Jodi Foster showcases her knack for playing characters with a mix of strength and vulnerability, while Terrence Howard's tender charisma comes through IN Mercer, the cop who knows more than he's letting on.
Foster plays New Yorker Erica Bain, a radio talk show host happily engaged to a doctor (Naveen Andrews, LOST). The walls of Erica's safe existence come tumbling down one night during a walk through Central Park with her boyfriend, during which they are mugged, he is killed, and she is severely beaten.
When she wakes from a coma three weeks later, Erica's eyes assume a haunted look and she fears the city she once loved. So she buys a gun, and when she witnesses a domestic fight and murder in an all-night convenience store, she uses it to save herself.
This first murder opens the door to others, as Erica takes to the streets at night, baiting criminals and extracting her revenge. Her vigilante actions become sensationalized in the media, while her talk show becomes a platform from which to explore her new feelings about New York, the "safest big city in the world."
Detective Mercer, who was assigned to Erica's original case, begins to put the pieces together as the bond between the two grows stronger. THE BRAVE ONE is a gritty, engaging, and well-crafted thriller that relies on strongly developed characters, rather than action and violence, to carry a story that makes no easy assumptions about the definitions of good and evil.