HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

Film Review: ‘Brighton Rock’ Remake Fails to Justify its Existence

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
No votes yet
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Rowan Joffe’s long-gestating remake of “Brighton Rock” (the 1947 noir classic was based on the beloved book by Graham Greene) raises the question least-desired in one of these situations – why bother? Sure, the story is a nifty little tale of a rising criminal undone by his own avarice and the love of a girl and the cast assembled for the remake is an undeniably talented ensemble. That said, the piece is lacking the urgency that makes the viewer feel like it needed to be made in the first place. It’s a hollow film, concerned more with detail than emotion or character and so it comes off more like a filmmaking exercise than an engaging story, and it never justifies its existence.

One of the most unusual elements of the “Brighton Rock” remake is an update to a new time period – one that had yet to come when the source material and original film were produced. Moving the action of the piece to the ‘60s could have created a new energy to the story, especially given the cultural and social revolution at the time, but it feels cosmetic, like so many elements of the film. Joffe hasn’t updated the material successfully, merely transplanted it.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Brighton Rock” in our reviews section.

Said story still centers around a rising thug named Pinkie (Sam Riley of “Control”). You won’t forget his name since Rose (Andrea Riseborough), the girl who forever changes his life, says it repeatedly, typically in wide-eyed awe. “Brighton Rock” opens with the murder of one of the men in Pinkie’s gang. Retaliation is inevitable and the killer is hunted down on a crowded pier, where he runs into the naïve, awestruck waitress who will actually serve as a lynchpin in a Brighton turf war.

When a photographer snaps a photo of the waitress with the man that Pinkie is about to brain under the pier, the tough boys with switchblades realize that they need to keep her under control. And what better way to control a dame than to have her fall in love? Lucky for them, any attention at all from the dreamy Pinkie and this cookie crumbles. But as she falls deeper in love with him, he falls in love with the impending and growing power struggle. Can he keep all of his plates spinning or at least determine the order in which they’ll come crashing to the ground?

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “Brighton Rock” review.

“Brighton Rock” stars Sam Riley, Andrea Riseborough, Helen Mirren, John Hurt, Philip Davis, Nonso Anozie, and Andy Serkis. It was written and directed by Rowan Joffe. It was released in Chicago on August 26th, 2011.

Brighton Rock
Brighton Rock
Photo credit: IFC Films

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Hot stories on the Web

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing


  • Asylum, The Logo

    CHICAGO – Put in a dash of crazy, add a dash of funny and you are defining “The Asylum,” a catch-all name for a couple of show events in Chicago, playing at The Apollo Theater Studio through February 23rd, 2017. Behind the scenes of these showcases is producer Michael Sanow, a Chicago theater veteran. For “The Asylum” information regarding the “Atypical Musical Comedy Show” (Tuesdays) and “Access Comedy” (Thursdays), click here.

  • Baltimore Waltz, The

    CHICAGO – During the scourge of the AIDS epidemic, at its height in the late 1980s, a playwright lost her brother to the condition. Inspired by him, Paula Vogel wrote “The Baltimore Waltz,” a story about her and her brother’s travels through Europe – and filtered through the prism of fantasy and the movies. The Brown Paper Box Company presents a re-staging of the play in Chicago through February 19th, 2017.


HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter


HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions