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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Emotionally-Affecting - one of the truest depictions of family dynamics and love I have ever seen...
This film is utterly breathtaking.

I was initially attracted to this film because of the cast - a group of genuinely excellent actors (Not just a bunch of big name actors. Though, admittedly, they are big names) and let me tell you I was not disappointed in the slightest. I was particularly impressed with Tobey Maguire, who really captured all the heartache and...
Published on 5 July 2012 by Amazon Customer

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Leaves you feeling that the best is yet to come
Overall I enjoyed the film. The acting from all three leads was solid throughout, sometimes moving into outstanding, the script was decent and believable, etc. There was, however, something lacking, and I felt like it never quite managed to address, let alone resolve, its emotional core.

The film centres on the love triangle between an army wife, her absent...
Published on 16 Jan. 2011 by A. Waters


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Emotionally-Affecting - one of the truest depictions of family dynamics and love I have ever seen..., 5 July 2012
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This review is from: Brothers [DVD] (DVD)
This film is utterly breathtaking.

I was initially attracted to this film because of the cast - a group of genuinely excellent actors (Not just a bunch of big name actors. Though, admittedly, they are big names) and let me tell you I was not disappointed in the slightest. I was particularly impressed with Tobey Maguire, who really captured all the heartache and confusion one could imagine such a character would be feeling. Natalie Portman and Jake Gylenhaal were also excellent, as ever. The biggest, and best, surprise in the cast was actually one of the youngest. Bailee Madison (the daughter of Maguire's and Portman's characters) was such a star in this movie - her emotional conflict and heartbreak at watching the mental disintegration of her once beloved father is what made me well-up countless times throughout the movie(she has a real talent for making the audience feel what she is feeling). I predict big things for this young actor!

The pace of the film is quite slow but this didn't bother me in the slightest because, while the plot and sequence of events are amazing and brilliantly executed, this film is more character-driven than your typical gun-toting war film. Much like Gylenhaal's "Jarhead" (which is another fantastic film, although slightly more manly and actiony).

I was really emotionally-affected by this film and could not recommend it more. Please buy it, because you might just gain a deeper appreciation of the mental and emotional turmoil the family goes through as well as the individual.

8.5/10 rating...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Country Boy, 2 Jun. 2013
By 
prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Brothers [DVD] (DVD)
'At 21,
I was born a son,
And on that day I knew,
I could kill.
To protect the ones,
Who put bullets in guns,
Or anything it takes,
To take a life'
Winter by U2

'Brothers' is a film that brings two brothers, Tobey McGuire and Jake Gyllenhaal, diametric opposites to the fore. Tobey is Sam, the athlete and the military man. Jake is Tommy, the ne'er do well, just out of prison, for what we never really know, Sam is sent to Afghanistan, again as one of his kids says, and is reported as dead. He is actually taken prisoner and undergoes traumatizing experiences as a prisoner of war. Meanwhile at home, Grace as played by Natalie Portman moves on. She grieves, she has loved Sam since they were sixteen. She has two children to care for, and let me say at this point that they are the hit of the film. The emotions that they relate are magnificent and bring us to tears. Tommy while dealing with his demons tries to help Grace and the family. There is an attraction between Grace and Tommy, and then Sam comes home, damaged more mentally than physically,

This is a film about the tragedies of war, What war does to the soul and to the lives of the soldiers. However, it feels half-finished. There are a lot of undercurrents and the real emotions are never examined. The dysfunction of the family is hinted at, what happens to the soldiers who come home so damaged? This film could have been so much more. The performances are powerful and Tobey McGuire should be recognized.

Recommended prisrob 06-02-13
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There are two sides to every family., 24 April 2014
This review is from: Brothers [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Before leaving on his second tour in Afghanistan, Marine Captain Sam Cahill, a leader, an athlete, a good husband and father, welcomes his screw-up brother Tommy home from prison. He'd robbed a bank. In country, Sam's helicopter is shot down and all are presumed dead. Back home, while Sam wastes away as a prisoner in a remote encampment, Tommy tries to take care of the widow and her two children. While imprisoned, Sam experiences horrors unbearable, so when he's rescued and returns home, he's silent, detached, without affect, and he's convinced his wife and brother have slept together. Demons of war possess him; what will silence them?

