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Jodie Foster
Terrence Howard
Naveen Andrews
Mary Steenburgen
Jane Adams.
Neil Jordan.
Roderick Taylor
Bruce A Taylor.
Running Time
TBC minutes

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The Brave One
It's Kill Bill meets The Accused

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Having been brutally attacked and left for dead in Central Park, radio host Erica (Foster) is crippled by fear. Buying a gun, she takes to the streets searching for her attackers, tackling random criminals along the way, driven by vengeance and losing control.

The Brave One

Despite corralling moody Irish director Neil Jordan to direct this thriller, there is no mistaking A Jodie Foster Movie - gripping, edgy, mostly humourless, and acted with the kind of intensity that could sink ships.

You can see what drew America’s premier actress to this piece: it’s a 30-years-on refraction of Taxi Driver, set in a post-9/11 New York (as opposed to post-Vietnam). The vigilante is a partly sympathetic woman (as opposed to De Niro’s highly disturbed cabbie), even if the post-Giuliani streets of the Big Apple are proudly low on pimps and psychos. Still, you can’t imagine the NY tourist board being over-enamoured with the film’s packs of deranged crack-heads hunting in lovely Central Park.

Any film is likely to suffer by so clear a comparison, but this is a noble, if flawed, companion piece to the Scorsese-of-old. For all its contemporary features - iPod theft! Iraq references! - Jordan gives his city of night the veneer of all those loquacious bursts of antiheroic filmmaking from the ’70s. Sticking clear of polished avenues and shiny landmarks, the neon-spotted streets feel again a dangerous, seedy place, even if the Rent-A-Scum villainy lurking on subway trains or flailing around drugstores look like J. Lo’s security detail doing a spot of moonlighting. Collectively, the setting is decently handled cliché.

As ever with Foster, the film is all about Foster. You can feel her bend every sinew and synapse into creating a fully dimensional character. The problem is she is so strong that she tends to knock her co-stars flying; only Terrence Howard as the-one-good-cop manages to cling on to make an impression. His job in the thinnish plot is to offer salvation for our avenging angel, the plot pincer-moving to a weirdly distressing ending.

Even as the ending might frustrate with its looseness, there is a fascinating ambiguity to Erica’s actions. Is she on a righteous crusade? Is she insane? Should we hope she succeeds or fails? That any easy answer remains elusive should be applauded - we’re streets ahead of the schlocky climes of a trillion Death Wishes. As the trauma-shaped Erica dons shades and a leather jacket and sets out to confront bad guys, you could even read the film as
a satire of the superhero genre. A feminist-realist-nihilist re-imagining of Batman…

It wants to be a modern Taxi Driver; it manages to be the new Falling Down, with Foster as fierce as ever.

Reviewed by William Thomas

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Brave One
Empire Star Rating

The Bad One

This film is bad at every possible level Avoid it at all costs. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by timbailey60 at 06:10, 18 July 2008 | Report This Post


L: naomi I already set up a review post on this sp; I'm sure your review post might well be one of the greatest things on the entire world wide web - but you don't work for Empire. Their reviews are the reviews that kickstart the main thread for each film.   Not intention of seeing this, for one reason and one reason alone.   It has the single shittest title in cinema history. ... More

Posted by DanCurley at 10:57, 09 June 2008 | Report This Post

RE: A Jodie Foster Vehicle, staring Terrence Howard.

Saw this last night.   Overall I enjoyed it. Two good performances by Foster and Terrence Howard...just wished she would have made the three bad guys at the end suffer a bit more ... More

Posted by Newander at 08:16, 09 June 2008 | Report This Post

A Jodie Foster Vehicle, staring Terrence Howard.

I thought it was Terrence howards movie, his acting and presence was so strong. But overall it was a silly film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by stevos at 00:26, 20 March 2008 | Report This Post

Gripping and Shocking.

What a sad tale of one woman's struggle to fight bad guys from the death of her boyfriend, no-one helps her she has to do it alone. Jodie Foster is a really good actress, I don't care if she's lesbian, she can really hold the scene and make you believe her with her sadness and the shock of killing someone. The love between her and the cop was very true, I wished that they got together in the end but they ruined it with a stupid one. But in all, very good. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 11:34, 04 March 2008 | Report This Post

I dont care.

