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Brothers

4.1 out of 5 stars 235 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Brothers tells the powerful story of two siblings; thirty-something captain sam cahill (tobey maguire) and younger brother tommy cahill (jake gyllenhaal); who are polar opposites. A marine about to embark on his fourth tour of duty; sam is a steadfast family man married to his high school sweetheart; the aptly named grace (natalie portman); with whom he has two young daughters. Tommy; his charismatic younger brother; is a drifter just out of jail whos always gotten by on wit and charm. When his black hawk helicopter is shot down in the mountains sam is presumed dead and the cahill family suddenly faces a shocking void. Tommy tries to fill in for his brother by assuming newfound responsibility for himself; grace; and the children. In the grief and strangeness of their new lives; grace and tommy are naturally drawn together. Their longstanding frostiness dissolves; but both are frightened and ashamed of the mutual attraction that has replaced it. But sam is not dead; he and a fellow soldier have been captured by taliban fighters. In afghanistans harsh; remote pamir mountains; sam is subjected to traumas that threaten to rob him of his very humanity. At the same time that sams sense of self is being destroyed overseas; tommys self-image is strengthening at home. When sam unexpectedly returns to the states; a nervous mood settles over the family. Sam; uncharacteristically withdrawn and volatile; grows suspicious of his brother and his wife. Their familiar roles now nearly reversed; sam and tommy end up facing the ultimate physical and mental challenge when they confront each other. In the shifting family dynamics; who will dominate? Directed by six-time oscar nominee jim sheridan (in america; in the name of the father); brothers tells the compelling tale of how two brothers come to terms with issues of love; loyalty; and manhood and with the woman caught between them.

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Screenwriter David Benioff (The 25th Hour) didn't have to do much to relocate Brothers from Denmark to America. The story remains the same: Captain Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire) loves his family, but he's equally devoted to his career. Just as his ne'er-do-well brother, Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal), exits prison, where he did time for robbery, the Marines deploy Sam to Afghanistan. Tommy starts looking in on his wary sister-in-law, Grace (Natalie Portman), but then Sam's helicopter crashes in the mountains, and the military informs Grace that her husband has died. Unbeknownst to the Cahill clan, the Taliban has taken Sam hostage and tortures him to elicit information. Sam resists, but his colleague caves, leading to an unthinkable act. Back in New Mexico, Grace and Tommy grow closer, stopping just short of a full-blown affair (in Susanne Bier's original, they take the plunge). Even Tommy's disapproving Vietnam vet father, Hank (Sam Shepard), sees his son in a new light after Tommy renovates Grace's kitchen. But when Sam is rescued by his company, he returns a broken man and is convinced that his wife has fallen in love with his brother. Even his daughters are afraid of him (Bailee Madison impresses as the eldest). As in Bier's film, Jim Sheridan (In America) elevates redemption and forgiveness over tragedy and loss, and his well-meaning remake gets off to a solid start, but it loses steam by the end. Brothers offers a compelling scenario, but the telling is too overstated to capture the full heartbreak of the situation. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Stills from Brothers (Click for larger image)




Special Features

Remade in the USA: How Brodre became Brothers
Jim Sheridan: Film and Family
Audio commentary by director Jim Sheridan

Product Details

  • Actors: Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman, Patrick Flueger, Sam Shepard
  • Directors: Jim Sheridan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: March 23, 2010
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (235 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001FB55L2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,190 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Brothers" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I am currently deployed in Iraq, first duty and hopefully my last. My significant other came back home from Iraq and totally cam back as a different person. This movie is as real as it gets. Highly recommanded. A truly magificant movie. Oscar winners in my book especially Toby. Left me speechless, he was right on the money.
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By D.G. on February 4, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This ensemble cast delivered the goods and nailed each of their performances.

Tobey and Jake are very believable as brothers and Natalie was the true heart of this story as her beloved husband played by Tobey goes to a very dark place as a result of his experience in the war. All of the cast members were strong and made you really care about what happened to them.

I felt their happiness,pain and sadness.

