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

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15 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Props to the middle class "black" man

10/10
Author: gwitherspoon from United States
16 May 2005

I agree with the user who said that the low rating of this fine film could be due to the fact that a number of white viewers are unused to the portrayal of black males as normal, upwardly mobile Americans. The black middle class is treated as nonexistent in real life and the focus is on economically and educationally disadvantaged members. That seems to be the image most Americans are comfortable with and find acceptable. There have been black doctors and lawyers for decades now so there is nothing unusual or new about these young men's careers or lifestyles.

Having said that, I'm glad to see black men portrayed in a normal, honest, and introspective light. We've all known young men like this but as females, we weren't privy to their private conversations. It is refreshing to know that they have worries, problems, and as many insecurities as their female counterparts and feel comfortable enough to voice them with each other.

It felt good to hear another "brother" chiding one of his friends for always referring to women as bitches, and pointing out that there was something wrong with HIM, not the women he was attempting to demean. I also liked the fact that Jessie let Brian know that ALL women expect good treatment and respect from a man and that she was no more willing to put up with his shallow, immature behavior than a black woman would. I don't think she was a ditz at all and she didn't take any mess from Judge Carla either.

Maybe one day soon we can have a movie about middle class black people without making a big deal over their race and view it as just a middle class "people" movie.

All of the "brothers" learned something about themselves and grew as men and individuals.

I thought Jenifer Lewis was exceptional in this part and I'm not even a fan. She was so convincing that I actually believed she was Louise. She was a strong, outspoken female who was a good wife and mother. She fought for what she wanted. She wanted her husband back and she got him too - and even got "ole boy" to have a second wedding at that! I found Jackson's parents relationship more interesting than his and Denise's. I was rooting for the mom and dad to get back together and I really didn't care if he and Denise did.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Well-meaning, funny and original

7/10
Author: mattymatt4ever from Jersey City, NJ
9 August 2001

"The Brothers" is unlike many romantic comedies in recent years, which is why I'm surprised at the very, very low rating. A 4.3 with the majority of voters rating it a 1? I don't know whether people prefer the more conventional romantic fluff, which they're used to, or can't handle one that takes time for character development. And after watching the featurette on the DVD, as well as the vastly impressive commentary by writer/director Gary Hardwick, I've gained an even better understanding of the film. I gained a good enough understanding on my first viewing, but the commentary clarified everything.

Though the central cast is male, the film doesn't take on a mysogynist tone. We get the views of the men, as well as the women. And the dialogue between each sex is sharp and witty, unlike for instance the final scene from the filthy sex comedy "Whipped" where the dialogue between the females are reduced to chat about penis size.

The acting is very well done. I've never watched "Young and the Restless" (nor any soap), so I haven't seen any of Shemar Moore's previous work, but judging by his performance in this movie he has good potential on the big screen. He already has it made in the looks department. Some of my female friends wanted to this movie just because of Shemar. Well, he has a lot of shirtless scenes, so I don't think the women will be the least bit disappointed. DL Hughley is hilarious as usual. When has he not been? There's a great scene where he chats with his mother (played by veteran TV actress Marla Gibbs) at a nursing home, and she reveals that she was drinking while pregnant with him. The chemistry between them in that particular scene is perfect. Bill Bellamy (fellow stand-up comedian) is also funny as pretty much the philosopher of the group. He also gets the chance to show off his talent as a dramatic actor. On the subject of mother-son interactions, he has a nice, subtlely powerful scene where he confronts his Mom about her lack of showing her feelings around him. And in that scene, he begs her for a hug. Finally, Morris Chestnut gives another fine performance as a pediatrician/cassanova, who falls for one of his patient's sisters (the beautiful Gabrielle Union). Of course, I can't leave Clifton Powell off the list. He's great as Morris' father, who turns out to have a sexual history with Gabrielle.

Tatyana Ali showed that she has evolved as an actress, since playing Ashley Banks on "Fresh Prince of Bel Air." She has an amazingly commanding screen presence. Tamala Jones (from "Booty Call") is a good comic actress (and she's beautiful too :0), and has some funny interactions with DL, who plays her husband. That includes one where she refuses to (How do I put this in a clean fashion?) please DL orally. 'Cause apparently, "it causes cancer."

