Earl Brooks is a highly respected businessman and was recently named Portland's Man of the Year. He hides a terrible secret however: he is a serial killer known as the Thumbprint Killer. He has been attending AA meetings and has kept his addiction to killing under control for two years now but his alter ego, Marshall, has re-appeared and is pushing him to kill again. When he does kill a couple while they are making love, he is seen and photographed by someone who also has his own death and murder fetish. In a parallel story, the police detective investigating the murder is having problems of her own. She is going through a messy divorce and a violent criminal who had vowed revenge some years before has escaped from prison and is after her. Written by
Mr. Brooks is the second film in which William Hurt and Kevin Costner co-star. The first was The Big Chill. Fans of The Big Chill will recall that Costner's part was all but eliminated prior to theatrical release. Costner played the friend whose suicide brings the college friends together for the weekend. The only part of Costner shown in the film are the sutured writs of the corpse being prepped for a funeral during the film's opening credits. See more »
During the car chase after the abduction of Atwood, the white van contacts a number of other vehicles causing significant damage to the van. At the end of this sequence the van is seen escaping but without any obvious sign of damage to the van. See more »
Mr. Earl Brooks:
Oh God... God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
Why do you fight it so hard, Earl?
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A thumbprint forms the backdrop for the end credits. See more »
I saw the trailer for this one, and thought it was an interesting premise, but Costner movies are so hit or miss. He's the LAST person on earth that I'd expect to be playing a serial killer. His demeanor is too gentle and even. WOW was I right, and that's what makes the movie. That slow, gentle, deliberate pace gives it a surreal sense of unease that a lesser actor couldn't match. It is exactly his everyman persona that makes this movie work.
In the tone of the movie, I was thrown by Costner's previous work as well. He's best known for somewhat light and under-realized fare. Mr. Brooks is anything but. This is a very, very dark movie, to the point that it's uncomfortable in places.
Kudos as well to William Hurt, who isn't known for playing this sort of role either. His character could easily descend into cliché, but it doesn't. He holds the right note, and the chemistry between him and Costner is tangible.
Over the top torture/gorefests have been the flavor of the month. Don't get me wrong -- I love High Tension and it's ilk, but it's nice to see a film that doesn't have to go for the visceral reaction to achieve it's tension. This is an assault to the mind, not the eyes, and it's exceptionally well done.
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