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Brother (2000)

tomatometer

47

Average Rating: 5.1/10
Reviews Counted: 73
Fresh: 34 | Rotten: 39

There is too much hollow bloodshed in Brother, and the characters are stereotypically flat.

48

Average Rating: 4.8/10
Critic Reviews: 21
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 11

There is too much hollow bloodshed in Brother, and the characters are stereotypically flat.

audience

79

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 8,618

My Rating

Movie Info

Internationally acclaimed director and Japanese media phenomenon Takeshi Kitano follows up his well-regarded Kikujiro with this straight-ahead gangster saga with a cross-cultural twist. The film focuses on Yamamoto (Kitano), a yakuza forced out of the country when a gang war all but wipes out his clan. Armed with a fake credit card, a forged passport, and a bag of money, he journeys to the strange and foreign land of Los Angeles to join his half-brother Ken (Claude Maki), who works as a low-rent

Jan 2, 2002

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All Critics (89) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (34) | Rotten (39) | DVD (13)

Kitano's most enjoyable, flat-out fun movie, provided you can stomach the violence.

August 10, 2001 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As an actor and writer-director, Mr. Kitano projects an amused irony that makes his films worth seeing.

August 3, 2001 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Just how many acts of self-inflicted finger amputations do I really want to see?

July 27, 2001
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sure to satisfy fans of the laconic auteur.

July 27, 2001 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Kitano presents all this mayhem in crisp and cool camera work that distances it and keeps it from becoming oppressive.

July 27, 2001 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A powerful statement on a violent society -- and a very uncomfortable one that is apt to alienate many viewers.

June 25, 2012 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A vital, stylish Yakuza pic, Kitano crafts a new world/old world, brother against brother epic battle straddling both sides of the Pacific.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

Takashi has been considered a master auteur. Perhaps, but there's no art here, just violence.

November 7, 2003 | Comment (1)
Greenwich Village Gazette

If the yardstick for mob flicks is 'Goodfellas' (and it should be), then 'Brother' doesn't stand a chance. On its own, however, it is a stylish, colourful film.

February 13, 2003 Full Review Source: RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)

Oh, brother.

October 21, 2002 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

There's no flow to this movie -- it just plods along from one disconnected sequence to another.

September 26, 2002 | Comment (1)
Reel Film Reviews

Always audacious and never less than entertaining, even when it's coming apart at the seams.

July 31, 2002
Philadelphia Weekly

It's a little hard to take, a little too nihilistic.

June 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

It fails to work because it falls into the conventional exploitive genre of Hollywood action films instead of retaining the quirky director's unusual artistic sensibilities.

January 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The movie comes across as a confusing mess, lacking in substance and entirely missing its goal.

October 19, 2001 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

Brother's attempt to romanticize crime finally collapses under its own weight.

September 28, 2001 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

Loud, direct, and uncompromised, Brother is raw red meat in an age of cinematic tofu.

September 4, 2001 Full Review Source: Premiere Magazine
Premiere Magazine

Singularly unexciting for an action film, and working up enthusiasm for it is difficult.

August 24, 2001 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee | Comment (1)
Sacramento Bee

Though Kitano is no Kurosawa, they're using the same brushes on similar canvasses, and that comparison in itself makes Brother one of the year's best films.

August 14, 2001
Film Freak Central

It's rougher stuff than most would expect, though not unrewarding in its own horrific way.

August 14, 2001 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

[Takeshi's] both interesting (like waiting for a bomb to go off) and fiercely dull, as if acting were something he had vaguely considered, then rejected as useless.

August 10, 2001 Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune | Comment (1)
San Diego Union-Tribune

Once you've seen one self-evisceration, one head blown off, one spasming body plugged full of lead, you've seen 'em all.

August 9, 2001 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Kitano has a gift for framing and staying with a scene, and his editing choices are impeccable.

August 2, 2001 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

Audience Reviews for Brother

When an uncompromising Yakuza leaves Japan to prevent the ignition of a gang war, he joins his brother, a small time drug dealer in America and shocks both his friends and enemies with his ruthless brutality. But when their fledgling organization reaches the attention of the mafia, the cycle of violence soon spirals out of control. Kiteshi Kitano's culture clash gangster movie has the unlikely friendship between his stone-faced and laconic Yakuza and wisecracking petty hustler Omar Epps at it's core, punctuated by explosive bursts of visceral action. It contains his trademark humour, "gangsters at play" and simple yet beautiful direction that relies on stoic imagery and composition rather than the endless dolly shots and pointless colour filters that seem to plague modern cinema. One minor gripe is that Takeshi clearly tempered his vision for the sake of American audiences and his usual uncompromising nihilism is diluted to provide a (semi) happy ending. Not his best, but the familiar US settings and English dialogue make Brother the perfect entry point for anyone unfamiliar with Beat Takeshi's work.
May 24, 2012
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Something was lost slightly when Kitano decided to come over to the west and make an English speaking film. The supporting cast were such in awe of him and it showed on film and made for uncomfortable viewing. That said, this film contains one of the most shocking and unexpected twists that I?ve seen for a long time. It?s still Kitano, it's still good.
September 4, 2009
SirPant

Super Reviewer

If you don't know Beat Takeshi let me explain; He's a different type of badass. He doesn't have great karate skills or runs around hanging from helicopters and jumping away from explosions in slow motion and what not. Even without a language barrier, he doesn't say much, so he's not really a tough talker. Doesn't even bother trying to look tough. He mostly sits there in sunglasses with an indecipherable look on his face, as if smiling at something...but you're not sure what. When he removes his sunglasses, his eyes are a total blank, so they don't really help at all. He's somewhat a friendly, joking kind of guy, like a friendly old neighbor, but he's also really good at punching you in the kidney with a knife, or hiding guns in places so he can pop them out and shoot a room full of people before they can think what to do.

While some people might argue that this film is too commercial and lacks the artistic value of other films I'd later see from the director, what has not changed is Kitano's love in exploring the complexity of human choice under extreme condition. The film has a charm all its' own and would be an ideal place to start if curious about the world of Takeshi Kitano as he points towards a new direction for the yakuza genre.
April 30, 2009
DrBenway
El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

Takeshi Kitano creates a peculiar, paused, funny, highly violent but somewhat touching clash between the eastern and western underworld.
March 8, 2008
pier007

Super Reviewer

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