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Brothers at War

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

An intimate portrait of modern heroism and the importance of family during turbulent times, Brothers at War tells the story of Jake Rademacher as he sets out to understand the experience, sacrifice, and motivation of his two brothers serving in Iraq. The film follows Jake's exploits as he risks everything - including his life - to tell his brothers' story and document the courage and integrity of the American soldier.

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The remarkable documentary Brothers at War begins with a simple premise: Jake Rademacher wants to understand the experience of his younger brothers Isaac and Joe, both serving in the American military in Iraq. What unfolds proves amazingly complex, fusing a troubled family history (another Rademacher brother died at home), wrenching interviews with wives and girlfriends left behind, and a startlingly unfiltered portrait of on-the-ground soldiers in the middle of a combat zone. Because the filmmaker is already part of these people's lives, he's able to capture a kind of emotional nakedness you don't often see; when Joe's girlfriend talks about how Joe's military service has changed him, a window opens into her life that's almost uncomfortably intimate. Because of his relationship to one of their comrades, the soldiers in Iraq accept Jake in a completely different way than they'd respond to a typical journalist. They don't present a manicured image; Jake films them talking about why they're there, how they treat girls, shooting people (one soldier describes nearly shooting a child who was carrying a toy gun), and watching The O.C. Driven by sibling rivalry, Jake even puts himself in harm's way by going out on combat missions. Brothers at War doesn't have an ideology. Soldiers in the field defend each other out of personal solidarity, not abstract ideas; the same impulse drives this movie forward. It's unlike any other war documentary and can't be recommended strongly enough. --Bret Fetzer


Product Details

  • Actors: Jake Rademacher
  • Directors: Jake Rademacher
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Summit Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002WZ5H5Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,033 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Brothers at War" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Dids on December 28, 2009
Format: DVD
This movie was simply amazing...a must see. I saw Gary Sinise being interviewed on Jimmy Fallen's late night show and learned about his support of this film and then caught the Director being interviewed the next day on the news...seemed like a cool movie so I caught it in the theater. Amazing and insightful portrayal of a family's experience with the war. The great thing about this film is that it is unbiased and real from many soldiers and a soldier's families experience...I think anyone that wants to learn more about what our soldiers are sacrificing and what their families are sacrificing to have our soldiers fight for our country should see this film. It's unlike anything I've seen before and is highly entertaining (although it is a documentary). It covers family and soldier struggles and doesn't take any political angles. Overall, a great film. Definitely a top 3 in my book for documentaries...and I've seen a lot.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Walter J. Hofman on January 31, 2010
Format: DVD
My wife, who kept up the home front as this Career Marine went three more times to Viet Nam (went once before we married), is convinced that this is the best movie made about the home impact of war. We forget that, while we soldiers can lose ourself in the arena of combat, family and loved ones have to mix their fears and concerns against living in an environment that most of the time doesn't seem aware that there is a war. This film should be a must see for all Americans and especially for anybody thinking about marrying a career military person. I bought it and it is now in my DVD library.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. HupFons on January 16, 2010
Format: DVD
Oldest brother Jake Rademacher provides a powerful look at the dangers, tensions & lighter moments shared by him and 2 of his younger brothers, Isaac & Joe during the war in Iraq. Jake's gritty film shows both the intense, dangerous times during military operations and some of the lighter moments away from the action and with their loved ones back in the States.

Gary Sinise, the accomplished movie actor (and the male lead in the CSI: New York TV series), saw this documentary at the 2008 GI Film Festival and decided that it was a film that needed to be more widely seen and appreciated. He committed much of his own time and energy into getting BROTHERS AT WAR into movie theaters across the US. Sinise has been on TV talk shows and some of the cable networks promoting the film to provide Americans with a stark look at the impact of war on the families of those serving in harm's way, as well as on the military service members themselves during their tours in Iraq and when back home.

While not spell-binding, there are enough intense incidents in this behind-the-scenes documentary for viewers to understand the tension, shock & angst that soldiers experience on a daily basis during their tours. There is one especially graphic scene of an Iraqi soldier gravely wounded by an IED explosion.

The overall mood of the film is somber. Even the scenes back in Raeford, NC, which is brother Isaac Rademacher's home near Fort Bragg military base, are intense. The brotherly interplay appears light-hearted at first glance, but watching & listening closely to veterans Isaac & Joe Rademacher will reveal underlying deep, withheld traumatic memories & feelings that all combat veterans carry with them for most of their lives.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Adam Grundy on January 5, 2010
Format: DVD
Everyone needs to check out this gritty, unbiased look at the affect war can have on us all. Plus you get to see a great piece about my brother, Jason Grundy, in the video. Check it out!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Herbert Joseph on March 2, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is my first time doing this. I seen this movie here in Killeen,Texas in 2009 after finishing my 2nd tour. This movie hit home for me because it tells my story and my fellow soldiers story like i never seen. I will have everone i know go and support this film and i will show my sister so she will have a complete idea of what we go thru when we are deployed. Jake Rademacher has done the impossible and i thank him
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jan TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 31, 2010
Format: DVD
From the time Jake Rademacher was a young boy, he just knew his calling was to be a soldier. He had his eye keenly focused on entering West Point. For reasons never explained in the film, he was not accepted, shifting his interest to acting. Unexpectedly, it was his younger brothers (CPT Isaac and SGT Joe Rademacher) who accomplished his dreams, becoming the epitome of hard-core, professional soldiers---ready to do, or die, for their country. They were considered heroes, while Jake---well, Jake was 'just' an actor.

It appears some sibling rivalry ensues leaving Jake feeling inferior in the presence of such powerful brothers; brothers who knew Iraq inside out and, had, so far, survived to tell the tale. Jake's mission became one of proving to himself and, his brothers, that he could have enough true-grit to dance in harm's way, while showing the world a different perspective of the effects of war---a personal perspective. He succeeded on ALL counts! I can only hope he made his brothers' proud!

This is not a pro, or anti-war film; it remains neutral. The focus is simply about the day-to-day life of soldiers in Iraq---their missions, what they talk about, deep thoughts and realistic fears. It also moves back and forth between Iraq and the US, showing many of the negative family dynamics that erupt when a loved one is at war, particularly after repeat missions. It explores how it changes the personality---the outlook of life. Often, forever. This is not a blood and guts film; there is only one scene that shows graphic war injuries. This is a psychological journey.

My husband and I sat speechless for this 121 minute film. We were amazed at the access that Jake obtained to join such dangerous missions.
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