Motherless Brooklyn

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Videos & Photos

  • Trailer 1

Movie Info & Cast


Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, "Motherless Brooklyn" follows Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton), a lonely private detective living with Tourette Syndrome, as he ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna (Bruce Willis). Armed only with a few clues and the engine of his obsessive mind, Lionel unravels closely-guarded secrets that hold the fate of the whole city in the balance. In a mystery that carries him from gin-soaked jazz clubs in Harlem to the hard-edged slums of Brooklyn and, finally, into the gilded halls of New York's power brokers, Lionel contends with thugs, corruption and the most dangerous man in the city to honor his friend and save the woman who might be his own salvation.


  • Edward Norton
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw
  • Alec Baldwin
  • Willem Dafoe
  • Bruce Willis
  • Ethan Suplee
  • Cherry Jones
  • Bobby Cannavale
  • Dallas Roberts
  • Josh Pais

Did You Know?


  • Edward Norton's second turn in the director's chair after directing Keeping The Faith (2000).
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  • The style of panic bar on the exit door in the auditorium at the public meeting was not invented until 1988 by Thomas Industries.
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    • Lionel Essrog: There's something going down, and it's big, and they were not happy about what he found.
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Atom User Reviews

Verified Review

Good movie overall, it's not fast paced, but also not slow. Edward Norton shows how good of an actor he is

Jorge S
Verified Review

Great cast good story

Nancy Q


Nov 1, 2019

Motherless Brooklyn has all the markers of a good Oscar-season movie: a talented cast, worthy source material, a script loaded with complex social issues. Even so, it doesn’t add up to much.

David Sims
The Atlantic
Oct 30, 2019

Norton earns praise for taking on the gargantuan task of bringing this story to the screen, and pulling quadruple duty as actor-director-writer-producer, but Motherless Brooklyn seems more like a blueprint of a great film that lacks the nuance it needs to be truly impactful.

Metacritic review by Candice Frederick
Candice Frederick
Sep 10, 2019

Ultimately, frustration and fatigue prevail over the film’s intellectual acuity and political insight; neither is any true emotion ever forthcoming. This is odd and disappointing.

Metacritic review by Todd McCarthy
Todd McCarthy
The Hollywood Reporter