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Brothers (I) (2009)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  4 December 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 82,359 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 196 user | 214 critic | 31 from

A young man comforts his older brother's wife and children after he goes missing in Afghanistan.



(screenplay), (motion picture "Brødre"), 1 more credit »
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Title: Brothers (2009)

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Private Joe Willis (as Patrick Flueger)
Cassie Willis


Before leaving on his second tour in Afghanistan, Marine Captain Sam Cahill, a leader, an athlete, a good husband and father, welcomes his screw-up brother Tommy home from prison. He'd robbed a bank. In country, Sam's helicopter is shot down and all are presumed dead. Back home, while Sam wastes away as a prisoner in a remote encampment, Tommy tries to take care of the widow and her two children. While imprisoned, Sam experiences horrors unbearable, so when he's rescued and returns home, he's silent, detached, without affect, and he's convinced his wife and brother have slept together. Demons of war possess him; what will silence them? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


There are two sides to every family


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some disturbing violent content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 December 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hermanos  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,527,848 (USA) (4 December 2009)


£1,028,334 (UK) (5 February 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film cast includes one Oscar winner: Natalie Portman; and four Oscar nominees: Jake Gyllenhaal, Sam Shepard, Carey Mulligan and Mare Winningham. See more »


When Tommy is reading the local newspaper reporting the retrieval of PFC Willis' body from Afghanistan, the first line of the article refers to the "United States Marine Corp". The correct spelling is Corps. See more »


Sam Cahill: You know what I did to fucking get back to you?
Grace Cahill: No.
Grace Cahill: Sam, you know I didn't.
See more »


Featured in Late Show with David Letterman: Episode #17.52 (2009) See more »


Music by U2
Lyrics by Bono
Performed by U2
Produced by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois (as Danny Lanois)
Engineered by Declan Gaffney and Dave Emery
Additional Keyboards by Terry Lawless and Brian Eno
Mixed by Declan Gaffney, Dave Emery and Brian Eno
Published by Universal Music Publ. Int. B.V., Administered by Universal - Polygram Int. Publ.,
Inc. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Universal-Island Records Ltd.
Under License From Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Loyalty, love, faithfulness, duty, pain, grief. Well above average but not outstanding
16 February 2010 | by (Switzerland) – See all my reviews

Brothers, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman and Tobey Maguire, is an interesting and profound drama about family values, war, and relationships. The acting is fantastic. I had hardly heard of this movie despite its all star cast so it was a pleasant surprise for me.

As the title implies, it is about two brothers, portrayed by Gyllenhaal and Maguire, whose lives have taken them to different sides of the tracks- Jake's character has recently been released from jail and Tobey is a devoted family and army man. Natalie Portman plays his lovely wife. When Tobey is sent away to Afghanistan and rapidly presumed dead, the plot thickens.

Back at home, with everybody trying to cope and go on with their lives, nothing will ever be the same. I will not write any more on the subject because although I found what happens next very predictable, you should still guess for yourselves.

The entire cast plays superbly. Tobey undergoes a massive physical transformation and looks completely emaciated as he depicts the mental decline of someone who has lived through too much horror. He shows us the mental destruction caused by war and his metamorphosis is truly scary at times. Jake is really excellent as his sincere brother, torn between passion and brotherly love, guilt and devotion. The two young girls who play Tobey and Natalie's daughters were very impressive and are earning lots of praise.

The supporting characters are less developed and the father seems to have just two states of emotion- praise and admiration for his army son and disdain for the ex-convict. This is the downside that I saw in Brothers- that it tended to oversimplify many issues and too often contented itself with merely scratching the surface. For instance, though I have never been in a war so I cannot say for sure, the Taliban scenes seemed fake to me.

Loyalty, love, faithfulness, duty, pain, grief, sorrow, joy. All of these are present in this well above average but not outstanding film.

My rating: 8 Fabio's: 7.5 Total score: 15.5 Please read more reviews at

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