Director Hardwick modeled the four characters after the four sides of his personality. The Bill Bellamy character is a lawyer, which he is. And he has been married in the past, with the usual jitters when it comes to commitment (like Shemar's character). The movie is about friendship, commitment, temptation, love, honesty, all the things that go into a serious relationship. And it's done in a way that's funny and insightful. At points, quite moving. I like the dialogue. I like the way the actors talk like real people, and not actors maneuvered by the script like chess pieces. It all has a natural flow.

Not to sound preachy, but it's nice that every once in a while a film comes along to portray African-Americans in a positive light. How often do we see a film (directed by an African-American) where the central (black) characters are doctors and lawyers? Too often black filmmakers seem to adore subject matter involving young black males growing up in "the hood" and dodging thugs left and right. Is this really how we want black people portrayed? Better yet, do blacks themselves want people of their race to be portrayed in that fashion? Films like Hype Williams' "Belly" are one step away from minstrelsy, except minstrelsy was created by white people. And whenever a film like "Save the Last Dance" comes by, where there happens to be some negative black characters and it happens to be directed by a white person, guess which race takes the bad rap? I'm just saying blacks should make more positive movies about themselves before they complain to whites about portraying them negatively.

Now, my only criticism is the portrayal of white women. I'm sure you think I'm a racial activist by now (LOL), but I'm really not. I'm just voicing out my honest opinion. The Julie Benz character is portrayed as this subservient female who's supposed to get Bellamy (who plays her lover) a sandwich whenever she wants, pour him a glass of wine whenever she wants and do all these things, 'cause apparently white women will do anything a man tells her to do, as opposed to black women who put up a fight. Well, just like most movies about interracial relationships, we have the whole conflict, including one where Benz and Bellamy are confronted by his former lover (Angelle Brooks) who complains about white women stealing all "their" black men. Can't we have a film that comes along that treats the subject of interracial relationships well, absent of all this preachy bulls**t? And have a white women portrayed as more than a mindless ditz?

Despite that one flaw, I found "The Brothers" very impressive, very original, very funny and very entertaining. And I liked the song's theme "Love Don't Love Me" by Eric Benet. It gives the film a more upbeat tone. If you're looking for an escape from the conventional fluff of this genre, I definitely recommend this movie!

My score: 7 (out of 10)

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

one for the fellas...

Author: gerald Booth (chuckrules@juno.com) from alexandria va
20 June 2002

It's time for a movie from the standpoint of the guys....no more should we have to sit idly by and listen to the screaming of the women telling how like dogs we are rather, we should prove it ourselves...wait, that didn't sound right. The Brothers is an entertaining movie about four friends played by Shemar Moore, D.L. Hughley, Bill Bellamy, and Morris Chestnutt. The four men get together every week to play ball and catch up on either other's lives. Unfortunately Moore is threatening to break up the group by getting engaged. The movie then goes through the every day actions and re-actions of the four. Hughley is not happily married. He does have a child but his wife...won't do certain things for him, and as a result he threatens to move his senile mother in with them. Bellamy is the ultimate player who decides he can no longer stick with the "Sista's" because they are basically crazy so he is going to try other women...read white...to see how they are. Moore is trying to catch up to what he has done out of fear of getting older and being by himself and Chestnutt is commitment phobic and fighting with the revelations that have arrived around his new girlfriend who had seemed to be getting him over his problem. The movie is very well done. It jumps from star to star with no problems in coherent story-telling. The acting is quite good and some of the supporting characters are hilarious. The movie is packed with comedy and drama however it can be a tad vulgar in some people's eyes. Overall I really enjoyed this one but would place both Best Man and The Wood above it in terms of total quality.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

One of the best black comedy's ever made.

