Harry Brown

May 22, 2010 at 6:17 am (Uncategorized) (, )




Rating 8/10

Violent and avenging but revealing and meaningful, Michael Caine as Harry Brown in the same genre as Burt Lancaster playing Valdez dispensers a brand of justice.

Film review – Harry Brown

Published: May 25, 2010

Since Michael Winner directed Charles Bronson in the 1974 Death Wish and it became the archetypal urban vigilante film, it is very difficult to review this kind of film.

On the one hand, one must deplore an individual taking the law into his or her own hands and executing in the streets those who have committed crimes that have eluded official justice.  We are not executioners.

On the other hand, the atrocities committed by thugs who have no compunction on ordinary citizens do, as the scriptures say, call out for vengeance. 

Michael Caine is very effective as Harry, whose wife dies after a long illness, and David Bradley as Len, his friend and chess partner at the local pub who is harrassed by the thugs and is not going to take it any more.

Harry was a marine in Ulster but has left that in the past.  However, his disgust at the behaviour of the unrepentant men and the drug-dealing scum of London sends him back to his weapons and his going on a confrontation and killing spree.

The police are limited by their abilities and what they can actually do in the face of lawyers’ advice to criminals, lack of evidence and police work on more important issues than the deaths of old age pensioners. 

It was Peter Finch’s character in Networkwho got people to yell out from their homes, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more”. That’s what happens in vigilante films like Harry Brown – Peter Malone, Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.

Starring Michael Caine, David Bradley, Sean Harris, Emily Mortimer and Charles Creed-Mills. Directed by Daniel Barber
Rated MA 15+ (strong violence, drug use, sexual references and coarse language). 103 mins.



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