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[[quoteright:215:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Brick.PNG]]

->'''Brendan''': [[TheLostLenore I can't let her go. I was set to, but I can't. I don't think I can.]]
->'''The Brain''': You think you can help her?
->'''Brendan''': No.
->'''The Brain''': [[HardboiledDetective You think you can get the straight?]] [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge Maybe break some deserving teeth?]]
->'''Brendan''': Yeah. I think I could.

Take {{film noir}}, a generous dose of high school intrigue, a dash of David Lynch, and toss them all into a blender. What you get is probably going to be ''Brick''. That, or charges for the murder of David Lynch.

A 2006 cult film directed/written by Creator/RianJohnson, ''Brick'' tells the story of Brendan Frye ({{Joseph Gordon-Levitt}}), a teenage loner silently pining over his ex-girlfriend, Emily. When he gets a phone call from a panicked Emily, and finds her dead in a storm drain soon after, he goes on a one-man quest to bring her murderer(s) to justice, blowing the lid off of his high school's underworld of drugs and crimes.

Even though it takes place in the modern day, the characters in ''Brick'' all speak in an invented slang closely based off of vernacular speech in the '20s, '30s, and '40s. The high school social cliques match surprisingly well with traditional noir archetypes. Much like its inspirations (such as the noir classic, ''Film/TheMalteseFalcon''), one of Brick's main strengths is in its hard-boiled dialogue. The film also boasts excellent cinematography and strong performances.

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!! This film provides examples of:

* AdultsAreUseless: Played straight. The only adults we ever see on screen are the Vice-Principal, who depends on Brendan to tell him what's going on (see DaChief, below) and the Pin's mom, who's either totally oblivious to her son's business or doesn't care. Laura's mom is there at the party, but we see just enough of her to make it clear that she's completely hands-off.
%%* AffablyEvil: The Pin.
%%* AllAccordingToPlan
* AmateurSleuth: Brendan Frye, who's too young to actually be the private eye he acts like.
* AntiHero: Brendan makes it clear from the beginning that he does things for his own purposes, not for the greater good.
%%* AwesomeByAnalysis: Brendan.
* BadassBoast: "Throw one at me if you want, hash head. I've got all five senses and I slept last night, which puts me six up on the lot of you."
%%* BasementDweller: [[spoiler: the Pin.]]
* BigBadFriend: [[spoiler: Laura acts like Brendan's new love interest throughout the film, but she's realy the final villain]].
* BlackAndGrayMorality: Brendan rides the line between [[AntiHero hero and villain]] but the BigBad is a real piece of work.
%%* BlindWithoutEm: Brendan.
%%* BittersweetEnding
* BondOneLiner: Brendan gets one in on Kara when he shoves her out of her dressing room in the buff.
-->'''Kara:''' What are you doing?
-->'''Brendan:''' Showing your ace.
* TheBrute: Tug. Seriously, do not so much as look at him funny if you like having teeth.
%%* CatapultNightmare
%%* ChaseScene
* [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's Gun]]: If you're not paying attention during the first five minutes of the movie, you miss a detail that will be extremely important later [[spoiler: namely, the blue arrow on the cigarette thrown from the car]].
* TheChessmaster: [[spoiler: Laura, as the BigBad. Brendan is a heroic example.]]
%%* {{Chiaroscuro}}
* CoDragons: [[spoiler: After Brendan becomes the mole, and ends up sharing the position rather quickly, acting as the brains to Tug's brawns.]]
* CombatPragmatist: Brendan defeats JerkJock Brad Bramish and Chuck Burns (the knife guy) through pragmatism.
* CoolShades: Brendan wears them sometimes.
* CurbStompBattle: There are several of these throughout the film, and a lot of different characters wind up on the receiving end. Not surprisingly, Tug perpetrates most of them, but every so often we see that Brendan can give as good as he gets.