It mite be average but jodi is at the majority of times worth watching, so i certainly wont criticize her performance nor the feel good film, The Brave One. (u mite be wanderin y i said that, it's cos i love women in action role where they get to kick naughty butts. Better than most films out on dvd at the moment. Cheers. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by I love Brangelina at 00:37, 04 March 2008 | Report This Post

I dont care.

It mite be average but jodi is at the majority of times worth watching, so i certainly wont make an exception to not watch The Brave One. Better than most films out on dvd at the moment. Cheers. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by I love Brangelina at 00:34, 04 March 2008 | Report This Post


If it weren't for Foster and Howard firing on all cylinders this film wouldn't even have registered. If has nothing new to say, is nihilistic and ultimately pointless. It really is just another Deathwish but with a woman. It's like Daniel Day Lewis and Scorcese remaking Shoot Em Up; great talent on a one-dimensional genre movie we've all seen before. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Caster at 00:48, 28 February 2008 | Report This Post

What is it with these leanings toward emo stylings every time characters go a bit 'loopy' First Spidey now Jodie is adopting the black eyeliner. Far better than other similar dirge like Death Sentence though. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Deeznutz at 20:33, 07 January 2008 | Report This Post


L: Tricky What r you on about??????ote] I already set up a review post on this ... More

Posted by naomi at 20:52, 08 October 2007 | Report This Post

RE: brave- one star

I thought this was a poor film.  Foster is getting decent notices for her performance but I didn't think she was great.  In fairness she had some awful dialogue to get through and the flimsy plot has too many holes to bother mentioning.  It brought absolutely nothing new to the 'revenge' film and I was disappointed Jordan didn't do something a little different with it.  Also, I know Terrence Howard is reckoned to be a decent actor but everything I've seen him in his who... More

Posted by mackey at 19:34, 06 October 2007 | Report This Post

RE: brave- one star

Beyond the acting skills of Howard and Foster, there is really nothing to recommend in this film. It was way too long and Fosters motivations were weak. She conveniently has no family to console her through her grief and you don't really get much of a sense of what she feels when she is in vigilante mode. Very, very ordinary. ... More

Posted by Wilbert at 17:36, 05 October 2007 | Report This Post

RE: brave- one star

Really liked this film.  It doesn't really have much to 'say', as it were but I really enjoyed seeing Jodie Foster going about, kicking the shit out of some baddies.  In this day and age, when we all watch the terrible events on the news and would love to take matters into our own hands, or when we witness people in our own lives who we wish afterwards we'd stood up to, it's nice to use cinema-as-escapism to join Foster as she headbutts and shoots her way through the scum of New ... More

Posted by Gazdance at 23:17, 30 September 2007 | Report This Post

brave- one star

Revenge movies these days are ten-a-penny, with the likes of Death Sentence, and Outlaw released in the last year. Although those movies had their faults, they at least spat anger and hate at society, and seemed to believe in what they were doing; The Brave One, is a lethargic, redundant affair. Foster plays DJ Erica Bain who, after suffering a gang attack that killed her fiance, takes to the streets to exact revenge on the scum that stalk the city. On the case is dedicated detective Mercer (How... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 13:41, 30 September 2007 | Report This Post


Fairly routine and derivative. The action scenes are very well handled though and gripping at times with the tension built up and held well. Jodie Foster lacks presence and charisma on the big screen and the film ends up feeling light weight. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by FlexDream at 02:37, 30 September 2007 | Report This Post


What r you on about?????? ... More

Posted by Tricky at 22:07, 29 September 2007 | Report This Post


Oh fine ignore my post on this already why don't you!!nbsp;  ... More

Posted by naomi at 13:40, 28 September 2007 | Report This Post


Watched this as an advanced preview: Ok as the empire review states its a jodie foster film, gripping & edgy. Nicely put together script & the cast,I thought Terence Howard did brilliantly trying to hold on to an A list actress in Foster. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Tricky at 22:04, 24 September 2007 | Report This Post

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