The Brothers Bloom Reviews

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TheDudeLebowski65
Super Reviewer
July 29, 2014
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.
cosmo313
Super Reviewer
½ June 16, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
September 25, 2012
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.
Super Reviewer
½ May 11, 2009
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.
garyX
Super Reviewer
April 14, 2009
One of two brothers and professional con men is persuaded by the other to embark on one last job, but is the object of the exercise the eccentric millionairess or the unhappy grifter himself? I loved Rian Johnson's debut Brick and The Brothers Bloom has the same kind of literary, post modern feel to it. It is a lighter, more quirky affair however, reminding me of Jeunet's work with its blend of the surreal, odd ball yet likeable characters and nods toward silent comedy. It can seem a little self consciously wacky at times, but its charm and enjoyable characters save it from becoming too self-satisfied. The chemistry between Adrien Brody's guilt riddled con artist and Rachel Weisz's socially awkward heiress works really well and the convoluted plot, something akin to a cross between Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The Game doesn't take itself so seriously as to stumble toward aimless self indulgence. Always amusing and oddly fresh for a modern heist movie, it's a bit like a Wes Anderson film. If they had plots. And were funny.
Super Reviewer
May 18, 2009
Ahhh ... the art of the con. What's needed first is charisma, and this film's got that in spades, all the leads've got it. Then you need a hustle, a mark, someone the audience wants to see stung. And here the film falls flat. There's not one bad guy ... so they end up conning each other. A disappointment. Not terrible, just kinda blah.
Super Reviewer
½ December 3, 2010
Following on from his modern noir and impressive directorial debut "Brick" in 2005, director Rian Johnson faced the tricky second feature syndrome. After a three year wait he delivered this... another convoluted tale, but with altogether different results.
Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) and younger sibling Bloom (Adrien Brody) are a couple of con-men who criss cross the globe shafting the unwary. Their latest mark, however, is something new: wealthy recluse Penelope (Rachel Weisz) who, having spent her life mastering a miscellany of random skills (break dancing, banjo plucking, juggling chainsaws), is only too happy to follow them and their mute munitions expert 'Bang-Bang' (Rinko Kikuchi) to Prague where a priceless antique is ripe for the taking.
With this second feature it looks like Rian Johnson enjoys a good puzzling story. His debut was full of twists and turns and more than a nod or two to crime writers Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. This time he employs a subtext with nods to several classic literary novels and authors. The references are subtle but cleverly dropped into his tangled and intricate flim-flam story. Added to which are bags of visual flourishes and fine performances by the four leads. However, what is a strong and satisfying hustle soon becomes a bit too clever for it's own good and as it draws to a close it ends up tying itself in knots. Leaving us with an unsatisfactory (and unnecessary) conclusion. Getting there is loads of fun though and Rian Johnson is shaping up to be a more than competent new director.
Four fun, enjoyable and sharply dressed characters play out their scams in an impressive and stylish addition to the Bunco genre. It's just a shame it cons itself out of a convincing ending.
Super Reviewer
½ May 12, 2009
Great performances and subtle characterizations really bring this con film above the usual fare. Although it often comes across as lighthearted, there are darker moments that really expand on who these people are. The brothers Bloom have been bounced from foster home to foster home, and now spend their lives as conmen. Ruffalo is exceptionally great here, as the brother that always wants to take the con one step further. He wants people to believe his lies, and he keeps pushing it further as a work of art. Brody soon falls in love with one of the targets, and it's here that the film doesn't quite hit the greatness of Johnson's Brick. The love story is a bit regular, and Weisz is just hard to relate to. She's either too into the whole conning aspect, or too stupid to really understand it all. Kikuchi is the breakout star here. Her almost silent role has her out act almost everyone with facial expressions and an essence of cool that really shines on screen. The final con works with a number of clever twists, but is also more emotional than your familiar heists.
Super Reviewer
April 4, 2011
The Brother's Bloom is a little too corny for my taste at times, but when it wants to be good it really delivers. This suffers, in my opinion, from the need to be that "quirky indie movie" that has just become incredibly stale by now. However, the cast in this and the general plot is incredibly well put together and fun. Adrien Brody manages to steal the movie even though he's the most introverted character. He's just so genuine and lovable. This also happens to be a great looking movie, which isn't necessary, but appreciated in a comedy.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
April 15, 2010
What was the point? Good acting only goes so far, that this has but a story that has some sort of meaning it doesn't.
Super Reviewer
January 5, 2009
The Brothers Bloom possesses nearly every attribute I search for in a film: it's whimsical, quirky and visually arresting. It features fantastic costume design and score. It's very funny in an offbeat manner, and it's brought to life by a magnificent cast: apart from Rinko Kikuchi (who basically prolongs her mute character from Babel), Rachel Weisz hits a career high and, if he hadn't been nominated for this year's Oscars, it would be safe to say that Mark Ruffalo is the most underrated actor ever. Now that I think of it, this film bears a resemblance to now-extinct TV show Pushing Daisies. But, as much as I love originality and beauty and great acting, I couldn't bring myself to love this movie. Maybe it's the overly intricate plot, I don't know.
maxthesax
Super Reviewer
½ November 18, 2010
The Brothers Bloom is a film about grifters (if you don't know what that means, then by all means, skip the film) - who have been con-men since childhood (shown in a very nice opening scene). The film then moves to adulthood and here at the end of an elaborate con, so far so good. Then the REAL con comes in - Rian Johnson, the writer (and director) tries to con us into thinking he's on to something, and that this is going to be a terrific film.

