Common Sense Media reviews Brothers for kids and families.
BROTHERS tells the powerful story of two siblings, thirty-something Captain Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire) and younger brother Tommy Cahill (Jake Gyllenhaal), who are polar opposites. A Marine about to embark on his fourth tour of duty, Sam is a steadfast family man married to his high school sweetheart, the aptly named Grace (Natalie Portman), with whom he has two young daughters. Tommy, his charismatic younger brother, is a drifter just out of jail who's always gotten by on wit and charm. When his Black Hawk helicopter is shot down in the mountains Sam is presumed dead and the Cahill family suddenly faces a shocking void. Tommy tries to fill in for his brother by assuming newfound responsibility for himself, Grace, and the children. In the grief and strangeness of their new lives, Grace and Tommy are naturally drawn together. Their longstanding frostiness dissolves, but both are frightened and ashamed of the mutual attraction that has replaced it.
But Sam is not dead; he and a fellow soldier have been captured by Taliban fighters. In Afghanistan's harsh, remote Pamir Mountains, Sam is subjected to traumas that threaten to rob him of his very humanity. At the same time that Sam's sense of self is being destroyed overseas, Tommy's self-image is strengthening at home.
When Sam unexpectedly returns to the States, a nervous mood settles over the family. Sam, uncharacteristically withdrawn and volatile, grows suspicious of his brother and his wife. Their familiar roles now nearly reversed, Sam and Tommy end up facing the ultimate physical and mental challenge when they confront each other. In the shifting family dynamics, who will dominate? Directed by six-time Oscarr nominee Jim Sheridan (IN AMERICA, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER), BROTHERS tells the compelling tale of how two brothers come to terms with issues of love, loyalty, and manhood and with the woman caught between them.
BROTHERS is a comedy about a former NFL hot shot who learns that even though you can always go home again, doing so might be more difficult than you think.
MIKE TRAINOR (Michael Strahan) seemingly has it all - he's a good-looking, wealthy and recently retired NFL player living the high life in New York City, but he's about to get sidelined. When Mike gets a phone call from his mom, ADELE (CCH Pounder), who orders him home to Houston, he quickly realizes that the more his life has changed, the more his family has stayed the same.
His brother CHILL (Daryl Chill Mitchell), whose life changed drastically after a car accident left him in a wheelchair, is struggling to keep Trainor's, his sports-themed restaurant, afloat. Even though the publicity from his famous brother might help business, Chill doesn't want help from Mike. The rivalry between the brothers is exactly the same as they were when they were kids. If they can stop their bickering, put aside their differences and learn to be teammates, Mike and Chill might just turn out to be each other's biggest asset.
Wedged between Mike and Chill are their parents. Their father, whom everyone refers to as COACH (Carl Weathers), is the local high school football coach and the conservative, opinionated alpha male of his clan. Coach thinks he runs the show, but it's actually Adele who calls the shots. Saucy, stern and a schemer, she is the mastermind behind this family. And when she learns that Mike's business manager took off with all his money, she orchestrates a plan to keep Mike in Houston, save Chill's restaurant and bring the family back together under one roof again.
Adele's plan helps Mike realize that his family - however dysfunctional they may be - is the only one he's got. And although he may not have a penny to his name, as long as he's surrounded by people who love him, he'll always be a rich man.
The boys talk about when Mike was younger at dinner.
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