Motherless Brooklyn (2019) - Crime, Drama, Mystery

Hohum Score



In 1950s New York, a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette's Syndrome ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend.

IMDB: 6.8
Director: Edward Norton
Stars: Edward Norton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Length: 144 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 81 out of 319 found boring (25.39%)

One-line Reviews (232)

The whole ending to do with Paul and Moses is very confusing and I got lost along the way.

The performances are excellent, the story is engaging, though it occasionally drifts off into some barely relevant territory.

The plot is dull and with an over long script.

Worth Watching .

Reading the reviews, I was surprised at so many of those who spoke of it as being long and boring.

This movie paralyzes you from the very beginning and, like any great detective story, keeps you on the edge of your seat looking for answers and thinking..

Very enjoyable - Time flew by .

The story is compelling trying to work out what the death of a private detective has to do with a property magnate.

A slow process lacking in dramatization and character development.

I'm a big Edward Norton fan but this movie was a snoozer.

the wildly talented Ed Norton, who delivered a gritty, suspenseful noir, a well-developed character portrayal, a thoughtful, deliberatively-paced adapted tough topic screen-play.

The story is decent but not great, and it's very predictable at certain points.

Motherless Brooklyn is a boring neo noir crime film which Edward Norton delivers a great performance.

immersed in the 50s .

A bit lengthy for a crime drama/who done it because there will be slower portions of the film.

This show starts off really good with some strong acting, the set is set up excellent and the conclusion is well intriguing.

The bland nature of the plot does not aid the film's problem solving.

Acting (top notch, without excluding anyone at all), score, delicate thrilling effect, subtle depiction of power's brutality.

On the other hand it was too long and slow....

The storyline is boring as hell.

One of the worst movies I have ever seen .

A Calm, Engaging Mystery .

Sure some may find it boring, slow, presumptuous even.

I really enjoyed it.

I'd rather watch a Roseanne marathon, than 5 more minutes of this snore fest!

New York of the 1950's is a fascinating place and if Edward Norton did anything right with MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN it's transporting us to the time and the place.

I enjoyed it and recommend it .

Enjoy falling asleep or going to the bathroom or getting popcorn.

Motherless Brooklyn has problem with flat uninteresting characters and dialogue as well as a pace that moves incredibly slow you at times feel like your watching a 3 hours movie rather than a 2 hour 20 minute film.

An Extremely Tedious Passion Project .

The story was rather bland and boring, and could have easily been shortened and more clairvoyant.

half the movie he spent talking about it though and the repetitive "if" got tiresome after the 500th time.

Motherless Brooklyn takes a while to get going and while its slowly paced, the plot thickens and after I settled in, I was caught up in it.

Which leads me to my second point 2 like so many movies these days, at 144 minutes, this one is simply way too long.

While I do think it's a tad bit long but it is worth watching for sure.

It's slow, it's tiring, it's nothing like the trailers suggested.

And although this works tremendously on the page, Norton argued (correctly, I think) that to try to replicate this on film - have the story set in 2019 (or even 1999), but told in the manner of a classic noir - wouldn't work, as it would send mixed and confusing messages to the audience.

Yawn fest .

What was problematicThe narrative drive ran out of steam as so much of the labyrinthine plot had similar repetitive scenes, it was unvarying.

I would highly recommend it because, for me, it was passionate, controlled, verbal and smart film.

Riveting from beginning to end.

It was great to see such a veteran cast of actors provide an entertaining story.

For me one of the most compelling scenes was between Lionel and Trumpet Man (Michael Kenneth Williams).

Entertaining noir throwback .

Norton's film seem far too long, his character's malady was honesty distracting and unfortunately most of the characters were remarkably familiar.

It's script is pretty generic, one of the twists was predictable and it has serious pacing problems.

The atmosphere of 50's New York and musical score was immensely evocative and comprehensively realised.

This film is definitely a must watch movie for those who appreciate a quirky yet intriguing story-line.

The plot was solid, though, it does have some issues, like the slightly slow pacing and messiness in acts 2 and 3.

Yes, as others complained it is a long movie and it has a slow pace.

The movie is worth watching , and has got an engaging plot .

But boy, could it use an injection of adrenaline, humor, heightened drama, improved soundtrack and less forced woke messaging.

There are so many unnecessary scenes that only dragged the pacing of the film and which didn't contribute to anything.

Slow, political statement piece .

PC nonsense in 50's era, felt like I was watching actors in traning, repetitive.

Tough guys and clever women combined with secrets, empty clues, and false bunny trails can mesmerize me for hours.

) , the rest of the movie was tedious acting was not believable it most seemed like they were forcing out their play/part.

