• Publication date: November 20, 2011

Murder for Sport Mr. Brooks: A 'Killer' Addiction

Kevin Costner portrays Mr. Earl Brooks, a business executive whose alter ego, Marshall (William Hurt) pressures him to commit random killings. After a two year hiatus Marshall has returned to haunt Brooks, and subsequently persuades him to commit another murder. Costner's character has been dubbed the 'Thumbprint Killer' by authorities, a reference to the trademark he leaves behind at each crime scene: the bloodied thumbprints of his victims on a lampshade.

Kevin Costner portrays Mr. Earl Brooks, a business executive whose alter ego, Marshall (William Hurt) pressures him to commit random killings. After a two year hiatus Marshall has returned to haunt Brooks, and subsequently persuades him to commit another murder. Costner's character has been dubbed the 'Thumbprint Killer' by authorities, a reference to the trademark he leaves behind at each crime scene: the bloodied thumbprints of his victims on a lampshade.

Brooks realizes that Marshall is a figment of his imagination, though traditional psychiatric treatment is not a viable option since it would lead to self-incrimination. To compensate, he attends a 12-step program for recovering alcoholics, secretly replacing an addiction to booze with his homicidal obsession. The strategy, at least until recently, was successful.

Detective Tracy Atwood (Demi Moore) is confounded by the killings. Brooks cleans each murder scene meticulously, and burns his clothing immediately afterward, leaving no substantial evidence or witnesses behind. That changes when a peeping Tom nicknamed 'Mr. Smith' (Dane Cook) witnesses Brooks break into an apartment and slay a couple engaged in sex. Rather than extort the Thumbprint Killer for cash however, Smith begs to accompany the murderer during his next execution. Brooks reluctantly agrees.

Meanwhile the businessman's daughter, Jane (Danielle Panabaker) follows in her father's footsteps, returning home from college after she is implicated in another student's murder. Dad takes drastic measures to divert Detective Atwood's attention away from Jane, while simultaneously pondering how to cure her emerging addiction before it is beyond repair. When Mr. Smith assists Brooks in a future killing, the newbie assassin leaves behind damning forensic evidence that may destroy both men's lives.

Mr. Brooks recuperated more than twice its $20 million budget, earning a total of $48 million internationally. The picture's success, coupled with cult fandom has raised rumors of a potential sequel. Director Bruce Evans is certainly interested, and hopes that the film to be the first in a trilogy.

Year: 2007

Duration: 120 minutes

Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Starring:

Kevin Costner

Demi Moore

Dane Cook

William Hurt

Marg Helgenberger

Danielle Panabaker

Director: Bruce A. Evans

Rating: Rated R for strong bloody violence, some graphic sexual content, nudity, and language.