40 user 33 critic

The Brothers McMullen (1995)

1:53 | Trailer
Three Irish Catholic brothers from Long Island struggle to deal with love, marriage, and infidelity.


Edward Burns


Edward Burns
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Shari Albert ... Susan
Maxine Bahns ... Audrey
Catharine Bolz Catharine Bolz ... Mrs. McMullen
Connie Britton ... Molly McMullen
Edward Burns ... Barry / Finbar McMullen
Peter Johansen Peter Johansen ... Marty
Jennifer Jostyn ... Leslie
Michael McGlone ... Patrick McMullen (as Mike McGlone)
Elizabeth McKay Elizabeth McKay ... Ann
Jack Mulcahy ... Jack McMullen


This angst-filled tale of three Irish-Catholic brothers explores men's relationships with women. Three different situations are set up on parallel plotlines, with each brother facing a different kind of crisis. Their common bond as family, as well as close lifelong friends, allows them to express their feelings frankly and intimately, as they talk and discuss their concerns among each other. Jack finds himself in a marriage gone stale and under pressure to start a family that he does not yet feel ready for. Barry, dedicated to his film career and almost pathologically averse to any type of commitment in a relationship, is suddenly artistically successful and finds true love, both for the first time and both pulling him in opposite directions. Patrick is torn between his love for his religion and ethnic heritage and his love for Susan, his longtime Jewish girlfriend. Ultimately, they are all asked to resist temptation of one sort or another, with various poignant outcomes. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Sometimes the Best Friends Are the Ones You've Known Your Whole Life. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Most of this was shot at weekends at Edward Burns's mother's house. See more »


In the final scene of the movie, while the two main characters are on the sidewalk talking to each other, a New York trash can jumps back and forth all around them, depending on the camera angle. See more »


Barry McMullen: I like being a pessimist. It helps me deal with my inevitable failure.
See more »


Once Upon A Time
Written by Seamus Egan and Winifred Horan
Performed by Seamus Egan
See more »

User Reviews

What rubbish!
3 November 2002 | by CoenHeadSee all my reviews

I'm a fan of independent and low-budget films. I've seen quite a number of them, and I'm not necessarily put off by amateurish production quality, poor lighting & film quality, etc. - IF THE STORY AND CHARACTERS are there.

The Brothers McMullen has been lauded in indie-film circles for several years now. I've been meaning to see it for some time, and today did so. What I now can say with certainty is that all the buzz and hype around this film is utterly undeserved. The story is utterly banal, the characters are banal, thinly drawn and not just unsympathetic but entirely uninteresting and self-absorbed, and the "direction" childish. The camera and lighting is not just amateurish but seems nearly to be deliberately self-sabotaged.

Now let's get on to the illustrious Edward Burns - who has derived such attention and acclaim for this little "gem" of a film. In watching other films in which he appeared (Saving Private Ryan, 15 Minutes), I was struck by just how inexpressive, wooden and plastic-like his characters were. Yet he was said to be excellent in this film, so I tried to keep an open mind as I watched this film.

What did I discover? That Mr. Burns was no better in this film than he was in the others. I learned that Burns' sole talent is staring into the camera trying to pretend to convey meaning through his sad-sack eyes, yet he isn't capable of conveying ANYTHING - the man is essentially a mute when it comes to any sort of meaningful communication to the audience.

I can't imagine how any person watching this film could have come away with a positive impression of it - there simply isn't any part of it that I would recommend to anyone else. Give it a wide berth - don't waste your $3.95 renting this dreck at Blockbuster.

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Release Date:

11 August 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Brothers McMullen See more »


Box Office


$238,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$167,815, 13 August 1995

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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