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Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

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7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 103 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Brothers tells the powerful story of two siblings, thirty-something Captain Sam Cahill and younger brother Tommy Cahill, who are polar opposites. Shipped out to Afghanistan, Sam is presumed dead when his Black Hawk helicopter is shot down in the mountains. At home in suburbia, the Cahill family suddenly faces a shocking void, and Tommy tries to fill in for his brother by assuming newfound responsibility by taking care of his brother's wife and children. When Sam unexpectedly returns to the States, a nervous mood settles over the family. Sam, uncharacteristically withdrawn and volatile, grows suspicious of his brother and his wife. Their familiar roles now nearly reversed, Sam and Tommy end up facing the ultimate physical and mental challenge when they confront each other. In the shifting family dynamics, who will dominate? And how will the brothers come to terms with issues of love, loyalty, and manhood—and with the woman caught between them? [Lionsgate] Collapse
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. A heartbreaking film that speaks to the lifelong aftershocks of war, and to the powerful bonds of family and of love.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 50
    Having seen the trailer for Brothers and now the finished film, I feel as though I just watched the trailer twice.
  6. As a melodrama, Brothers is passable entertainment. But the film squanders the opportunity to meaningfully portray the impact of war on American lives.
  7. 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.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 42
  2. Negative: 3 out of 42
  1. 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. Expand
  2. Jan 18, 2011
    8
    Films that depict a war environment have been coming out of Hollywood regularly in the past several years. Itâ
  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, 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. 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". Expand
  5. 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.
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  6. 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. Expand
  7. Dec 18, 2011
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The entire premise of the movie is totally bizarre to start out with. A marine hacking his fellow marine to death because some medieval Ali Baba's tell him to deserves absolutely no sympathy, and puts the military in a really bad light. I cannot imagine any soldier actually doing that. It leaves you with an empty feeling. Expand

See all 42 User Reviews

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