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Review: Brothers (2009)

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*Spoilers below, and especially in the trailer*

Brothers is the story of a Marine, Sam Cahill who during his stay in Afghanistan is presumed to be dead when his helicopter is shot down. Across the world, his recently released from prison, screw-up of a brother (Jake Gyllenhaal) slowly begins to provide support to his sister-in-law (Natalie Portman) and her two kids. End Act 1.The second act is where everything just goes crazy. Over in Afghanistan, Sam (who is alive, but being held captive), under threat of death is forced to kill his friend and fellow Marine. He is eventually rescued, and brought back home, but mentally unstable. Convinced that his wife and brother have slept together, he isn’t quite the same person. Sounds good right? So I thought. Then I see that Tobey Maguire is cast as Same Cahill. Suddenly, my expectations for the film drop about 50%. Then something crazy happened while watching. Tobey Maguire was perfect for the role!

Obviously, you can tell I’m not joining any Maguire fan clubs any time soon. However, if you are like me, give Brothers a chance. He does an excellent job at playing the distant, combustible, paranoid soldier. The entire movie leads up to one of the most nerve-wrecking showdown’s I can remember seeing in the recent months. When I think about it, maybe that is why Brothers works so well; they never go quite the same direction you think they will. For instance, in Afghanistan, you think “no way he kills his friend”. In America: “Of course they’ll sleep together”. Final climax: “HE’S GONNA SHOT HIMSELF! CRAP! HE’S GONNA SHOOT HIS BROTHER!”. Without a “twist ending” per se, Brothers is unpredictable.

My Rating: A-


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