Brothers - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Brothers Reviews

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½ October 2, 2016
Great acting. Hard story to watch.
½ August 12, 2016
Brothers, an American remake of the 2004 Danish film, is a mostly effective look at how war affects individuals and families, despite an occasionally heavy dose of melodrama. The film seems to struggle at first, with heavily contrasting tones between the Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire) wartime plot and the Tommy Cahill (Jake Gyllenhaal) family plot, but as the film progresses and characters are developed, it slowly but surely finds its footing in telling this story. And when the film delivers, it really delivers: writer David Benioff crafts several really strong dialogue stand-off scenes, notably early scenes between Tommy and his father (Sam Shepard) and a tense dinner/kitchen scene in the third act (brough down by just one awkward line of dialogue). Of course, it's also the cast who help propel these scenes, and Brothers has quite an ensemble. Jake Gyllenhaal is predictably solid and ever so charming, but it's Tobey Maguire that truly steals the show. Maguire goes to a darker side of his acting range that hasn't been shown all that much, and it's absolutely impactful, especially as things culminate in the third act. The performances from the two child actresses, who play the Cahill daughters, are also spectacular.

Aside from the wobbly start and melodramatic elements, Brothers is a solid film overall, and one worth checking out if only for the performances from Maguire and Gyllenhaal.
August 9, 2016
There have been an endless amount of war-inspired films over the past decade, but not many can say they depict the emotion and intensity of post-war struggles like Brothers achieves. Sheridan's film tells the story of Captain Sam Cahill (Maguire) , who once presumed dead from his tour in Afghanistan, returns home suspecting his brother (Gyllenhaal) has become far too comfortable with his wife, portrayed by the excellent Natalie Portman. That's not to say this type of story hasn't been attempted before, especially seeing as it's based on the Danish motion picture Brødre, but the likes of Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Natalie Portman provide sublime performances and really help to establish the roots of emotion within its disheartening narrative.

For a movie so appropriately named Brothers, it is absolutely vital for the film to clearly show a clear relationship between the two characters, and Sheridan does an excellent job in creating a pair that really feel like they have good chemistry. It's clear to see that Gyllenhaal's and Maguire's characters care for one another, despite the different paths that they have taken in their lives. Maguire's Captain Sam Cahill is a respected United States marine, a man that is appreciated by many. Gyllenhaal's Tommy Cahill is a complete contrast, he's a convicted felon and a devoted drunk, who is seen as a disgrace to the Cahill family name; but despite these differences, Sheridan shows how the brothers truly do love each other. However, as the film dramatically progresses, the pair undergo a drastic transition; with each brother slowly becoming the other. This sense of character development is intriguing to witness, with Sam slowly declining to a madness fuelled by jealousy and paranoia, and with Tommy slowly inclining into the shoes that his brother once wore.

Natalie Portman's portrayal of a wife struggling to keep her family united from her husband's inability to cope and Tommy's eagerness to redeem himself was both upsetting and staggering to watch, which can only be seen as a compliment to her performance in this role. Her heart-wrenching scene with Gyllenhaal when she informs him of her husband's supposed death was a clear indication of her ability as an actress, with her character breaking down to the devastating news.

The finale scene was without a doubt the pinnacle of the film's emotional narrative. The progression of Sam's downward-spiral into mental instability comes to a violent and dramatic climax, and Tobey's magnificent portrayal of this shocking scene remains one of the most underrated pieces of acting I've witnessed. He wholly captures the intensity of the situation from his ability to bring to life a completely damaged character reaching his tipping point, a behaviour that has progressively been building since his return from his disappearance. We can't help but sympathise for Sam and Grace in that heartbreaking moment, with Grace coming to the harsh realisation that her family is unravelling before her eyes.

I do have an issue, however, with the dialogue at times. At certain moments it seems a little forced, as if Sheridan was trying to cram in a lot of backstory within a rather short 105-minute movie. I also feel that Sam's initial disappearance could have been handled a little better, too. It seemed shoe-horned in and almost out of nowhere, which was a little jarring to watch. I feel it happened way too early on, and would have preferred to see an extra 15-20 minutes focusing on his close relationship to his family. Not only would this have been beneficial to the timing of the narrative, it would also add even more emotional and intensity around his disappearance; and in turn, his reunion with his family. For such a moving film, his well-anticipated reunion with his family seemed nothing short of anti-climatic, which was a shame seeing as the majority of the film was executed very well.

