The Brave One director Neil Jordan captures Jodie Foster in such a way as to “accentuate her petite stature, her lithe frame, her thin arms constantly bared from the shoulders. When [Foster’s character] walks the streets at night or strides purposefully onto a subway platform, she seems to be descending, wraith-like, into the abyss; yet her ferocity can also give way, without warning, to vulnerability and panic, especially when events begin to spiral out of her control.

“Even at her most ruthless, Foster never cedes her grip on the viewer’s concern — but then, neither did Charles Bronson in Death Wish. Jordan neither subverts the pleasures of seeing lone-ranger justice onscreen, as David Cronenberg did in A History of Violence, nor panders overtly to the audience’s baser instincts; instead, The Brave One attempts to tap into post-9/11 anxieties and comment on the very American idea of righteous payback.” — from an 8.27 Variety review by Justin Chang.