I’m going to go ahead and get this out of way in the first sentence: this movie is not the feel-good movie of winter. Repeat, Brothers is intense, and not the movie you should take your grandmother to go see when she’s in town for the holidays. It’s about as much as a ‘war movie’ as Transformers is, but the emotionally charged script would make it difficult to watch for persons that could identify with the characters. Although supporting actor Jake Gyllenhaal doesn’t think the premise of the story is all that realistic, I still wouldn’t recommend anyone in, or thinking about joining, the Armed Services let their girlfriends, wives, or mothers go anywhere near this film.
Warnings aside, Brothers is well done and worth at least renting in the future. Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire convincingly play rough-neck brothers, but in my mind, the best acting performance of the film is by 10 year old Bailee Madison, who put a 12 year old Miley Cyrus to shame. Maguire still manages to fit several blank stares into the film, and several story-lines seem to abruptly end before they’re resolved. I had the feeling towards the end of the movie that director Jim Sheridan was simply giving as many emotional scenes as possible to his big-name actors in the attempt to glean some awards for their performances.