Brothers Has Strong Acting, Weak Heart
Critics wonder: Why did Jim Sheridan need to do this remake?
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2009 12:20 PM CST

(Newser) – Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman, and Jake Gyllenhaal deliver solid performances in Jim Sheridan's war movie Brothers, but the film doesn't measure up to the 2004 Danish original, say critics:

  • Peter Howell, Toronto Star: "It's still a film worth seeing, if only for the performances, but it seems to be something far short of a labor of love by Sheridan."
  • Chris Hewitt, St. Paul Pioneer Press: "There's no indication what Sheridan thought was special or moving about this movie or why he thought it needed to be made. ... It feels oddly sterile."

  • Ramin Setoodeh, Newsweek: Portman shines, but this "is Maguire's movie." He "bites into his character like a rabid dog. Brothers shows us that even when our troops do come home, their war may be far from over."
  • Katey Rich, Cinema Blend: " Brothers sometimes feels unnecessarily Hollywood, but there's a surprising amount of truth in there as well. "