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  • Producer-director Brian DeCubellis had done some TV movies and short films before this bigger directorial effort, the neo-noir Manhattan Nights, from 2016. He certainly has talent.

    The film stars Adrien Brody as Porter Wren, a columnist for a New York newspaper. His wife (Jennifer Beals) is a surgeon, so they are able to have a darling house that is hidden down an alley in Manhattan - something like Patchin Place in the west village.

    When his newspaper is taken over by a Rupert Murdock type (Steven Berkoff), Porter reluctantly attends a party for him. There he meets the beautiful Caroline (Yvonne Strahovski) whose husband, well-known director Simon Crowley (Campbell Scott) was found dead, buried under the rubble of an imploded building, surrounded by pieces of jade. The two wind up having an affair.

    It seems Simon was a complete weirdo with an interesting hobby of recording "honest moments" on video cards. Caroline takes Porter to a safety deposit box with dozens of them. She invites him to watch them. But it turns out one of those honest moments is being used to blackmail someone, and the person being blackmailed wants it and begins to terrorize Porter to find it. This leads to Porter uncovering secrets about Simon, Caroline, and person being blackmailed, and learning something about himself.

    The film is based on an novel called Manhattan Nocturne. I suppose the name was changed because the filmmakers thought not enough people would know what a nocturne is. That's sad. The story is good but unsavory, and, frankly, so are the characters. And it has the usual female nudity.

    The acting is very good, particularly from Brody and Strahovski - she is gorgeous and reminds me of Sharon Stone when she was younger. Brody has had a so-so career since winning the Oscar. This was a good role for him. Linda Lavin has a cameo, and she's excellent.

    Overall I can't say I was crazy about "Manhattan Night." It was well done but unpleasant.
  • This very dark and erotic noir just contained too many incredulous and far-fetched plot elements for my liking. There seemed to be a better movie lurking within this one that never really came together and emerged.

    Adrien Brody is fine as Porter Wren, the poker-faced investigative reporter and columnist for a daily New York City newspaper. When he's unable to resist the seductive advances of the gorgeous Caroline Crowley, portrayed by Yvonne Strahovski, Porter will find himself being led down a path of dark and demented secrets that will cost him dearly.

    All in all, this movie, written and directed by Brian DeCubellis, based on a novel by Colin Harrison, had enough intrigue to keep me interested for the most part, but it seemed to fall apart as it progressed, with the filmmaker choosing shock value over plot elements that might have enhanced the story.
  • Watched this on demand tonight. Wasn't expecting much based on the reviews. I thought it was excellent once you get past the first 15 minutes or so, which feel a bit contrived. The movie is very intense and keeps the viewer involved and wanting to see where it's going. I would categorize the movie as mystery/suspense. The acting was excellent. Adrian Brody just has a certain something special in every movie he is in. The female lead is drop dead gorgeous. The guy who played the lead's deceased husband gave a quite fascinating, if sick, performance. I did correctly predict the ending in my head about halfway through, but still enjoyed it very much. I literally got chills at the end.
  • Manhattan Nights has that feeling of classic film noir from the start. Substituting a modern day investigative reporter for the private eye is a fit. It fairly quickly turns into a disturbing darkness - as in somewhat uncomfortable to watch. Nothing really tells the viewer where this might go and it piles on quite a bit of weirdness thanks to the intersection of our reporter, Brody, with a femme fatale widow who knows how to use her looks for manipulation. It becomes a downward spiral for the reporter who, though you "might" want him to end up OK he's thoroughly maddening.

    Gobs of mystery is piled on without a clear idea of what's going on. This is a good hook because like watching a blurry image you believe it will, eventually, come into focus. For this viewer it's the last quarter of the movie that feels too hard to believe making that final clarity hollow.

    Maybe a couple that was super strange could pull down a wealthy tycoon and an egotistical writer? The problem, as I see it, is not nearly believable enough in the final analysis for the genre.

    By the other reviews here I think there's a good number of folks that do not share my opinion. That's probably good since I'm not claiming to be right. It's just one person's take. Not having read the book I didn't know what to expect anyway. Actually I thought it had good acting and cinematography which held promise, I just couldn't buy into the story when it was finally revealed. The story (writing), therefore for me, ended up being the let down.

