208 user 215 critic

Brothers (2009)

2:02 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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



(screenplay), (motion picture "Brødre") | 1 more credit »
1,810 ( 380)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 4 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Southpaw (2015)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A champion boxer fights to get his daughter back from child protective services as well as revive his professional career, after a fatal incident sends him on a rampant path of destruction.

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Oona Laurence
Jarhead (2005)
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A psychological study of operations desert shield and desert storm during the gulf war; through the eyes of a U.S marine sniper who struggles to cope with the possibility his girlfriend may be cheating on him back home.

Director: Sam Mendes
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx, Lucas Black
End of Watch (2012)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Shot documentary-style, this film follows the daily grind of two young police officers in LA who are partners and friends, and what happens when they meet criminal forces greater than themselves.

Director: David Ayer
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick
Demolition (2015)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A successful investment banker struggles after losing his wife in a tragic car crash. With the help of a customer service rep and her young son, he starts to rebuild, beginning with the demolition of the life he once knew.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, Chris Cooper
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young woman suffering from Parkinson's befriends a drug rep working for Pfizer in 1990s Pittsburgh.

Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Judy Greer
Rendition (2007)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After a terrorist bombing kills an American envoy in a foreign country, an investigation leads to an Egyptian who has been living in the United States for years and who is married to an ... See full summary »

Director: Gavin Hood
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard


Cast overview, first billed only:
Taylor Geare ...
Private Joe Willis (as Patrick Flueger)
Cassie Willis
Ray Prewitt ...


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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


There are two sides to every family


Drama | Thriller | War

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 USA:

$9,527,848, 6 December 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$28,501,651, 17 January 2010

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$43,318,349, 5 July 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jake Gyllenhaal learned of the death of his close friend Heath Ledger while he was in the middle of shooting a scene for this film. Gyllenhaal immediately walked off set, and returned to finish the scene two days later. He then took a longer bereavement leave before he was ready to continue with the rest of his scenes. See more »


In the beginning, dated in the movie as 10/7/2007, Sam says he's leaving "in 4 days" (10/11/07). Later, at the dinner table, he tells his brother he's leaving "Tuesday". 10/11/2007 was a Thursday. See more »


Tommy Cahill: He's my brother!
See more »


Featured in Re-Made in the USA: How Brodre Became Brothers (2010) See more »


Empty Sky
Music by BC Smith and Simon Wilcox
Performed by Simon Wilcox
Published by BC Smith Music (BMI) / Hypnotizing Boogie Publishing/EMI April Music (ASCAP)
Used by permission of EMI April Music Inc.
Courtesy of Gigamix Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

'Brothers' showcases strong, solid performances
23 February 2010 | by See all my reviews

Based on the Danish film, Brødre, Tobey Maguire plays Sam Cahill, a marine who goes off to Afghanistan and allegedly is killed in action. His brother Tommy, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, an ex-con, winds up looking after Sam's wife, Grace (Natalie Portman) and her daughters. As the story moves on, Tommy's negative attitude toward her and his outlook changes and their relationship develops. When Sam, who is found to be alive, returns home, there's a mixture of both joy and resentment among the characters, but to add, Sam has returned a changed and psychologically-damaged man.

The film mainly focuses on the family drama and relationships of the characters, inter-cut with scenes of Sam in action and imprisoned/tortured in Afghanistan. The progression of the plot takes its time to develop, but it feels organic. The characters feel real. While one could see the film as a criticism of war and the negative effects that war has on the family of veterans, the film is more a character-driven drama, and doesn't touch much into politics.

Admittedly, the plot itself isn't anything drastically new and one may imagine a plot like this in a made-for-TV drama if not for the emotional depth, intensity, and solid performances from Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Natalie Portman. One of the interesting plot points involve the brothers' father's (in a fine performance from Sam Shepard) favoritism for Sam, while looking down on Tommy as the "failure." The love/hate dynamics between the three are interesting and believable even as the two brothers go through drastic character changes.

Tobey Maguire's performance is particularly noteworthy as Sam, a marine and a loving husband who comes back transformed into a physically emaciated, psychologically-scarred, ticking time bomb. My image of Tobey as Spider-Man now feels like a distant memory especially in comparison to what he portrays here. The two children who play the two daughters of Sam in this film give very natural performances in their varied reactions to difficult situations around them. Jake Gyllenhaal does strong work as Tommy, whose character transformation makes us want to root for him, despite his shady beginnings and flaws. To top off, Natalie Portman is radiant here, turning in a poignant, complex performance as a mother of two, who must deal with the initial mourning of her husband, the joy of his return, and the messy aftermath. Ultimately, her nuanced performance is the glue that holds the film together and make the other characters matter, and one can't help but marvel at the maturity of her performance.

Directed by Jim Sheridan (The Boxer), this film is a great showcase for all performances involved, while portraying an engaging, intense story about familial loyalty, redemption, and difficult relationships. In the wrong hands, this film could've gone the route of the by-the-numbers Hollywood cliché, but as it is, it remains a solid drama. I give Brothers *** out of **** stars.

More of my reviews are update on http://twitter.com/d_art

44 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 208 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Zach Braff on "Alex, Inc." and the Art of Directing

Zach Braff takes "The IMDb Show" behind the scenes of his new series "Alex, Inc." and reveals Morgan Freeman’s favorite on-set prank.

Watch now