Brothers, as a whole, does an excellent job in presenting the magnitude of pre-war fears and post-war struggles. The movie has become one of the best accidental finds, and is undoubtedly a truly underrated addition to the war genre.

VERDICT: Brilliant!
July 2, 2016
This is a good movie not great but don't let that take away your interest in watching it.

This movie is definitely worth your time just for the two main actors in this there performances are fantastic but the story is very predictable and it does have pacing issues but there's enough in here just keep you interested in the movie. The movie does start out slow but by the end it will have you on the edge of your seat all thanks to the performances by the actors in this movie but overall this is a good movie but could have been great if the story was a little less predictable. 3/5
June 29, 2016
Brothers is lead by great performances by Portman, Gyllenhaal, and especially Maguire, but the plot and pacing ultimately keep this film less interesting than it could've been.
April 20, 2016
This film represents an issue that seems widespread in film and television. Siblings are always pinned against each other. It is this dichotomization that suggests a gaping hole in the family structure, one that expects its members to fulfill certain roles to the detriment of a healthy development. It is only once Sam disappears that their father warms to Tommy. It is clear from the film that Tommy would continue to feel the sting of ostracization if his brother had not disappeared and forced his family to re-adopt him into their fold.
April 14, 2016
The acting from Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman, and Jake Gyllenhaal are fantastic, but the cliche plot destroys it.
½ March 28, 2016
This movie belongs in the garbage.
½ March 27, 2016
it based on the Danish Motion Picture "Brødre" (Brothers) which adapted
to the screenplay to English languages. it tell about the powerful story showing to Captain Sam Cahill and younger brother Tommy Cahill, who are polar opposites. When his Black Hawk helicopter is shot down in the mountains Sam is presumed dead and the Cahill family suddenly faces a shocking void. A young man comforts his older brother's wife and children after he goes missing in Afghanistan.
showing the with different aspect of war after the fighting has war end. show the mental health which some the solider
February 28, 2016
An American remake of Susanne Bier's outstanding 2004 Danish film (Brødre), Brothers is a gratefully complex and insightful art-house drama. Showcasing but not over analyzing, Brothers explores ingrained tense family dynamics and a flourishing but painful love triangle.

Solid citizen, devoted family man and career solder, Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire) is about to embark on his latest mission to Afghanistan. His diametrically opposed brother; the black sheep recently released from jail, Tommy Cahill (Jake Gyllenhaal), is seemingly determined to become a career criminal.

A permanent thorn in his ex-military fathers Hank (Sam Shepherd's) side, Tommy is nothing short of unwanted at a combined welcome home and farewell family meal. Unable to celebrate in harmony, Tommy is jibed relentlessly his vitriolic father "try mimicking your brother for a change?" "You're brother's a hero ... what do you do?"

Promising to return home to his loving childhood sweetheart wife, Grace (Natalie Portman), Sam encourages Tommy to pursue a better life. Inadvertently perpetuating Tommy's behavior, his relationships with both his father and Grace deteriorate further.

When news arrives that Sam is missing-in-action and presumed dead, however, Grace and Tommy mourn his loss by forming an unlikely friendship. Tommy finding a psychological liberation begins to redeem himself. Finding purpose and direction by rebuilding Grace's collapsing kitchen, and taking on a role as protector and male fixture in her children's Maggie and Isabelle (Taylor Geare and Bailee Madison) life.

Drawn ever closer to Grace, a more than a platonic friendship develops. However, when Sam turns up alive and is mentally damaged from the tortures endured during his extended PoW capture, he registers the sexual tension between Grace and Tommy. Sam's posttraumatic stress and paranoia lead a complete break down, descending the situation into raw emotional chaos.

Although the overly saturated and hyper current topic may deter some viewers, there is an edge this film has over its war movie rivals. Crafted and infused with realism, agonizing moral dilemmas and family resentment, it resonates past the battlefield.

Taking liberties and editing some of the tension and grunt of its original source material, David Benioff's screenplay is a little too slick and clean obviously attempting to make it more palatable but sadly letting the film down.

