Time Out says
It’d be easy to write off this misty-eyed melange of midlife nostalgia and movie-movie show-offery as bush-league Scorsese, but the aggressively derivative Brooklyn Rules is a fascinating artifact of how absorbed into the mainstream Marty’s idiom has become. No wonder his last few flicks have been disappointments: He didn’t stray from the path; three generations of film-school punks ran him off it.
Punks, albeit the cuddly variety, are what Brooklyn Rules predictably revolves around. Three Bay Ridge mooks circa 1985 wrestle with stock Hollywood dilemmas: Straight arrow Michael (frog-faced Prinze) is torn between the ’hood and a Columbia poli-sci hottie (Suvari); knuckle-dragging Carmine (Caan) flirts with a job as muscle for a local mob boss (Baldwin—is there no film this guy won’t do?); and cinephiliac Bobby (Entourage’s Ferrara) cracks wise as the chubby, lovable and inevitably doomed sidekick.
Screenwriter and Sopranos alum Terence Winter tosses as many genres into this autobiographical mix as possible, from college romance to revenge thriller and male weepie, but links them with nothing more substantial than canned sentimentality. So despite the HBO-worthy prodigiousness of fuck in its dialogue, Brooklyn Rules comes off as what Mean Streets might’ve been with Disney funding. (Opens Fri; Click here for venues.) — Mark Holcomb