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Brothers at War

4.4 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Brothers at War is an intimate portrait of an American family during a turbulent time. Jake Rademacher 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 everythingincluding his lifeto tell his brothers' story. Often humorous, but sometimes downright lethal, Brothers at War is a remarkable journey where Jake embeds with four combat units in Iraq. Unprecedented access to U.S. and Iraqi combat units take him behind the camouflage curtain with secret reconnaissance troops on the Syrian border, into sniper "Hide Sites" in the Sunni Triangle, through raging machine gun battles with the Iraqi Army. Ultimately, the film follows his brothers home where separations and life-threatening work ripple through their parents, siblings, wives and children. Brothers at War provides a rare look at the bonds and service of our soldiers on the frontlines and the profound effects their service has on the loved ones they leave behind. (Samuel Goldwyn Films)

Amazon.com

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: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002WZ5H5Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,284 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Brothers at War" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'll diverge from the mostly stellar reviews of this film to observe that, while the effort is valiant and well-intentioned, the film mostly goes everywhere and no-where in particular. It's all over the place, fails to make a compelling point, and is slow moving enough to be in the category of somniferous--assuredly not where a documentary film-maker wants to be. Rademacher peruses answers from U.S. soldiers to questions such as why they fight, why they are in Iraq, what conditions on the ground are like, and, most importantly, what the war's impact has been on their families. Unfortunately, most of the answers he documents regarding why they fight lack depth or any sort of wider insight (e.g., "for the right of that fat guy at the mall" to stuff his face with unhealthy food, or "when I figure it out, I'll let you know") that might have helped to more successfully pull viewers into the film. These opinions, in addition to those from our soldiers regarding conditions on the ground in that theater, have been extensively and forcefully covered in many other documentaries (e.g., "Restrepo," "Combat Diary: The Marines of Lima Company," and others). Docs such as "Iraq For Sale" have covered the larger political and financial motives driving war in Iraq and Afghanistan. And even Hollywood has repeatedly covered the perspective of the "average soldier" in that theater in excellent films such as "Jarhead" and "Hurt Locker." Rademacher spends an unmerciful amount of time on the mundane, to include airsickness from a flight, urinating while in a moving armored personnel carrier, body odor in 120 degree temperatures, and the like. Most folks back at the home-front are already aware that a deployment into combat can be long periods of the boring and mundane perforated by brief moments of terror.Read more ›
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