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Motherless Brooklyn

Motherless Brooklyn

  • Directed by Edward Norton
  • Starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Kenneth Williams, Leslie Mann, Willem Dafoe
  • USA | 141mins | 2019 | rated (15)

Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins


Film run time: 2h 21m

Edward Norton’s 1950s set murder mystery offers strong performances and a unique perspective making this a film worth investigating.

Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, Motherless Brooklyn follows Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton), a lonely private detective living with Tourette Syndrome, as he ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna (Bruce Willis). Armed only with a few clues and the engine of his obsessive mind, Lionel unravels closely-guarded secrets that hold the fate of the whole city in the balance. In a mystery that carries him from gin-soaked jazz clubs in Harlem to the hard-edged slums of Brooklyn and, finally, into the gilded halls of New York's power brokers, Lionel contends with thugs, corruption and the most dangerous man in the city to honour his friend and save the woman who might be his own salvation.

With Norton and Willis are star turns from Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Willem Dafoe, Bobby Cannavale and Alec Baldwin.

It took Norton two decades to get Motherless Brooklyn made, and the result is a film that's wondrously out of time: one in which the hero isn't out to save the world, just understand it.