    In the final analysis you may also feel manipulated as a viewer, or not?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It's fascinating, formulaic and full of intrigue but what's most seductive about this glossy thriller is its preoccupation with the peculiarities of its characters, its sense of style and the fact that it absolutely oozes atmosphere. Adhering to almost every main characteristic of classic film noir and unfolding at a very natural pace, it quickly develops a rather mesmeric quality that beautifully complements the strangeness of the developments and revelations that follow and ultimately propel "Manhattan Night" through to its surprising conclusion.

    New York City tabloid columnist Porter Wren (Adrien Brody) spends his days seeking out the kind of scandalous or human interest stories that he knows have the potential to boost his newspaper's circulation. Although he's remarkably successful at what he does, he can't help feeling depressed about the way in which the advent of the digital age has diminished the influence and respect that the printed media once enjoyed. He's also convinced that he's "an endangered species" and mostly finds it hard to conceal his natural pessimism about the way that things have developed.

    After his newspaper is taken over by the ruthless media mogul Sebastian Hobbs (Steven Berkoff), Porter is instructed to attend a reception to meet the new owner. This meeting turns out to be extremely brief and humiliating but what makes the evening far more memorable is his first meeting with the beautiful Caroline Crowley (Yvonne Strahovski). She turns out to be the widow of a world famous film director who died in mysterious circumstances and whose body was discovered buried in the rubble of a demolished building. As the following police investigation had failed to produce any answers, she asks Porter to investigate and successfully tempts him into an affair.

    Porter soon discovers that Simon Crowley (Campbell Scott) was a deeply eccentric character who was a searcher for the truth and often abusive in his relationship with Caroline. He was also an inveterate maker of short video recordings, each of which he kept as a single source of the truth and Caroline urges Porter to begin his investigation by looking for any clues that these videos might contain. Surprisingly, Sebastian Hobbs, who has become aware of Porter and Caroline's affair, discloses that he's being blackmailed to prevent the contents of a certain video card from being made public and demands that Porter recover the offending video without delay. Hobbs threatens to impoverish Porter and his wife if he doesn't comply and after being beaten up by a couple of Hobbs' thugs, Porter is convinced that these aren't empty threats. Porter doesn't want anything to jeopardize his family life and so follows a course that he hopes will head off the kind of damage that both Caroline and Hobbs could potentially do to his future happiness.

    Adrien Brody and Yvonne Strahovski are brilliantly cast as the archetypal haunted hero and femme fatale and Porter Wren's downbeat narration imbues the whole piece with the type of world-weary quality that's such an intrinsic and characteristic feature of film noir. "Manhattan Night" has numerous qualities that make it irresistible to film noir fans but also maybe doesn't possess the kind of originality or excitement that would enable it to be appreciated more strongly by a far wider audience.
  • BogdanH21 May 2016
    Crime, drama, mystery... no action. Not easy to make a good movie of such genre nowadays. And when reading story-line, one might think "haven't we seen them all?". Yes, we probably did.. but this one belongs to good ones.

    Main role suits Adrien Brody perfectly. His "average guy" appearance gives the movie certain authenticity. But then, he never disappointed me. I never heard of Yvonne Strahovski before, though. In this movie however, she reminded me on Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. Difference being, Yvonne doesn't appear that cool'n'smart -which is only good in this case.

    Story, in general, is not that new. But it has interesting plot, which is presented very good and kept my attention all the time. Now, even this movie is categorized (also) as mystery, I wouldn't say there's any. There are just things we don't know till the end of movie. OK, I admit, I found relationship between Ivonne and her husband kinda "weird"...

    And finally, movie ending. In my opinion, it's perfect!

