• Unrated, 1 hr. 51 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Sally El Hosaini
    In Theaters:
    Mar 22, 2013 Limited
    On DVD:
    Sep 24, 2013
  • Paladin

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My Brother The Devil Reviews

Page 1 of 4
Dan S

Super Reviewer

December 31, 2013
An at times riveting look at a life of crime concerning how an older brother (James Floyd) starts to see his younger brother (Fady Elsayed) drift into the same life of crime he is desperately trying to get out of. A promising initial setup is sadly hampered by average acting and a plot that does not know where it wants to go, before finally settling on trying to be a hard-hitting melodrama. The result is an average, disappointing movie that could have been so much better had it picked a lane and decided to stick with it, with a sexual identity storyline feeling forced and not entirely genuine. It is far from a terrible movie, it does some things pretty well, especially at the beginning of the film, but as said, like its characters the direction feels insecure and amateur when it should be confident and assured.
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

March 15, 2014
There is so, so much going on beneath the surface of what at first appears to be a rather ordinary London based youth/gangster film. Wonderfully shot in Hackney and with at least three standout performances, Sally El Hosaini's debut feature has at it's foundation a strong, well written script layered with explorations of grief, religion/faith, sexuality and morality, and the many contradictions, hypocrisies and realisations therein.
April 11, 2014
beautiful storytelling with its faults but a damn good film.
March 21, 2014
A very strong film with excellent performances adeptly highlights the unexpected beauty of English housing estates as the environment for a story of loss and sadness. M.B.T.D. is equally believable and poetic in its telling tales of luminous people leading often dark lives.
November 12, 2012
Although bearing the hallmarks of a conventional council estate gangland flick, My Brother The Devil is a far more surprising, intelligent experience that lends familiarity and accessibility to challenging themes. Two Hackney brothers of Egyptian descent, Rash (James Floyd) and Mo (Fady Elsayed), live vastly different lives. Rash, successful drug dealer and leader of the DMG (Drugs Money Guns) gang, is determined that his little brother will have a better life and an education - but after years of idolising Rash all Mo wants is to be a part of his sleazy empire. As a gang rivalry becomes increasingly hostile, Rash starts to lose his taste for it and seeks solace in a new relationship that awakens him to a world away from the streets. But during his absence Mo falls deeper into gangland and both young men must individually find their way in the world.

Much of this film's strength comes from how well-observed the characters and performances are. These aren't some cringeworthy BBC Three Hackney yoots - their mannerisms and dialect are as authentic as anything you'd see on Mare Street. Many of the cliches and ticks of the genre are present, but it's executed with an honesty and artfulness that elevate it above its contemporaries. This is frequently where 'urban' dramas fall down and lose any semblance of authenticity. By treating its stars as rounded human beings and not just stylised cutouts the film retains a real emotive pull as the brothers' lives become increasingly complex. Every performance is near flawless, with Fady Elsayed as the younger of the pair being the remarkable standout. Tasked with communicating the range of adolescent angst and euphoria, the youngster is so natural the spell of realism is never broken.

Its only real downfall is a structure and pace that loses momentum in a winding middle section featuring Rash caught between two lives. The story begins to stop and start while splitting off to new tangents and, without a definitive focus, interest levels do wane. Fortunately the world is so well created and visually arresting, and the relationships so enjoyable, it cultivates enough goodwill to keep you on board. Exploring unexpected issues and relationships the twists and turns of My Brother The Devil deserve not to be spoilt by a review, but suffice to say it offers a subversive social commentary and a depth that is concealed by the surface detail - allowing it silently to get under your skin with a genuine emotive power.
Dan S

Super Reviewer

December 31, 2013
An at times riveting look at a life of crime concerning how an older brother (James Floyd) starts to see his younger brother (Fady Elsayed) drift into the same life of crime he is desperately trying to get out of. A promising initial setup is sadly hampered by average acting and a plot that does not know where it wants to go, before finally settling on trying to be a hard-hitting melodrama. The result is an average, disappointing movie that could have been so much better had it picked a lane and decided to stick with it, with a sexual identity storyline feeling forced and not entirely genuine. It is far from a terrible movie, it does some things pretty well, especially at the beginning of the film, but as said, like its characters the direction feels insecure and amateur when it should be confident and assured.
January 11, 2013
Fantastic movie, gives a different perspective towards to the youth of today. Definitely an eye-opener.
March 30, 2013
Gangsta movie gone wrong.
December 20, 2013
Well-shot, and the 2 lead actors are very good. But the story was all over the place, not well-focused, and the movie is too long. The director has potential, though.
March 22, 2013
It's an impressive debut by a director blessed with a strong voice and a knack for bringing a specific cultural milieu to vibrant life, defying convention even while working within its strict limits.
October 6, 2013
erm, had all the finesse of a college project. poorly casted, poor use of language, 2d characters. a cardboard cut out. borderline offensive, get yourself down to seven sisters road/durham road if you want to see the edge of arab london...
September 28, 2013
Brilliant movie. The themes were handled so maturely.
August 18, 2013
My Brother the Devil is a near-perfect independent drama that truly captures the spirit of the underground drug gangs in modern London, the struggles within yourself and the significance of family.
June 7, 2013
sempet kaget juga pas hastag saya di retweed sama si rashid. :)
May 21, 2013
Excellent directorial debut.
April 29, 2013
"My Brother The Devil" is a MUST SEE-in fact, one of the best films I have ever seen. It is playing at Landmark and other independent theaters (including the Kendall Square Cinema in Boston). I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is about two Arab brothers who grow up in the inner city of London, and one of them must grapple with his LGBT identity. Never has a film touched my soul like this one. It was visually stunning, the acting was magnificent and incredibly realistic, resonating with me deeply and reminding me of my own journey of coming of age, self-acceptance, and Arab-Western liminality.
Nizar Ezzeddine
April 9, 2013
So much influenced by American gangster movies. I don't hide I was shock to see this in English young movie nor that I love the idea which is so complicated with tradition and the cultural thoughts. Isn't there any exaggeration in events? I guess that. The story goes steadily to expalin us the circumstances face the two brothers which push them into a series of mistakes. some of them is clear, other not that clear such as the gay story between Rashid and Sayiid which is a result of the begining of conciousness of dangers Rashid involves his brother and himself in, but is that so simple to break a straight guy? I find this a bit weak in constructing in this turning-point leads to truthful reactions in oriental conservative societies which still deniy and forbid this kind of relationships. We see a very frank damned oriental sentence (I'd rather my brother was a terrorist than a homo)! James Floyd does a nice job, other actors are not that stable. On the other hand, we cannot deny that it is good work from amateurs. Nice cinematography is shown here and that makes the movie more relaxing emotionally as we are enjoying London's places not alike a gangster movie. Multi-cultural soundtracks looks suitable for multi-cultural accent and story too. Sally El Hosaini for me as a first feature looks so promising, precisely I like her as a director more that a screenwriter. I don't know why that reminds me with Guy Ritchie. At last there are talents worths compliment here, and a great start.
Ravindra C.
April 2, 2013
Honestly one of the best films ever seen. One of the british movies ever created. Amazing direction and Music. ( music is really good , love those piano pieces). Amazing story, amazing direction. 10/10 movie. Man i wish they changed the name into something simple and one word. This movie rocks
March 31, 2013
Interesting urban drama set within the gangs of a Hackney council estate.
It has many themes running through it, but they all mesh well and the cast gives it an honest edginess. The brother relationship is very well realised.
Bit of a weird vague ending. Neither happy nor sad. Kind of hopeful, but compromised. It's nothing that effects a well acted and directed film though.
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