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The Brothers McMullen
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Brothers McMullen More at IMDbPro »

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Index 35 reviews in total 

6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:


Author: Charlie-111 from New York, NY
5 July 2000

I'd heard great things about this film, especially from my Irish-American relatives. But this film is laughably bad -- even for a low-budget debut. It is utterly predictable, and the screenplay is completely flat. Major transitions in the story occur with no depth or sense of urgency: the opening scene is atrociously rushed, and do we care at all at the ending? Where did the video cover image come from?? There's nothing halfway that energetic in this film. I liked but two things about this movie: the vapid dialogue (with melodramatic subject matter)made me laugh, and there was one genuinely good line -- about sweaters. Otherwise, skip it and enjoy a good glass of Guinness instead.

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7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Repression is not such a bad thing.

Author: Andy (film-critic) from Bookseller of the Blue Ridge
25 September 2004

If there is one independent film that has been praised too much, and for too long, it is this film. This is the story of three brothers as they deal with life and love. Director/Actor Edward Burns really tries hard to bring out a film with some strong family values, but fails miserably. Here is the really funny part. Instead of just letting a dead horse remain in the barn, Burns counters with producing and directing the SAME movie, except this time it is called She's the One. How did this happen?

I know this is a short review, but I didn't want to bother writing down everything I disliked about this film, so I just kept it short and sweet. Overall, I say skip this film. It was pointless and drab and proved that if at first you don't succeed; release another film with a different title with basically the same plot.


Grade: * out of *****

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11 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

What movie did the reviewer watch?

Author: (vhmascitti)
15 November 2003

I wound up watching the movie by accident and it turned out to be an experience much like passing road kill: It's so horrid you can't look away.

And because it was so awful, I thought it might be fun to read a few reviews of it (reading reviews of bad movies is somewhat cathartic; you watch something awful and then let someone else vent about your wasted time....). What I found here was somewhat unbelievable. Somebody actually thought it had some redeeming features. It doesn't.

This film did not just have a surfeit of uninteresting characters who spoke extraordinarily turgid dialogue (one character says to the other "I don't think we should see ONE ANOTHER for awhile...." Nobody, really nobody, ever says ONE ANOTHER except in church.) It was also woodenly acted, nonsensically directed and had a plot so boring I kept switching to Tony Robbins infomercials for excitement. Shoestring budget or not, there's no excuse for inflicting this kind of movie on the paying public. Okay, I didn't actually pay to see it because it was on Bravo, but I paid my cable bill and that should count for something.

Bottom line is that this movie isn't funny, isn't sad, isn't thought provoking and isn't interesting. It is annoying.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

More Catholic Bashing Rubbish

Author: William James Harper from Los Angeles
22 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have no idea why this movie was ever made. It's truly horrible. I mean what was the point? Lapsed Catholics are troubled people? None of the male characters is the least bit interesting or sympathetic. They are all total zeros. Given that the three brothers are absolute jerks, the contrived, blissful happy ending which is completely predictable is not in the least bit warranted in any of the three couples lives. The profanity is on a par with the number of beers consumed. I think I should have had a few before sitting down to this. The wife of the eldest brother who is married is about the only interesting character in the movie. She should apply for sainthood for sticking with a cheating husband. As far as I am concerned this is just more Catholic bashing from that Hollywood can not get enough of. Don't spend a minute watching this dreadful film.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Ed Burns' First Film

Author: SmoothGrooves from United States
17 June 2005

Edward Burns took Sundance by storm with this wonderful debut film centering on three Irish Catholic brothers from Long Island dealing with love, loss and brotherhood. Burns made the film using a $15,000 loan from his father, casting complete unknowns and shooting on weekends over the course of a year. "The Brothers McMullen" helped independent film become what it is today. Written in the tradition of other no-budget classics "El Mariachi" and "Metropolitan", Burns manages to do something that those films couldn't. While Robert Rodriguez had sharp and witty dialogue, it was the bullets and blood that made "El Mariachi" as exciting as it was. While "Metropolitation" kept you on the edge of your seat for the first half an hour, my interest lagged as the film progressed. "The Brothers McMullen", on the other hand, uses a completely dialogue driven script to excite the audience for the complete duration of the picture. If you're looking for cheap laughs and T&A, you might want to look elsewhere. But if you're looking for a heart warming indie classic, I'd definitely suggest "The Brothers McMullen".

