Mesmerizing is perhaps the strongest word I can use to describe "Brothers" and my experience viewing it. The film is actually quite subtle and done in a very realistic manner as it focuses on relationships and family values instead of say, 'being an anti-war film' as so many people have claimed. Needless to say, its storytelling at a nice and tense pace and earns a lot of the praise it has garnered thus far.
Of course, this film is going to be a pretty slow burner and that is something that some of you should know. It starts off at a rather slow pace for a solid third of the film before it starts to really take off into some serious issue territory. The pacing does tend to be a tad hit or miss and is perhaps my only true complaint about this film. Otherwise, this film is off to the 'whose a better actor' races!
When I say that there is good acting in this film, its kind of an understatement. From Natalie Portman's usual solid affair (sans the dreaded "Star Wars" films), to Maguire's surprising dark streaks, to Gyllenhaal's tough love, to Sam Shepard's take no shit attitude, and even to the little girls' brilliant work - this has Oscar tattooed across every scene. And it is the work of these fine actors that truly make this film work. Cause really, the story is simple enough for it to be a cheesy Lifetime special, but these guys sell it like its fucking legit and they carry this film the majority of the time.
In all reality, with actors like these and a director that knows when to not overdue it, and a script that works on a fairly simple and subtle level, it's hard not to like this film. "Brothers" does what a lot of dramas tend to force and that's relationship strength. One of the best drama's I have seen I quite some time. Worth every penny to see it.
Written By Matt Reifschneider