Brothers

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 233 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 233

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User Reviews

  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 CahillIn 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.
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  2. Jan 7, 2011
    5
    Sympathetic characters, but it is just another anti-war movie that does not achieve to say anything that has not been said before. The plot is in a sense a variation on Michael Bay's "Pearl Harbor".
  3. May 29, 2011
    6
    I love the psychological side of warfare destroyer... how the mind and soul of those who back from the horror of the battlefield gets so hurt that it loses meaning, value, or family or life itself. So I loved the movie because it pulled me the drama suffered by American heroes. The performances are sensational, ALL, from the little girls that gave relief to the melancholy mood of the film,I love the psychological side of warfare destroyer... how the mind and soul of those who back from the horror of the battlefield gets so hurt that it loses meaning, value, or family or life itself. So I loved the movie because it pulled me the drama suffered by American heroes. The performances are sensational, ALL, from the little girls that gave relief to the melancholy mood of the film, going by his father, stepmother, who took good care of their roles while supporting and especially the trio who gave a show of emotion Natalie Portman Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire. Expand
  4. 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 theBrothers 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. Expand
  5. ShilohJ.
    Jan 31, 2010
    6
    While the subject of soldiers' post-traumatic stress is important, the overall story felt incomplete. i was surprised that it was not handled better considering the amount of talent that was a part of it. the problem is the script. it is so uneven. maguire's voice over in the beginning says he would do anything to go back to his family, but there are implications as the film While the subject of soldiers' post-traumatic stress is important, the overall story felt incomplete. i was surprised that it was not handled better considering the amount of talent that was a part of it. the problem is the script. it is so uneven. maguire's voice over in the beginning says he would do anything to go back to his family, but there are implications as the film goes on that he feels more comfortable being with his "men". did i miss something or did maguire's character kill a fellow soldier because he believed his captors would send him home, or did he do it to keep them from killing him? this was a sticky point for me because either way they would have killed him regardless. the performances on the other hand were very good. i think gyllenhaal gave one of his best performances, as did portman. maguire's nuanced performance of this affable, loving father at the start of the moving to a stoic, emotionless soldier while in captivity and then this quietly broken man once he returns home was truly heart wrenching. still i think what maguire's character went through would have worked better in dreams or flashbacks. it would have impacted me more, but i think how maguire inhabits the character is effective. you can see how his mind is working when he bluntly addresses gyllenhaal about whether he slept with portman. he's eerily pleasant in his tone but you can feel that he is steadily loosing control. Expand
  6. DanR
    Dec 6, 2009
    6
    Sadly, I think the lead role required a stronger actor than Tobey Maguire. Jake and Natalie do a fine job, and the child actors give an impressive performance, although by the end they are a bit cloying. I imagined the movie this could have been while watching it (and enjoyed it), but did not see it on the screen.
  7. MathewH.
    Dec 18, 2009
    6
    Just OK, and very well acted particularly by Gyllenhaal and Portman, but too melodramatic to hold much power for me. I'm not sure why Maguire is getting plaudits - he alternates between Peter Parker-style goofiness and anguished thousand-yard stare. He didn't convince me like the other two leads. Then there's the misjudged Afghan side story, which is populated by cartoon Just OK, and very well acted particularly by Gyllenhaal and Portman, but too melodramatic to hold much power for me. I'm not sure why Maguire is getting plaudits - he alternates between Peter Parker-style goofiness and anguished thousand-yard stare. He didn't convince me like the other two leads. Then there's the misjudged Afghan side story, which is populated by cartoon characters. It might have worked better had we been kept completely in the dark as to the soldier's fate as well, to be put in the same position as the wife and brother. As it is we are just sitting waiting for his inevitable (rather than hoped-for) return and we know any emotional investment during this buildup will be wasted. It feels almost tacked on - like Maguire demanded to be given more to do? Expand
  8. GabbyG.
    Dec 19, 2009
    5
    The whole movie moved way to slow and you knew what was going to happend so waiting for it to happen to.ok forever. Tobey maguire did not play the role of the father well. in my opinion the roles should have been switched between him and jake gyllenhaal
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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Sheridan’s actors work with their intellects fully engaged--and they engage us on levels we barely knew we had.