Mr. Brooks

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Mr. Brooks
Mr brooks ver2 xlg.jpg
Directed byBruce A. Evans
Produced by
Written by
  • Bruce A. Evans
  • Raynold Gideon
Music byRamin Djawadi
CinematographyJohn Lindey
Edited byMiklos Wright
Distributed byMGM Distribution Co.
Release date
  • June 1, 2007 (2007-06-01)
Running time
120 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$20 million[2]
Box office$48.1 million[2]

Mr. Brooks is a 2007 American psychological thriller film directed by Bruce A. Evans starring Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, Dane Cook, and William Hurt. It was released on June 1, 2007. The film follows the eponymous character, a celebrated Portland businessman and serial killer (Costner) who is forced to take on a protégé (Cook) after being blackmailed, and has to contend with his bloodthirsty alter ego (Hurt) who convinces him to indulge his "habit". His life grows even more complicated when a driven police officer (Moore) reopens the investigation into his murders. The film received mixed reviews and grossed $48.1 million against a $20 million budget.


Earl Brooks (Kevin Costner), a wealthy and respected businessman, lives a secret life as a serial murderer known as the "Thumbprint Killer". For the past two years he has attended 12-step meetings for addicts to curb his "killing addiction". When Brooks' id, Marshall (William Hurt), urges him to resume his murderous compulsion, Brooks kills a young couple having sex in their bedroom. As part of his psychopathology, Brooks leaves each victim's bloody thumbprint on a lampshade. He follows a meticulous modus operandi, including fastidious preparation, cleansing the crime scene, posing the bodies, and even locking doors before departing. Brooks realizes later that the bedroom curtains were open during the murder, the window facing an apartment building.

Brooks' daughter, Jane (Danielle Panabaker), unexpectedly arrives home, having dropped out of college; she wants a job at her father's company. The same day, a man calling himself "Mister Smith" (Dane Cook) turns up at Brooks' office. He lives in the apartment across from the murdered couple and blackmails Brooks with photos he took during the crime. Brooks reluctantly agrees to Smith's demands to accompany him during a murder, warning Smith that killing can become addictive.

Brooks' wife, Emma (Marg Helgenberger), says that Jane left college because she is pregnant. Soon after, the Brooks are visited by Palo Alto detectives investigating a murder in Jane's former campus dorm. Brooks realizes that Jane committed the murder and initially considers allowing her to be caught to "save her" from becoming like him though later changes his mind. Assuming an alternate identity, he flies to Palo Alto and commits a similar murder to provide Jane an alibi.

Detective Tracy Atwood (Demi Moore) interviews Smith and several other residents living across from the latest crime scene. Brooks learns Atwood is undergoing a difficult divorce from her husband, Jesse Vialo (Jason Lewis). He decides that Vialo and his lawyer/lover, Sheila (Reiko Aylesworth), will be Smith's first "victims". At the scene of the Vialo murder, Smith wets his pants in a fit of panic, leaving his DNA to be discovered later.

After leaving the scene, Smith pulls a gun on Brooks, which Brooks anticipated might happen. Brooks says he is unable to stop killing and plans to commit suicide to spare his family the shame of his being caught. He takes Smith to a cemetery. Brooks wants Smith to shoot him and place his body in an open grave that will be filled the next day.

Smith attempts to shoot Brooks, but Brooks had previously disabled Smith's gun on the off-chance he changed his mind about suicide. Brooks now wants to live to see his grandchild and instead kills Smith, hiding his body in the open grave. Having already destroyed the photos Smith was blackmailing him with, there was no longer any evidence tying Brooks to the crimes. Smith's urine has provided the only DNA evidence tied to the Thumbprint Killer, allowing Brooks to remain undetected and return to his normal life.

Knowing he is in the clear, Brooks calls Detective Atwood, whom he has come to admire, and asks why she became a police officer. She says her wealthy father had wanted a son, and she needed to prove herself. Brooks hangs up before the call is traced. Atwood realizes the voice was not Smith's, and someone else may be the Thumbprint Killer. That night, Brooks has a nightmare in which Jane murders him, suggesting he fears she will become like him.



