Brother to Brother (2004) - Rotten Tomatoes

Brother to Brother (2004)



Critic Consensus: Led by two fine lead performances, Brother to Brother is a moving and thought-provoking dramatization of the Harlem Renaissance.

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Movie Info

This feature length narrative film follows the emotional and psychological journey of a young, black, gay artist as he discovers the hidden legacies of the gay and lesbian subcultures within the Harlem Renaissance.

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Duane Boutté
as Young Bruce Nugent
Bradley Cole
as MacAllister
Ray Ford
as Wally
Roger Robinson
as Bruce Nugent
Michael Mosley
as White Man #1 on subway platform
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Critic Reviews for Brother to Brother

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (18)

Takes on a plethora of phobias. Homophobia, racial prejudice and age discrimination are among its targets, and it hits them squarely and fairly.

Full Review… | April 21, 2005
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

An uneven but provocative drama.

February 18, 2005
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

A very good drama about the difficulties of being young, black, and gay. With a bigger budget and a sharper focus, it might have been a great one.

Full Review… | February 4, 2005
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Works far better as an idea than its execution.

Full Review… | January 27, 2005
Washington Post
Top Critic

Ambitious but clumsy, it's a movie to appreciate rather than to be engaged by.

Full Review… | December 9, 2004
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

There are a couple of self-conscious moments, to be sure, and some anachronisms, but on the whole, Brother to Brother is a graceful work of range and depth.

Full Review… | December 3, 2004
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Brother to Brother


A very good drama about the difficulties of being young, black, and gay. With a bigger budget and a sharper focus, it might have been a great one.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

I liked seeing Anthony M in cute! And it was an informative movie about gays at one time in Harlem and Anthony Mackie's character was very interesting. Worth watching at least once.

Jennifer Torres
Jennifer Torres

Wasn't sure if I would like this movie given the subject matter, but I did. It's both a tale of a gay young man's life experience and the life of the writers of the "Fire" magazine that was published during the Harlem Renaissance. The latter was an unexpected surprise and offers an insightful look into that period. The look into the the "Fire" magazine writer's lives is the part that is most interesting and draws your attention. Unfortunately, the story of the lead character, Perry, was not developed well. You never really understood where his thoughts were during a scenes that pertained to his life. It was explained one way or another in a following scene, so you understood after the fact, but you could never get into the moment when the scene happened. This makes the movie story feel disjointed although at the end it made sense. The other half of Perry's story involved the meeting of the old Bruce Nugent one of the writers from the "Fire" magazine. This part of the story is the part that makes the movie interesting and ties in the other part of the movie regarding the writers of the "Fire" magazine. The greatest aspects of this movie is the actors. There were a lot of great performances in this movie, but the stand outs were: Roger Robinson who played older Bruce, Duane Boutte who played younger Bruce, Aunjanue Ellis who played Zora, and Ray Ford who played Wally. Honorable mentions are: Alex Burns as Jim, Leith Burke who didn't say much but gave striking looks into the camera as Aaron, Daniel Sunjata as Langston Hughes, Anthony Mackie who played Perry and he was a good fit for the role, but as mentioned before the story of Perry wasn't developed well, so some of Anthony's acting didn't make sense until it was explained later on. The other great aspect of this movie was the look and feel of the Harlem Renaissance scenes. The prop crew did a nice job and the filming was on point as well. I would classify this movie as a fictional documentary. It was entertaining overall, but it borders sometimes on being a documentary...which for me is the best way to see a documentary. Ultimately, the producers of the movie want to give you an insight of life from the view of a young black gay man and his interactions with society, particularly the unique struggles that are associated with being black and gay. There are four preachy scenes, but they are short and bareable. Overall a good movie and one you will want to see by yourself, or with your best conversational friend, or book club group. Not for children due to nudity, and a graphic scene.

Ronald Turner
Ronald Turner

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