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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 104 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 Sam, uncharacteristically withdrawn and volatile, grows suspicious of his brother and his wife.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] Expand
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
    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: 36 out of 43
  2. Negative: 3 out of 43
  1. StevenB.
    Jun 1, 2010
    This is the most emotionally effective film I have thus far seen in my life. Superb acting all around, and incredibly tense situations throughout.
  2. DebbieG
    Dec 5, 2009
    I loved it! Natalie Portman and Tobey both deserve an Oscar.
  3. JulieP
    Dec 26, 2009
    Each actor gave their all for the characters. With a intense story and fantastic actors, this movie let you be a part of it's highs and lows.
  4. LynnV.
    Dec 9, 2009
    Troubling, any one who would recommend military service for their child needs to watch this movie. Very realistic emotional ride.
  5. shannonb
    May 2, 2010
    This movie was good, bad, and the ugly all roled into one. It was kind of predictable, somewhat dark, but vey realistic. I would recommend the movie, but stop short of rating any higher. Expand
  6. JeffreyF
    Dec 4, 2009
    The writing just failed this elite ensemble, only the children's roles are fully realized.
  7. ThomasL.
    Apr 2, 2010
    Unwatchable dreck. Heavy handed, anti-military movie from Hollywood mooks with NO understanding of the military, human beings or the world, in general. Ebert thought it was great. Say no more. Collapse

See all 43 User Reviews