Director Daniel Barber's lame handwringing about the root causes of youthful alienation forms a thin veneer over the real purpose of this self-important piece of rubbish--to hold us hostage to the director's bottomless appetite for spurious depravity.
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Thoroughly derivative, and it doesn't illuminate youth crime -- it exploits it.
Caine makes a grave, soulful vigilante avenger, and first-time director Daniel Barber gives the film a dank, streaky, genuinely unnerving palette.
We like our secondhand vengeance as sleazy and bloody as the next grindhouse fiend, but even an intentional throwback shouldn’t feel content to coast on so much déjà vu.
Bleak, gripping, sporadically exciting drama.
Part punk-drab British art-house portrait of underclass despair, part bloody vigilante pic, Harry Brown is shakily held together by industrial-strength sound design and the expertly employed theatrics of Michael Caine in the title role.
The tragedy is that the performance comes to nothing. Nearly everything else in the film is vile.
Michael Caine is such a consummate actor that it's a major cause of concern to see him in Harry Brown, another hateful vigilante flick the wags in England have already labeled Dirty Harry Brown for reasons that are immediately obvious.
This movie plays better than perhaps it should. Directed as a debut by Daniel Barber, it places story and character above manufactured "thrills" and works better.