7.5/10
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46 user 88 critic

Brothers (2004)

Brødre (original title)
Two brothers must negotiate changing roles and shifting family dynamics when one is sent to war in Afghanistan.

Director:

Susanne Bier

Writers:

Susanne Bier (story), Anders Thomas Jensen (story)

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13 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Connie Nielsen ... Sarah
Ulrich Thomsen ... Michael
Nikolaj Lie Kaas ... Jannik
Sarah Juel Werner ... Natalia
Rebecca Løgstrup Rebecca Løgstrup ... Camilla (as Rebecca Løgstrup Soltau)
Bent Mejding Bent Mejding ... Henning
Solbjørg Højfeldt ... Else
Niels Olsen Niels Olsen ... Allentoft
Paw Henriksen ... Niels Peter
Lars Hjortshøj Lars Hjortshøj ... Preben 2
Lars Ranthe Lars Ranthe ... Preben 1
André Babikian André Babikian ... Nadeem
Lene Maria Christensen Lene Maria Christensen ... J. Solvej
Laura Bro ... Ditte
Henrik Koefoed Henrik Koefoed ... Bartender
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Storyline

Michael has everything under control: a successful military career, a beautiful wife and two daughters. His younger brother Jannik is a drifter, living on the edge of the law. When Michael is sent to Afghanistan on a UN mission the balance between the two brothers changes forever. Michael is missing in action - presumed dead - and Sarah is comforted by Jannik, who against all odds shows himself capable of taking responsibility for both himself and the family. It soon becomes clear that their feelings have developed beyond mutual sympathy. When Michael comes home, traumatized by being held prisoner in the mountains of Afghanistan, nothing is the same... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the Director of 'Open Hearts' See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Denmark | UK | Sweden | Norway

Language:

Danish

Release Date:

27 August 2004 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Brothers See more »

Filming Locations:

Almería, Andalucía, Spain See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,161, 8 May 2005

Gross USA:

$389,220

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$489,706
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Along with King's Game (2004), this was the most successful and best reviewed Danish film of the year in its native country. However, neither of these two films was submitted by Denmark to the Oscars in the Foreign Language Film category. The Danish jury decided to send a documentary film, The Five Obstructions (2003), which had only been attended by 12,532 people in Danish theaters. This story made headlines, and Danish film producers officially stated that they would force the jury to pick Brothers (2004) or "Kongekabale" instead. The jury, however, did not change their minds, and "De fem benspænd" was sent to the Oscars. It was not among the eventual nominees. "Brødre" later won several awards across the world, including at the Sundance Film Festival, and opened to stellar reviews in the US. The jury later admitted that they possibly chose the wrong film to send to the Oscars that year. See more »

Goofs

In the rear passenger window when Henning gets in the car after the service. See more »

Quotes

Michael: I will always love you. That is the only truth that remains. Life is neither right nor wrong, good or bad. But I love you. That's all I know.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Natholdet - med Anders Breinholt: Nikolaj Lie Kaas (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fragility and Strength: A Study of Family
30 March 2007 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

'Brødre'('Brothers') is a remarkable film from Denmark written by Anders Thomas Jensen and Susanne Bier who also directs this microscopic examination of the intricacies of family bonding, the significance of the blood ties between brothers, and the effects of one of the brutal realities of war on every individual member of a family. It is a tense drama made palpable by some phenomenal acting and direction.

Michael (Ulrich Thomsen) and Jannik (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) are polar opposites as brothers: Michael is his father's dream, a man who is committed to his family, his beautiful and devoted wife Sarah (Connie Nielsen) with whom he has two daughters, while Jannik is a carefree drifter who drinks too much and refuses to have the stable life his parents expect of him. Michael is off to war in Afghanistan and is in a tragic helicopter accident and reported as dead. When Sarah is informed her world crumbles, as does the mental state of her father-in-law. Jannik hears the news while drunk but slowly awakens to the awful reality that his brother is gone and his sister-in-law and nieces need the support he has never been able to muster.

In Afghanistan we discover that Sarah's inclination that Michael is not really dead is true: Michael has been captured by the Taliban and the experience as a prisoner changes him indelibly, breaking his shell of perfection and he becomes vulnerable and fragile. When Michael returns home to the surprise of everyone the dynamics that have reversed between the family and Jannik and the force that bonds Michael and Jannik is challenged and we are left to examine the fallout.

The script in Danish is supplemented with excellent subtitles in English, but one wonders if the words are even necessary - so fine is the acting of every actor involved. Connie Nielson is a major force in cinema today, a brilliant actor whose spectrum of dynamics appears endless. Both Thomsen and Kaas are equally fine in their difficult roles. This is a superlative work, a psychological drama that strikes chords of familiarity on many levels. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp


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