Brothers - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Brothers Reviews

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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Dave Calhoun
Time Out
January 22, 2010
It takes two-thirds of the film for any scene of real emotional truth or power to emerge - and by then we're lost.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
December 8, 2009
A soap opera ensues with more clichés than one movie can survive.
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David Denby
New Yorker
December 7, 2009
Brothers, the new home-from-the-war film, written by David Benioff and directed by Jim Sheridan, has been made with obvious devotion and sincerity, and I wish I could take it seriously.
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Amy Nicholson
I.E. Weekly
December 5, 2009
When Carey Mulligan (the breakout star of An Education) pops up in a cameo, you realize how rich the film would be with her in the lead.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
December 4, 2009
Sheridan seems as conflicted as the Cahills about their virtues and failings.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Dana Stevens
Slate
December 4, 2009
After watching this movie, I had what you might call Portman Traumautic Stress Disorder, a condition that leaves you twitchy, irritable, and in need of a well-acted light comedy.
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
December 4, 2009
An almost-good movie weakened by its desire to have a major impact, as melodramatic material is heated to boiling over.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
December 4, 2009
Sheridan and Maguire orchestrate things perfectly here, running a line of tension through the film that explodes at the end, just as it should.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
December 4, 2009
Brothers never fully earns the right to exploit Sam's crucible in Afghanistan and the angry anguish it brings about.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 4, 2009
Brothers itself -- a smart, well-meaning project -- never quite pulls itself together.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
December 4, 2009
Natalie Portman deserves an Oscar nomination. Tobey Magure in the performance of his career. This is the best movie I've seen this year.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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James Rocchi
MSN Movies
December 4, 2009
Brothers -- an Americanized re-make of Danish director Susanne Bier's 2004 film "Brødre" -- revolves around the Afghan War but also keeps its distance, a balancing act that winds up looking more wobbly than elegant.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 4, 2009
Sheridan is a consistently agile storyteller, drawing strong performances from even the youngest actors.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
December 4, 2009
Brothers tries to delve into how war can tear families apart, but only succeeds in showing how miscasting and melodrama obscure good intentions.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
December 4, 2009
It's almost as if Sheridan and screenwriter David Benioff were constructing a pile of old bones for a museum installation, with no live connective tissue required.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 4, 2009
In a role without any flamboyant touches, playing what is essentially just a decent, intelligent woman, Portman lends the film dignity, understanding and true radiance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ramin Setoodeh
Newsweek
December 4, 2009
Brothers shows us that even when our troops do come home, their war may be far from over.
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Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
December 4, 2009
Is it a movie you'll enjoy? Not enjoy, so much as appreciate. Or maybe recognize.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Laremy Legel
Film.com
December 4, 2009
A depressing tale of contrived melodrama that fails to make any point at all.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
December 4, 2009
Brothers isn't nearly as unbearable as most of the anti-war pictures of the last five years, but when it comes to members of the armed services, screenwriters continue to lose their ability to think in more than one dimension.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 3, 2009
The film packs a wallop. Too bad about the missteps. It could've been a knockout.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 3, 2009
Brothers has all the right ingredients -- it's made with care, and it works very well. But it rarely finds the raw intensity that the Danish original did; adding a little polish, in this case, took away a bit of the grit.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 3, 2009
Brothers is a heartbreaking film that speaks to the lifelong aftershocks of war, and to the powerful bonds of family and of love.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 3, 2009
Perhaps it's true that, as some analysts say, generals are always re-fighting the last war. But when did directors start doing it, too?
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
December 3, 2009
This is a corny tale, told with both generous helpings of deli-sliced cheese and a brief stretch of chilling tumultuousness.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
December 3, 2009
It's a combustible (though boilerplate) situation that Bier, once Dogme 95-certified, plays to the hilt. For his part, Sheridan treats it with a turgidness that shouldn't be mistaken for restraint.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 3, 2009
Bier's film succeeded on the merits of its actors, and this one offers fine performances by Portman and Gyllenhaal, but Maguire doesn't cut the mustard.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
December 3, 2009
Sheridan shapes the drama so casually that he succeeds in making it feel naturalistically unshaped.
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Calvin Wilson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
December 3, 2009
As a melodrama, Brothers is passable entertainment. But the film squanders the opportunity to meaningfully portray the impact of war on American lives.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
December 3, 2009
It's easy to overlook a drama like Brothers, with its plain-spoken title and stern subject matter. Don't. The film is gripping---an honorable and beautifully acted addition to the tradition of homefront war stories.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 3, 2009
This becomes Tobey Maguire's film to dominate, and I've never seen these dark depths in him before. Actors possess a great gift to surprise us, if they find the right material in their hands.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 2, 2009
Brothers is a collection of strong moments that don't add up to anything. The movie is all build-up.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Jake Coyle
Associated Press
December 2, 2009
The aspiration of Brothers is noble. But it can't preserve the intimacy of the original film, and the loosened characters slide into cliche.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
December 2, 2009
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.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
December 2, 2009
As predicable and cloying as Brothers sometimes is, the cast is fascinating, young actors now possessing the dramatic heft to pull something like this off.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Melissa Anderson
Village Voice
December 2, 2009
[Sheridan] aims for Greek tragedy but ends up with a PTSD melodrama.
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
December 2, 2009
Brothers is a powerful statement on loyalty, love and the cost of war.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 2, 2009
This is a powerful, disturbing film that explores common cinematic territory -- the ability of war to destroy the individual -- without seeming clichéd or familiar.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
November 30, 2009
Sheridan pulls you so deep into Brothers so fast that there isn't time for the alarm bell to go off that says: "Warning! Another Traumatized-Vet Movie!" You never catch Sheridan or Benioff grandstanding, only observing.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
November 23, 2009
A remake of a Danish film has much to admire but never comes together with the impact of the original.
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Justin Chang
Variety
November 23, 2009
Plays like a more polished but less effective twin to the 2005 Danish original.