182: Brothers

Brothers (R) - 2009 - Runtime: 104 minutes
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaall, Natalie Portman
Director: Jim Sheridan

I had been wanting to see this movie when I first saw that provocative trailer. It sounded like such a good story - brother against brother and the lady between them. Throw in some crazy gun-toting creepiness from Tobey Maguire and what seemed to be some promising, as Maggie would put it, "boning" between two very hot actors and that's a saucy recipe for movie greatness. Alas, this movie is not what was advertised and I was somewhat disappointed as to where it went.

Tobey Maguire plays Captain Sam Cahill, who is forced back to Afghanistan. His brother, Tommy (Gyllenhaal) is just released from jail and is a bitter disappointment to his father. After being shot down, Sam is taking as a POW and forced to do some horrific things. Tommy and Sam's wife, Grace bond over the supposed loss of Sam and things get more and more complicated as Sam comes back from the dead. I don't want to spoil anything for people who want to see the movie, but the film focused more on Sam's struggles than the relationship developing back home. It's somewhat jarring as the trailer is totally deceptive to this fact. It's not a bad movie, I just wish they could have "gone there," but the movie is just a tame (despite the R-rating) tale of the demons that haunt veterans.

It's hard to delve into the problems of the movie without giving away too much about the plot, but I would have been more satisfied in the end if they had revealed Sam's capture and his subsequent imprisonment as a flashback near the end. I think that revelation would have been, well, quite revelatory. It's too bad - I enjoyed the performances and the premise, I just think it was hit and miss with this one. I would rent it if you're on the fence - it's not a long movie and it went by fairly quick, which is always a plus in my book.

Rating: Rent It!

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