But some critics feel that 'Brothers' also might help those at home understand what the men and women fighting abroad are going through. See what critics are saying below, then tell us what you think. The reviews are in for director Jim Sheridan's 'Brothers,' and most critics agree it doesn't equal the 2005 Danish 'Brothers' on which it's based. The consensus is that while 'Brothers' boasts an impressive cast, the slicker, more Hollywood-ized version loses something in the translation.
But some critics feel that 'Brothers' also might help those at home understand what the men and women fighting abroad are going through. See what critics are saying below, then tell us what you think.
Roger Ebert: "'Brothers' is a very close remake of a 2005 Danish film by Susanne Bier, which starred as the mother Connie Nielsen, that remarkable Danish actress equally at home in English ('Gladiator,' 'The Ice Harvest'). Same story, same characters, same moral crisis. I cannot fault the Sheridan remake except in a way perhaps only an experienced filmgoer would understand. It is too finished. It is smooth Hollywood craftsmanship, cinematography, editing. The Danish film, loosely associated with the Dogma movement, was rougher, shakier and more improvised: Therefore, more reality, less fiction. You might find it interesting to see the two films together. If it's true that a film is not what it's about but how it's about it, these two will cause you to ask yourself how a film should be about this story."
The Hollywood Reporter: "'Brothers' boasts an impressive cast including Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal as the diametrically opposed siblings, with Natalie Portman as the woman caught between their forceful personalities. The movie looks to draw serious and older audiences, though the casting should attract more than a few young filmgoers. It certainly is heartening to see Lionsgate, with this film and the critically lauded 'Precious,' balance genre fare with artistically adventurous releases."
Variety: "Pic crosscuts more convulsively between home and Afghanistan than Bier's film did; while this is perhaps intended to ratchet up the tension and make Sam's wounds accrue more gradually, it serves only to throw the script's contrivances into high relief. Moreso than in the Danish picture, one senses a God-like (or Guillermo Arriaga-like) hand at work, stretching across continents to move these poor characters into their tortured positions. The stylistic differences between the two films are even more pronounced. Shot with a restless handheld camera, Bier's 'Brothers' achieved a fleet, Dogma-inflected realism that tempered the melodrama; Sheridan's 'Brothers' is an altogether more calculated object, with its meticulous setups, meaningful pauses and young, attractive Hollywood cast."
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New York Magazine: "Who could have guessed that the stars who made their names as nerd heroes Peter Parker and Donnie Darko could be so credibly messed-up and volatile? Maguire isn't big, but his tautness radiates strength. Sam loves his family, but he's driven to be with "his men": Single-mindedness is his goal. When he's captured and thrown in a pit with a private named Joe Willis (Patrick Flueger), he coldly orders the man to forget his family -- to forget everything but his name and rank -- and the question as he's starved and tortured is whether he's as impregnable as he thinks he is. At times, 'Brothers' is like a less-mythical (and -pretentious) 'The Deer Hunter,' with Maguire even managing to suggest something of Robert De Niro when he was young and thin and wired -- when you could see his every cell react."
Entertainment Weekly: "'Brothers' isn't badly acted, but as directed by the increasingly impersonal Jim Sheridan ('In America'), it's lumbering and heavy-handed, a film that piles on overwrought dramatic twists until it begins to creak under the weight of its presumed significance.
Associated Press: In the end, 'Brothers' hopes that healing can happen through confession and understanding. Ultimately, it's the need for the home front to know the pain of its sons and daughters fighting abroad. It's a worthy lesson, and the aspiration of 'Brothers' is noble. But it can't preserve the intimacy of the original film, and the loosened characters slide into cliche.
|Heck yes!||75 (61.5%)|
|Not really||24 (19.7%)|
|I could go either way||23 (18.9%)|