    So, if you like this genre and you're in the right mood, I recommend to give it a try. I give 8 stars.
  • Film Noir like I like them. Even though there is not much action the movie is enjoyable to watch. It's all filmed at a slow pace, also with the calm narrating voice, but that's what this movie needs. It's a mystery drama that starts slow but once you're into the story it all gets better. The strange relationship between husband and wife Caroline and Simon Crowley played by Yvonne Strahovski and Campbell Scott is not the average day-to-day relationship and this is what makes the movie interesting. Add on that that Yvonne Strahovski is a candy for the eye. Adrien Brody plays like most of his roles, never flamboyant but always performing good. His character this time is also a very calm person that just tries to figure out some mysteries and solve some problems. But don't expect much action because there is hardly any, and the story doesn't really need action anyways. The story is strong enough for that. A good movie night assured.
  • "I'm always running to the place where the bad thing just happened, arriving just after the danger has passed, watching from a safe distance, searching for an angle, that little wrinkle, the kick to the heart that makes you want to put down the dollar and pick up the paper."

    After seeing two not so good films with Adrien Brody ("Backtrack" and "American Heist") I noticed that sad look of him on the cover of "Manhattan Night". It might sound weird, but every time I see Brody's facial expression on a cover, at once a sense of gloom and sadness overtakes me. Examine once again the cover from "Backtrack" and that of, lets say, "Wrecked". Every time you see a person filled with melancholy. With those sad puppy eyes and a grim facial expression. He stares at you with a helpless and beseeching look. The man exudes melancholy.

    Despite his distinctive physical traits, he reminded me of Jake Gyllenhaal hunting for sensational news in "Nightcrawler". The same profession, the same eagerness and the same melancholy look. The only major difference is that Porter Wren already had his victory moment in the past when a young girl was found after his journalistic work. Hence, he still takes care of a daily column in the New York Daily News. Even though the new owner of this newspaper isn't very enthusiastic about it. At first you might say that Porter is a boring and rational person. But then again, he hasn't taken Caroline Crowley (Yvonne Strahovski) into account. The moment he sees her at a party, he's lost and he becomes entangled in the seductive web of this blond vamp. Caroline's interest in Porter is also of a practical nature. She wants to use Porter's "Sherlock Holmes" skills to investigate the suspicious death of her husband Simon Crowley (Campbell Scott).

    You'll experience something similar like "Basic Instinct" with Brody acting as a sort of Poirot who's persistent in solving a case. In addition, he has to deal with a case of extortion, so the whole thing gets even more complicated. A story full of intrigue and erotically charged scenes. Brody's daily column is about other people's misery. It looks like he's becoming the main character in such a column. Although all my attention should be drawn to the stormy affair between Porter and Caroline and the complicated developments gripping Porter, my attention went to the rather extravagant personality of Crowley. A slightly deranged movie producer with some absurd traits. A real weirdo with a weird sense of humor. Such a person who pretends to having commit suicide after swallowing a large number of pills. And then he gets up calmly and says it was just a joke. And a highly attractive, breathtaking erotic blonde falls in love with such an eccentric who looks like a bum? Women are unfathomable and inapprehensible. But the acting of Campbell Scott was beyond dispute extremely brilliant.

    All in all not a bad movie. Not bad at all. But not a high flyer either. Turn it into a black and white film and you can place it between other Hollywood classics which are shown on a pay-per-view television-channel. It won't be noticed. You can call this film stylish though. "Manhattan Night" pretends to be a neo-noir film with a mystery build into. But in the end it isn't really mysterious.

    More reviews here :
  • Because Adrien Brody is superb in this movie! Brody plays a writer/investigator for a tabloid publication and he finds himself entwined into a complex mix of thugs, power brokers, prostitution, and murder. Himself and his family become endangered by his investigation but he cannot give up on the clues he uncovers to solve a mysterious murder.

    This movie has a particular feel and look to it. Director/writer: Brian DeCubellis has created a film that has his signature on it ... in other words this is his movie. You feel the deceit, the lust, the grim, and ambition in each character. At two hours long some people may loose patients with this story but it's all worth it for the ending because the ending puts a finality to the murder mystery but a new emotional mystery is left unended.

