Grace Miller (Alyssa Milano), a crime novelist, argues that her stories, which depict brutal femicide, aren’t trashy, but illuminating. According to her, “they’re about the exploitation of women and the patriarchy,”

Brazen Review Not So Novel

Brazen Review Not So Novel Review

The film that surrounds her has a lower level of ambition. “Brazen” is the murder mystery counterpart of a Hallmark Christmas romance, but it’s a little less predictable. Monika Mitchell has directed several holiday-themed made-for-TV movies, including this one based on a Nora Roberts grocery store paperback. A match made in algorithmic heaven, to put it mildly.

Grace (Emilie Ullerup), a city girl, travels to the suburbs to assist her sister Kathleen (also Emilie Ullerup) in a custody battle. This is where the story begins. The plot takes a turn for the worst when the reunion is cut short by a brutal murder. Grace (Sam Page), distraught and terrified, decides to use her writing skills to find the assassin, with the help of Ed (Sam Page), the hot homicide detective who happens to live next door.


“Brazen” occasionally scratches the same itch as a cop procedural or a Lifetime drama so formulaic you can predict every beat. “If anything ever happened to you, I would lose my mind,” Ed says when Grace volunteers for a risky police gambit. Considering the film’s lack of tension, it’s perhaps not surprising that I knew the killer right away, yet I’ve never written a single mystery novel.