Brute Force - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Brute Force Reviews

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January 27, 2019
The best thrilling movie ever made!
Super Reviewer
½ January 11, 2019
Great cinematography and the closing action scene is excellently staged by director Jules Dassin. But some of Richard Brooks' script is brutishly corny and forced. (Yeah, I know.) Nonetheless, despite its flaws, worthy of all prison noir film fans.
March 14, 2018
There isn't much more ithat gives me pleasure in the movie world then to see for first time an old black and white movie, prison movie at that. This is a young Burt Lancaster (1947) as the "heor" of the movie with Hume Cronyn as the evil prison guard. (This ithe reason I still subscribe to Netflix DVD service LOL!)
½ August 8, 2017
Brute Force is a film about the lives of inmates in a treacherous prison. Things are particularly bad because the captain of the guards is a cruel man who tortures the inmates and turns them against one another. It is a strong story that shows all the ins-and-outs of the prison. I liked seeing behind the doors of the warden's office, inside the cells as the prisoners make plans, and more. It gives the audience the great feeling of knowing everything and waiting for the characters to catch up.

I was surprised how endearing they made some of the prisoners even though they were clearly not good people and willing to do terrible things. I didn't even need the flashbacks of their lost loves for me to care about these guys (but that didn't hurt.) Burt Lancaster was great in the lead, and Hume Cronyn was an amazing antagonist. My other favorite performance came from Art Smith who provides the emotional center of the film. This is simply an all-around brilliant cast.

There was something that bugged me about Brute Force, though, and it hit me very early and wouldn't go away. It's not a fault of the film, either. Because I know about the Hays Code, I know that there's no chance the characters I sympathize with will succeed. By law they cannot "win" in the end and must be punished for being criminals. It's like having a built-in spoiler before you even start watching. Otherwise I quite liked this film and how the story was handled, I just wish there was a chance things could have turned out differently.
Super Reviewer
January 10, 2017
This early Burt Lancaster piece is an underrated classic. I don't understand the G rating but the strong performances make it a fantastic tour de force.
July 14, 2016
Well this was fucking bleak.

Well shot, but damn, its a kick in the teeth without much meat on its bones to make the unhappy ending worth the journey.
June 13, 2016
This is a hard-hitting prison drama from Jules Dassin("Rififi") and starring Burt Lancaster and Hume Cronyn. This 1947 film is an interesting entry in the prison film genre, it was a lot darker and violent than I expected, but the excellent acting and direction elevate it beyond being simply a genre pic. Definitely worth checking out in my opinion!
June 11, 2016
An engaging yet intense film about 4 men who meet in the same cell in prison & all them plan to escape. The film flashbacks to how they all got to prison & all characters have committed crimes linked to their girlfriends.

The planning is often hindered by Power-Mad Captain Munsey. The film is directed so well & the tension just mounts & mounts.

The film in my opinion is a real comment on violence in society & how it never resolves anything. This is a terrific prison film that's a must see.
June 2, 2016
Probably the worst prison film I've ever seen. It's definitely showing its age. A boring movie that I found little interest in. (First and only viewing - 6/3/2016)
April 13, 2016
Jail break, with a bit thick on the melodrama.
½ March 8, 2016
Interesting prison drama.

Joe Collins (played by Burt Lancaster) is a prisoner in Westgate Penitentiary. The senior officer at the prison is Captain Munsey (Hume Cronyn), a power-mad, manipulative sadist. Collins is rebellious and constantly in trouble with the prison guards. He formulates a plan to escape but a confrontation with Captain Munsey is inevitable...

An interesting look at prison life, and how people act when they have absolute power. The central plot was well thought out and made for a good story. However, the stories of how all the main prisoner-characters got there sometimes seemed unnecessary and felt like padding.

Solid work by Burt Lancaster and Hume Cronyn in the lead roles. Good supporting performances too.
September 15, 2015
We always get what's coming to us.

Captain Munsey takes a lot of pride in his job as manager of the most organized and well guarded prison; however, he reigns as he sees fit, which isn't always "by the book." Joe Collins has a plan to escape and obtain revenge on the ruthless captain in the process.

"Why do you want to destroy instead of build?"

Jules Dassin, director of The Naked City, Topkapi, Never on Sunday, Rififi, Circle of Two, He Who Must Die, Night and the City, and Young Ideas, delivers Brute Force. The storyline for this picture is fairly straightforward but contains some excellent and well written characters. The acting is first rate and the cast includes Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn, Charles Bickford, Ann Blyth, and Yvonne De Carlo.

"Now you know what happened to Rin Tin Tin."

I came across this on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and thought it sounded interesting and DVR'd it. This was pretty good. Lancaster and his dialogue were compelling and well written. The film is fairly predictable, but the delivery is excellent. I recommend seeing this film once.

"Nothing is okay. Nothing was and it never will be."

Grade: B
½ March 15, 2014
A harsh noir tragedy filled with potent performances. The movie has an ax to grind - and once ground, puts it to use.
½ January 3, 2014
Uhhhh, 91% of critics and 90% of Flixster users liked this crap? I'm dumbfounded. I had to watch this over about five different settings because it kept putting me to sleep. I get that it's an old film, but the editing was terrible, making it almost nonsensical, the acting was horrendous and the fight scenes were laughable, even for the 40s. I'm only being generous with the 2.5 stars because of Burt Lancaster, and I guess I'm feeling nostalgic. Ya, wow, this was just not a good film. I don't get the ratings...
½ September 26, 2013
"No one escapes - no one ever really escapes". Brilliantly dark prison movie helmed by Jules Dassin.
August 9, 2013
Burt Lancaster is great, but OMG Hume Cronyn is just DYNAMITE in this Prison escape movie. Lancaster plays the gruff Joe Collins, a lifer who's looking to escape FAST. He's got a gang together, but he'll have to get by Captain Munsey first. Honestly, when I saw Hume Cronyn's name in the credits, I thought he was going to play one of the prisoners, more or less the meek one. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine him as Munsey. He's so good playing the vicious and heartless warden, that he just totally walks away with the movie. You should see this for Cronyn alone.
July 11, 2013
Classic prison noir/melodrama with excellent performances
½ July 9, 2013
all the ladies in da house
May 22, 2013
Just cause it was made in 1949 & is in blacc & white don't count it out, This movie was G!!!
December 30, 2012
Terrific Burt Lancaster prison movie with many other recognisable actors.
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