    If you like complex mysteries with numerous dead ends for the investigator but the investigator can't give up this is a good choice!
  • fil-nik0915 June 2016
    Warning: Spoilers
    The text that was describing the film ( which I read on the net) gave me a totally different idea of what is going on in the film, so I was surprised to see that it was not ( at all) what I expected. And I expected very dark, moody, heavy film with lots of different crime scenes and lots of bodies decomposing and similar. Truth is this is a very interesting thriller with some great scenes, a good story ( though the ending is a bit 'softer' that I expected) and very good acting!

    The whole film is very well filmed and acted out. The ' artsy ' elements of an 'on the verge of madness' filmmaker give this film an element that I have not seen many times in other films and it made it even more interesting and appealing.

    However, I must say that I was a bit disappointed how the story with the old man ended - somewhat abrupt. Someone who was an enemy because of the bad things he had done to the 'investigator journalist and his family', suddenly just pulls back from the whole thing. ( OK; he got what he wanted, but still ...)

    The whole story that is around the blonde is mysterious. Than makes you wonder. And then you have the shocking truth! I really liked how that part of the film was developed. On the other hand, the family of the journalist is quite useless in the film. It adds almost nothing to the whole story. He could have lived with a cat. No big difference to the whole script.

    All in all, quite a good film! Eight from me.
  • I am on a hot streak this year regarding indie films noir. This is the fourth I've seen and it's the best so far. I know, I know, I said that about "The American Side", but this one's even better. But I don't think you can see it, at least in the NYC area - it got here on a Thursday, I saw it on Monday, and it's leaving on Wednesday; 7 days exposure, and in only one theater.

    In a nutshell; Porter (Adrien Brody) writes a column in a tabloid and covers accidents and murders. He meets Caroline (Yvonne Strahovski) at a party and tells him she has a problem, but he must come to her apartment to get the details. Her husband, a kinky movie director, was recently murdered and it is still unsolved. He volunteers to help. The publisher of his paper also enlists his help to find a compromising tape made of him. (of course, there is a connection).

    The plot and script is as good as it is absorbing. "Manhattan Night" starts off slowly for the first 40 minutes, but the last hour is riveting. And I can guarantee you've never seen a more offbeat story. Adrien Brody is perfect as a noir detective (in this case, a writer) and Ms. Strahovski is a knockout as well as a very competent actress. Too bad you won't be able to see this one.
  • Manhattan Night is directed by Brian DeCubellis and DeCubellis adapts the screenplay from the novel Manhattan Nocturn written by Colin Harrison. It stars Adrien Brody, Yvonne Strahovski, Jennifer Beals, Campbell Scott, Linda Lavin and Steven Berkoff. Music is by Joel Douek and cinematography is by David Tumblety.

    A New York journalist finds himself in a web of intrigue and passion when a woman asks him to investigate the mysterious death of her film director husband.

    How wonderful to find that in this day and age there are still film makers willing to push film noir in its neo form up front and central. Of course the trick is knowing your staple requirements of what would be termed "pure noir", and of course noir in colour form is never going to be accepted in some quarters (understandably so). So approaching Manhattan Night to hopefully view a simple murder mystery thriller is likely to end in disappointment, for this beats a true noir heart and an understanding of that film making style and its narrative barbs should, hopefully, aid the viewing experience.

    Instantly we are served a classic era slice of noirvana as Brody's journalist Porter Wren starts narrating where he is at for story origin. Soon enough a sultry babe in the form of Strahovski's femme fatale enters the fray. Tumblety establishes that under wise direction we are in the realm of neo-noir photographic compliance, the pronounced primaries will continue to be a feature as the NYC locales bristling with beauty and lurking danger. All while Douek lays out a jazzy blues musical score that's knowingly complicit as a seamy character.

    DeCubellis has filled out his play with stock noir characters. The happily married man - a good father, giving in to temptation, the femme with a painful back story - which is compounded by a husband who is into psychotic love. The rich wealthy man damaged physically to the point of crushing his masculinity, and his hired goons who like their work way too much. Into the mix is the murder mystery, incriminating video footage, some family peril and a whole lot of eroticism. Welcome to Noirville!