10/10
Author: DunnDeeDaGreat from Woodbridge, VA
23 March 2001

Just walking out of this movie it made me think about how love is important in life. You can have a love life and still have time for your boys. "The Brothers" is a movie that combines elements of The Wood and Waiting To Exhale. The Brothers paled by Morris Chestnut(Jackson), D.L.Hughley(Derrick), Bill Belamy(Brian) and Shemar Moore(Terry) each have a quality that makes them special to the movie. Jackson is the commitment phobic brother who's scared to get involved with a women because of his parent failed marriage that is until he meets Denise played by the sexy Gabierlla Union. Derrick is the married one whose wife won't perform oral sex on him. Brian is the ulimate player whose can't find joy in black women so he turns to white women and Terry is a playboy who decides to go staright and marry his girlfriend. The movie is very real in it's portrayal of what black men go through when it comes to women. I related the most to Jackson though. I highly recomend this movie. See it with your girl , your boys or whoever. D.L and Bill steal every scene there in. Cliffton Powell and Jennifer Lewis are great in supporting roles.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Distracting film with some good moments but generally a frustratingly uneven tone

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
6 February 2006

Four professional young black men have a strong friendship that has lasted through relationships and work – even if sometimes it just means getting together for hoops and then drinks at the club. Jackson has commitment issues, Derrick is married, Brian is out for bodies only while Terry is respected for his sexual exploits. So when Terry announces his engagement to new girlfriend BeBe it is met with a mixed reception – cynicism, disbelief and happiness. As Terry prepares for his wedding, the others are having their own relationship issues that will brings changes to all of their lives.

It is rare to find a film about a group of black men where the only clear sight of a gun is in a white woman's purse and is met with a black man asking it to be removed from his house. Such is the overwhelming force of gangsterisms, guns and machoisms in black culture that I felt I was almost duty bound to see a film that tries something different. However "different" is no guarantee of quality and indeed this film is frustratingly uneven and inconsistent. The basic plot offers a good chance to get inside the heads of four men (regardless of colour) and at times it manages to do this in interesting ways as well as providing some genuinely funny and reasonably realistic banter. However for every moment that is like this there seems to be two where it'll head off into sentimentalism, soap opera drama or outright dumb plot device. It is a shame because generally the film is distracting mush that isn't too sentimental but is still basic to the point where it washed over me – it was only these bad moments that stuck in my throat for one reason or another. The conclusion is suitably mushy and is a fine summary of the film – unconvincing, mushy, unlikely, melodramatic but still reasonably fun forgettable stuff.

The cast are mixed but mostly match the level of the material by being predictable and a bit unimaginative. Chestnut is probably the best of the cast and makes for a nice leading man – good looks, a bit of charm and the ability to say his lines naturally all help. Hughley is funny and, although he doesn't make a convincing character and is a bit of a caricature but is still fun and his scenes have energy. Bellamy and Moore are somewhat non-events, with the latter very wooden and failing to make an impression on me. The females are generally young and attractive but lack the material served up to the men (which itself isn't that great). Union is sexy but her character doesn't convince and she doesn't know what to do with it. Jones works well with Hughley but Ali, Dalian, Lewis and others generally just hang around with basic lines and no characters to speak of – Ali in particular gets nothing to work with and seems to be there just to draw a laugh from hearing the innocent young Fresh Prince star talking about her "pu**y".

Overall then a distracting and reasonably amusing film that has some good moments but annoys in the ease with which it just slips into sentimental melodrama etc. The performances are mixed and none of them really help lift the material to something that could have been amusing and interesting. Forgettable fluff that isn't bad but just generally isn't that good.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Funny, Well-Cast, Relatable = A Quality Film

7/10
Author: TamPalm from United States
12 April 2010

I can't believe this movie has received a 5.4 on IMDb. Ratings like that make me lose trust in IMDb critics. This movie is NOT a Tyler Perry, low-quality movie and VASTLY deserves a higher rating than a 5.4! Come on now!

When I first saw this movie years ago, I was impressed. As I've caught it recently on the cable movie channels, I realized my first impression was not a fluke. This really IS a quality film. (DISH Network agrees, it gets 3 out of 4 stars on their rating system.) Funny, but not slapstick. Great acting (I have to admit I was surprised at how well the cast did, especially Gabrielle Union who at the time was a newcomer and DL Hughley whose specialty is comedy.) "Real" characters, real dialogue. Good drama. Even some unpredictability. This movie comes across as genuine and broaches the issues of relationships and friendships and even family much more realistically than does say the self-prescribed relationship flick, "Why Did I Get Married?"

