Motherless Brooklyn (2019) - Rotten Tomatoes

Motherless Brooklyn (2019)



Critic Consensus: Motherless Brooklyn's imposing length requires patience, but strong performances and a unique perspective make this a mystery worth investigating.

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Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, "Motherless Brooklyn" follows Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton), a lonely private detective living with Tourette Syndrome, as he ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna (Bruce Willis). Armed only with a few clues and the engine of his obsessive mind, Lionel unravels closely-guarded secrets that hold the fate of the whole city in the balance. In a mystery that carries him from gin-soaked jazz clubs in Harlem to the hard-edged slums of Brooklyn and, finally, into the gilded halls of New York's power brokers, Lionel contends with thugs, corruption and the most dangerous man in the city to honor his friend and save the woman who might be his own salvation.

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Critic Reviews for Motherless Brooklyn

All Critics (158) | Top Critics (32)

I'm sure that the actor and director Edward Norton is often the smartest person in the room. But thinking one is the smartest person in the room can be a bad idea.

November 3, 2019 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

"Motherless Brooklyn" wants to be taken seriously, but it's like a tip written on a matchbook that's been smudged out by the rain. It leads nowhere.

November 3, 2019 | Rating: C | Full Review…

Motherless Brooklyn is so messy, confusing and pointless that you don't know what's going on half the time, and couldn't care less.

November 3, 2019 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic effective mood piece and a worthy entry in the genre.

November 1, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

It's got giant scope, but it is so slow. It is a real slog to sit through... Also, Norton's performance is really mannered and over the top.

November 1, 2019 | Full Review…

Still, the milieu and message of "Motherless Brooklyn" ring startlingly true, at a time when raw power, rank impunity and ruthless greed are as ascendant as ever.

November 1, 2019 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

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