    It's not all dandy film making though. DeCubellis is guilty of letting Berkoff way overact in the first half of his character's story, but this is off set later in the film as Berkoff reins it in and gives us something more subtle and touching. The director/writer also gives us an ending that doesn't have the courage to really beat a black heart, which is annoying since the pic has been set up previously as such. Yet there's so much to admire here, so much so it would be nice to see DeCubellis stay in this zone and take Tumblety with him. 8/10
  • Some high-powered acting talent in this neo-noir offering. I was unfamiliar with it, so I suppose it was not a financial success. Too bad, but it IS sort of a niche film, not necessarily one with mass appeal. Adrien Brody was typically excellent, as was Jennifer Beals in a small part. Yvonne Strahovski was great, even aside from from her eye-candy looks.

    There was at least one large coincidence that drove the ending. I realize that if no unusual things happen, then there is nothing to have a movie about, but even so it seems almost like cheating. But overall I liked this film a lot. Check it out.
  • I make no bones about the fact that Adrien Brody is one of my least favorite actors working today. I find his delivery boring and his expressions uninspiring. So the fact that I was able to enjoy 'Manhattan Night' as much I did in spite of him says a lot. There's a lot going in this film. There are love stories, crimes, drama, mysteries and even the odd dash of action sprinkled into the mix. And it's all blended together exquisitely.

    Yvonne Strahovski really impressed me with her performance. I had previously seen her in 'Dexter' and enjoyed her in that, but this was a step up again. Brody in the lead role, whilst I didn't love him, was certainly in better form than he usually is. There is some narration by his character and it reminded me of 'Sin City'. Very dark and gritty and admittedly well done.

    If you'd told me I would enjoy 'Manhattan Night' as much I did before going in I would have laughed at you. It took me very pleasantly by surprise though and I would recommend giving this one a chance.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I've watched so much meaningless garbage for some time now in search of finding a really good intriguing original movie...and I have to say this one fit the bill. I was glued to the screen for the entire thing. I loved the dark grittiness of it and using New York as the backdrop. Adrien Brody is always captivating and Yvonne S. was surprisingly good. I've not seen her in much. Jennifer Beals was wasted and didn't seem to go with Adrien's character so the fact that they ended up separating was not a letdown for me. The affair he had didn't help but the marriage seemed to have been over for awhile. Adrien's character called himself an a*%h#le at the very end and he was right. He cheated unabashedly and didn't seem to care that deeply about his wife or kids from the getgo. He was all about his work and obviously didn't value his marriage vows. You get the sense that he's only with his wife to live off her salary as he doesn't make much being a reporter. His big glory moment in his career to date was actually a mistake so he is allowing people to believe something about him that is not true by accepting credit where it was not due. He's just not a good person in general. But AB really did well with this part. This just reiterated why winning an Oscar early on in his career was justified and not just a one off type of thing like some winners.

    The story (while messed up and convoluted) was original and I don't think the ending was something people could figure out or see from a mile away like some lame films.

    I loved the music. It fit the scenes perfectly and really puts you in that New York melancholy state of mind.

    I am usually a very harsh critic (read my other reviews for proof of that) and I rarely give many stars because most films are pointless and insulting to film viewer's intelligence but this one managed to be intriguing, original, well acted, well-directed, well-scored, thought provoking, unsettling and in a lot of ways realistic so that is why this is getting a 9 from me. I think the only reason I didn't give it a 10 is because I was left a bit bothered by the ending. AB's character acts all sanctimonious when he leaves YS's character at the end yet he turns out to be just as twisted and messed up as she is because he spies on her at her new home. I think she did really care for him but mostly she was just looking for someone to truly care about her after her horrible childhood with her step-father. She felt safe with AB but he just hurt her in the end like everyone else. He had no right to judge her when he was certainly not above reproach himself. I don't like that it seemed to end with you wondering whether or not he's truly gonna be able to be done with her. Will he keep going back or will seeing her in her new situation be enough to satisfy his curiosity? I just don't like that the movie seems to be leading you to the conclusion that he might make the right choices in the end but instead it kind of leaves you thinking he's basically just given up his family and will be alone for the rest of his life and semi-miserable. Other than that I cannot think of one thing to critique about this film which says a lot because usually I struggle to find one thing good about the films I've seen.

