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Brick Mansions | 2014 | PG-13 | - 3.6.5

American remake of the French parkour action film "District B13": In a large Detroit housing project called Brick Mansions the poor live alongside criminals in squalor and the mayor puts up a wall around the sector. An undercover officer (Paul Walker) pursues his father's murderer (RZA) in this ghetto, while an ex-con (David Belle) tries to save his kidnapped girlfriend (Catalina Denis). Also with Robert Maillet, Carlo Rota and Kwasi Songui. Directed by Camille Delamarre. [1:30]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - Several scenes feature men who are bare-chested with tattoos covering their back, chest, arms and hands. A few men wear sleeveless undershirts and their arms are covered in tribal tattoos. A man wears an open shirt that reveals his bare chest; later, he removes the shirt in a fight scene. A woman wears a blouse that hugs her large bosom with a micro-mini skirt that bares most of her thighs. A woman sits on a ledge and her shirt is wet, revealing the outline of her bra. In shadows in a room a woman wears a negligee and from behind we see her thighs. A woman wears skimpy black leather clothing: In one scene she wears a low-cut top that reveals significant cleavage with a skimpy skirt; in other scenes she wears a bra with straps around the waist with skimpy short shorts and both outfits include thigh high leather boots and mesh stockings. Unreadable tattooed words are visible across the top of a woman's breast.
 A woman grabs another woman by the throat and says, "Ooh la la," then tells a man that she and the other woman are going to play (it is implied that the woman is a lesbian). A kidnapped woman is forced to walk down a corridor filled with men who whistle and catcall, but she ignores them. A woman has a collection of sadomasochist items that include a cat o' nine tails, long chains and a flat blade razor; she uses the razor twice to pull out the neckline of another woman's blouse (revealing a little cleavage).
 A woman kisses her boyfriend briefly as they stand on a sidewalk.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A man suddenly shoots another man point blank and the man falls to the floor, presumably dead, without blood. A jailed man pulls another man's head through the meal slot in the door of his cell and the hat and head block the lens (it is implied that the man's head is twisted off). A woman locks another woman's neck in a leg vice move and tosses her over a rooftop, sending her crashing loudly though the roof of a parked car, presumably killing her.
 Many armed men march through a hallway and outside, they find two men hiding in an old bus, and many men open fire on the bus until it turns black, smokes and a body falls to the ground; one man inside the bus is nicked on the temple by a bullet and we see a little blood on his fingers.
 Soldiers push a man into the back of a van and an undercover cop is beaten by two soldiers, who push him into the van; the officer spits out a key and un-cuffs himself and the other man, they break the van windows and the officer climbs out, pulls two soldiers out of the front seats and steals the van. Two men fight over the use of a van and they kick, punch, roll and throw each other (no injuries are shown). After several fights with criminals and military police, we see some blood on the forehead of three men and one woman who stand on a rooftop.
 Two women, one wearing S&M garb (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details) fight in a warehouse where they pull each other's hair, roll, kick and punch each other; one woman attacks the other with a cat o' nine tails and the other uses a long set of motorcycle chains before one woman steals a car with a male passenger; they speed away as men chase them in vehicles and passengers shoot at them while driven and parked cars flip over (we see no injuries). Two men run into a warehouse where they confront a big man who throws an I-beam at them; the men dodge the beam and kick and punch the man to no avail (saliva sprays form the big man's mouth), and he punches through a concrete wall and one of the other men ties him at the throat with a cable wire while the other man picks up a concrete block, jumps into the air and crashes the block onto the tied man's head, knocking him out.
 In a basement drug packaging operation (please see the Substance Use category for more details), a man shoots another man point blank (presumably killing him) while another man admits to being a police officer, grabs the first man and points a gun to his head; the police officer demands all guns be thrown into a shark tank in the middle of the room (we see three small sharks in close-up) and men put guns into the water while other men pull automatic handguns and a shootout occurs; fighting with kicks, punches, rolls, throws and weapons (an axe, metal pipes, and a thrown glass beaker that shatters loudly) are employed and SWAT officers arrive and fill the room with gunfire; several criminals fall (we see no blood) and the police officer grabs a man, steals a car and drive away chased by others in SUVs who shoot out the officer's rear window; after an extended car chase, the officer runs the car into the wall of a police department and a man slides through a shattering window, face down on the floor (we see a photo of the man later with blood covering much of his head).
 A man jumps from a rooftop and through a window of a building across the way; another man follows, but hangs by his hands from the window ledge, from where the first man pulls him in as snipers on surrounding rooftops fire weapons at them, missing. In several scenes, a man jumps from tall rooftop to rooftop, over streets and alleys.
 Two men steal a car and police chase them with blaring sires and flashing lights while other cars in their path slide off the road or overturn (we see no injuries); the chased men drive through a wall in a warehouse, through a tall pile of large cardboard boxes and into a dump of old tires; a man points a gun into the stopped car and one of the occupants fights with the gunman hitting him in the back of the head with a metal pipe, rendering him unconscious while snipers on rooftops fire, but hit no one.
 Two men point handguns at a third man on an urban sidewalk when a man in a van across the street shoots the first two men and a many armed men rush into an old building where they pound on a man's door and demand drugs (please see the Substance Use category for more details); the man kicks the door out from the inside and makes his way through the hallway with gymnastic flips and martial arts moves, felling most of the other men (they are seen to be unconscious); the chased man runs through halls and apartments, crashes through a thin wall, jumps through a window that crashes loudly as it shatters, slides down a tilted sign and lands on a mattress on the street; the man uses a leather belt on a cable for a zip line, then enters a building and jumps down staircases from landing to landing while other men continue to chase him and shoot at him several times, but he escapes in a stolen car.
 Several men kidnap a woman at gunpoint, they walk her down a corridor of hooting men (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details) in a warehouse with water and rats on the floor and the woman is seated in a chair where a man pulls out a long razor and holds it to her throat several times; the woman is cuts free from her wrists ties and we later see red welts on her wrists.
 Four people rush into City Hall followed by hundreds of shouting protestors armed with metal pipes, sledge hammers and rocks; they overrun the police officers in the lobby and break into the mayor's office where two of the men pull a rug out from under the mayor's bodyguards, knocking them over.
 A man throws a grenade at another man getting away in a car, but misses and many other men get into cars and give chase while the passengers shoot automatic weapons and handguns; the chased man stops his car, removes the steering wheel and uses it in a fistfight to capture and break the arms of several other men (they scream in pain); the man steals another car and others chase him through streets where driven and parked cars upend and flip over (we see no injuries), a van drives through two other cars that are sitting one atop the other, and another car explodes into flame; two men march to a checkpoint station and one of the men is arrested.
 A man pulls an elderly woman down a long hallway by her hair while she screams and runs toward the camera when the man lets her go. A woman pulls another woman by a heavy chain around the neck onto a rooftop to sit by a rocket aimed at a target.
 A man fires a handgun over the heads of four other men sitting on a couch in order to get them to go to work. A man slams the cutting edge of a meat cleaver into a wooden counter top a few times in several scenes. Two men in separate scenes jump down through a crumbling ceiling to land on a floor below, unharmed.
 We hear that a drug dealer hijacked a US Army Hummer carrying a neutron bomb and we see that the bomb is set to detonate in a few ours; the drug dealer also has a Russian Rocket aimed at City Hall, ready to go off at about the same time. A sequence shows scenes of urban Detroit areas on fire, with flames filling the screen and police officers beating men with clubs while a voiceover states that the city is the most dangerous in the USA with crime rising and the mayor has declared martial law and erected a 40-foot wall around a housing project named "Brick Mansions."
 A man brags about planning to blow up a ghetto to get rid of the unwanted people, even single mothers and children, who live there. A man threatens to kill two men who have fought with him and escaped. An ex-con tells a police officer that he killed a corrupt police officer. We hear that a drug dealer killed a police detective's father and also a police officer.


