The Sisters Brothers - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Sisters Brothers Reviews

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November 5, 2018
What attracted me to this film was the prospect of Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly as brothers...particularly as brothers playing essentially guns-for-hire in a Western. I suspected it would have a flavoring of Coen Brothers (it does...in its quirky characters, unexpected dialogue flights-of-fancy and its casual violence). It's also got a bit of Larry McMurtry (yes, it's a Western...but it works really hard to take you down unpredictable paths and sometimes, bad things happen randomly to good people).

The Sisters work for a mysterious crime lord "The Commodore" in 1850's Oregon. They do the dirtiest of his dirty work. They are sent to track down someone who has "stolen" from the Commodore (Riz Ahmed) and are to meet up with another gentleman (Jake Gylenhaal) who is already on Ahmed's trail. We see Gylenhaal meet and become sort-of friends with Ahmed, and the two men lead the Sisters Brothers on a wild chase into Gold Rush country. Adventures are had on the way, and the final third or so of this lengthy movie takes turns that are so unexpected, I won't even hint at them here...except to say that these moments are touching and frustrating and show the film at its most "McMurtry-esque."

So, the plot is nicely complex without being too much. The events that occur are dramatic and well-done. The film peppered with small, interesting performances. And Ahmed and especially Gylenhaal do very nice work here. Jake is quite effective. But the film belongs, as I had hoped, to its two stars.

Phoenix has been giving some interesting performances lately, including this film and the underseen HE WON'T GET FAR ON FOOT. He has aged perfectly into playing these reckless, fatalistic characters...world weary, driven to reckless action by a desire to DO instead of THINK (or reflect). His Sisters is the one eager for the fight, but also the more cunning brother. It takes a LONG time to warm up to this guy.

Reilly is the real reason to see this film. I think back about 20-23 years, when he was in great, generous, bursting-with-goofy life supporting performances in films like BOOGIE NIGHTS, MAGNOLIA, CHICAGO and even the woeful THE PERFECT STORM. A great, likeable lug. Yet, in films like MAGNOLIA, even when surrounded by massive star power...he became the one we rooted for. The one we related to. His less than movie star visage, couple with an emotional openness just made him so much fun to watch. Then his career evolved into broad comedies (so many with Will Farrell) that made him so popular (TALLADEGA NIGHTS is the prime example). But even then (see WALK HARD, please), there was a humanity and a sense of being grounded in reality that he couldn't shake off. But seeing THE SISTERS BROTHERS took me back to his early days, when his simple, authentic, open style made him so effective. I was thrilled to enjoy him in such a role again...and it's extra great because he is really a co-star and not a supporting actor here. He and Phoenix play off each other particularly well, and I strongly encourage fans of quirky but flawless performances (with strong stomachs) spend a couple of hours with this unforgettable pair.
November 4, 2018
A very dull, yet competent western.
½ November 4, 2018
Equal parts comedy, drama, love story and horror story, the saga simply refuses to be easily lassoed.
November 2, 2018
It felt like it just should have been better. And the ending? Milquetoast.
November 2, 2018
First movie with no climax, ever. Wanted to leave during movie, but so painful to watch I had to complete it. Had potential but failed to meet the mark.
November 2, 2018
Random spiral of killing and animal abuse. Goes nowhere, except to see how many meaningless killings can be done in a two hour movie. Don't waste your time or $$.
November 1, 2018
Starts out as a typical Western, changes your perspective and loyalties back and forth during the unfolding drama. Interesting!
October 31, 2018
Well acted, beautifully shot waste of skill and effort.
October 31, 2018
'The Sisters Brothers' is a marvelous western period drama that paints a portrait of a tumultuous time in American history with a rather unique brush. Its fabulous cast brings their characters to life with some truly masterful performances (including a career high for John C. Reilly), and it´┐ 1/2 1/2(TM)s only made better by its witty dialogue and beautiful cinematography.
½ October 30, 2018
Loved this movie. The Cinematography, the score, Phoenix and Reiley's onscreen relationship is fantastic.
½ October 30, 2018
The acting was excellent all around. Almost a 4* for me.
October 29, 2018
It just wasn't entertaining. The cast was great, it was well acted, and the aesthetics nailed the era as far as I can tell, but the movie was just boring and didn't capture either me or my friend who went and saw it with me.
October 29, 2018
Confusing plot, left not knowing what exactly the point of the movie was. Have never been into cowboy movies.
October 29, 2018
Sisters Brothers had a lot of character development and action. You fall in love with particular characters and want to see them do well. You root them on in victory and are horrified by their defeat. I won't say more and spoil it, but wow, that ending.
Super Reviewer
½ October 29, 2018
The film takes a while to find a focus and tell us what it wants to do with its seemingly flat characters, but then becomes a more interesting story about civilization versus barbarity in a world filled with dirt, diseases and death, even though the ending is somehow underwhelming.
½ October 28, 2018
I can see why Joaquin Phoenix will make a great Joker. You may struggle to see Riz Ahmed beyond Bodhi Rook of "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," though, especially if you are a "Star Wars" fan.
October 28, 2018
Hooks and bad bro haircuts.

Ok the sequel is going to be called The Brothers Sisters. Just joking. This is a good complex story. In lesser Westerns only the other guys die in gunfights. In The Sisters Brothers this is unfortunately true too. But the hooks of a nasty life with assorted mechanisms guaranteeing mortality allow the storyline to leave room for empathy with the surviving characters.Remember this is Hollywood, so watch out for a burning horse, bad bro haircuts, a spider walking into an open mouth, an amputation, glowing gold, and chemical burns along the way. Detailed characters are illustrated by the cast. Not Hostiles, but good. The storyline may be too synthetic for the average movie watcher who will be looking as usual for more wasted ammo. Giddy-up!
½ October 26, 2018
I guess I missed the comedy part. A reasonable western actioner where the main characters are the 'bad guys' not real likable at the start and about the same at the end. Does it add something to Westerns that you couldn't find elsewhere perhaps. Definitely more like The Unforgiven in tone than Maverick - with a few good scenes from John C Reilly and Jake Gyllenhaal.
October 26, 2018
This film was TEDIOUS and tiring and boring. Don't go.
October 25, 2018
Like a river in high flow this movie drags you around steals your breath and when you least expect it gives you hope, only to smash you against a rock and pull you back under. I will say this movie consistently subverts expectations, but without doing a "reversal" or using some sort of trick but instead by having each twist and turn be naturalistic and character driven. The acting in this film is insanely good and although I have in the past found Joaquin Phoenix's approach to acting ham-handed and overbearing I found his performance here (much like in Inherent Vice) to be so engrossing that I forgot I was watching the actor at all and only saw Charlie Sisters in front of me. Also what a great ending. Go see it.
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