It is an engaging complicated detective story that seems satisfyingly straightforward once it is all unraveled.

For instance, a few early scenes in the Minna Detective Agency office were confusing, and I found myself questioning how the agency made any money, had pleasantly nice offices, and everybody in the office seemed flush, not struggling.

The story and the acting are good, but the plot meanders ar such a slow pace I found it hard to stay interested.

Enjoyable noir.

Screenwriter, Director, and Actor Edward Norton failed to make this an engaging crime thriller in the tradition of Roman Polanski's "Chinatown.

Entertaining and Relevant .

The lighting and cinematography are incredibly flat and boring (a terrible idea in a noir film of all things!

But this tertiary, tedious slog of a movie is proof that Hollywood is falling.

Long and boring.

Great acting but some of the plot lines are predictable.

Motherless Brooklyn is an incredible Neo-noir that's unpredictable, engaging and despite it's period setting, timeless in it's themes.

This slow moving 1950's gumshoe detective period piece will occasionally have you wondering if you should stick with it.

The story was okay and the acting was alright but for the most part it was predictable and a little long.

It seems like some of the acting is good but the movie is so bland.

Not much of a film noir, more of a boring political hit job.

A tight and gripping movie .

A very entertaining film and please don't be emo like me and cry after the opening scene.

In fact I'd argue the music is the film's biggest saving grace, and it's worth watching for that alone.

After slow start film goes into higher gear .

Still, it's got a good cast and an engaging story, so if you're a fan of film noir it's well worth checking out.

Way too long.

The movie was painfully boring with hardly any story line and 2hours 35 mins long that felt like 4 hours.


It's worth seeing, but as I said, "maybe", only because it's a slow burn and could've been accelerated in spots.

Robert Moses/Moses Randolph or whoever wears their snappy shoes would love it.

Slow paced, Long 2 hours 25 min and Average storyline .

Ed Norton proves his chops again as a director putting together a great story keeping you on the edge of your seat all the way through.

The investigation within the film is incredibly drawn out and boring.

It was interesting, intriguing, developed characters, a story-line I didn't figure out in the firs 2 minutes - I was throughly entertained.

The direction is boring.

Bored to freaking death.

His repetitive touching of people on the shoulder as he faced them ought to have caused women to back away and men to knock his block off.

Nostalgically compelling gumshoe movie .


True fact: In the 1950s and 60s, in the name of "urban renewal" and "slum clearance," working-class communities of color were bulldozed and replaced by expressways and new high-end development,Urban renewal sounds like promising material for neo-Noir, but unfortunately this movie offers only a feeble hodge-podge-- and the pacing of the action is tedious.

Its a well shot movie but quite boring and long .

#MovieReview #MotherlessBrooklyn #AmazonPrime #Hollywood #SpoilerFreeDespite a sterling lead performance from Edward Norton, Motherless Brooklyn is a tiring, tedious experience with a watch time that stretches for over two and a half hours.

A disappointing bore .

It's slow and ponderous and confusing and one-note and too long.

Liked the classic noir vibes of the movie.. storyline reminded me of 90's movie productions (it's set in the 50's though) so it was kinda predictable and at some points slow.

It was so boring that I fell asleep half way through watching it in the early evening.

Completely boring, outdated at it's own release date.

The film is long, slow pace, looks old.....

First of all, any movie with a jazz score is worth the watch...


A few good scenes here and there but it mostly dragged.

Beyond that the film has a bit of a made-for-television feel to it; cheap, plasticy, with boring camera angles and paint-by-numbers lighting.

Regardless, it's an entertaining flic, with a great setting, and great soundtrack - done well.

The film feels flabby, slow, unsure of its pacing.

Waste of time .

These elements are all excellent and shows that Edward Norton is a capable director who makes something with effort and passion which isn't seen all the time, these aspects feel so engaging in the first act and through many parts of the final act.

So this is what I will say: if you're looking for an engaging film with multifaceted and layered and colored (artistically not racially) Characters that move through a story that is a mystery thriller who done it in a why done it?

Thanks to the slow pace, as a viewer you can discover more clues and hints yourself.

The story is authentic looking with a nice noir style to it and everyone does a good acting job but it's a little slow in parts.

Too long and boring movie .

I wanted to leave half way through.

Wilhelm DaFoe playing his brother is a hammy crank while the rest of the cast looks dull, acts depressed.

But it is slow and if you're expecting something like Sin City or even the Untouchables, you might be disappointed.

Bored to freaking death!

This movie was so slow and very boring.

It's actually impressive how well the atmosphere was built despite the bland script.