Box office[edit]

Mr. Brooks opened in 2,453 theaters and grossed $10,017,067, with an average of $4,083 per theater and ranking #4 at the North American box office. The film ultimately grossed $28,549,298 domestically and $19,572,602 internationally for a total of $48,121,900 worldwide, above its $20 million budget.[2]

Critical response[edit]

Mr. Brooks received mixed reviews from film critics.[3][4] On Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, the film has a score of 55% based on 161 reviews with an average rating of 5.70/10. The critical consensus states "The setup is intriguing, but Mr. Brooks overstuffs itself with twists and subplots, becoming more preposterous as it goes along." Costner and Hurt were both praised for their performances.[5] The film also has a score of 45 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 34 critics indicating "mixed or average reviews".[6] Rolling Stone wrote that "the cop on the case, [is] played by Demi Moore with a striking directness that deserved better than being saddled with an absurd back story as an heiress with a fortune-hunting husband."[7] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B-" on an A+ to F scale.[8]


On the director's commentary, Bruce Evans said that the film was to be the first of a trilogy, but as with any franchise it depended on the film's profits.[9] Despite its commercial success, there are no plans to make further films. Speaking in April 2009, Panabaker said, "Everybody wanted to make a trilogy. I saw Kevin [Costner] last summer and we still would love to. The idea of my character and Kevin's character, it'd be so much fun. I think you got to see how manipulative they both are with each other. I would have loved to have done three."[10]

Speaking with Jason Jenkins at Bloody Disgusting, Mr. Evans further elaborated on what the follow-ups might have entailed. []. "'Someone would have kidnapped his family, having no idea who they were dealing with,' Evans notes, pointing out that the kidnappers would not only be contending with the murderous Brooks, but his burgeoning psychopath of a daughter as well." Mr. Evans noted that Brooks' id Marshall would have returned, and have been "killed" by Brooks at some point in the second film, eventually being resurrected and returning “angrier and more perverse”. Furthermore, Mr. Evans revealed that the third film, which would have found Brooks and Jane at odds with one another, would have ended with Brooks killing both himself and his daughter, having realized that there is no hope for either of them.

Home media[edit]

The film was released on October 23, 2007, on both high-definition Blu-ray Disc and standard-definition DVD.


Mr. Brooks: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Film score by
ReleasedMay 22, 2007 (2007-05-22)
ProducerRamin Djawadi
Ramin Djawadi chronology
Beat the Drum
Mr. Brooks: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Prison Break

The film score for Mr. Brooks was composed by Ramin Djawadi. The soundtrack album was released on May 22, 2007.[11]

The film's soundtrack features Ramin Djawadi's score and the song "Vicious Traditions" by The Veils. Ramin Djawadi was nominated for the World Soundtrack Award in category Discovery of the Year in 2007. English metalcore band Asking Alexandria wrote a song based on the film entitled "Hey There Mr. Brooks" for their 2009 debut album Stand Up And Scream.

1."One Last Question"0:43
2."Vicious Traditions, song" (By The Veils)4:46
3."Regrets of an Artist"2:08
4."The Thumbprint Killer"4:44
6."Hallway Burial"2:03
7."Detective Atwood"2:24
8."Unwelcome Partner"3:16
9."Suicide Note"3:05
11."Meet Meeks"3:42
12."Her Story"2:24
13."Are We Alone"1:38
15."A Clue"3:35
16."Mr. Brooks"3:31
17."Graveyard Standoff"3:36
Total length:51:01


  1. ^ "View Title".
  2. ^ a b c "Mr. Brooks (2007)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Retrieved 11 January 2009.
  3. ^ "Mr Brooks". 11 October 2007. Archived from the original on 17 June 2011.
  4. ^ "BBC - Movies - review - Mr Brooks".
  5. ^ "Mr. Brooks - Movie Reviews, Trailers, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  6. ^ "Mr. Brooks (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved 2008-02-15.
  7. ^ Travers, Peter (2007-06-15). "Mr. Brooks". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
  8. ^ "Home - Cinemascore". Cinemascore. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  9. ^ "Mr. Brooks a Trilogy".
  10. ^ "Panabaker Describes Alternate Friday the 13th Kill". Shock Till You Drop. April 7, 2009. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
  11. ^ "Mr. Brooks by Ramin Djawadi". Retrieved December 6, 2016.

External links[edit]