As the story opens, high school student and former drug dealer Brendan Frey (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), receives a cryptic message from his ex-girlfriend, Emily. She dropped him when she started hanging out with the popular kids, and now she's missing. Brendan's search leads him through a maze of nasty jocks and violent drug dealers that eventually leads to Emily's dead body. Now Brendan must find the killer - is it the local drug lord, the drama queen, the hit man, or an enigmatic cheerleader?
If you're looking for something really different, "Brick" is for you. Rian Johnson wrote and directed "Brick" as an homage to the film noir style of the forties. To call the characters and dialogue "hard-boiled" would be an understatement. They are all so jaded and calloused and see little of value in life. They speak in a teen/drug codethat is so unique I actually had to turn on the subtitles to understand the dialogue. That didn't detract from the movie at all, however. Once I figured out what the slang meant, it was a fascinating new language.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt has matured a lot since he was in "Third Rock From the Sun." He carries the movie with his James Dean-charisma and brooding charm. Lukas Haas gives a subtle, eerie performance as the club-footed drug lord. There is only one adult in the movie, making the teens seem even more alone and alienated from mainstream society. This is a moody, intense, and unflinching look at the teen drug world. (It's interesting that there are no curse words and no drugs are actually mentioned by name.) Highly recommended.