* DaChief: In this case, Assistant Vice Principal Trueman, played by none other than Richard Roundtree, aka... {{Shaft}}!
* DeadHandShot: An alternate poster and used prominently in the movie.
* DeadpanSnarker: Several characters, but Brendan is the most awesome:
-->'''Brad:''' Yeah?
-->'''Brendan:''' Yeah.
-->'''Brad:''' ...Yeah?
-->'''Brendan:''' There's a thesaurus in the library, yeah's under "Y." Go ahead; I'll wait.
** And after Brendan beats him in a fight.
-->'''Random Girl:''' Was there a fight?
-->'''Brendan:''' ''Yeah.''
%%* DescriptionPorn: See PrivateEyeMonologue.
* {{Determinator}}: Brendan. He lets Tug beat the crap out of him, infiltrates a drug ring, and involves himself in a gang war all out of his love for Emily.
* DidTheyOrDidntThey: The scene near the end between Brendan and [[spoiler: Laura]] was shot with the footage in the film, but then continued when he took off her shirt. Then the scene faded back in with them smoking and her putting it back on and rearranging her clothes. WordOfGod says they did, but he edited the film to leave the doubt because they wouldn't in the land of fiction.
* DidWeJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu: Brendan in the Pin's kitchen, being given breakfast by [[EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas the Pin's mom]].
%%* DisposableWoman: Emily.
%%* DisturbedDoves
* DownLADrain: The film involved a murder that took place in a tunnel in the viaduct system.
%%* TheDragon: Tug.
* DragonInChief: [[spoiler: Pin, while the mastermind behind the drug ring, is hopelessly outmatched when Tug attacks him.]]
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:Brendan gets revenge for Emily's murder, but what muddles up the whole situation is that Emily died with her unborn child and Brendan is heavily implied to be the father.]]
%%* DueToTheDead
%%* DumbMuscle: Tug.
%%* DutchAngle: Used occasionally.
* EasterEgg: On the DVD Bonus menu, find and select the tunnel on the screen. If it gets a blue outline, click select, and you can watch a student film of Rian Johnson's called, "Ninja-Ko: The Origami Master."
* EarnYourHappyEnding: A bittersweet one, at least. [[spoiler: After getting beat to hell a couple times, getting in a half dozen fights, outsmarting another few folks high up on the food chain, and surviving the first shots of a potential gang war, Brendan finally gets to rest knowing that he punished the people that were behind Emily's murder.]]
* EatingLunchAlone: Inverted, since Brendan does this by choice.
* EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: [[spoiler: The Pin, whose mom serves corn flakes and apple juice to him and his criminal associates]].
%%* EvilCripple: The Pin.
* {{Expy}}: Laura is one of Brigid O'Shaughnessy from TheMalteseFalcon.
%%* FemmeFatale: Laura Dannon
* FilmNoir: The name of the game.
%%* FiveFiveFive
* ForegoneConclusion: Emily dies. Kind of a 'duh' statement considering the very first shot is of Emily lying facedown in a ditch.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: [[spoiler: In the beginning, when Emily calls Brendan she already mentions a girl who told her to deal with the brick.]] If you notice the cast, aside from [[spoiler: Em,]] there's only one girl that's really involved in the action.
* FramingTheGuiltyParty: Brendan has Brain call the police and tell them drugs are in Tug's car. [[spoiler: He's actually put Emily's dead body in the trunk.]]
* GoodSmokingEvilSmoking
-->'''Brendan:''' You got a cigarette?\\
'''Tug:''' I don't smoke.\\
'''Brendan:''' I've ''seen'' you smoke.\\
'''Tug:''' I don't smoke ''cigarettes.''
%%* GuileHero: Brendan.
%%* GunStruggle
%%* HairTriggerTemper: Tug.
* TheHeavy: The BigBad relies on [[spoiler: Tug]] to perpetrate the crimes involved in this convoluted plot.
* HighSchool: In addition to taking place in a high school, Brick was filmed in San Clemente High School, which the director once attended.
