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The Brothers McMullen (1995)

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Three Irish Catholic brothers from Long Island struggle to deal with love, marriage, and infidelity.



4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Catharine Bolz ...
Mrs. McMullen
Molly McMullen
Barry / Finbar McMullen
Peter Johansen ...
Patrick McMullen (as Mike McGlone)
Elizabeth McKay ...
Jack McMullen


This angst-filled tale of three Irish-Catholic brothers explores men's relationships with women. Three different situations are set up on parallel plotlines, with each brother facing a different kind of crisis. Their common bond as family, as well as close lifelong friends, allows them to express their feelings frankly and intimately, as they talk and discuss their concerns among each other. Jack finds himself in a marriage gone stale and under pressure to start a family that he does not yet feel ready for. Barry, dedicated to his film career and almost pathologically averse to any type of commitment in a relationship, is suddenly artistically successful and finds true love, both for the first time and both pulling him in opposite directions. Patrick is torn between his love for his religion and ethnic heritage and his love for Susan, his longtime Jewish girlfriend. Ultimately, they are all asked to resist temptation of one sort or another, with various poignant outcomes. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Sometimes the Best Friends Are the Ones You've Known Your Whole Life. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

9 August 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brødrene McMullen  »

Box Office


$25,000 (estimated)


$10,246,600 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


First part of actor/director Edward Burns' unofficial "Long Island" trilogy which continued with She's the One and concluded with No Looking Back. See more »


At the end of the movie, the two main characters are on the sidewalk talking, and a New York trash can jumps back and forth all around them between shots. See more »


Jack McMullen: I am a progressively modern, politically correct housewife.
See more »


Referenced in Nash Bridges: The Brothers McMillan (1996) See more »


Weep Not For The Memories
Written and Performed by Seamus Egan
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User Reviews

In praise of dialogue
3 January 2002 | by (England) – See all my reviews

'The Brothers McMullen', written, directed by and starring Edward Burns (on an extremely low-budget), invites us into the cosy relationship between three Irish-American brothers and their own relationships with God and members of the opposite sex. It is a conventional wisdom that a good story needs a beginning, a middle and an end, yet 'The Brothers McMullen' seems to be all middle - and engagingly so. Burns gives us a glimpse into the lives of these three brothers as they struggle to find their way through personal emotional turning points and re-evaluate their belief systems. The film is dominated by perceptive, sensitive and realistic dialogue throughout. The dilemmas of these three brothers are instantly recognisable to anyone in their twenties or thirties, their inner conflicts easy to identify with. This film is beautifully acted, and particularly likeable is Mike McGlone as the youngest brother who desperately tries to hold on to what he believes is his genuine Catholic conviction whilst searching for 'true love'. Burns' script is witty, warm, honest and wonderfully unpretentious. Burns himself turns in a great performance of the ever-maligned man who is 'afraid of commitment', yet somehow manages to remain intensely appealing and prevents his character from appearing to be a cliché. A rare gem among contemporary movies - one which is fuelled by words and not actions. Refreshing.

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