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Brother

60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Danila (Sergei Bodrov, Jr.) returns from army service to a St. Petersburg transformed into a casual culture high on music and consumerism. The chaotic atmosphere, carefully depicted by Balabanov's moody camerawork, easily invites the smug, belligerent Danila into a world of crime. Soon the youth is accompanying his brother Viktor, contract killer for the Russian underworld, on violent escapades where wads of cash and a well-gripped gun are the ultimate symbols of power. Bodrov's cynical, brutal performance, reminiscent of tough-guy roles from countless Hollywood mob movies, further conveys the sense that 1990's St. Petersburg is not a far cry from the blood-strewn Chicago of the late 1920s. And like Bogart and Cagney, Bodrov makes his morally challenged hero strangely likeable.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Sergey Bodrov Jr., Viktor Sukhorukov, Svetlana Pismichenko, Mariya Zhukova, Yuriy Kuznetsov
  • Directors: Aleksey Balabanov
  • Writers: Aleksey Balabanov
  • Producers: Sergey Selyanov
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Russian (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 31, 2007
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KGGIPK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,287 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Brother" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Alexey Semenov on March 7, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
It seems that many have missed the main idea of the movie, it's not really about going around and shooting everybody who is bad. This movie really portray's peoples morals and relations towards each other. How they were and how they changed in a new govermental structure. There is something to think about in this movie and there is a lot to learn. Considering that many univercities use it in sociology classes. This movie might not have hollywood special effects,it does not follow same senceless plot,and it doesn't have fearless Rambo running around like in majority of action movies. But it shows how things are with ordinary people. I woiuld say that this movie has a bite of harsh reality. I would highly recommend this movie. Also i would like to point out that if you saw Brother then you should see second movie Brother 2, which takes place in USA.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Sasha on July 31, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
In Brother (Brat) Sergei Bodrov jr. portrays with great skill a young Russian returning from the war and attempting to re-enter Russian Society. In the end, Danila (Bodrov) ends up as a hitman with an almost noble sense of justice. With the "bad guys" wasted, and the situation under control Danila's next stop is "Maskva" (Moscow). An oustanding movie, we can but wait for the sequal that has just come out in Russian theaters.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Vlad on October 3, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Just a kid . Passing by a first scene of the movie ... at wrong place , at wrong time . And we glad , he did . After few minutes he gets our full attention . We realise , he just cameback from the war . We don't know , which one ... but we do . Russian policeman asked him , what exsecly he did there ... I was in the office ... a clerk ,- he unswers . But we know , he didn't . This film reminded me American movie " Coldblooded ". Very quiet , simple , coldblooded and likebale guy . Honest and lifesmart . We understand , that he crossed his line in other place , and now he just doing his job - surviving himself , and saving his brother and few friends from agony and brutality of " NEW " mother Russia . Very deep and realistic film . Very solid 5 stars . Exellent soundreck too .
PS : As Afghan veteran , I can feel Sergey Bodrov's character ... He is so lost in fake reality of modern Russia ...
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Sutton on September 24, 2005
Format: DVD
Brother was one of those low budget action flicks that succeeded against all odds. The story itself was simple yet surprisingly effective. Danilla is a 23 year old kid just released from Russian military service. After loafing around his home town for a while, he travels to St. Petersburg to hook up with his older brother. But guess what: The brother is a mafia wiseguy, and he puts Dannila to work as a contract hitman. Weren't expecting that, were you?

What I loved about Brother is that Danilla is basically just a kid wants to get drunk, get laid, and listen to his favorite rock band. His responsibilities as a mafia hitman constantly get in the way of having a good time. It was as if he were working at McDonalds, and just wanted to get his shift over with so he could go party. There is something carefree and beautiful about the Danilla character, in spite of the fact that he is a killer and an anti-semite. You can forgive all sorts of character flaws when someone is still young and trying to figure life out. Strictly from the picture on the DVD cover, one might assume that there is a HIGH probabibility that Brother is just another crappy shootem up action/mafia movie. What I saw was an excellent depiction of what its like to be in your early 20s - with performances even non-Russian audiences will appreciate.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 15, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I think that the previous reviews have all missed an important point. Danilla does not posses an "instinctive skill" for violence he is a highly trained professional despite his youth. He is an ex-member of "spetznaz" which is the equiavalent of Russian special forces. This is made clear in the very beginning so I am not spoiling the plot for anyone. But I do have to agree that this is not just an action movie and should not be perceived as such. It's purpose is to also deal with the social issues of a crime ridden society. Which is perhaps the reason why he is young, has a noble sense of justice, and skills of a special service agent so that he can take on the world.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl-Ann Tan on May 8, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
'Brother' isn't the best film about the Chechen war, but it is a good reflection of post-Soviet Russia. Danila, young, geeky-looking but street-smart military clerk is sent home after getting into trouble. He hears from his mother that his elder brother, Viktor in St. Petersburg, is doing well in business. Danila joins him and finds out that Viktor is in fact, a contract-killer. Soon Danila joins him in the trade and is drawn to the underworld... soon killing becomes natural to him... it's a simple plot, but shows the sad reality of post-Soviet Russia...
Sergei Bodrov, the beloved young Russian actor (who sadly passed away in an accident) carries Danila's role out well. The music, mostly by Nautilus Pompilius, brings out the mood in the film.
The sequel, Brother-2, is more entertaining, but much less realistic. There is plenty of nationalism and anti-Americanism there, but still worth to watch.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Hizon on November 25, 2004
Format: DVD
Thematically similar to films like Pulp Fiction and Snatch (although the storytelling is refreshingly simpler), Brother chronicles Danila's (Sergei Bodrov) experiences when he sets forth to the Big City, in this case, St. Petersburg. He hooks up with his brother (Viktor Sukhorukov) who works as a hitman in that city. Interesting things happen when he agrees to take on a job originally contracted for his brother.

And just like the two aforementioned films, Brother explores the seedy/sleazy underbelly of a big city by having Danila interact with various colorful characters.

Told in little vignettes with each scene fading in and out from black, director Alexei Balabanov gives us an involving narrative about the roguish Danila. Although he doesn't hesitate to cap other lowlifes (and a married woman's husband), use drugs, he goes out of his way to help and befriend the defenseless and protect those not involved in one of their contracts. His code of honor makes him some sort of Russian Wise Guy/Robin Hood.

The movie also gives us a glimpse of post-Soviet Russia and how the West and its capitalist values has encroached the former Communist stronghold. That (and the endearing performance of the actors, especially Sergei Budrov) makes the film worth watching, since the plotline is basically a well-trodden path in Hollywood and British gangster cinema.

So if you're waiting for a Hollywood remake, don't. It isn't as groundbreaking as Hong Kong films, but with a liberal dose of grittiness, black humor and a not-your-usual-locale charm, it is still a very entertaining piece of world cinema.
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