Brick is a 2005 American neo-noir film written and directed by Rian Johnson. It was Johnson's directorial debut and won the Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. Brick was distributed by Focus Features, opening in the United States on April 7, 2006, in New York and Los Angeles.
The film's narrative centers on a hardboiled detective story that takes place in suburbia. Most of the main characters are high school students. The film draws heavily in plot, characterization, and dialogue from hardboiled classics, especially from Dashiell Hammett. The title refers to a block of heroin, compressed roughly to the size and shape of a brick.Brendan Frye (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a student of an unnamed California high school, stares silently at the body of ex-girlfriend Emily (Emilie de Ravin) lying in a storm drain. Days earlier, Brendan, in the know of the intricacies of the "upper crust" of drug-addicted socialites but choosing to live outside them, receives a terrified phone call from Emily, who tearfully tells him that she "didn't know that the brick was bad" and that "the Pin's on it now," imploring him to help her. Brendan manages to find her, only to face her plea for him to leave her alone.
After her death, Brendan takes it upon himself to solve her murder, enlisting the aid of fellow loner The Brain (Matt O'Leary) to track information, while feigning to be an inside man for his assistant vice-principal (Richard Roundtree). His intrusion into the tightly knit circle of high school cliques brings him into the lives of several people, including popular Laura (Nora Zehetner), prolifically violent Tug (Noah Fleiss), stoner Dode (Noah Segan), seductive play actress Kara (Meagan Good), athlete Brad (Brian J. White), and drug baron The Pin (as inkingpin) (Lukas Haas). All are pivotal in his pursuit of the truth of Emily's fate.