Brothers isn't badly acted, but as directed by the increasingly impersonal Jim Sheridan, it's lumbering and heavy-handed, a film that piles on overwrought dramatic twists until it begins to creak under the weight of its presumed significance.
Brothers -- an Americanized re-make of Danish director Susanne Bier's 2004 film "Brodre" -- revolves around the Afghan War but also keeps its distance, a balancing act that winds up looking more wobbly than elegant.
Sheridan pulls you so deep into Brothers so fast that there isn't time for the alarm bell to go off that says: "Warning! Another Traumatized-Vet Movie!" You never catch Sheridan or Benioff grandstanding, only observing.
Brothers, the new home-from-the-war film, written by David Benioff and directed by Jim Sheridan, has been made with obvious devotion and sincerity, and I wish I could take it seriously.
This becomes Tobey Maguire's film to dominate, and I've never seen these dark depths in him before. Actors possess a great gift to surprise us, if they find the right material in their hands.
It's easy to overlook a drama like Brothers, with its plain-spoken title and stern subject matter. Don't. The film is gripping---an honorable and beautifully acted addition to the tradition of homefront war stories.