Brothers (2009 film)
Promotional film poster
|Directed by||Jim Sheridan|
|Produced by||Michael DeLuca
|Screenplay by||David Benioff|
by Susanne Bier
and Anders Thomas Jensen
Clifton Collins, Jr.
|Music by||Thomas Newman|
|Editing by||Jay Cassidy|
|Studio||Michael De Luca Productions
|Running time||105 minutes|
Brothers is a 2009 American drama/thriller film starring Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman. Directed by Jim Sheridan, the film is based on Susanne Bier's 2004 Danish film Brødre which takes place in Afghanistan and Denmark. Both films take inspiration from Homer's epic poem The Odyssey. Tobey Maguire received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for his performance.
Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire) is a Marine captain about to embark on his fourth tour of duty, He is a steadfast family man married to his high school sweetheart, Grace Cahill (Natalie Portman), and he has two young daughters, Isabelle and Maggie (Bailee Madison, Taylor Grace Geare). His brother Tommy Cahill (Jake Gyllenhaal) is being released from jail for an armed robbery, before Sam departs for Afghanistan in October, 2007.
Soon news comes that Sam's helicopter has crashed over the water, killing all of the Marines aboard. In reality, he and a hometown friend, Private Joe Willis (Patrick Flueger), have been taken prisoner in a mountain village. With Sam gone, Tommy attempts to redeem himself in the eyes of his family by wrangling old friends to help with kitchen repairs for Grace and the kids. Grace slowly sheds her previous resentment towards her brother-in-law.
As months pass, Grace and Tommy bond over their mutual mourning, culminating in a passionate fireside kiss. They regret it afterward, and do not take this attraction any further, though Tommy continues to win the favor of his nieces. Meanwhile, Sam and Joe are abused and tortured by their captors, forced to make videotaped dismissals of the military and their mission, though only Joe cracks. The captors eventually deem him useless and force Sam, at gunpoint, to beat Joe to death with a lead pipe. He does so and reacts angrily. Sometime later, Sam is rescued.
Once Sam returns home. He drifts through encounters in a cold, paranoid daze, refuses to explain to his family what happened while he was in Afghanistan, and lies to Joe's widow that he does not know how Joe died. He also believes Tommy and Grace had a sexual relationship in his absence. During Maggie's birthday party, a resentful and jealous Isabelle claims that Sam's paranoid assumptions are true: that Tommy and Grace slept together. Sam becomes enraged, destroying the newly remodeled kitchen with a crow bar and pulling a pistol on Tommy who arrives and tries to calm his brother's violent breakdown. The police arrive, and after a frantic confrontation in which Sam holds the gun up against his head and nearly commits suicide. Then Sam surrenders.
Sam is admitted to a mental hospital. Grace visits him and tells him that if he does not tell her what is tormenting him, he will lose her forever. Faced with this decision, Sam finally opens up about the source of his pain, confiding in her that he killed Joe and they embrace. A letter between husband and wife is read in voice over, with Sam wondering if he will be able to continue living a normal life.
- Tobey Maguire as Capt. Sam Cahill
- Jake Gyllenhaal as Tommy Cahill
- Natalie Portman as Grace Cahill
- Mare Winningham as Elsie Cahill
- Bailee Madison as Isabelle Cahill
- Sam Shepard as Hank Cahill
- Clifton Collins, Jr. as Maj. Cavazos
- Taylor Geare as Maggie Cahill
- Patrick Flueger as Pvt. Joe Willis
- Carey Mulligan as Cassie Willis
- Jenny Wade as Tina
- Omid Abtahi as Yusuf
- Ethan Suplee as Sweeney
- Ray Prewitt as Owen
- Navid Negahban as Murad
Box office 
Critical response 
The film received mixed reviews from film critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 61% of 148 critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 6.2 out of 10. The site's consensus is that "It plays more like a traditional melodrama than the Susanne Bier film that inspired it, but Jim Sheridan's Brothers benefits from rock-solid performances by its three leads." On Metacritic the film has a rating of 58 out of 100 based on 30 reviews. Maguire in particular received critical acclaim for his dramatic performance. Roger Ebert said that Brothers is "Tobey Maguire's film to dominate, and I've never seen these dark depths in him before." Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun Times, named the film as the Best Film of 2009.
Brothers received two Golden Globe nominations: Tobey Maguire was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor and the U2 song "Winter" was nominated for Best Original Song in a Motion Picture. Of the nomination, Tobey Maguire said "I had no expectation about getting a nomination, but I was watching nonetheless. My wife and my son got really excited. I was sort of surprised — I was like, 'Oh, wow.' And I couldn't hear the latter part of my name." The Edge of U2 described how the band planned to celebrate the nomination. "I think we might have a pint of Guinness and eat a potato in honor of (director) Jim (Sheridan) and his great piece of work." Bailee Madison was nominated for a BFCA Critics' Choice Award for Best Young Actress, and was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor. Jim Sheridan won an Irish Film and Television Award for Best Director for Film. Natalie Portman was nominated for a Chicago Film Critics Association Awards for Best Supporting Actress and was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Actress. Tobey Maguire was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Actor. The film was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film. Maguire, Gyllenhaal and Portman were nominated for the Vits Awards for "Best Performance", which Maguire won.
Home media 
Brothers was released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 23, 2010.
- "Brothers (2009) Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2011-07-05.
- All Things Considered (2009-11-29). "Director Jim Sheridan On 'Brothers'". NPR. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- "Weekend Box Office Results for December 4–6, 2009". Box Office Mojo. 2009-12-14. Retrieved 2010-4-.4
- "Brothers (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved December 25, 2009.
- "Brothers (2009): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved December 25, 2009.
- Roger Ebert. "Brothers". Chicago Sun-Times.
- posted by (2012-01-16). "Idris Elba - Luther - GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS". Goldenglobes.org. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- "Stars react to Golden Globe nominations". Yahoo! News. Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-12-15.[dead link]
- "The BFCA Critics' Choice Award :: 2009". bfca.org. Retrieved 2009.
- Official website
- Brothers at the Internet Movie Database
- Brothers at AllRovi
- Brothers at Rotten Tomatoes
- Brothers at Metacritic
- Brothers at Box Office Mojo