Brothers is a pondering drama about families, the messes we make and the consequences of our actions. The story is told through the eyes of of the younger of two brothers – the black sheep of the family, who an alcoholic father drove to a life of petty crime. The older brother is the apple of his fathers eye. He joined the marines, got married and had a family.
The story beings on a day when the older brother, Sam gets the news that he is being shipped back to Afghanistan and his younger brother Tommy is getting released from jail.
Tommy quickly slips back into his old habits, and Sam quickly realises that he enjoys life in country with his Marines more that he does life Stateside. Before anyone can dwell on this revelation however, his helicopter is hit and goes down with the loss of everyone on board.
On discovering that his older brother has died in combat Tommy sobers up and steps up to the plate, looking after his sister in law and her two girls, forming a strong bond.
Now we head into spoiler country, but if you’ve seen the trailer for the film, you’ll already know the next part of the story.
With Tommy acting responsibly, he becomes emotionally attached to his brothers family, to the extent that when news filters back that Sam has been found alive, things start to get interesting.
For the most part Brothers had been an understated drama that would have been easily forgettable, but the story and screen ignites when Sam arrives back home and it soon becomes clear that he’s not the same person who went away.
It’s the latter half of the film that makes it a worthwhile watch, though without the build up of the first half, the explosive revelations in the second act would be meaningless.
Brothers may be a hard film to get into, but it’s anti war message is one that isn’t wrapped in simple cliches, but shows many aspects of the brutality of modern warfare.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read
Release date: September 8th, 2010
Stars: Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman, Clifton Collins Jr
Length (Minutes): 105
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Supported Audio: Dolby Digital Surround 2.0
Director: Sheridan, Jim
Studio: Roadshow Entertainment