Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 31
  2. Negative: 2 out of 31
  1. Sheridan’s actors work with their intellects fully engaged--and they engage us on levels we barely knew we had.
  2. 88
    This becomes Tobey Maguire's film to dominate, and I've never seen these dark depths in him before. Actors possess a great gift to surprise us, if they find the right material in their hands.
  3. The film is gripping---an honorable and beautifully acted addition to the tradition of homefront war stories.
  4. A heartbreaking film that speaks to the lifelong aftershocks of war, and to the powerful bonds of family and of love.
  5. 88
    Brothers is arguably the most successful remake of a foreign film since Martin Scorsese reworked "Infernal Affairs" into "The Departed" and won the Oscar.
  6. Brothers has the careful observation, measured pace and lived-in feeling of a good European film.
  7. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    In exploring the complicated nature of family bonds, Brothers is thought-provoking. The wounds inflicted by the cruelty of a troubled parent can prove as painful as battle scars.
  8. It does take half the movie before the story --really kicks in. When it does, it'll knock the air out of you.
  9. 70
    Shot for shot, Sheridan's approach isn't radically different from Bier's. And yet Bier gives us more to read between the lines: In her movie, there's an unspoken moodiness, a crackle of sexual tension, between Tommy and Grace's Danish counterparts. That understated but potent secret ingredient is missing from Sheridan's version, as sensitive and as artful as it is.
  10. 70
    A smart, well-meaning project -- never quite pulls itself together. It has a vague, half-finished feeling, as if it had not figured out what it was trying to do. Which may amount to a kind of realism -- an accurate reflection of where we are in Afghanistan.
  11. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    70
    Brothers isn't up there in the empyrean of classic movies, but it is a solid drama -- about a family at war with itself.
  12. 70
    Bier's film succeeded on the merits of its actors, and this one offers fine performances by Portman and Gyllenhaal, but Maguire doesn't cut the mustard as the anguished military man.
  13. Irish director Jim Sheridan, who has made his films in America in recent years, now delivers an American remake that hues closely to the original but loses some of its true grit.
  14. Reviewed by: Will Lawrence
    60
    Despite strong performances from the leads, when it comes to pacing and power, it’s the Danish original that edges it. Still, a sturdy and affecting remake that brings a powerful story to an even wider audience.
  15. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    60
    Though it renders a convincing portrait of fractured family life and boasts its share of powerfully acted moments, this schematic tale of two siblings, ripped apart by jealousy, misunderstanding and unshakable trauma, plays like a more polished but less effective twin to the 2005 Danish original.
  16. Brothers isn't badly acted, but as directed by the increasingly impersonal Jim Sheridan, it's lumbering and heavy-handed, a film that piles on overwrought dramatic twists until it begins to creak under the weight of its presumed significance.
  17. 58
    The intrinsically powerful material occasionally pierces through.
  18. 50
    Brothers is a collection of strong moments that don't add up to anything. The movie is all build-up.
  19. 50
    Having seen the trailer for Brothers and now the finished film, I feel as though I just watched the trailer twice.
  20. 50
    This is a corny tale, told with both generous helpings of deli-sliced cheese and a brief stretch of chilling tumultuousness.
  21. As a melodrama, Brothers is passable entertainment. But the film squanders the opportunity to meaningfully portray the impact of war on American lives.
  22. Brothers is too depthless to dredge up any tears.
  23. Sheridan seems as conflicted as the Cahills about their virtues and failings. The underlying themes -- love, loyalty, decency, duty, honor, betrayal -- that screenwriter David Benioff will use to both bind and break this family seem to bedevil him more than inspire him this time out.
  24. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    50
    Portman doesn't overact or underact; she just stands around with whatever the appropriate expression for the scene seems to be on her sweet, pretty, childlike face. If there's something going on behind that face, I neither know nor care what it is, which means that long stretches of Brothers involving her character's interiority struck me as dramatically inert.
  25. 50
    With the exception of Jake Gyllenhaal, whose shambling self-disgust hits the only genuine note, the movie is a classic of Hollywood miscasting and ambition gone askew.
  26. Jake Gyllenhaal…the film’s only piece of believable acting.
  27. 42
    For a ripped-from-reality film about love and death and family strife in the face of the war in Afghanistan, Brothers is awfully artificial.
  28. It takes a long time for Brothers to become the movie it wants to be, and even then, it stumbles.
  29. Brothers tries to delve into how war can tear families apart, but only succeeds in showing how miscasting and melodrama obscure good intentions.
  30. Sheridan, repeatedly drawn to family sagas, including his own (2002's In America), aims for Greek tragedy but ends up with a PTSD melodrama, with Maguire able to produce slobber almost as effortlessly as Portman can summon up tears--essentially all her role calls for.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 103 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 42
  2. Negative: 3 out of 42
  1. Sep 28, 2010
    5
    In a time of bloodshed and war, Brothers attempts to become an instrumental film conveying the psychological effects of individuals in battle. In order to do so, director Jim Sheriden employs drama within the film, but unfortunately falls flat until the conclusion occurs. This remake of the critically acclaimed 2004 Danish film, Brodre, is a story of two opposite brothers, Tommy Cahill (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire). Sam is a marine that is about to embark to Afghanistan leaving his two daughters and his wife Grace (Natalie Portman); While Tommy is on parole adjusting to his former life. When Sam is pronounced dead after a plane crash, Tommy attempts to relieve his brother's grieving wife and care for his two children. When Sam is rescued from Afghanistan, he comes home truly affected by the war mentally. Confused, he is under the assumption that his brother and wife had a sexual relationship. This causes bitterness within the family and ultimately showing how this war hero loses his inner self.

    While the premise possesses an immense amount of potential, it never really reaches a high point until the final moments of the film. From the previews, I was expecting a love triangle-esque film that would enable many dramatic plot twists. But the relationship between Portman and Gyllenhaal remains neutral throughout the film, leaving the film to seem empty. While the plot does create drama, that simply is the problem, it only creates it. The film never goes anywhere with it and by doing so exposes its own flaws. Although it does not follow the scheme I was under the assumption of, that does not necessarily mean it's a bad film. As a melodrama movie, it passes as a sufficient source of entertainment. While the acting sometimes is inconsistent and unreal, it is excellent for the most part. Gyllenhaal performs with zeal while Mcguire really puts emotion into his character. Portman executes a cute performance, but does not in all actuality contribute to the film as a whole. Once again referring to it as a melodrama, its plot moves smoothly and emptily creating tension that never really erupts. The most thrilling part of the movie is the end where Maguire executes his most emotional performance to date. This satisfied my want for a dramatic thriller, but sadly the journey to this moment was an entertaining soap opera.

    Brothers is ultimately an acceptable film, but the audience should expect something different than what the trailers promise. It is not a romantic thriller that depicts a fierce rivalry between brothers, instead it is a full-length soap with a commendable acting cast and efficient commentary on the psychological state of soldiers.
    Full Review »
  2. Mar 2, 2013
    9
    De las mejores interpretaciones de Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman y Jake Gyllenhaall. Desgarradora. Romántica. Familiar. Dura. Nos hace odiar la guerra. Jake Gyllenhaall está guapísimo. Full Review »
  3. Feb 24, 2013
    4
    Brothers was an interesting experience to say the least. From one angle it's a well acted family drama about a man coming home from war, but from another angle is a confused film with a story that's completely unfocused, it doesn't know which character it wants to highlight. This confusion makes the story lack the depth that the subject material required. I thought some elements of the story-line were forced without any cause or purpose. Full Review »