Rian Johnson's feature debut as writer-director will wind up as one of the year's best films. A film noir partially shot in Johnson's San Clemente home town and set in a modern-day high school, it's Sam Spade roaming Ridgemont High; kids get doped up and knocked up and even rubbed out while speaking pulp-novel slang, but the gimmick never distracts. No doubt the performance of Joseph Gordon-Levitt has something to do with that; as Brendan Frye, the gumshoe in tennis shoes, his deadpan delivery of Johnson's dialogue keeps Brick from playing like a joke. The DVD has some 20 minutes of deleted-extended scenes, but they're unnecessary; Brick's perfect, and listening to the filmmaker and actors' commentary or watching the excised footage ruins a detective story you need to... More >>>