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The Brothers Bloom (2009)



Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 148
Fresh: 97 | Rotten: 51

Despite strong performances The Brothers Bloom ultimately does not fulfill its lofty ambitions.


Average Rating: 5.6/10
Critic Reviews: 37
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 19

Despite strong performances The Brothers Bloom ultimately does not fulfill its lofty ambitions.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 90,530

My Rating

Movie Info

When the younger of two notorious sibling con artists announces a plan to go legit, his brother implores him to carry out one last swindle in the eagerly anticipated sophomore feature from Brick writer/director Rian Johnson. Tired of a life on the run, a confidence man who has dedicated his life to the art of the grift decides to call it quits. Despite his plans to leave his criminal past behind, however, the reluctant scammer finds that his brother has masterminded one last scheme to claim the


Drama, Action & Adventure, Romance, Comedy

Rian Johnson

Sep 29, 2009


Summit Entertainment - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on The Brothers Bloom

May 22, 2009:
Nathan Johnson Talks Brothers Bloom Score
Discerning fans of movie music are already well acquainted with Nathan Johnson's quirky, absorbing...
May 14, 2009:
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This week at the movies, Robert Langdon is back on the case, investigating shadowy machinations...


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All Critics (149) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (97) | Rotten (51) | DVD (7)

Watching this movie is like being elbowed in the ribs for two consecutive hours.

May 29, 2009
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Brothers Bloom feels different from any crime caper you've ever seen, even though its machinations still revolve around con artists who play tricks on each other -- and the audience.

May 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although it's got a strong cast and visual panache, Johnson willfully dispenses with the caper complications that might have made it more fun.

May 28, 2009 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's all a con, but thanks to Johnson's way with characters and dialogue, we don't mind the hustle so long as we're rewarded along the way.

May 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Even if you don't quite comprehend the ending (there seem to be 12 of them), you'll still feel the wallop of its consequences.

May 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's not blockbuster material, but this clever picture is a romantic -- and genuinely amusing -- charmer.

May 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It pulls the perfect con, which Ruffalo's character defines as a con where everyone gets what they want. The audience gets exactly what they want: A wild ride with an ending they won't see coming.

September 24, 2012 Full Review Source:

The Brothers Bloom is quirky and clever. Set in the present but with a perfectly judged retro feel, it looks fabulous too. Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi almost steals the film with her deadpan presence as Bang Bang, the gang's explosives expert.

July 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

Brick made for a natural intro to the more complicated, less laboriously arch observations of The Brothers Bloom.

August 26, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

Rian Johnson injects punchy, off-kilter fantastical charm into his playfully globetrotting film. It's like a cuckoo clock - precise, ornate and screwy-looking. But Bloom and Penelope's love - and resultant rifts - comes off as real-world collateral.

September 25, 2010 Full Review Source:

Sure, The Brothers Bloom may be the headline act, but it is the sisters eccentric that make the film.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

The Brothers Bloom is inventive, but its relentless cleverness limits its emotional pull.

June 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Uncut Magazine [UK]
Uncut Magazine [UK]

We feel regularly discombobulated on the sea of this movie's ideas - which is a good thing for people feeling marooned by the general stupidity of this summer's film releases.

June 9, 2010 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

If Wes Anderson and Terry Gilliam ever had a child, science would be amazed and appalled. But also, it would probably end up making a film like this.

June 9, 2010 Full Review Source: News of the World
News of the World

The eccentric humour is an acquired taste and the contrived story overstays its welcome.

June 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Johnson's script and directing style suffocates the duo with too many cookie-cutter indie movie quirks, making it all too easy to spot the joins and lose interest...

June 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Scotsman

It's one of those films whose fun set-up is terrific, only to be offset by the muddled plot. Still, there are some decent laughs amid the mess.

June 4, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

Sharp, funny and stylish, but still, something doesn't quite fit...

June 4, 2010
Little White Lies

The effect is something like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels done by Wes Anderson in a morose mood, much as its creator would presumably resist the latter comparison.

June 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Like his brooding anti-hero, Johnson keeps one step ahead and, at the same time, wears his heart on his sleeve. It's tough not to fall for such charm.

June 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

Oh dear.

June 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

It lags a touch towards the end and it's ultra quirky, but the artifice doesn't rob the finale of emotion. In fact, it delivers unexpected rewards.

