The Sisters Brothers Reviews

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Super Reviewer
January 15, 2019
THE SISTERS BROTHERS (4 Stars)

An extremely engaging anti-Western featuring fantastic performances from John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Riz Ahmed is slightly marred by an anti-climactic yet still unexpected ending. Up until then, I loved its subversiveness, the beautiful cinematography and score, and the bursts of tragedy erupting from its often comical tone. A simple tale of two hitmen charged with killing a gentle chemist who has invented a new way to pan for gold, the film finds its beauty in little details such as when Reilly uses a toothbrush or flushes a toilet for the first time. Bonus points for casting the great Alison Tolman, a vividly hardened Carol Kane, and especially trans actor Rebecca Root as a nefarious town owner. I'm especially proud that Root plays a cis female. More talented trans actors like her should get cast in roles which have nothing to do with gender identity. That it happens in the most patriarchal of genres, the western, speaks volumes about this film. There's also an unexplored hint of a gay relationship, which gives the movie a sense of unfulfilled longing. Each character seems to want something they can never have. It's a subtle but lovely undertone which gives this often goofy film a little depth. Jacques Audiard (A PROPHET, RUST AND BONE) makes his English language debut here and has a great feel for quirky interactions and the loopy storytelling at play. It's the BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID of its time...but instead of going out with a bang, it does so with a beautiful whimper. Flaws and all, it's one of the best films of the year.
½ January 10, 2019
'The Sisters Brothers' is a darkly funny and satisfying violent western, which despite its predictability deserves a watch at least for the talent on board.
½ January 9, 2019
Starts out as a typical Western, changes your perspective and loyalties back and forth during the unfolding drama. Interesting! Watched using boxxy software and not disappointed!
January 7, 2019
It was not a bad movie for a Western but definitely NOT a Comedy as iTunes suggests or the trailer. We watched it because of the trailers and actors.
January 5, 2019
This movie Shouldnt be considered as a comedy movie because it is soooo bad in my opinion and there is no comedy neither in the story nor the characters/actors
January 5, 2019
A western movie with a different plot. Great movie, good acting, very entertaining with breathtaking scenery.
January 3, 2019
The history is around us. I like this movie, it's with real facts from history. I will watch it using boxxy software with german dubbing.
Super Reviewer
½ January 2, 2019
The early Westerns seemed to love to act the imagined nobility of King Arthur's court. Everyone had a higher purpose or calling ('cept the bad guys), "making the world safe for decent people." Not so as we creep into the light of modern day when the adventurers are portrayed in film more or less as opportunists looking to get over, and why not? And so we meet the Sister Brothers, assassins who love their jobs and really only hate the boredom of the interludes in between killing and taking what they want. Are they monsters for this? This work doesn't think so and looks for the humanity in our protagonists. When they aren't killing somebody. Good stuff.
½ December 30, 2018
With a cast like these, was not a matter of watch it or not but more like when to watch it, and the answer is: today. I know I should leave some time to let it sink it in though, as the movie hides more then it shows, and I do like that! I also liked the atmosphere and the lack of a precise genre. "The Sister Brothers" is not your standard western, nor drama, nor horror, nor comedy. The question is: what it is then? A brotherhood story for sure, an exploration of all its characters and a quest for the meaning of it all. The unfortunate thing is that this quest, this journey, falls short of a destination.
½ December 29, 2018
Can't call this a comedy, more like a brooding film with a few lighthearted moments to lighten the mood every now and then. Seems inaccurate for this film to be titled as such even with John C Reilly starring. Doesn't really have quite the impact it wants to have with the existential questions the film attempts either but the cast of characters are interesting enough that make The Sisters Brothers a decent watch, if only a one time watch.
½ December 27, 2018
One of the best modern day westerns made today. Very soldildy well done film all around. If you are a western movie fan you will enjoy it.
½ December 27, 2018
The movie takes you through unexpected twists and turns all the way through to an even more unexpected, yet very pleasing, ending. The cast is exceptionally good and the directing is smooth and masterful. It's a blend of a western and a story of bro love.
December 26, 2018
This movie is a heart breaker. It is rough, and sad, then gets more sad. But it is really well acted, the story is interesting, and as much as I wanted to, I could not look away. This is not a date night movie. But it is very well done. I was really hoping it would be a comedy because John C. Riley is in it. He does a wonderful job telling this sad story. For the 1st half of the movie, all I did was flinch; because it is so sad, and because horses get hurt. But the story and acting were great, and I could not turn away. This movie reminds me of storytelling styles not usually found in US film, like the hardened never up-looking tales of woe that I've seen in Chinese and German films. When I realized it was this kind of film, I stayed along for the ride. I would not see it again, but I'm glad I saw it once. I tend to like fluffy, imaginary fantasy, sci-fi, action ,adventures, and comedies. This is a good movie, with great acting, and a gripping story.
December 25, 2018
The Sisters Brothers needed a better structure and better pacing, but it still provides a fun, engaging storyline populated with very well developed, interesting or likable characters with the actors playing them all giving very strong performances. As a whole, the movie is flawed, but individually it's great in many touching or funny or intriguing sequences.
December 22, 2018
Got 30mins in, off it went. What the hell was going on, who cares. Crap
December 19, 2018
A thoughtful, moody Western somewhat in the vein of, say, Slow West, The Sisters Brothers manages to deliver a really interesting entry into the Western (subcategory: drama) and a few moments that are genuinely resonant. The performances are categorically stellar, as is set and costume design; you can tell someone had a lot of fun putting together the look of the film from that standpoint. It won't stick with you forever, I imagine, but it will probably move you, at least a little.
½ December 19, 2018
Remembering The Morality Clause.