Unclear of its demographic, it is paced slowly for the mature viewer but angled towards the younger demographic by its casting and the ever present feeling of Hollywood's war propaganda machine.

The extremely strong performances are what make this film enjoyable. Gyllenhaal is vulnerable yet commanding as Tommy, Portman is correctly balanced, emotional without being hysterical, and Shepherd is brittle yet dignified. Both child actors Geare and Madison were simply sensational and gave the film its needed heart.

Maguire's deliberately stiff and twitchy Sam sadly suffers greatly from Benioff's editing. With little time initially to adequately endear audiences, his performance as a fractured character is lackluster. Sam/Maguire's tormented crescendo is dreadfully anticlimactic in comparison to some of the powerful and poignant scenes delivered by Portman and Gyllenhaal.

The Verdict: The idea that "There are two sides to every family" is clearly defined. Two brothers. Two personalities. Two lives. Two hearts. Two minds is what resonates when reviewing this film; was it enjoyable or just watchable?

Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 26/03/2010
February 6, 2016
I think it deserves to be called another performance "gem" for Natalie Portman, Toby Maguire, and Jake Gyllenhall. It felt longer than it should due to some throwaway scenes. However, the portrayal of the family tension (especially between the father and his sons), the brutality of a wartime hostage situation and the dealings with PTSD felt authentic.
½ February 4, 2016
Seen it Virginia, good flick for sure. You'll like it.
January 1, 2016
Tobey Maguire is excellent, and both Portman and Gyllenhaal were good as well. Despite an unremarkable and rather slow pace, the film is pleasantly powerful. I did have issues with is unsatisfactory ending, as it does not actually tie in the entire plot.
December 12, 2015
Brothers has a few interesting elements and good acting from its stars, but ultimately it is a dry, somber and cliche film about the horrors of war and the impact on family.
December 12, 2015
Brothers é um tipo raro de filme; com um alto grau de realidade, nunca se conforma com pouco é um filme sobre momentos, não de eventos. O roteiro de David Benioff apresenta a dor familiar de forma artisticamente brutal. O Diretor Jim Sheridan cria uma mina que emana grandes interpretações e nunca cai para um melodrama. Tobey Maguire interpreta o capitão Sam Cahill, um soldado com uma esposa amorosa chamada Grace ( Natalie Portman ) e duas filhas lindas (Bailee Madison e Taylor Geare). Antes de partir para sua última temporada no Afeganistão, ele pega seu irmão Tommy ( Jake Gyllenhaal ) na prisão, onde ele recentemente passou algum tempo por assalto à mão armada. Tommy não tem interesse real em desmentir-se como ovelha negra da família, um soldado e capelão do exército chegam até Grace com a notícia de que seu marido morreu a serviço de seu país. Tommy inicia um romance com Grace e tudo começa a ficar dramatico quando na verdade Sam esta vivo. Você pode até mesmo ser capaz de prever o que acontece, mas eu duvido que você seria capaz de adivinhar como, e você certamente não seria capaz de prever a execução desses momentos. Maguire tem uma atuação majestosa, digna de Óscar e é auxiliado por Sam Shepard, Clifton Collins, Jr., Mare Winningham e Taylor Geare. Brothers é sutil e silencioso, e inesperado. Lidar com a dor é universal, e isso raramente é feito com bom gosto ou como verdade, pode não ter ganhado o Oscar mas ganhou meu coração.
November 7, 2015
At the heart of its compelling, yet predictable story, the impactful performances from the lead actors succeed in making Brothers and powerful and effective drama. In the end the truth will set you free!
September 22, 2015
Only Gyllenhaal's portrait make us live in the movie else, we are completely lost.
September 6, 2015
It's a melodrama with a twist. The added element of PTSD make this movie more than a boring, average melodrama. What also elevates this movie are its FANTASTIC performances from Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman, and especially Tobey Maguire. This movie surprised me in many ways, especially in its final act where Maguire proves he is a truly underrated actor. It's no masterpiece, but it's worth watching for the performances alone. 8/10
August 13, 2015
As much as I love Gyllenhaal and Maguire, this movie lacks a realistic plot, lacks quality acting, and tortures us for the sake of nothing.
There were some solid messages here and there about family and post war mentality, but not good enough to cover the flaws in this movie.
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