During an intense scene with a bad guy, you don't see him doing that which makes you question the character a bit.

If you like a good ole crime story , great actors and a twist in the tale that's not pathetic, then this is for you, Totally enjoyed it, Norton lightens up an otherwise somber politically corrupt story-line, got few good laughs from me and made the film even more enjoyable, one example is him getting escorted out of a town hall meeting with a few other hecklers when in fact he was simply responding to his anxiety and shouting something like 'pigs in blankets' in line with his tourette's.

So boring .

Every detail is compelling and natural, so we have the feeling that we are immersed in this world, with its lights and darkness, with racial inequalities and social injustices, with coin phones and with the fog engulfing the bridges connecting Manhattan to the rest of the city, with nightclubs and the ubiquitous smoke of cigarettes.

Cliche .

One of just a handful of contemporary movies worth watching.

Slow, boring, and unrealistic .

Worst movie ever .

Lionel's symptoms of Tourette's syndrome, repetitive verbalizations of a rhyming nature, were accepted equanimously by everyone he encountered.

A very long and tedious experience .

I think this film is very competently made: Norton clearly knows how to direct a scene and get from the actors he's working with what he needs, and he also was able to adapt this story in a relatively compelling way.

Unfortunately, as stylish and beautiful the film is, its most certainly hampered by its long running length and somewhat dull passages.

There are worse ways to waste your time.

Heartfelt drama mystery but has boring political scenes .

But, most of all, it's just straight up BORING!

The cast were steller, it was gripping throughout.

Storywise it's all very confusing.

This movie is so slow, so boring, with a terrible score and a heavy handed approach, and worst of all, unrealistic in the portrayal of the characters and how they talk and react, more than anything to the protagonist.

"Chinatown" sideways and slow .

If you can withstand the 2hrs 20 or so mins of being completely immersed in this film...

A tad too slow, but interesting, suspenseful, and really good looking.


Really gripping .

A great 150 minute film can fly by and leave you asking how it is already over, whereas a tedious film of similar length can feel like 5 hours with you checking the time every ten minutes hoping more time than that has passed.

BORING Another actor doing Dustin Hoffman .

tedious Noir clone .

Too long and predictable .

The slow pace, the jazzy music, that Film Noir ambiance, it's just not for me.


Stylistically good but predictable .

Fell asleep a few times

If you're into these sort of slow paced, intriguing films, than Motherless Brooklyn is for you.

Edward Norton starts, directs, and writes in this engaging film noir Mystery with a deep and complicated plot, layered with immense style, a great score, a sensational performance from Norton as a man afflicted with tourettes, who finds himself unveiling the truth in a path of loyalty, greed, power, trust, family, love, racism and deception.

Ultimately it was overlong and repetitive it could have been so much better with some editing and some more action.

The story telling is uninteresting.

Overall, Motherless Brooklyn is a boring film that fails to get any better with its long and slow direction.

Final Say -Working with a low-budget and with nothing but passion (and perhaps a little desire for silverware), Motherless Brooklyn is a sometimes valiant attempt by Norton to bring to life a seemingly un-filmable novel but for most of its excessive run-time, this noir is tame and boring more often than not.

But it's certainly engaging.

Edward Norton's passion project is worth watching for anyone who an intelligent audience.

In other words, the movie runs far too long (2 1/2 hrs, maybe 40-45 min.

Some may critique it as being a slow burn, of a story that we have heard a thousand times already.

He even seems to sabotage his suspenseful moments by being repetitive in situations while his vintage autos convey an artificial look with their with showroom glow still in tact as they tool around Queens and Brooklyn.

Soooo boring.

Maybe sometimes a bit too much detail as it dragged a little bit.

Randolph has a genius brother, Paul (Willem Dafoe), whom he keeps on a short leash and on the edge of hope.

Instead of doing pointless exposition, the film could've given more development to the relationship between Norton's and Willis' character.

Such a bore.

Authentic Looking Slow Noir .

These and other logic questions kept popping up in my mind as the film wore on and took me away from engaging more with the story.

With no tension, no score, a slow pace, a PG-13 script taking away realism from the characters and their reactions and dialogues, and failed and intermittent attempts of comedy, this is a failure in every sense.

Creative, Suspenseful .

However if the slow, moody old style detective genre is your thing you will love this.

The set pieces were evocative of the era and of the characters that inhabited those set pieces.

The only parts that seem complex or boring are the political scenes.

The film is definitely worth watching as it shows what Hollywood is about, their actors have great ideas, that Hollywood spends a lot of money on, than they lack in delivery, no fault to these wonderful actors.

Soooooo boring.