The Sisters Brothers

Audiard's cowboy duel is both raunchy and smart. After many numbers of feeble attempts of different makers trying to achieve the perfect western drama, Audiard seems to have got his intentions closest to the perfect one. And mind you, it is not for his gut-wrenching man-ly inedible sequences or an Eastwood-y slickness but his surprising delight of weaving the entire script from a kid's textbook morale tale. Very few of such genre films offers you a soothing final chapter to invest all your chips in. And even though there is a lot of Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid in it, this apotheosis of brotherhood equation has its own rhythm. And is it is entitled to be, the story revolves around two brothers hunting down for their livelihood that is more likely to be ignited not from the necessity but passion.

And the justified background story to their trajectory is a cherry on top of the journey that they go through. Crossing around borders, woods, rivers and mountains, neither the high pitched dramatic sequences nor tiny notorious tactics that their nature is brimmed of, is what gives them a deeper cut. The three dimensional perspective is endeavored by the negative and edgy bits of it. Like when Reilly lies blatantly to Phoenix to get an upper hand on an argument. On the opposite side of the coin, if Reilly and Phoenix are sharing an already cemented bond, Gyllenhaal and Ahmed gets to start from the scratch.

Throughout the course of their role, a genuinely moving procedure through which they connect with each other, is the highlight of it, no matter how much their opinions and agendas keep evolving. Audiard has managed to capture the carefree lifestyle of the people living in that era through humor, like when a spider gets inside Reilly's mouth or the usual gags involving a drunken bar fight; which to be honest is getting too Hollywood. On performance, Gyllenhaal makes sure in initial stages itself, that you feel the attraction and compassion of his towards Ahmed in his first meeting, where he too has kept his promises till the end.

Surprisingly, Phoenix has a comical and a bit straightforward role to portray, stretching his muscles as much as he can in the allotted narrow range, he fails to overpower other actors on screen. And riding at the front is Reilly as a complex and morally challenged elder brother of an irresponsible guy, he portrays a similar overprotective role to the film itself as whenever the storytelling gets damp, he pulls it out right with his bare hands.

If chugging out the last act, it would have been your usual self discovering journey that we have all been through plenty of times in a movie. But for a brief period of time where all these lead characters share a similar interest, something magical sparks out from the screen just like something glossy invaluable material bubbles up from the water. And circling the entire sub-plots of these characters within one strike, is just a fine example of writing that The Sisters Brothers shares with you.
Super Reviewer
½ December 10, 2018
"Have you noticed how long it's been since someone tried to kill us?"

"I don't know...three or four days?"

"Don't you find that strange?"

The Sisters Brothers is both a modern western that pays plenty of homage to the classics of the genre. It isn't what you expect and not always what you hoped it might be, but it consistently does whatever the hell it wants and one can't help but to appreciate it for exactly that. In other words, The Sisters Brothers is wholly its own thing and it's very up front about this fact with an opening scene that is both startling, starkly aloof, and perplexing in the most intriguing of ways. While it feels natural to be tepid in the opening twenty or so minutes as exposition is avoided in favor of the audience putting the pieces together themselves it is once director Jacques Audiard (Rust and Bone) begins to parallel the arcs of our titular characters as played by John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix with that of Jake Gyllenhaal's John Morris and Riz Ahmed's Hermann Kermit Warm that things really get rolling.

It's always nice to see a movie when, in general, you see so many movies and think you know where it's likely going only to have it continually go in a different, but completely logical-and natural-feeling-direction. Phoenix and Gyllenhaal give two very distinct, but vastly different performances for two characters that are more similar than they might like to admit even if they come to recognize as much. Gyllenhaal's accent is especially noteworthy. Ahmed's interpretation of Warm is a matter of perspective and he plays this advantage to the hilt given the ultimate course the actions take. It is Reilly who steals the show though, serving as a throughline of steadfastness in doing something despite the difficulties his brother provides and the endless delays he takes the blame for all in order to achieve a success he doesn't seem to necessarily agree would define the word "success". It's a wonderful, well-rounded performance that lends the final scene of the film a sense of near-perfection; capturing a small truth of life we don't often recognize or discuss and painting a two-hour portrait with it.

Also, not exactly Bone Tomahawk brutal, but still BRU-TAL with a capital B.
November 23, 2018
'The Sisters Brothers' is a marvelous western period drama that paints a portrait of a tumultuous time in American history with a rather unique brush. Its fabulous cast brings their characters to life with some truly masterful performances (including a career high for John C. Reilly), and it's only made better by its witty dialogue and beautiful cinematography.
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