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LANGUAGE 5 - About 1 F-word, 2 not fully enunciated F-word derivatives, 2 obscene hand gestures, 1 sexually suggestive hand gesture, 35 mild obscenities, 26 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 3 derogatory terms for African-Americans, name-calling (crazy, junkies, thieves, scumbag, Frenchy, fool, animals, cop, dog), stereotypical references to urban African-Americans, Asians, the French, Mexicans, the Russians, rich whites, the poor, Detroit gangs, drug dealers, corrupt police officers, corrupt army officers, corrupt politicians, exclamations (shut-up), 2 religious exclamations (God, Jesus).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man cuts open 20 kilos of an unnamed powdered drug from a briefcase and dumps them into a bathtub where he adds bleach and bathroom cleaners, a basement under a commercial building where several women wearing surgical masks while packing powdered drugs in kilo-sized plastic wrapped packages is shown, and a woman fills a hypodermic needle with a liquid drug (she does not use it). Several men toast with champagne in a close-up and the scene ends at the clink of the glasses, several men sit at a restaurant table and drink wine, two men drink wine in a restaurant, two bottles of whiskey are shown on a table where men are talking, a man pours a glass of whiskey in close-up and drinks it, a man hands a woman kidnapping victim a bottle of beer, and a woman holds a bottle of beer and does not drink it. A man lights and smokes a cigar at a restaurant table, a police officer lights the cigarette of another officer who smokes it, a man smokes a cigarette while seated at a table in a warehouse, an elderly man begins to light a cigarette as his grandson urges him to quit smoking (the scene ends as the old man begins to light up again), an elderly man begins to light up but throws away his cigarettes and does not smoke, and an elderly man smokes a pipe in a Laundromat.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Urban crime, corrupt officials, bribery, murder, drug dealing, kidnapping, revenge, justice, second chances, community support, rebuilding.

MESSAGE - The people of Detroit deserve an honest government.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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