* HeroicBSOD[=/=]HeroicRROD: Brendan gets one of each. The latter is ongoing, and actually pretty disturbing in the implication of just how much internal organ damage he's dealing with.
* HollywoodHealing: Averted. [[spoiler: The constant beatings that Brendan suffers take an obvious toll as the film progresses, leading to a HeroicRROD]].
* HowWeGotHere: The movie starts with Emily's death and the whole plot revolves around Brendan discovering how she died.
* IWorkAlone: Brendan's modus operandi.
%%* InformationBroker
* TheIngenue: Subverted with Emily. Even though she is the main character's love interest and TheLostLenore, it is soon revealed that she left him to date a drug addict, [[spoiler: tried to join the inner circle of a prominent drug dealer, and had sex with the aforementioned drug addict and the dealer's head enforcer.]] All within a span shorter than three months.
%%* InstantDeathBullet
%%* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique
* JerkJock: Mostly played for laughs in the form of Brad Bramish.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Dode, though his heart of gold probably has a few impurities.
* LadyInRed: Laura wears a red {{Qipao}} when Brendan meets her.
* LampshadeHanging: Hung immediately after the entry for NotInThisForYourRevolution:
-->'''VP Trueman:''' Fine. Very well put.
-->'''Brendan:''' Accelerated English, Mrs. Kasperzyk.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Particularly Laura and Em.
* LightAndMirrorsPuzzle: A rare non-video game use of this trope, Brendan is locked in a CreepyBasement and uses a mirror and a small stream of light to take stock of the whole area and find the 10th brick.
* MacGuffinTitle: The "brick" of the title is a heroin brick, the theft of which sets off the film's entire plot.
* MasqueradeBall: Laura's "Halloween in January."
* MeaningfulName: Tug has his strings pulled by the BigBad to do most of the heavy lifting.
* MenDontCry: Averted immediately prior to the climax of the film Brendan breaks down crying in [[spoiler: Laura's arms]].
* MinorCrimeRevealsMajorPlot: Murder isn't exactly a ''minor'' crime, but Emily's death is entirely incidental to [[spoiler: Laura's]] plan
* NeckLift: Tug to Brendan
%%* {{Nerd}}: Both the Brain and the Pin.
* NerdGlasses: Brain sports a classic pair. Brendan also wears glasses, but their style shows that he's not a nerd.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: A couple of times, always [[spoiler: from Tug]].
* NoodleIncident: What went down between Brendan and "Jerr" before the events of the film. WordOfGod is that [[spoiler:Jerr was a drug dealer who started getting friendly with Emily. Brendan didn't approve of this, so he partnered up with Jerr in a dope racket and then set him up for Trueman. Emily didn't approve of such blatant meddling in her life, and that's what lead to the fight in the flashback.]]
* NotInThisForYourRevolution: This is essentially Brendan's reply to the VP of Discipline at his school when the man tries to win his services.
--> '''Brendan:''' I gave you Jerr to [[ItsPersonal see him eaten,]] not to see you fed.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Brain, the Pin, and presumably Tug
%%* PantsPositiveSafety:Tug
* PayPhone: Averts the usual trope in which the protagonist walks by a mysteriously ringing phone, as Brendan answers phone calls at pay phones more often than he makes them. This appears to be idiosyncratic to him, as everyone else appears to have cell phones. Other characters use the pay phones so confidential calls won't show up on their phone bills.
* PoliceAreUseless: {{Averted}}. Brendan is keeping things quiet not because he doesn't think the police can catch Emily's killer, but because he wants to find "who put her in front of the gun." Towards the end he makes it pretty clear that the cops could have easily found [[spoiler: Tug]], and he plans to use them to roust the drug ring.
* PopularIsDumb: Played straight with Brad Bramish, averted with Laura.
%%* PlayingBothSides: [[spoiler: Laura.]]