The trio Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Macguire and Natalie Portman have great chemistry together and good performances to all 3 actors, the supporting cast is good as well, This film is powerful, gripping,sad and touching. The film moves at a slow pace but keeps you watching throughout, the film is about what happens to soldiers when they go to war and to see them comeback damaged so badly that they are trying to battle there own demons and try to get back to a normal life.

Overall a powerful and gripping film, a must see! Enjoy
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4.0 out of 5 stars A War and It's Effects, 14 July 2012
By 
Stargazer (St.Kilda, Victoria Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Brothers [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Marine Captain Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire) is due to leave his close knit family to begin a second tour of Afghanistan. Just before he leaves, his brother Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal) is released after completing a sentence in prison.
Their father Hank (Sam Shepherd) is a Vietnam vet, immensely proud of Sam's commitment to his country. He's a cantankerous man, who takes pleasure in belittling Tommy whenever he can - which seems to be the theme for all the family get togethers. Sam and Tommy's mother Elsie (beautifully played by Mare Winningham) and Sam's wife Grace (Natalie Portman) seem helpless to stop these verbally abusive attacks of father to second son. Finally, Tommy snaps and and he reminds his father of his brutal treatment of their mother when the boys were growing up.
When Sam's helicopter is shot down in Afghanistan, and it's reported that no-one survived, Grace is told the terrible news which devastates her. Tommy steps in to fill the breach and take care of his brothers wife and two daughters, Isabella and Maggie.

Back in Afghanistan two Marines have survived the crash and are taken as prisoners of the Taliban. Both suffer beatings and torture. The other marine finally breaks and agrees to make a video criticising the American government for invading Afghanistan. Sam however, is resolute and holds out.
Eventually the Taliban come under attack from the Americans and are wiped out. The only survivor is Sam Cahill, a severely traumatised man barely able to speak a word. He is returned home to his over joyed family,parents,wife and two children, and brother - but he is a mere shadow of the person they knew. Unable to sleep, he roams the house during the night, with a loaded hand gun at the ready. His children are terrified of him and seek the refuge of Uncle Tommy. As Sam sees his place in the family being usurped, he begins to believe Grace and Tommy are lovers.
There have been some great movies made about war and its consequences. The Best Years Of Our Lives (1946) William Wyler's compassionate film about the difficulty of men returning home to take their place back into their communities won countless awards including an Oscar for Wyler.

Robert DeNiro has appeared in two films about psychologically damaged men returning home. Director Michael Cimino really hit the mark with the heart rending Deer Hunter. a story about three close fiends from a Pennsylvania steelworks who are called up to go fight in Viet Nam. De Niro plays Michael, the quiet steady leader of the group who after returning home seeks out his two fellow vets who are really struggling. One has had his legs blown off and the other is missing in 'Nam, not wanting to return home as he feels he doesn't fit there any more.
The other De Niro film (also about returnees from Viet Nam) is Jacknife (De Niro) a wild kinda guy, known as a self destructive, hard living drifter. Fifteen years earlier three Marines form a bond and look out for one another. One of the three is killed and the two left find themselves in deep grief rendering their lives back home tortuous,meaningless and directionless. Ed Harris plays the other survivor and Kathy Baker is Harris' sister.

I mention these other films from different eras that all deal with the same post war stress - as examples of how we haven't learned a thing about war and its futility, and how we fail to provide proper care for these soldiers once they return. All of these films show many vets as heavy drinkers, several of them - Brothers and Jacknife - show vets who go on rampages when pushed too far, and the Best Years of our Lives has one man - a former soda jerk - returning to a less than ideal home life, with his show girl wife more interested in her social life than in her husband.

