A star-studded box office bomb solves the mystery of streaming success

motherless brooklyn

Based on the premise and the talent involved on both sides of the camera, Motherless Brooklyn seems like exactly the sort of movie that would appeal directly to fans of the hard-boiled crime genre, but nobody was all that interested when it first came to theaters in November 2019.

Edward Norton writes, directs and plays the lead role of Lionel Essrog, a private detective with an incredible mind for his chosen profession, one who refuses to let his Tourette’s syndrome get in the way of his day job. After his mentor and friend is murdered, Lionel sets out on an odyssey through Brooklyn and Harlem, uncovering a conspiracy that continues to close in around him the nearer he gets to the truth.

motherless brooklyn

On top of Norton pulling triple duty, Motherless Brooklyn also features Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alec Baldwin, Willem Dafoe, Bobby Cannavale, Cherry Jones, Leslie Mann and plenty more, so the performances are never anything less than solid, and even Bruce Willis appears to be interested in what he’s doing for a change.

However, the film ultimately failed to recoup the $26 million budget from theaters despite decent enough reviews, although it’s now experiencing a resurgence on streaming. As per FlixPatrol, Motherless Brooklyn has landed on the HBO Max most-watched list, where it’s hoping to find a new lease of life.