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Updated on February 2, 2021

The best film of 2009

You haven't seen any movie this year, until you've seen "Brothers." Starring Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman, and Jake Gyllenhaal. The story is essentially about two brothers. One who gets out of prison, Tommy Cahill (Jake Gyllenhaal), and the other one in the Marines, Captain Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire). Tommy struggles to get a hold of his life after being released from prison. Dealing with the tremendous guilt of killing someone, and trying to earn back the respect of his family. Where as Sam is highly respected by his parents and has an adoring wife, Grace (Natalie Portman) and two girls, Isabelle (Bailee Madison) and Maggie (Taylor Geare). However, all that changes when Sam gets shipped off to Afghanistan; something goes wrong, where he and his colleague get captured by terrorists. Unaware of his location, the United States military issues a notice that Sam died during a plane crash. Needless to say, this causes severe distress among his family; almost rifting them apart. Tom takes upon himself to take care of Sam's family during their mourning. Doing various acts like redesigning Grace's kitchen, to spending time with the girls. At first it seemed harmonious as the kids grew to love Tom like a father. Eventually, Sam was found alive again, upon learning that he had narrowly escaped from terrorists. Unfortunately, Sam was subjected to various harsh torturous treatments that caused him to do things he was not proud of, in order to survive. The stress causes him to suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome, that creates severe tensions with his wife and kids. When I first saw the trailer to this film, I thought I knew what this story was going to be about. However, the trailer doesn't show you the true story, as it's more about relationships. Tobey Maguire gives the best performance of his career, as he portrays a man that stressed, from the conflict of war, as he tries to fit back in with his family; that doesn't seem to fully embrace his return. I found the unique concept interesting about how eerily Tom and Sam's problems were similar and how they both dealt with them differently. The tone and story line for the movie was simply excellent. Overall, "Brothers" is the best film I've seen all year.

Tobey Maguire does a great job in this movie. Possibly one of his best roles ever, as he plays a character that's responsible and highly respected by his family and peers. However, succumbs to severe stress when having to deal with his own personal demons that creates tension among those he loves. In fact, in one scene where it leads up to Sam exploding in a uncontrollable rage, the viewer could see and feel the intensity and conviction in his eyes. Which would give anyone chills watching it as they wonder what's about to happen next.

Jake Gyllenhaal was no slouch either, as he portrays a man that barely trying to get back on his feet.  Realizing he made a lot of mistakes in his life, but tries to make up for them. 

I found the story to be very unique as you had both brothers struggling to deal with regrets that tore them apart inside, yet handle them so differently.  One being very open about his thoughts and feelings, where as the other repressed them inside.  Allowing for the audience to be deeply moved by these characters.  Take in mind that this story is not a love triangle by any means, as the trailers have you believe.  No, this film is a story about life and relationships.  Showing how we all are forced to do unspeakable things that we regret, yet find a way to overcome such severe adversity.

The tone and direction of this story was deeply moving to say the least.  Never before since "Cast Away" have I ever felt touched by a movie in a long time. 

"Brothers" is truly one of the best films of the year.  Featuring strong performances from Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal.  Plus, having a great story line doesn't hurt either.  Overall, I'd highly recommend "Brothers" to anyone that loves movies.


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