Jim Sheridan the director is true to his style and storytelling theme about war and its effects on a marriage,family and forgiveness.

There was one scene with he and Natalie that reduced me to tears and that is not an easy thing to do, thus the five star rating which is well earned and deserved!
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By Steven on January 28, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
I loved this movie. It instantly became one of my top 5 ever. Some of the films most intense moments are some of the most intense I've ever seen. Tobey Maguire deserves an oscar for this. Some critics have been saying that this movie is more of a melodrama than the original, but I would greatly disagreee. Great acting from all involved (including the dad) and terrific writing. After I saw it, I couldn't stop thinking about it the rest of the week. Highly recommended.
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Format: DVD
This movie is one of the most powerful I have seen. My husband came back from a 13 month tour in Afghanistan with severe PTSD, and this movie was a very good (but not too graphic) display of what PTSD can do to a person. The actors were perfect, making the heart wrenching story feel real. I recommend this movie with no hesitations. If you watch this, pay attention to the quote at the end. It will stay with you forever.
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Format: DVD
The theatrical trailer for this film left me disinterested. I have a brother. I didn't want to see some movie about a wife cheating with her brother-in-law, particularly with a war hero as the foil for her actions. I didn't want to see a silly thriller with serious themes as the backdrop.

Thankfully, "Brothers" is closer to an indie film than a suspense story. It takes a hard look at family life and the effects of war on a marriage, children, and those who stand on the front lines. When Sam (Tobey Maguire) heads off for another tour in Afghanistan, he leaves behind a beautiful wife (Natalie Portman) and two young daughters, as well as his brother Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal) who's been recently released from prison. The relationships are established clearly, and the acting is superb all around. The story takes a turn when Sam seems to have died in combat. He has, in fact, survived as a prisoner of the Taliban, but his family back home mourns his loss, and slowly begins to put back together the pieces. There are some poignant moments, and the parallels between Sam's war experiences and his father's--in Vietnam--create an interesting dynamic.

The story's tension picks up when Sam is faced with some horrible ethical decisions to survive. It's hard to judge or understand, and for some, his decision will seem unbelievable. For the sake of his family, he makes a hard choice, and I was willing to go with it. When he returns home, though, he is still suffering the psychological trauma of the war, and he begins to suspect his brother and wife of sleeping together. This leads to some suspenseful moments, but the deeper issue is his mental struggle to hang on after his decisions.
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1 Comment 11 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Blu-ray
BROTHERS

STARRING: Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sam Shepard, Bailee Madison, Taylor Geare, Patrick Flueger, Clifton Collins Jr., Ethan Suplee and Mare Winningham

WRITTEN BY: David Benioff; based on the screenplay Bodre by Susanne Bier and Anders Thomas Jensen

DIRECTED BY: Jim Sheridan
Rated: R
Genre: Drama
Release Date: 04 December 2009

I have always wondered if maybe Tobey Maguire had a dark side to him, buried away, deep behind that charming Peter Parker smile. Now that I have seen his disturbing performance in Brothers; I know that he does.

He plays Capt. Sam Hill of the U.S. Marine Corps and he does it miraculously. At first everything seems to be ok with Sam. He has a wonderful wife and two beautiful kids; a strong relationship with his father and he loves and defends his brother. However, all of that is about to change.

We learn early on in the film that he is to be shipped off to Afghanistan. He is proud to be a Marine and is equally proud to go.

Just days before he leaves, his brother Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal) is released from prison. We don't know why, but Sam's wife Grace (Natalie Portman) isn't very fond of him.

Their father Hank (Sam Shepard) agrees with Grace entirely. In his eyes, the two brothers are worlds apart. Sam is the saint and Tommy is the family screw-up. Having been a Marine himself, Hank respects Sam and constantly puts Tommy down for not being more like his brother. There are some very well acted scenes between the three of these Hollywood greats; particularly the first dinner scene when Tommy is released from prison.

It's not a hard sell at all to buy Gyllenhaal and Maguire as brothers.
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