Despite everything and a bit of confusion, there is a huge potential in Norton's direction / writing (not to mentiong the impeccable acting) and this movie was the proof.

Good acting, confusing story and sketchy directing made this potential good film into a disaster.

Its soooo boring, and it just ends up in some political b.

I hope you find it entertaining more than me.

Although flawlesly acted and despite a stellar cast, the movie seems somewhat disjointed, disconnected and flat.

I thought it was slow and boring.

I fell asleep halfway and I'm glad I did, It was not worth my time

Dull, uninteresting.

It was way too long.

It also moves at a snail's pace, and Norton is never really able to generate any sense of urgency, making the whole thing feel laborious, and, ultimately, rather pointless.

boring .

His character was very likable and entertaining.

Plodding and thoughtful without ever being boring, and what a performance by Ed Norton as the tourettes afflicted gumshoe.

Pointless .

Slow .

Good engaging movie .

Don't waste your time like I wasted mine.

Entertaining overall

Tedious Exercise .

The storytelling leans hard on verbal exposition, but this film a pleasure to watch because it have elegant cinematography with a distinct tone, stunning period recreation, humor, strong characterizations and mostly graceful articulation of complex material.

While it can be difficult to follow at times, it's still quite a fantastic movie.

His direction, script, and tone of the movie is so dull and boring.

and worth the watch.

Engrossing and spellbinding, MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN (btw, that is Frank's moniker assigned to Lionel) is a worthy expansion of Jonathan Lethem's novel.

I'd recommend it with a large cup of coffee to stay awake and not to fall asleep watching it.

Very simple and predictable self loving Edward Norton's film.

Average At Best, And Far Too Long .

extremely slow .

As a photographer I thought the cinematography was stunning in color and composition, less film noir and more '50's style New York street Kodachrome photography with compositions of odd reflections and angles interspersed smoothly with the flow of the narrative master shots in a style similar to Winogrand and Vivian Maier.

Overly long led to viewer exhaustion, of the 50 people in my viewing 20 had walked out by the 80 minute marker.

While it suffers from a fairly cliche plot template, this film looks great and has a nice style that modernizes the noir genre while maintaining the usual time period.

an engaging crime drama that is worth every minute of your time .

Dull, slow, and predictable Noir style investigation.

A period movie, done with stunning production values, solid performances without car chases!

The story is somewhat confusing so you had better pay attention.

Just got really boring.

Norton was also able to cleverly execute a literary device, to quickly contrast the difficulty and constant un-predictability of being unfortunately plagued by Tourette's Syndrome, to the unpredictable and unexpected struggle and consequence of being an African American in today's society.

This is the worst movie you will ever see in the nature of movie making

Yet fails ,went to long could of cut 20mins out was boring ,so by the end you really don't care what happens.

The novel was exciting, interesting, unique and fun to read.

Great acting, lovely jazz and a slow pace that grows on you.

The investigation feels like a waste of time, especially when a lot of the core questions are answered relatively easily.

Somewhat engaging .

The biggest issue of the film is that it's way too long.

Slow moving .

'Homeless Brooklyn' is highly entertaining, although a mishmash of themes that are loose threads of a sprawling story, albeit well told.

Although I tried and tried, it was really hard to shake the suspicion that Ed Norton was reprising his role of Brian from The Score, a ho-hum heist movie from the early 2000s.

Overall, I enjoyed it, It is probably a great book!!

Watching Brooklyn leaves you in a constant state of waiting for things to really take off, waiting for that story development to get things moving into another gear but those moments never come as we are left with uninteresting love interests, far too long in the tooth Jazz Club stop-overs and a convoluted plotline that thinks too highly of itself as it instead flounders about on a long road to nowhere in particular.

Enjoyable story .

But Norton has done a superior job of creating a fascinating, highly dramatic work about actual history, drama, characters, politics and passion.

His acting performance is remarkable, but there are plenty of other reasons that make 'Motherless Brooklyn' one of the most exciting films of a season among the best in the last decade.

All in all MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN is an engaging crime drama that is worth every minute of your time

The only remark i have is that the ending is quite dull.

I appreciate the noir elements and the call back to NYC during the 50's but it gets boring and confusing after a while and you find yourself wanting a way out of Motherless Brooklyn.

really boring and slow with a lot of scenes that have absolutely nothing to do with the story.

There is no plot twist or amazing revelation that compensates the two hours plus you sat watching this, the ending is really lame and looked like from a Nicholas Sparks movie.

People who come to the film because they liked the book will be pissed that it's not a better version of it, and those who know nothing of the book have only a dull, boring movie to watch.