    I highly recommend this if you are the type of person who is content with quiet slower movies that require some attention span.
  • I agree with the positive reviews with this one. It's a perfect piece of modern noir. It's not easy to come up with something fresh in this genre but "Manhattan Night" does it.

    No spoilers, but suffice to say it has some of the basic ingredients of the best noir thrillers, but served with a modern twist: a seen it all before newspaper reporter; a femme fatale who knows her power; and a rich tycoon with a secret.

    Adrien Brody's character, Porter Wren, is an old-style newspaper columnist in a blog and tweet dominated world. Brody brings world-weary insight to the role. However Yvonne Strahovski's cool, svelte Caroline Crowley has moves he doesn't see coming. Yvonne Strahovski is a stunning Australian actress, another one, and she gives Margot Robbie a run for her money with uninhibited screen sizzle.

    Steven Berkoff is the cultivated Hobbs, the manipulative publishing magnate. It's a role Sydney Greenstreet would have played back in the day. I couldn't help thinking Berkoff sounds uncannily like Thayer David if anyone remembers that actor from "Nero Wolfe" and "The Eiger Sanction" - both have gravitas in spades.

    "Manhattan Night" feels a little like it wouldn't have been a surprise if a jewel-encrusted bird were at the bottom of the mystery; instead it's modern-day memory cards and CCTV that has everyone agitated.

    The film is saturated in mood. A lot of that is down to the score by Joel Douek. He does what Jerry Goldsmith did for "Chinatown" and what David Shire did for "Farewell My Lovely". Nothing says big, impartial city like a languid sax, but the music also expresses the intimate drama, the feeling that something sinister underpins the whole thing, and especially Porter Wren's betrayal of the things most dear to him.

    "Manhattan Night" works on so many levels, for me it practically demands a second viewing.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film is about a man who has an affair then gets blackmailed then gets threatened
  • sissy30062 December 2018
    Brillant performance from Brody, never realized how beautiful a man he was till this movie, it's a movie I could watch over and over again. Great intrigue and mystery.
  • It showed up suddenly and when I saw Jennifer Beals, I decided to watch, later I saw sarah from chuck and I definitely decided to watch it. The story is not as same as other movies. It has something different.
  • Prismark104 September 2017
    Manhattan Nocturne is a modern noir murder mystery starring Adrien Brody as a hard boiled crime reporter Wren Porter writing for a tabloid newspaper now under the new ownership of a thinly disguised Rupert Murdoch clone, Hobbs (Steven Berkoff.)

    Porter is hired by Caroline (Yvonne Strahovski) whose husband a film director called Crowley (Campbell Scott) was murdered and whose death remains unsolved.

    However Caroline really wants Porter to find out who is sending sex footage contained in a memory card to a wealthy tycoon.

    Porter becomes attracted to Caroline, the wealthy tycoon sends his goons to hurt Porter, the deceased husband was a sleazeball and Caroline herself had a troubled childhood.

    The film starts off in a clichéd manner, it is portentous, sluggish and really not hard boiled or sleazy enough.

    Strahovski is seductive but despite bearing some flesh never gets to Basic Instinct level erotic. Brody who also produced the film looks miscast and the turgid voice-over becomes grating. Scott as the manipulative husband who ends up tormenting Caroline also looks miscast as he just looks uncomfortable in that type of role.

    The film benefits from a strong second half as the plot gets more tightly wound but director Brian DeCubellis cannot elevate the source material.
  • Despite Adrien Brody pitching us his solid take on a New York columnist, his character is very much written in the Philip Marlowe private eye vein, the famous character by hard boiled crime detection novelist Raymond Chandler. Both characters share an obsessive nature, both get beaten up at least once and both do their best work at night in seedy places.