One of the strengths of Brothers is the depth of talent starring in this movie. Sam Shepherd and Mare Winningham standout as support actors, and Tobey Maguire who gives a sterling performance, has some fine characterisations in films behind him (the Good German comes immediately to mind) and Jake Gyllenhaal, (who took a two week break during the making of Brothers due to the death of Heath Ledger) has gone from strength to strength in his career. Natalie Portman is one actor who has earned high praise and respect from her peers and critics alike - although her role as Grace Cahill isn't a great stretch for her. A very good film worth 4 and a half stars - but 4 will have to suffice. Strongly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Leaves you feeling that the best is yet to come, 16 Jan. 2011
By 
A. Waters - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Brothers [DVD] (DVD)
Overall I enjoyed the film. The acting from all three leads was solid throughout, sometimes moving into outstanding, the script was decent and believable, etc. There was, however, something lacking, and I felt like it never quite managed to address, let alone resolve, its emotional core.

The film centres on the love triangle between an army wife, her absent (and later present and suffering from PTSD) husband, and the husband's layabout ex-con brother. In spite of this, at no point do we get any real idea what any of the three actually feel for each other. Arguably, Sam is fairly easy to read, even without clarification - at the beginning of the movie he clearly dotes on both his wife and younger brother, and, aside from the apparent resentment he shows during his breakdown (`do you know what you made me do?!), and his paranoia about their relationship during his absence, both of can (perhaps?) be attributed to his PTSD, there is nothing to indicate that his feelings have changed. What about the other two, though? What we get from them is clear romantic/sexual tension, a heated kiss, and then a brief `I don't want to talk about it'. We never get any insight into whether their feelings are real or manifestations of their shared grief, and, if they are real, whether they are really for the other person, or simply for what that person represents (a real home and family for Tommy, newness and companionship for Grace).

It is particularly jarring in Grace's case, who is arguably the main character of the movie, at least in an emotional sense. At the end of the film, she seems determined to make her marriage work, saying `I've loved you since I was sixteen'. This is obviously meant to demonstrate the depth of her love for her husband, but what it also tells us is that she's probably never had the chance to try to love anyone else. That might mean nothing, or it might mean everything when it comes to her future relationship with her brother-in-law, but we never find out, since that's where the film ends. It's frustrating, to say the least, and leaves you with the feeling that the entire film was really just a set-up for the far more interesting drama to be played out over the following months, as Sam gets to grips with his PTSD and Grace and Tommy have to readjust themselves once again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars This was a remarkable, emotional, and realistic to what really happens., 23 May 2012
This review is from: Brothers [DVD] (DVD)
((( Brothers))) tells the powerful story of two siblings, thirty-something Captain Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire) and younger brother Tommy Cahill (Jake Gyllenhaal). Sam is a steadfast family man and Marine married to his high school sweetheart, Grace (Natalie Portman). Tommy, his charismatic younger brother, is a drifter just out of jail who's 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 and soon he finds himself falling for Grace, only to then find out the shocking news that Sam is still alive...
WHAT CAN I SAY?
Films of this quality don't come along that often. It is so powerful and moving film from start to finish
.Absolutely amazing film.
great acting,
great scenarios and locations.
The plot is very easy to follow and simple to understand.
The acting from Toby Maguire as the soldier, Jake Gyllenhaal as his slacker brother and Natalie Portman as Maguire emotionally torn wife is superb.also Sam Shepard Asthe brothers' father's puts in A in fine performance
I'd also like to point out the tremendous quality of the kids acting in this title. Every step of the way is a gripping and emotional roller-coaster ride ..
it is also so engaging as a story,
which will touch you for some time after you've seen it!...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film., 7 May 2014
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This review is from: Brothers [DVD] (DVD)
Not a new story but, this film was made beautifully. The acting was top class, even the children played their parts very well.
I am sure we will be watching this film a few times, I thought it was that good, excellent value as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great buy, 3 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Brothers [DVD] (DVD)
Bought as a gift and has been watched by all the family. Great movie and very moving storyline. Well worth the watch and great value for money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 15 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Brothers [DVD] (DVD)
An enjoyable film even though the subject matter is quite grim at times. All leads played their parts well. Definitely worth watching.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great!, 11 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Brothers [DVD] (DVD)
good film! A bit sad! but makes you realise a few things that these guys are actually going through and have been through!
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