What follows is an artistic mess, built on a shoddy premise that lacks depth, realism and any emotional investment in the characters. Adrien Brody, in particular is as bland as white on white, and while he's supposed to be having this emotional struggle concerning falling for his mark - you never get the feeling that he's doing anything more than reciting lines.

The character of the mark is ridiculous and puts the film at a huge disadvantage as so much of the story involves her and reaction that the brothers have towards her. There are attempts at humor (if you can believe it, in what should be a tight how to do it con artist film), and I do mean "attempts". They are not funny and seriously detract from any "feel" the film had going for it.

The photography is well done throughout, and often far outstrips the script that for all its inventiveness and the intricacies of the cons themselves, too often falls on its own sword due to bad direction and bad ideas.

You can't blame Mark Ruffalo though. He plays the older brother with a worldly sense and like Robbie Coltrane in a limited role, rises above the material. The only charactor who is well written, and a joy to watch, is the whimsical "munitions expert" Bang-Bang, a quirky oriental, who late in the film, for no apparant reason, sings a tortured version of "Sleeping" a tune well covered by Lydia Pense and Cold Blood - hmmm, maybe the director was trying to tell us something.... naw.

Towards the end of the film, where everyone is backstabbing everyone else and you are led to believe that every situation is just part of an elaborate con - and that everyone's motives should be looked upon in that light, I started to think that perhaps Johnson's directorial vision was to take his material and intentionally NOT give any visual or acting clues - as if trying to leave it to the audience to discern whether or not someone is conning someone else. Me, I know the con and who was doing the conning - it's Johnson - and if there is a joke in the film - I also know that said joke is on the audience.
Super Reviewer
October 14, 2010
I really enjoyed this movie. Very funny, and entertaining. I would recommend it to anyone who likes quirky movies.
Super Reviewer
October 12, 2010
One of favorite movies of all time. All of the characters are extremely charming, the storyline chugs along nicely, and successfully teeters between "thriller" and "comedy." Don't just see this movie, see it with your favorite people.
Gx7
Super Reviewer
½ September 19, 2010
For the most part, I liked it. Just for the most part.
Super Reviewer
May 21, 2009
Brittle than the Brick (which again, I didn't find *that* great). One of the most disappointing con flicks I've come across. Suspension of disbelief would be a stupid excuse to overlook its unrealistic, idiotic ending. Mark Ruffalo & (especially) Rinko Kikuchi's performances made this tedious journey relatively bearable.
Super Reviewer
½ June 6, 2010
A delightful comedy, clever and whimsical, boasting great performances by the entire cast and a fun story with many original moments resembling the humor style from films of Wes Anderson and the Coen brothers.
Super Reviewer
May 4, 2010
Quirky, well acted and charming.
deano
Super Reviewer
½ December 19, 2007
Great and touching comedy that has probably the best performance by Rachel Weisz ever and that's a big thing to say considering the fact that she's great in pretty much everything she does.
This movie becomes entangled in the ambitious web of its own creation. Most harmfully director Rain Johnson drops focus on the sparring brothers and their unreal life of lies, setting sail for the more regular climes of romance, double cross, and Euro-tastic locations. Were it not for the stock shifts, we'd be talking an instant cult classic.
In every shot is impeccably framed, it's as if Hal Ashby shot The Sting. I liked Rinko Kikuchi's supernatural character Bang Bang, a sidekick of Blooms, her nickname is because she likes explosives, and she doesn't speak a single line of dialogue. She's kind like the Looney Tunes characters.
Super Reviewer
May 20, 2009
A pleasant and surprising movie that is as entertaining as it is cerebral. It is always hard to tell whether what is happening is a part of the con, real, or a con within con that the characters don't know about. This unpredictability made it more enjoyable for me because I love thinking about this sort of stuff. It helps that the characters are colorful and played strongly by the excellent cast. The movie is breezy and the ending makes me want to go re-watch the movie instantly. The pacing does go back and forth a little bit, and is one of the only things that bothered me, but this is a solid heist caper and one I look forward to revisiting again.
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