Starring: Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman
Story: Brothers tells the powerful story of two siblings, thirty-something Captain Sam Cahill and younger brother Tommy Cahill, who are polar opposites. Shipped out to Afghanistan, Sam is presumed dead when his Black Hawk helicopter is shot down in the mountains. At home in suburbia, the Cahill family suddenly faces a shocking void, and Tommy tries to fill in for his brother by assuming newfound responsibility by taking care of his brother's wife and children. 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 Sam, uncharacteristically withdrawn and volatile, grows suspicious of his brother and his wife.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? And how will the brothers come to terms with issues of love, loyalty, and manhood—and with the woman caught between them? (Lionsgate)
Rated: R for language and some disturbing violent content
Bottom Line: Gyllenhaal nails it, Maguire overacts and Portman cries a lot (and is also not ugly). War movies of late are never big fun-fests and this bleak, heavy-handed, melodramatic one is no exception… It’s an interesting and sometimes gripping glimpse into the aftershock of war – but definitely worth no more than the price of a matinee ticket.
DVD/Blurays available next Tuesday (12/8)
JULIE & JULIA B
PUBLIC ENEMIES C+