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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 102 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 Sam, uncharacteristically withdrawn and volatile, grows suspicious of his brother and his wife.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: 35 out of 42
  2. Negative: 3 out of 42
  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. Mr.JohnP.
    Dec 5, 2009
    A beautiful drama movie !! Great actors for a movie extraordinary !! Oscar for Natalie Portman!!
  3. PhilS.
    Dec 8, 2009
    I loved this movie because of what the actors brought. You'll find some surprising things from the smallest places..i dont want to give anything away. Just enjoy the movie and try to take Natalie Portman seriously. Expand
  4. BillyS.
    Dec 7, 2009
    The power and beauty of Brothers is its intense simplicity, like Sheridan's In America, there are no villans or saints in the story, just common everyday people coping with what life has dealt them and understanding family is the foundation that holds it all, and them together. Jim Sheridan shows the honesty in his characters and everyone in the cast plays them as if they were your neighbors 2 doors down. After years of being in that spider suit, Tobey Maguire confirms to the world that he is an actor to be reckoned with, he is simply devasting in Brothers, a brilliant performance like his pre-spidey days of The Wonder Boys and Pleasantville. Natalie Portman is simply the best actress of her generation, something we've all known since The Professional. Brothers is a great movie, great in its simplicity and honesty, in its writing and directing and in its powerful perfomances. Most of all, Brothers is well worth seeing. Expand
  5. TonyB.
    Apr 16, 2010
    Three of our finest young actors and a strong supporting cast give excellent performances in this wise and thoughtful film. The open-ended conclusion indicates that there are filmmakers who believe that at least some of their audiences do not need everything spelled out for them. Expand
  6. May 29, 2011
    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
  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 42 User Reviews