Film Review: “Brooklyn Rules”

Release Date: April 30, 2007 (USA)

Although it only had a limited release, I went to see Brooklyn Rules on opening night on 42nd Street in Manhattan and loved it. While I don’t think of it as cliche, I do find it ‘familiar,’ but regardless at the end of a film about 3 friends coming of age in mob-controlled 1980s Brooklyn a New York crowd that was old enough to have been around during the times this story took place in gave it a standing ovation. I’ve always meant to write a review about this movie, but never got around to it till now.

If you like crime-dramas like Heat, Carlito’s Way, and or especially True Romance, this movie is for you. Directed by Michael Corrente (Federal Hill) and semi-autographically Written by Terrence Winter, a writer/producer of The Sopranos, it even has old news footage of the Paul Castellano murder mixed in with a clip of John Gotti walking side by side with John “Jackie Nose” D’Amico, the alleged acting boss of the Gambino Crime Family who got arrested for racketeering in February.

Scott Caan and Jerry Ferrara provide honest and funny laughs, while Alec Baldwin is phenomenal as fictional but brutal Bay Ridge capo Caesar Manganaro– not to mention, Freddie Prinze, Jr. earned new respect by holding his own on the same screen with him.

Although this film is still relatively unknown and did poorly at the box office, I believe that’s only because of the timing of its release. Maybe if it was released years earlier it would’ve had a much bigger opening weekend or something. And perhaps, there really is no perfect timing for a picture like this– because it’s old, with a new feel. But while this film will remind you of many others, this one has something that many of those others don’t:

It’s Authentic.

A standing, clapping New York audience backs me up on that.

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