Motherless Brooklyn - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Motherless Brooklyn Reviews

February 25, 2020
If that sounds worthy, well-meaning and incredibly dull, I can only say that Norton makes it work, spinning it into a twisting narrative that, admittedly, does require your concentration.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
December 9, 2019
The rest is a sluggish film noir pastiche (the setting of the novel has been inexplicably shifted from the late Nineties to the Fifties) that aims to emulate the jazzy intrigue of Chinatown, but delivers only clichés and screen-chewing vanity.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
December 6, 2019
As it is, his passionate commitment to the story has resulted in the very definition of a vanity project.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
December 6, 2019
Its homage to film noir is over-the-top and borderline parodic -- at times, it's more Who Framed Roger Rabbit? than Chinatown.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
December 5, 2019
It took Norton two decades to get Motherless Brooklyn made, and the result is a film that's wondrously out of time: one in which the hero isn't out to save the world, just understand it.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
December 4, 2019
A bloated, 145-minute crime flick with a gimmicky protagonist investigating a cliché-prone murder-and-corruption plot.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
December 2, 2019
Fascinating though it is to see Norton continue Caro's work in scrutinising the legacy of one of Gotham's most influential and controversial figures, Norton's anti-capitalist message is undermined by his film's sentimental tendencies.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
November 3, 2019
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 3, 2019
"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.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
November 3, 2019
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
November 1, 2019
...an effective mood piece and a worthy entry in the genre.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 1, 2019
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
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 1, 2019
In that sense, "Motherless Brooklyn" might be described as novelistic, and in a good way.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 1, 2019
When brassy Cherry Jones shows up as a Jane Jacobs in all but name, shouting down the builders, you wish Norton would commit to the real-life showdown he'd clearly rather be making.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
November 1, 2019
At best, the socio-historical drama version of Motherless Brooklyn is an interesting idea for a movie-one that should have stayed on the page.
November 1, 2019
"Motherless Brooklyn" is the kind of knotty, ambitious, character-rich, politically conscious entertainment the studios so rarely get behind anymore, you can't help wishing it were better.
October 31, 2019
Even if the big thematic statements are less than subtle, the story is solid and thought-provoking, and the performances are just stylized enough to match the intensity of Norton's deep-dive performance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
October 31, 2019
A mediocre municipal noir that's a copy of a copy of Chinatown, like an East Coast cover of L.A. Confidential.
October 31, 2019
I wish the bones of "Chinatown" weren't so evident. But if you're going to nod to a classic thriller, "Chinatown" is a good one to pick, and "Motherless Brooklyn" has many other things going for it...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 31, 2019
Manages to seem like a paint-by-numbers detective story even as it ambles through a byzantine narrative.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 31, 2019
"Motherless Brooklyn" is done well enough that you wish it had struck out on its own path, rather than crib from Robert Towne and Roman Polanski. It's hard to forget it, but that's "Chinatown."
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 31, 2019
This is far from a perfect movie, but it's passionate, controlled and smart -- a throwback to another era of American cinema, not just American life.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 31, 2019
"Motherless Brooklyn" is a very smart movie, bristling with ideas about history, politics, art and urban planning.
October 31, 2019
In filming Jonathan Lethem's novel about a New York gumshoe with Tourette syndrome, writer-producer-director-star Edward Norton shows a few signs of artistic struggle, but nonetheless delivers an ardent and ambitious triumph.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 31, 2019
It's easily half an hour longer than it needs to be, and it's full of moments that don't go anywhere.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 30, 2019
The precise attention given to the style of Motherless Brooklyn serves only to underscore the plot's mediocre execution.
October 30, 2019
"Motherless Brooklyn" is a gorgeous-looking, beautifully acted film noir with a richly detailed script and sensitive direction from its star.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 29, 2019
A sturdy, wordy politically minded and wholly engaging whodunit.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 29, 2019
This film is amazing, and not in a good way.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
October 28, 2019
Handsome and largely unfussy, visually evoking the grayness of late-autumn New York chill, it's a dad movie for dads who might alternate detective novels with Robert Caro's The Power Broker.
Full Review | Original Score: B
September 16, 2019
At almost two and a half hours, "Motherless Brooklyn" could stand to be tightened up, but it's an engaging take on a genre that can fall easily into hacky cliches.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 16, 2019
The film feels both rudderless and hollow from the jump.
September 12, 2019
Whatever its flaws, it is a substantial and distinctive drama, unlike anything around in the cinema right now, although obviously like a lot of the gumshoe movies of yesteryear.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
September 9, 2019
"Motherless Brooklyn" takes its time getting to where it's going, and sometimes flies off the rails. But ultimately, it sticks its landing...
September 5, 2019
A meticulously, lovingly made mood piece, full of empathy for the ones who can't speak - at least not always the way they want to - for themselves.
Full Review | Original Score: B
September 3, 2019
For New York City, a jagged enigma in constant motion, it's a fitting salute.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
September 1, 2019
An overdone epic of socio-political venality with clear designs on being viewed as an East Coast Chinatown.
August 31, 2019
Asprawling, ambitious tale of murder, blackmail and corruption in mid-century New York to rival "Chinatown" in its complexity, if not necessarily that brain-bender's elegance or appeal...