Motherless Brooklyn: the noir story told by Edward Norton in this film is competently told, but the fight of common people against the powerful and corrupt doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. It doesn’t help matters that a few crucial beats of the story are so unconvincing. Even the condition of the protagonist doesn’t make him an innovative character for the genre. It does, however, give space for Norton himself create a very entertaining performance, as he effectively incorporates the vocal and physical twitches of the character. Gugu Mbatha-Raw is a fine, charming presence, convincing as the smart woman at the epicenter of the story. Alec Baldwin makes a good heavy, the kind with all the flashy speeches. Dick Pope’s cinematography emulates the traditional high-contrast style of the genre. The jazzy score, by composer Daniel Pemberton, fits the bill quite nicely.