Mr. Brooks

Wow. Now this is what I’m talking about, this is how you do a psychological thriller. Mr. Brooks embodied all the best of the genre: suspense, a demented and brilliant villain, sexual undertones and more than a few twists and turns.

Kevin Costner (The Upside of Anger) is Earl Brooks, a wealthy entrepreneur and socialite. He has a lovely wife, Emma (Marg Helgenberger of CSI) and a daughter in college. He seems normal enough, but it’s established very early that the man is one fry short of a Happy Meal. He has an alter-ego/split personality/imaginary friend named Marshall, played by the wonderful William Hurt (A History of Violence). As Mr. Brooks and his wife drive home after a gala, he and Marshall exchange testy banter about whether or not Brooks should resume his serial killer ways. He’s taken a two year hiatus from murdering innocents, and Marshall is ready to get back in the fray. It doesn’t take much convincing, and soon Brooks is at it again, murdering in chilling, calculating fashion. I don’t want to give too much away, but you can tell from the commercials and Costner’s recent TV appearances that his character is the psychopath- I haven’t spoiled anything by revealing that little nugget. Rounding out the major players are comedian Dane Cook (Employee of the Month) and Demi Moore (Bobby) as a detective tracking Brooks. Both are fantastic in their respective roles, especially Cook. He brought an unnerving intensity to his character, and Moore was convincing as a smart, tough-as-nails cop.

Mr. Brooks is nearly flawless, faltering only briefly with a side story pertaining to Demi Moore’s character. Kevin Costner portrayed Brooks effortlessly as a man who kills in cold blood then goes home to make love to his wife. The movie is captivating from start to finish, and blends in subplots almost to perfection. The subplots are never given too much attention, and everything always comes back to the title character. It’s like someone dusted off two of the biggest stars of the 90’s (Costner and Moore) for a renaissance or something. Mr. Brooks is the best of the summer movie season so far, and a definite must-see.

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