Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Mar 21, 2013
    90
    Nuances of faith, politics and sexual identity enrich what initially presents as a classic good son-bad son tale.
  2. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Mar 19, 2013
    80
    Despite its moral seriousness, the film's a crowd-pleaser, boasting tense set pieces, a raucous polyglot of voices and accents, beauty-in-poverty streetscapes, and two warm, brawling, big-hearted leads.
  3. Reviewed by:  John Anderson
    Mar 18, 2013
    80
    An energetic and imaginative tale of siblings at a criminal crossroads and a street movie that is imaginatively, even poetically, shot, the pic nonetheless remains rooted in the turmoil of an immigrant British demimonde.
  4. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Mar 18, 2013
    80
    While on the surface, this is a variation on boyz-in-the-‘hood dramatic staples, the film is rooted in anglicized Arab culture yet universally accessible in its reflections on identity issues. It’s a very promising debut – slick, muscular, entertaining and emotionally satisfying.
  5. Reviewed by: Simon Kinnear
    Mar 18, 2013
    80
    What distinguishes My Brother The Devil is El Hosaini’s maturity in avoiding faux-doc grittiness, political grandstanding or flashy glorification in favour of an intimate, closely observed character piece.
  6. Reviewed by: Guy Lodge
    Mar 18, 2013
    80
    Already a compelling gangland saga, this vastly promising debut turns into something more surprising when social prejudice becomes the characters’ weapon of choice. If that sounds too much like a lecture, El Hosaini’s voice remains crisp, cool and consistently street-smart.
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Mar 18, 2013
    80
    It's an athletic, loose-limbed piece of movie-making, not perfect, but bursting with energy and adrenaline.
  8. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Mar 19, 2013
    75
    It’s far superior to what usually comes out of the British slums in the genre of gangland thrillers.
  9. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Mar 21, 2013
    70
    Shot entirely in Hackney — a mostly ungentrified London borough — My Brother the Devil has a strong odor of authenticity.
  10. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    Mar 20, 2013
    67
    Director Sally El Hosaini, who also wrote the screenplay, proves better at introducing dilemmas for her characters than at resolving them.
  11. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Mar 22, 2013
    63
    The plot doesn’t entirely escape formula, and the ending is jagged and forced, unable to commit to either hope or gloom. But for at least part of its length, My Brother the Devil brings refreshing changes to a genre badly in need of them.
  12. Reviewed by: Steve Macfarlane
    Mar 22, 2013
    63
    With My Brother the Devil, writer-director Sally El Hosaini tells a story both operatic in its implications and quotidian in its sensory, day-to-day details.
  13. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Apr 4, 2013
    60
    My Brother the Devil is a promising debut that marks El Hosaini as a filmmaker to watch, but one still very much in the developmental stages.
  14. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Mar 19, 2013
    60
    Even those who aren’t well-versed in the-’hood-always-wins dramas can see what’s coming. So it’s to newcomer Sally El Hosaini’s credit that she embeds a tangible, lived-in sense of the region’s diaspora community and urban criminal underbelly (wagwan, near-indecipherable East End patois!) that’s leagues away from anthropological fetishizing.

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