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Cute little comedy about real life....well, Irish-Christian life..

Author: Ranguvar_Foeseeker from Ontario Canada
3 November 2001

After seeing Saving Private Ryan(kick-ass movie), I read up on a lot of the actors from this movie. When i saw that Edward Burns had written, produced and directed movies himself, i thought, hey, why not! I never thought movies like this could be so good. It was such an entertaining piece that i had to recommend it to people. I loved how Burns showed the realistics of modern day relationships, how some marriages can overcome problems, and some can't, and how people are afraid of commitment until they are in love. Filled with great dialogue (the banana scene) and good plot, this is a sweet movie for those hopeless romantics, or those who just want a good laugh.

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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:


Author: joseayarza from Torreon, Mexico
5 January 2003

That's it. That's the word that describes it all. "The Brothers McMullen" certainly is not the worst movie I have ever seen, but it's perhaps the dullest one. I don't know, I just have the feeling that the movie just kept focusing on the same and the same and the same, and grew tiresome. It needed some plot twists or new characters at the middle to give it a bit of fresh air, because honestly, the situations it presented were like trivial for me. Much as I wanted, I just didn't care about the characters or situations. However the movie has some high points. For example, the acting is pretty acceptable, especially if we considered that some (if not all) of the cast members were debuting in this film. The direction and camera work were nothing special, but not a disaster, like in other B-movies. Also, one of the good things about "The Brothers McMullen" is that it avoids cliches.

However, this movie was just too light for me. It needed more intensity. Sometimes it seemed like not even the characters cared about the situations presented. "She's the one", Burns' next film, was panned because it wasn't as realistic as this one. That's true, without a doubt, but at least that other film was more entertaining than this one, even if, admittedly, was completely formulaic and contrived. Rating 5/10.

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5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:


Author: soranno from Las Vegas, Nevada
5 November 2002

1994 and 1995 saw a massive proliferation in romantic comedies that, in a mild sense were originally reminiscent of the classic romance comedies of the 1930's, 1940's and early 1950's. However, the similarities ended when an abundance of profanity and sexual dialogue were added to them as well as casts for the MTV generation. "The Brothers McMullen" is a prime example of all of this and not a very good one at all. Weak and contrived. Writer-director-star Edward Burns tries to be another Woody Allen but hasn't quite gotten there yet.

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6 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

One-note, and a boring one at that

Author: Boyo-2
8 February 2002

I don't really ask that much from a movie..just keep my interest, give me a reason to keep watching. I kept watching this but I don't know why. I was waiting for something to happen, something to show me that the TV Guide calling this 'charming' is justified.

Edward Burns must have family that work for TV Guide.

This movie is all the same thing...all just talk, talk, talk, and almost all of it is strikingly the SAME tone. Its like looking at one color for 90 minutes. Every single conversation starts out the same way and the same issues are discussed over and over and over. I was wishing for a drunk friend, a stoner down the street, SOMETHING to give this some life, because you only see the same seven people in the movie. No one seems to have any friends or do anything but examine their feelings. And no new ground in living in the world is ever've heard it all before, and by better actors, too.

This is topped by a faux-Hollywood ending, the main couple kissing in the middle of the street as cabs go by..hey, anything to get the damn thing over with, but it reeks of desparation.


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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Edward Burns is a genius.

Author: Luc-Rock Paquin ( from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
9 January 1999

The Brothers McMullen is a great movie about brothers, relationships and religion.

Edward Burns (writer, producer, actor and director) created a wonderful story about a man struggling to manage a girlfriend, a relationship with his brothers and a career. The movie not only makes you laugh, but also makes you think about men's inability to deal with women.

On top of that, the soundtrack features the great music from Seamus Egan and Canadian megastar Sarah McLachlan.

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