Only the dead have seen the end of war

Brothers  (2009)
Sam Cahill takes his brother Tommy home from jail.  At dinner, it’s obvious that Hank, their father, favors Sam over Tommy.  Sam is a Marine, and he’s scheduled to go to Afghanistan the next day, leaving behind his wife, Grace, and his two daughters.  Soon after, Grace is informed that Sam has died in a plane crash.  She becomes depressed, and Tommy, who is also having a rough time after losing his brother, spends more time with Grace and her kids.  After a while, Hank comes to accept the only son he has left, seeing how Tommy actually makes an effort to ease Grace’s suffering.  Then Sam comes back.  When I first saw the trailer, I thought it was horrible because it gave away so much of the plot.  It turns out that there’s much more to this movie than the trailer suggests.  It’s not just about the triangle that forms between Sam, Tommy, and Grace, it’s also a commentary on the effects of war.  Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman were both pretty good, but only Tobey Maguire was great in his role, and even he had some awkward moments that unintentionally turned out comedic.  Sam Shepard was also good in his supporting role.  The daughters were acted very well by Bailee Madison and Taylor Geare.  Beautiful and talented Carey Mulligan makes a couple of appearances and does the best she could with what little material she’s given.  The movie didn’t flow very well until the second half.  The daughters were just a little too smart and came off as rather annoying at times.  Carey Mulligan’s scenes could have been very poignant, but just felt out of place.  The little bit of comic relief every now and then, though genuinely entertaining at times, also felt out of place.   I was expecting more from this movie, so I was mildly disappointed.  7/10.

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