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Brothers (Blu-ray)

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Product Overview

Captain Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire) is embarking on his fourth tour of duty, leaving behind his beloved wife (Natalie Portman) and two daughters. When Sam's Blackhawk helicopter is shot down in the mountains of Afghanistan, the worst is presumed, leaving an enormous void in the family. Despite a dark history, Sam's charismatic younger brother Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal) steps in to fill the family void.


Studio Lions Gate
SKU 213928910
UPC 031398119289
UPC 14 00031398119289
Format Blu-Ray DVD
Release Date 9/18/2012
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  2.40:1
Golden Globe (2010) Tobey Maguire, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama,U2, Nominee, Best Original Song - Motion Picture
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review Brothers is arguably the most successful remake of a foreign film since Martin Scorsese reworked Infernal Affairs into The Departed and won the Oscar. By remaining rigorously faithful to Susanne Bier's 2004 Danish feature, Brodre, screenwriter David Benioff and director Jim Sheridan manage to retain the themes and psychological nuances of the original while opening it up to a wider English-speaking audience. Subtle differences in the way the actors interpret the characters and small omissions, additions, and changes allow Brothers to stand on its own. This is a powerful, disturbing film that explores common cinematic territory - the ability of war to destroy the individual - without seeming clich?d or familiar...Brothers has no political axe to grind and, unlike many films that have used the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as a backdrop, it has no agenda to pursue beyond the basic one of depicting the dehumanizing consequences of conflict (any conflict, not just today's). The film is antiwar in a general sense, not because it disagrees with the underlying reasons for the war but because it sees a human toll that often goes unreported and unnoticed. News reports would see Sam's story as miraculous - a brave hero originally thought dead being recovered and returned to the bosom of his loving wife and daughters. The reality is grim. Sam's psyche has been shredded; nowhere is this more profoundly obvious than when he finds himself unable to reconnect with Isabelle and Maggie and haunted by a belief that Grace and Tommy are having an affair. He is a broken, dangerous man - the kind of person who has been shaped into a weapon but no longer has a clear focus...The reason Brothers works as well as it does is because it takes the time to introduce the characters and never loses sight that the story is about their changes and how those alterations impact their relationships with others. The movie's message emerges naturally through the narrative - it is not represented by a tacked-on homily or awkward speech. Sheridan does not say war is evil, but he makes it clear that the dead aren't the only casualties of conflicts. Just because a soldier is back on the ground in the United States does not mean he or she is "safe." When Sam pleads with his commanding officer to return to Afghanistan following his "resurrection," his reasons are clear - the only connection he retains is to the ugliness half-a-world away. He seeks expiation, perhaps through death, and it's something he cannot find in the pleasantly domestic setting represented by his wife, children, and brother. This is a rich, thoughtful, challenging motion picture, and one of 2009's best.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 9
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review Brothers is the new film by Jim Sheridan, a director who has a sure hand with stories about families (In America In the Name of the Father, The Boxer). This one is about a family twisted from its natural form when the father leaves for service in Afghanistan just after his brother comes home from prison. The good brother goes into harm's way while the bad brother is shielded by his own misbehavior...The brothers are played by two leading young actors I hadn't thought of as plausible brothers before, but I do now. Tobey Maguire is Capt. Sam Cahill, very warmly married to Grace (Natalie Portman), father of Isabelle and Maggie. Jake Gyllenhaal is his brother, Tommy, out after a term for armed robbery. Their father, Hank Cahill (Sam Shepard), makes little secret of his pride in Sam and his contempt for Tommy...But Tommy in his own way is trying to avoid more trouble. Word arrives that Sam has died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Portman handles this blow, and the whole movie, in a touchingly mature way; it redoubles her love for her daughters. Tommy, awkwardly, almost fearfully, tries to help her out with jobs around the house that Sam would have done. She doesn't want this help, but over a time she softens. She knows all about Tommy's history, but she married into it; she didn't grow up with it...It's not a spoiler to observe that Sam didn't die in the crash, because from the very first Brothers shows him alive in Afghanistan. The film cuts between life at home and the cruel tortures of the Taliban. The prisoner scenes are handled with a ruthless realism, showing Sam placed in the grip of a moral and emotional paradox that makes it, I would say, necessary that he commit acts he will never forgive himself for...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.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 9
Widescreen, English, Subtitled, Spanish, Dolby Digital (5.1)
Product Attributes
Video Format Blu-Ray
David Edelstein, New York Magazine Jim Sheridan's actors work with their intellects fully engaged--and they engage us on levels we barely knew we had.
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune The film is gripping -- an honorable and beautifully acted addition to the tradition of homefront war stories.
Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer A heartbreaking film that speaks to the lifelong aftershocks of war, and to the powerful bonds of family and of love.

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