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Motherless Brooklyn

Where to Watch Motherless Brooklyn

R
2019

Motherless Brooklyn, released in 2019, is an engrossing neo-noir crime drama directed by acclaimed actor Edward Norton and based on the detective novel of the same name by Jonathan Lethem. The movie enjoys a superb ensemble cast including Norton himself in the lead role, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alec Baldwin, Willem Dafoe, Bobby Cannavale, and Bruce Willis among other prominent actors. The film cleverly reimagines the story set in the 1990s Brooklyn of the original novel by taking us back to the gritty New York City of the mid-1950s.

In this remarkable role, Norton plays Lionel Essrog, a private detective who struggles with Tourette’s Syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary tics and vocalizations. While his condition presents significant challenges, Lionel's remarkable memory is a great asset in his detective work, setting him apart from his peers. Lionel is part of a makeshift family of detectives, led by Frank Minna (Bruce Willis), who save him from an orphanage and gives him a sense of belonging.

The movie ignites its intense narrative when Minna is mysteriously murdered. As a loyal and dedicated detective, Lionel takes it upon himself to unravel the circumstances surrounding his boss's untimely demise. His investigation takes him deep into the heart of the city's underbelly, peeling layer after layer of corruption, greed, and deceit.

In his relentless quest for the truth, Lionel crisscrosses the city, from rough-around-the-edges neighborhood joints to the hallowed halls of power where the city's fate is decided. Here, he encounters Laura Rose, played by the talented Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Laura is an advocate for racial justice and works to prevent slum clearances which, under the veneer of urban reform, enable real estate moguls to amass tainted fortunes. The interaction between Lionel and Laura adds a layer of emotional depth and a tinge of romance to the film's intricate mesh of mystery and crime.

On the other end, Alec Baldwin plays Moses Randolph, a ruthless, power-hungry city commissioner who is a master at navigating the city's political and economic machinery. Baldwin’s character appears to be a blend of power, arrogance, and charisma, providing a strong antagonist. The encounters between Randolph and Lionel form some of the movie's most intense showdowns, with Baldwin's and Norton's acting prowess coming to the fore.

For a directorial venture, Norton accomplishes a strong understanding of the cinematographic language and manages to build a dense atmosphere that keeps audiences engaged. The film is visually outstanding, its production design, and cinematography immaculately recreating the bygone era. But, what stands out is the atmospheric jazz music that courses through the veins of the film, providing the perfect underlay to the noir narrative unfolding on the screen.

In spite of its lengthy runtime, the film cleverly maintains a balance between delivering a complex plot and catering to viewers who may not be familiar with the noir genre. Characters are well developed, offering audiences an opportunity to form emotional connections, and the story unfolds steadily but with enough suspense to keep viewers engaged till the very end.

Motherless Brooklyn clearly thrives on its mesmerizing performances. Norton, in particular, shows mastery in his portrayal of Lionel, delivering one of his career's most unforgettable performances that balances sensitivity and intensity, while showcasing the challenging effects of Tourette's syndrome. His journey from an orphan to a detective, and then from a determined investigator to an avenger of his friend's murder, forms the compelling emotional core of the movie.

In conclusion, Motherless Brooklyn is an engaging crime-drama that serves up a generous dose of mystery and suspense, punctuated with stirring character arcs, remarkable performances, and a stirring portrayal of historical New York. It's an intriguing exploration of morality, power, and corruption, set against an enchanting backdrop of vintage noir aesthetics. Edward Norton proves himself a multi-talented force in the film industry with this movie, making Motherless Brooklyn a sure treat for fans of noir crime dramas and historical films alike.

Motherless Brooklyn is a Drama, Thriller movie released in 2019. It has a runtime of 144 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.8. It also holds a MetaScore of 60.

How to Watch Motherless Brooklyn

Where can I stream Motherless Brooklyn movie online? Motherless Brooklyn is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Motherless Brooklyn for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

6.8/10
60/100
Director
Edward Norton
Stars
Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Bobby Cannavale, Cherry Jones, Alec Baldwin, Willem Dafoe
Also directed by Edward Norton
Motherless Brooklyn is available on .