Brothers is a movie that thinks of itself as a complex drama when in reality it is a simple story being told in such a pretentious way that it becomes incompetent. I am stunned that people liked this over dramatic, over acted, and horribly directed crap. Everything in the film is either average or below. It honestly feels as though it tried to hard to be bigger then it was1/10
OK, but not great. Most of the movie is fairly slow moving, overly simplistic, and seems to go nowhere. However, it redeems itself with its ending: very moving and profound.Plot is OK, but direction is fairly unimaginative. Performances are OK on the whole. Natalie Portman and Jake Gyllenhaal do well and the little girls shine. However, Tobey Maguire seems miscast - not for the emotional depth he brings (that was spot-on) but as a Marine captain. He just didn't seem right for that role.I was expecting more from this, so a disappointing movie, for me.
This was incredibly well acted and a powerful drama. The movie itself isn't perfect but the performances overshadow a weak screenplay and strange lack of depth (considering the subject matter)It was the character development that genuinely got me invested here along with a stand out turn from Tobey Maguire. Wow. Jake Gyllenhaal also does a good job and while I like Natalie Portman I felt that her character was kind of flat and aloof considering the emotions her she should have been going through. I actually got more from her oldest daughter who brought me to tears.Outstanding sub cast as well in Sam Shepard and Mare Winningham who round out the layers to this dysfunctional family.Tobey Maguire plays Sam Cahill, a marine who is believed to be killed while serving a second tour in Afghanistan. Jake Gyllenhaal is his deadbeat younger brother Tommy who has just been released from prison and becomes an unexpected source of support for Sam's grieving wife Grace.The movie alternates between Grace and Tommy back in the States and Sam who has been captured and is experiencing starvation and unbearable tortures in Afghanistan by the Taliban. He eventually returns home a very changed man, suffering PTSD and convinced his wife and brother have slept together. The confrontation to this matter is powerful stuff, wasn't sure how it was going to play out. Worth watching just for the incredible performance from Toby Maguire. 9/8/15
Brothers is a very well-crafted and supremely acted movie starring a powerhouse cast comprising Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman. Brothers is one of those movies that is thoroughly engaging from first shot to last and is able to exude this constant enchanting aura that gives weighted emotion to every one of its scenes. Its story isn't exactly original, a point that I will return to in a few moments, but is memorable due to the careful and precise direction, the pleasantly intense background score that captures the depth of every scene, and most of all, the acting by the entire cast, especially Tobey Maguire. Tobey Maguire plays his role with absolute and terrifying dedication, for his performance was very intense and heartfelt. He perfectly depicts the ways in which war can and does change the lives of the soldiers it harbours and the extent to which such strains can lead family life astray. And exactly where Tobey was very expressive and full blown, the always reliable Jake Gyllenhaal gives a more subtle performance with equal fervour and impact. Natalie Portman holds her own fort and is able to evict true emotion and feeling in the viewer. The two little girls in the film are surprisingly very good, so much so that they nearly manage to steal some scenes from their elder, more qualified counterparts. Having spoken about the acting, it's time to talk about Jim Sheridan's direction. Sheridan's direction is reserved and confident, and expertly brings to life the events on screen. Each scene is well thought out and shown with the maximum attention to detail. A dinner scene in the third half of the movie is astounding in it's craft, with every little manoeuvre and expression captivatingly unveiled, with the whole act being thoroughly dramatic and power-packed. This really is potent direction that is worthy of much praise. Some people deride the movie citing it as too melodramatic, and still others consider it generic Hollywood fare about how war affects people's lives. I believe this is hypocritical in nature, because this is rather unwarranted. Firstly, about this supposedly being melodramatic, I would like to point out that the movie was very reserved in its depiction of pain and suffering in most parts, while only reaching it's dramatic crescendo in the final ten minutes, which was very much necessary, especially considering how well acted the scenes in question were, and hence dismissing the entire movie as melodrama is unfair. And about it being a very generic tale about war, makes me wonder what this movie could have done differently to have not been 'generic'. Were it to focus more on the War itself, it would have been termed as pointless action with no dramatic heft, and since it does focus on the psychological effects of war, it is considered generic with striking comparisons with the 1978 classic 'The deer hunter'. This nature of belittling a movie released years after another, dealing with a 'similar' concept and theme, which in fact, is very much grounded in its own reality and carves its own character arcs, is once again unfair. Finally, I would like to say that Brothers is very strong, heartfelt entertainment that has been overlooked for some of the reasons stated and rebuttled above. The greatest strength of this movie is the acting it features and is truly an underrated gem.