Brother to Brother - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Brother to Brother Reviews

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October 31, 2015
Fine performances all around. The Harlem Renaissance from 1918 - 1929 and the rebirth of African American culture and intelligence through art, poetry, and the written word were explored through the eyes of racism, homophobia, and age discrimination. Interesting theme in that words and art were used as power back then... not guns and excuses. Would have been 5 stars, but I thought the film was attempting too many subplots that were distracting. #langstonhughes #wallacethurman #zoranealehurston
½ November 27, 2013
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.
November 29, 2012
deep movie that gives you a inside look to another life
½ November 18, 2012
I liked seeing Anthony M in this..so 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.
½ August 12, 2012
Rodney Evans' biopic on Bruce Nugent, intercut with the modern-day struggles of a young black man, doesn't reach the satisfaction that it should. It's main flaw is that Evans merges two fascinating stories into one film, resulting in neither chief protagonists being fully explored or developed, especially since very little is known about Nugent et. al. outside of the United States. On the plus side, 'Brother to Brother' is a well-photographed piece (despite its obvious low budget) and the performances are solid, particularly from Anthony Mackie, Alex Burns and Roger Robinson. A good film - and one to be recommended - but it could've been a masterpiece.
April 10, 2012
interesting movie about a gay mans life and what he goes through in life as a black man.
January 29, 2012
As an Anthony Mackie fan I was curious. This is a wonderful movie and educational too. Disappointed that it didn't receive a much wider distribution. Quite a few actors from the HBO series The Wire in this one!
½ August 28, 2011
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.
July 27, 2011
We are watching this movie @ PIVOT on Fri August 5th
June 10, 2011
a little stereotypical and a little uneven but still, well-written and very educational. sadly, one of those films that could be great with a bit more money but not bad, anyway.
½ June 7, 2011
This movie is interesting, and has a good cast. It's well put together, but has trouble keeping it's audience together at times.
½ November 14, 2010
A interesting modern story interwoven with a fascinating and seldom heard about period of American history. Despite fine performances the twin stories do not gell quite well enough to make the potent points about the lack of progress over the intervening years that I think it wanted to.
March 15, 2010
One of the reasons I like this movie so much was the way Anthony Mackie chose to portray his character, Perry; very honestly and without going over the top like so many straight actors do in gay roles. It's hard to find something about this movie not to compliment, but I really liked Roger Robinson as Bruce, Alex Burns as Jim and Duane Boutte as young Bruce. And despite its much deeper and more significant message there's much eye candy here, too, in Mackie, Burns and the stunningly gorgeous Duane Boutte.
½ February 11, 2010
Can't say I'd recommend it, but it's not half bad. Anthony Mackie was fantastic. Other performances were good too, but they weren't really noteworthy. Might do a full review later
Super Reviewer
½ September 1, 2009
A friend's recommendation reminded me that I saw this stunning documentary-style-film on PBS's Independent Lens.

The literary world of the Harlem Renaissance is more central to this than homosexuality amongst African American men (see Paris is Burning for the best film on that topic). It's admirable unabashed reality and as result, quite depressing at moments with an overall tone of bittersweetness.

I think this is a very important film for young artists, especially writers, to see.
July 7, 2009
Gay love, inter racial and the brotherhood. History and roots. Age and youth.
May 18, 2009
A very interesting depiction of the Harlem Renaiscance. There were distinct messages to a magic time where Black culture would flourish, and it could very well give strong messages to the world today! Very educative too.
March 25, 2009
how brilliant was this film when i first saw it! the cast, including anthony mackie, dainel sunjata, percy boutte and anjonue ellis, is an embarassment of riches. evans' visual style is like jazz for the eyes. i hope he is shooting his follow-up to this very successful feature.
aprilneo
Super Reviewer
February 7, 2009
As an Anthony Mackie fan I was curious. This is a wonderful movie and educational too. Disappointed that it didn't receive a much wider distribution. Quite a few actors from the HBO series The Wire in this one!
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