June 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Blooming good fun.

June 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Perhaps you can be too cool for school and too clever for a multiplex, but if you're willing to go along with this, you'll enjoy being fooled so much that you won't mind it's all a trick.

June 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

It's a charming fantasy of a con movie that is less interested in the well played con than the colorfully executed idea of a con, among other things.

January 13, 2010 Full Review Source:

Now I know what it's like for those buzz killers who complain about Wes Anderson films.

December 4, 2009 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm

Audience Reviews for The Brothers Bloom

The Brothers Bloom is a film that is fairly average entertainment, a picture that had the potential of being a great movie, but comes up empty handed in the long run. I'm not saying that this is a bad film, quite on the contrary, but you do end up expecting more considering its interesting premise. I expected much more out of the film, and considering that the film was made by director Rian Johnson who would later helm the incredible Sci Fi action film Looper. Here he makes a good film that leaves a lot to be desired by the time the film concludes, and at times, the story could have been polished and there are things that could definitely have been improved upon. To me, it feels like the film managed to deliver and entertaining ride, but its potential is wasted on a script that could have been perfected a bit more before being made. I expected so much from this film, and it was a bit of a letdown. The Brothers Bloom isn't bad, like I said, but it should been much better as well considering the talent involved in the project. The Brothers Bloom is entertaining for what it manages to do, but by the times the credit, you definitely feel that something's missing to make this a film worth revisiting. Luckily director Rian Johnson has made a much better follow-up and with that being said, Johnson is a skilled filmmaker, but here he really should have focused on developing the script a bit more to make a truly memorable film. The Brothers Bloom had its heart at the right place, but for genre fans, they might want a much better film than this, and your expectations for this one should to enjoy something good, but definitely not great, and you might like it. I did like the film, but it should have been better.
July 29, 2014
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

This was my first exposure to the work of Rian Johnson, and I really wasn't sure what to expect going into it. As a general rule, I usually like caper and con films. They're not my favorite, but every now and then I like a film where there's lots of twists and turns, and quirky usually is a good thing too. I think this is quite decent, though perhaps a bit too smug. What we get is the story of two con artist brothers, and their escapades. When the younger decides to go legit, the older persuades him into one last con, which, as we all know, usually doesn't work out as planned. I really enjoyed the acting, and the costumes and set design were also fantastic. The music was nice too. Even though this film isn't bad, it's not really the greatest piece of work either. I can't quite explain or really describe its shortcomings though. There's just something about it that I can't put my finger on, but recognize it as being good, but slight. I still think you should see it though, at least once, as it does have some good stuff going for it while it lasts.
August 9, 2013
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Although Johnson took a step back in the originality department, 'The Brothers Bloom' is a decent sophomore effort from the exciting director. The leads do a solid job of oozing charisma and their comic delivery is fine. The film is written with whip-smart dialogue too. The first two thirds of the film are only okay, but the plot and characters really start to pick up in the final third, with a satisfying ending. It seems you can usually count on Johnson for a solid payoff, as long as you don't become too bored by about halfway through. Substituting the neo-noir feel of 'Brick' for a quirky heist comedy, Johnson shows he is versatile as he is creative.
October 7, 2012
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer

This very charming, quirky and unusual heist film requires your full attention! Otherwise the viewer may get lost in the amount of bluffs, lies and tricks the con artist brothers pull off here while trying to pull one final con. Their victim is a very unusual character, excellently played by Rachel Weisz, who has never been hotter. Thankfully, Brody and Ruffalo keep up with her pace, making for a very convincing and lovable protagonist trio. The original locations, mostly throughout Europe, add up to the charm of the film, the major asset of which is the very Wes-Anderson-esque humor. The result is a very entertaining, unusual and charming adventure and would have deserved a lot more attention than it got.
September 24, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Stephen: Real sunsets might be beautiful, but they turn into dark uncertain nights.
    – Submitted by Frances H (11 months ago)
    1. Penelope: Trick to not feeling cheated is to learn how to cheat.
    – Submitted by Dann M (17 months ago)
    1. Penelope: Photograph is a secret about a secret. More it tells you, less you know.
    – Submitted by Dann M (17 months ago)
View all quotes (3)

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