%%* PrettyLittleHeadshots: Gruesomely averted.
* PrivateEyeMonologue: Of course. This is a neo-noir, after all.
* PutMeInCoach: Brad Bramish has a stock anecdote involving this trope, no doubt embellished
* RiddleForTheAges: We might never find out what Laura whispered to Brendan. In [[http://www.rcjohnso.com/brickscript/BrickScript.pdf a shooting script]] on his website, Rian Johnson reveals what Laura whispered at the end: [[spoiler: Motherfucker, referencing the fact that Brendan and not Dode was the father of Emily's baby.]] This is a homage to the Dashiell Hammett short story, "The Girl with the Silver Eyes," which ends identically: [[spoiler:"She put her mouth close to my ear so that her breath was warm again on my cheek, as it had been in the car, and [[NarrativeProfanityFilter whispered the vilest epithet of which the English language is capable.]]"]]
* ShouldntWeBeInSchoolRightNow: A lot of the characters go to and from school, more or less at will.
* ShoutOut:
** The chase scene is an obvious homage to ''CowboyBebop'' (Brendan even looks a bit like Spike). The shot of Laura coming out of a dark corridor is a reference to ''BlueVelvet''.
** The line "Oh, now you are ''dangerous''" is taken verbatim from ''Film/TheMalteseFalcon'', as is the "long short long short" warning signal.
** And the convoluted structure owes itself to ''Literature/TheBigSleep'', and Creator/RaymondChandler's style in general.
%%* {{Sidekick}}: The Brain.
* TheSmartGuy: The Brain. Brendan is pretty smart too, though.
* SmartPeopleWearGlasses: Brendan, the detective of the story, wears glasses. Brain wears NerdGlasses to show that he's also smart, but not a man of action.
%%* SmokingHotSex
* SmokingIsCool: Several characters smoke, though they don't always smoke tobacco, which actually becomes a central plot-point in the climax.
* TheSummation: Interestingly, Brendan gives it to the mastermind. [[spoiler: Laura, natch!]] Then the mastermind offers a correction.
* SympathyForTheDevil: The Pin's a pretty bad character, but it's hard not to feel a little sorry for him. This is most apparent when he reaches out to [[spoiler: Brendan]], desperately seeking a friend.
%%* TeensAreMonsters: And how!
* TotallyRadical: Perhaps the strangest version of this in history. The characters are modern day teenagers who all speak like hardboiled characters in a Dashiel Hammett P.I. story.
* UnfamiliarCeiling: Brendan wakes up in Laura's room this way.
* UnstoppableRage: This, plus a HairTriggerTemper, makes Tug into an ''extremely'' dangerous character. Even his employer is afraid of him.
%%* TheVamp: Kara and [[spoiler: Laura]].
%%* WatchingTheSunset
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: [[spoiler:The Pin's mom is in the house only minutes before all hell broke loose; what happened to her during the climax and afterwards?]]
* WhamLine:
-->'''Dode:''' [[spoiler: She was gonna keep it! It was mine, and you couldn't stand that! ...I loved her. And I woulda loved that kid. I'm gonna bury you.]]
* WhosYourDaddy: Between Tug, Dode, and later [[spoiler: Brendan]].
* WildTeenParty: Inverted. Because this is a noir film set in a high school, the teen parties are classy cocktail affairs with live jazz.
* WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief: Why are modern teens talking like hard-boiled [=PIs=] and femmes fatales? [[RuleOfCool Hey]], [[MST3KMantra just roll with it.]]
* WomanInBlack: Kara wears a {{Stripperific}} black dress at one point and a long black robe later; not coincidentally, these are the scenes where she is the most manipulative. In a rather odd use of this trope, [[spoiler: Laura is also wearing black when she sleeps with Brendan; on first viewing, this is the point when the viewer is mostly likely to find her sympathetic, but it's also immediately before she becomes responsible for the death of five people and her role in Em's death is revealed.]]
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