Sam and Tommy are brothers. As ne’er-do-well Tommy returns from prison for a drinking offense, Sam is shipping off to the Middle East again. When Sam is apparently killed, Tommy, not by design, moves in on Sam’s wife and kids. Tortured by the enemy, Sam finally returns home a changed man. And that’s when the trouble really starts.
Tobey Maguire’s Sam is an acting tour de force – where is his Oscar nom? He deserved it just as much as Jeremy Renner certainly. This film reveals the creepiness that was always bubbling under his performances and shows it off scarily. Jake Gyllenhaal as Tommy and Natalie Portman as Sam’s wife are so entrenched in their characters the actors are nearly unrecognizable. And when did Mare Winningham go from brat packer to matronly actress?
Brothers also has a phenomenal score by Thomas Newman and a soundtrack that strongly features “Water” by U2. And that’s saying a lot as I am so not a U2 fan. This flick is highly recommended.