Even if I hate to (at the risk of adding to the unfairly low rating of this movie), I have to offer honest criticism so that this critique can have integrity. There were some parts of the storyline that were too manufactured and soap opera-ish (enter the girlfriend who just happened to date the father of the man she's fallen in love with) and other parts that were a little too cheesy for what was otherwise a realistic, relatable expose on relationships (enter the two main characters end up together after the overused "man begs for woman back after woman has 'moved on'). Other parts wrap up a little too neatly as well, as all the characters get their happy ending, most of the conflicted characters come around and miraculously see the light, lol (like the unaffectionate mother of Bellamy's character somehow realizing the err of her ways and *gasp* hugging her son for the first time and professing her love, or Moore's character suddenly wanting to be with the woman he just essentially stood up at the alter again.)

But those knocks on the film are not significant because the film at its essence is a feel-gooder. It's not deep, it doesn't offend, it doesn't make you uncomfortable. It makes you laugh and think a little and smile after it goes off. That's what it sets out to do and the mission was accomplished. You will enjoy your movie-watching experience.

7.5

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Brothers- Goes the Opposite of What It's Supposed to Say **1/2

5/10
Author: edwagreen from United States
2 January 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Finally, there is a movie which is supposed to show black professionals without racism as they maneuver their way through meaningful relationships and feel dejection, etc.

While this sounds quite good, the picture soon falls into the trap of black stereotyping. Yes, there is Morris Chestnut playing a doctor, who goes for therapy sessions when he can't find and make meaningful relationships with women. D.L. Hughley reaffirms the black stereotyping of a man who married because he got his girlfriend pregnant.

Getting back to Chestnut, he soon discovers that his newest love once had a fling with his father. The latter is now divorced from the mother.

We have black professionals finding their way into typical black stereotyping by the profanity they use, the girlfriend of one going berserk and shooting up her boyfriend's apartment, and the divorce of Chestnut's parents. We also have a black attorney admonished by his former girlfriend, now a judge, because he has ended their prior relationship.

Why must the writers of these kind of films fall into the traps that they do?

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

It's about race but simply about the human race.

7/10
Author: tyler-and-jack from Edinburgh.
25 March 2009

I know this may sound like a strange way to start off a review but I just had to say how refreshing and enjoyable it was to watch a movie based around African-American characters that simply took those characters and placed them in situations and story lines that weren't defined by ethnicity or social standing but that were, instead, universally identifiable.

This is a deceptively simple tale of four friends (Morris Chestnut, D.L. Hughley, Bill Bellamy and Shemar Moore) who take turns trying to improve/mess up their own love lives and, subsequently, the lives of the women they're involved with. It's like When Harry Met Sally but with four Harrys, a few different Sallys and a change in skin colour. That's all.

Looking at the cast list may not get your hopes up, there certainly wasn't anybody I recognised for their quality work in films though that may be in part due to my own ignorance. But I will say right now that everyone involved either does well enough (Tatyana Ali will never be the best in her field but she gets by) or wildly exceeds expectations (D.L. Hughley provides some of the funniest domestic scenes I have seen in recent memory) so there's no need to worry. When you add the likes of Gabrielle Union, Tamala Jones (funny AND sexy), Clifton Powell and Jenifer Lewis then you have a great cast reading from a great script.

And just what does make this script so good and so much fun? It's because there are so many moments that ring true. It's as if writer/director Gary Hardwick saw snippets of uncomfortable truth in some Kevin Smith movie and then managed to a)make those private moments more palatable for viewers and then b)string them along to make a unifying strand through an otherwise standard romantic comedy. Let's be glad that he did because this film is all the better for it.

See this if you like: So I Married An Axe Murderer, The Break-Up, Boomerang.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

WHAT?

Author: eatzface from skhdojbdabkjsbkda
8 April 2001

DL hughely was good in this movie. probably the best performance he has ever done in my opinion he is great especially if you are a fan of his and if you enjoyed waiting to exhale and other winston movie you would like this one.But bottom line i think this movie would have been better if it wasnt filled with all winstons.

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oh brother

4/10
Author: blitzebill from United States
5 December 2008

can you say "booty movie"?

it does make for a nice rhyme, but this movie is loaded with anachronisms, chauvinism, and stereotypes.

the African-American version of Hollywood still has major issues with themes and portrayals that do not do justice to the potential that exists for the industry.

when Hollywood finally decides to provide equal opportunity for all filmmakers and actors, then we might see something that resembles a good film.

not that there aren't or haven't been good African-American films, but there's a lot of work to do.

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