Brothers: Toby Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Natalie Portman all bring their "A" game in this dramatic tale of service, family, and love. The film is a remake of the 2004 Swedish movie "Bordre". In the opening moments of the film we learn that Capt. Sam Cahill (Maguire) is being deployed back to Afghanistan with his troops. He lives in a small town with his wife (Portman) and two daughters. We are also introduced to Sam's brother Tommy (Gyllenhaal) who has recently been released from jail and is the black sheep of the family. While in Afghanistan, Maguire's helicopter goes down and he is presumed dead by the military. His family back home tries to cope with the news. His brother Tommy comforts his wife and two daughters and slowly they get back to living a normal life with Uncle Tommy filling in as "Dad". However, Maguire is not dead, he is just being held prisoner. Upon his return home we see the affects of post-traumatic stress syndrome as he can no longer function in his old life.
The story is a real pressure cooker and the ending sequence is its boiling point. Kudos to Tobey Maguire, this is easily the best performance of his career. He looks and acts the part to perfection. Both Portman and Gyllenhaal pour in excellent performances as well. As much as I loved a couple of the tense scenes in the story, I could not help but think the film just misses its mark for greatness. I felt that we could have spent more time with Maguire while he was in Afghanistan to see all of the horrors that he encountered. This would help us relate to his struggles even more so. I also would have liked to see a little more insight into the psychiatric care he was receiving after his return home. The story too conveniently keeps the problems between the three main characters. As the movie is very compelling I am recommending it, but I would have liked just a little more.
Rythemovieguy's grade: B
If this movie had parents they would be: Legends of the Fall & Born on the Fourth of July