    Yvonne Strahovski was born to a play a femme fatale and she is magnificent in this film. Shot entirely in New York, its NYC credentials extend to its quality supporting players like Jennifer Beals and Broadway star Campbell Scott. All four really gel. Campbell Scott is great at playing morally ambiguous or slightly crazy characters and he does both here to great effect. Of course the seedy back streets of NYC also feature. Describing the plot would give too much a way, but its one of those great neo noir films where everyone is guilty of something and everyone seems to teeter on the edge of betraying somebody else. Recommended for everyone, but neo noir fans in particular.
  • Adrein Brody plays a washed up newspaper journalist whose claim to fame came from finding a missing girl, when even the police ran out of options. In hopes of finding another hit to keep his career alive, he accepts an invention from a beautiful woman to figure out her husband's death, but as he gets deeper evolved it complicates his life greatly.

    Thought the actual crime is not that interesting, I was more taken by how the narrative was laid out while Brody was driving the wheel. He has a way of getting you into the mix of everything that was going on, some of his best work in a while.

    I also loved the modern day film noir accepts I saw in the film. A very modern day twist of the crime orientated genre, with Brody deep in trouble with the Femme Fatale, played by Yvonne Strahovski, and modern day elements added to it. Yvoone's character Caroline's recently dead husband was a abusive filmmaker who documented everything, which was a big drive to the movie's story.

    The overall crime was pretty weak but yeah, the whole movie with Brody as the centerpiece was done brilliantly
  • This movie is for grown-ups. It is the best movie I have seen in a very long time. These days, movie are made and released so fast and so furious, and even an A-list starring actor is no indicator of quality or entertainment value. The plot is surprising, as are the twists and turns. The ending is spectacular, and unguessable. Although there are no "spine-chilling" action scenes, and the sex scenes are only R rated, the movie held my attention throughout. Maybe those persons who are associated with the movie business, or "industry" may know a "Simon Crowley," but he was a complete surprise to me. Do you suppose his character was roughly based on a Spielburg or a Ron Howard, or some other obsessive? (smile)
  • Like most movie goers, I read the reviews from others before making the decision to spend time watching a movie. And for the small number of reviews (25 June 2016) it seemed worth tuning into. Whilst some parts of the movie didn't always maintain a strong story line it was, in essence, a movie about secrets.

    We all have them and to varying degrees we believe our secrets can come back to hurt us. In this movie almost everyone has a secret and depending on what that secret is, depends on the lengths they will go to, to either protect or find out the secrets of others.

    New York has been the backdrop for thousands of movies over the years, but this director managed to include and film the city with some very interesting shots.

    Like all good film noir it has a surprising and sad twist for the end, except for the very final minutes, when I wondered 'why'. This movie is well worth watching.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Adrien Brody is outstanding as the hard-luck, yet creative, investigative newspaper reporter always looking for the special scoop on human calamity. He meets his match with a femme-fatale, whose mysterious past holds the secrets to a complicated blackmail plot.

    The best scenes are those between Brody's character Porter Wren and the emotionally fragile Caroline Crowley played dynamically by Yvonne Strahovski. There is good sizzle to their romantic encounter, as Porter gets deeper and deeper into a plot that involves a missing chip with compromising video footage of a business tycoon.

    The greatest film noir movies were those that featured an innovative use of black-and-white filming. In this color film, there is nonetheless a thoughtful approach to the cinematography with fascinating location filming in New York City, plus dynamically lit interior scenes. In the bonus segment, director Brian DeCubellis described how every shot was carefully planned in advance, much in the tradition of an Alfred Hitchcock film. The behind-the-scenes segment also included Brody noting that the neo-noir films of the 1980s, including "Fatal Attraction" and "Body Heat," were the models for "Manhattan Night."

    The main weakness of the film was the excessive violence and the truly bizarre relationship of Caroline Crowley and her former husband, a film director played by Campbell Scott. Scott's character appears in flashback sequences that go well beyond the bizarre into the deeply troubling and unpleasant.

    In the classic film noir, there was always an ironic quality and even a moment or two of humor injected into the drama. In "Manhattan Night," there was a tentative attempt at the irony with a colorful character played by Linda Lavin. After catching Porter snooping around in her home, she sits him down for an outrageous conversation that ties up all the loose ends of the mystery!

    Still, the mood of the film rarely escapes from the somber tone of deceit, ulterior motives, and eventual trauma experienced by all of the characters. This film is definitely not for the squeamish or family-film viewer.
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