Mr. Brooks is a smart Jekyll and Hyde type thriller. I like the smart way it was filmed and edited and some of cinematography (especially in the fight scenes) was tight. The plot while sounding ridiculous in a summary works rather well. And the acting was excellent as well. I really enjoyed this film.
Mr. Brooks (Kevin Costner) is the man of the year in his town. He started his own box making business and is supposedly a wealthy man because of it. He volunteers his time and considerable amounts of money to the community. He has a lovely wife Emma (Marg Helgenberger) and a daughter. The only thing is he is addicted to killing people. And he is so good at it that he never leaves any evidence and has managed to avoid all suspension, until his latest murder. Then a neighbor to the latest pair of victims sees Mr. Brooks murder the couple, and instead of going to the police insists that Mr. Brooks take him on his next kill.
Add to that as a side plot the story of Detective Tracy Atwood (Demi Moore), who is a cop with a 60 million dollar bank account (inherited not dirty) who is going through a rather bad divorce. She is the expert on the thumb print killer (Mr. Brooks) and is frustrated by the lack of evidence he leaves behind. Somehow these two plots weave themselves together to make a fine cohesive movie. The key to this plot and perhaps the best part of it is the banter between Mr. Brooks and his alter murdering ego Marshall played by William Hurt. Will Atwood catch Mr. Brooks?
There is some lovely cinematography in this movie. In some of the gun battles, they mute out the sound of the guns and play cool background music instead. These scenes are also slowed down and done sort of shakily so they seem more raw and real.
The acting was great. I liked Kevin Costner in this role for the same reason I liked Tom Cruise in Collateral. It is a role you don't expect them to play but ultimately they play it well. There was realness to his character that made you believe you could know someone like that.
William Hurt was great as the alter ego that talks Mr. Brooks into killing people. The banter between those two characters was great none of the conversation sounded silly or forced. Dane Cook is Mr. Smith the prying neighbor who gets in over his head. He does a nice job.
Demi Moore is great as Detective Atwood she is a vibrant, spunky character. Marg Helgenberger (Catherine from CSI Las Vegas) plays Mrs. Brooks. She does a good job with what she has; it is a rather small part. And Danielle Panabaker plays Jane Brooks; Mr. Brooks daughter who comes home from college with some very startling news. All in all the acting was good.
I have no complaints about this movie except maybe the ending; I didn't particularly like the way it ended, but otherwise is was a great film and quite a bit different than the other films that are out there. You should give this one a try, you won't regret it.