt; a kind of Tyler Durden for psychopaths. It sounds gimmicky but the strong performances make their on screen chemistry work really well, as the killer argues and jokes with “himself”. Unsurprisingly, Demi Moore’s character is far less interesting and it is difficult to care about her domestic troubles although to be fair, she is nowhere near as unwatchable as usual. The biggest weakness of the film is its seeming lack of confidence in its own premise; it almost seems to feel the need to throw in a host of other plot threads that only serve to make the film less believable and more unlikely; Moore’s shoot out in particular looked like it was crow-barred in from another, inferior film.

I felt that if the subplots had been stripped away this could have been an excellent film, but as it is it felt like a breath of fresh air in an overcrowded genre and is well worth watching for the Costner and Hurt double act alone.

6.5/10

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