Neo Noir Part 5: Watching the Kid Detectives

Kid Detectives. From Encyclopedia Brown to Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. In the realm of Neo Noir, few movies devote their energies to these unsung gumshoes, but The Criterion Channel pays homage with their final entry in their Neo Noir series, Brick.

But first, after watching all 26 #NeoNoir films on #TheCriterionChannel Jim and Bill finally arrive at Part 5 of their journey. That’s right, it’s the last Neo Noir episode.

Concluding this series of episodes, Jim and Bill first discuss Swoon, an interesting if somewhat dubious fit into the Neo Noir genre. Next Jim and Bill dive into John Dahl’s 1993 sleeper hit, The Last Seduction, featuring a delicious (to put in Billy’s words) performance by Linda Fiorentino.

With room to spare since Criterion left a big gap between 1994’s The Last Seduction and their final entry, 2005’s Rian Johnson Neo Noir, Brick, Jim and Bill provide several additional 90s Noirs you don’t want to miss, including Zero Effect.

Brick is the debut entry from Knive’s Out’s Rian Johnson, and it is an impressive debut to say the least. Johnson brings the Neo Noir detective world inside a high school setting, and there he utilizes all of the traits of the Noir genre and subverts them at every turn. Is it fun to watch high schoolers act as if they are inside a Raymond Chandler story? Yes. Yes it is.

Finally, a listener of the Neo Noir series suggested a new Neo Noir film as a pairing with Brick. 2020’s The Kid Detective starring Adam Brody. Jim checked it out, and his take is it is a darkly comic Neo Noir that could very well be your next hidden gem.

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