Sunday, April 11, 2010


Summary: Marine Captain Sam Cahill (Tobey McGuire) is a loving father of two girls and a devoted husband to Grace Cahill (Natalie Portman). He possesses all the noble qualities of man in the Marine Corp. and is the shining star of the family. However, since he is an active solider he must go back to the war in Afghanistan. Days before departing he picks up his underachiever younger brother Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal) from prison and brings him back home. We soon find that he has a strenuous relationship with his father and isn’t liked by Grace. When Sam is off at war his helicopter crashes leaving everyone to presume he is dead. As a result, Tommy becomes a responsible man by taking care of his brother’s devastated family. Both Tommy and Grace find comfort and support within each other as a way to cope with Sam’s death. As this is going on, we see that Capt. Cahill is actually alive and is now POW along with a subordinate Marine. Months of torture tore down their psyches and cause Sam to commit an unspeakable act. Soon after Sam is rescued and taken home but he is now a changed man. He can’t seem to get over what happened. Sam quickly descends into fits of irrational madness and rage questioning his wife’s loyalty.

Plot (B+): Brothers is a remake of the 2004 Danish film Brodre and although I didn’t see the original I hear it was very good as well. From the trailers I was expecting something a little bit different but was pleasantly and disturbingly surprised due to the major twist in the story. This story can touch the hearts of anyone because you see what it’s like when you lose a loved one. The absolute devastation it causes an entire family is extremely emotional and at times hard to watch. Luckily, we don’t see every bit of pain Natalie Portman’s character endures, which allows a good break for viewers. This film is very good and definitely one of the best ten films of 2009 according to major movie critics as well as me.

Action: N/A

Acting & Dialogue (A-): Each of the three main characters are good examples of quality acting. Above all, Natalie Portman performance stands out the most because we witness her world come crashing down instantly. When she is not overrun with tears and grief her face radiates beauty. When Portman is at her weakest we see the level of her focus and deep talent. Tobey McGuire’s character transformation was definitely worthy of his 2010 Golden Globe nomination. Before he left, McGuire’s Cahill was sweet, loving, and affectionate. When he returned, McGuire exuded a disconnection from his entire family and bordered on being mentally ill. At times McGuire’s character seemed level headed and was okay with the fact that Tommy and Grace’s despair brought them closer. Other times he couldn’t handle his guilt and would violently lash out. Jake Gyllenhaal played his role as the degenerate younger brother effortlessly. The constant tension between him and their father was very believable and can be felt by the viewers. Gyllenhaal brought a strong sense of balance to the film. While the other two actors displayed high levels of trauma he provided a balance that was needed in the story.

Sex Appeal (7): No, there are not any nude or sex scenes in the film. However, Natalie Portman is so damn beautiful that it’s worth giving praise.

Director (B+): When researched Jim Sheridan’s name I was surprised to find a small resume that consisted of highly reputable films. Sheridan only has seven films under his belt. Three of the first four films starred Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown (1989), In The Name of the Father (1993), and The Boxer (1997). Both of the first two films received Oscar nominations in several categories. However, it was only Daniel Day-Lewis who took home a Best Actor Oscar for his STUNNING performance as cerebral palsy painter/writer Christy Brown in My Left Foot. Sheridan has also directed In America (2002), an under the radar film about an Irish immigrant family adapting to life in New York City. Oddly, Sheirdan’s random black sheep of the list is…wait for this you’ll never believe this shit…Get Rich or Die Tryin’ starring 50 Cent. Hahahaha! What the hell happened there buddy? You created some quality films in your day with great actors. What possible made you think that working with a rapper who refers to himself as an American currency was a going to work out in your favor? But hey, shit happens. You get a pass on that especially after directing Brothers as the follow up.

Overall: B+


  1. I totally agree with you! Hard to watch at times due to the raw & rough emotions but definitely a quality film.

  2. I really want to see this. Am a big Jim Sheridan fan. In America is in my top five favorite films and the DVD I watch most frequently. I've got In the Name of the Father from Netflix ATM and I remember really likeing Bloody Sunday.

  3. In America was a great film. In the Name of the Father is also great but a heartache to watch at certain points because what his character endures. I remember the trailer for this movie when I used to watch the VHS copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a kid. It always interested me since a young age.