Action / Drama / Thriller / War


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May 15, 2012 at 07:59 PM



Natalie Portman as Grace Cahill
Bailee Madison as Isabelle Cahill
Jake Gyllenhaal as Tommy Cahill
Carey Mulligan as Cassie Willis
700.45 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 45 min
P/S 8 / 54

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bobt145 9 / 10

Guilt and Forgiveness

Two brothers, one returning from prison, one heading as a Marine to Afghanistan.

This film is apparently a remake of a Danish film that had the same story line.

But it didn't have Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal! Maguire reaches into the darkest corners of his soul to flesh out the good brother, the Marine, who returns from Afghanistan with a staggering burden of guilt.

Gyllenhaal is amazing, transforming an angry, unsure ex-con into a believable figure of redemption, slowly growing before our eyes as the story unfolds.

Natalie Portman is excellent and look for Carey Mulligan's four minutes of screen time.

This is not an anti-war film except in the sense that any film that shows war either glorifies it unrealistically or jars us into questioning, if it is realistic. The scenes in Afghanistan seem authentic. The tortures are not so so graphic as some of the other reviews imply. They will cause you to wince, but its good film making, not microscopic detail.

I want to search out Susanne Bier's 2005 film "Broedre"--it can't lessen the impact of this one, however.

Reviewed by gilko 10 / 10

Finally an adult film with good script, cast and direction

I was not looking forward to this film (another anti-military anti-war film) but this is none of that! It is a wonderful story of people and their relationships and emotions. The story is beautifully told and the cast is uniformly wonderful although it seemed at first the brothers might better have switched parts but as the plot unfolds the casting is perfect. The plot: In a family of a retired Marine Sgt (Sam Shepard) there are two sons (Toby Maguire) an active duty Captain and a Ex con wastrel (Jake Guillenhaal) who gets out of prison as his brother is about to return to the war in Afghanistan. When his brother is lost in Afghanistan the brother slowing steps up to support the wife and two girls. When Maguire Is found alive months later the dynamic of the family is greatly changed as the whole family works out the complications of their lives. This is one of the best pictures of the year, dramatic, involving, with good dialog and scene; and the actors and director play them to the hilt.

Reviewed by ericjams 7 / 10

Powerful movie, great individual performances, a few flaws

The trio of Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Macguire and Natalie Portman got me very excited for this film, and from an acting standpoint, they did not disappoint. The script gives Macguire the most to work with as the family man/Marine, Sam Cahill, whose latest trip to Afghanistan sees him imprisoned by the Taliban and ultimately returned to America with some serious psychological issues. While he is MIA, his wife, Grace, (Portman) and ex-con brother, Tommy, (Gyllenhaal) are told he is dead, and the two grow closer, eventually verging on emotional and physical attachment.

Ultimately, the movie is an emotional ringer. Sam returns to a family that wants to love him, but his walls are up, he's been through a lot and its his brother the fun loving Uncle Tommy who Sam's children want to play with. A quick note, Sheridan the director makes great use of the two daughters as comic breaks in otherwise terribly tense situations. Our theater was laughing at the kids and it felt to me, as though we needed that laughter to balance out the gloom. There are a few climaxes, some extremely tense family dinners and finally a final gripping scene where Sam is pushed to the brink, he distrusts his wife, assumes his brother is sleeping with her, and no longer can see the humor in his elementary aged children, can he hold on?

Its a touching film and a sad film, but it probably could have been a bit better. The script and title of the film suggest a big tension or interplay between the brothers. I found the brother relationship lacking in substance, and I thought the ingredients for some serious tension and emotional pain were in place but were never put to use. Sam Shepard does well as the Vietnam Vet father, but all he really does is establish his love for his son, the Marine, and his disdain for his son, the ex-con. There was so much more that he could have done, his role seems intentionally diminished. Portman is great as usual, but arguably miscast, as she doesn't belong cast into a film where she is not supposed to think. She's a thinking woman's actress and here she is left observing, we know she knows, but her character must play it clueless.

I cried, and wanted the story to continue, as there seems to be a bit left to this story when the film fades away. Both signs that the movie was enjoyable and touching. The growth of Gyllenhaal as the ex-con who is on the rise, adjusting to life on the outside and acting as a surrogate father in the absence of Macguire is nicely juxtaposed with Macguire's devolution into post-traumatic stress ridden torment. Watch the Oscar nods roll in, but I think, if anything, the movie may win individual awards, as the product as a whole falls quite a bit short of award winning status.

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