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I'm not going to lie, ever since I was young, I've always found Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal to be the same person in my head. Not so much nowadays because they both got a lot more famous, but when that Spiderman movie first came out, I couldn't figure out who it was.
All that being said, it was funny to me that they were cast as brothers in the movie aptly titled, "Brothers," a remake of a foreign film which I'm sure many people will claim is much more better and original and so forth.
Anyway, when this movie first came out, I was privileged to be able to get a pre-screening pass, meaning I got to see the movie a couple weeks before it was originally released into theaters. I remember I knew basically nothing about the movie, other than it seemed to be stacked with people I know (Natalie Portman is the beez-neez).
I figured it was going to be a thriller of some sorts, because that's what the ad campaign seemed to imply. Boy was that completely off the map in every regard. The scene that was continually replayed within the television ads was a scene in which the two are yelling at each other with really eerie music. But that's like one scene in the movie.
This movie, more than any other modern warfare movie I've seen in recent years, is a seemingly very true depiction of the horrors of war in the middle east. In the movie, the Tobey Maguire character is kidnapped in the middle east, and most of the movie goes back and forth between showing him attempting to survive his kidnapping and what's going on in America at the time.
Natalie Portman is the "widow" in the film, and Jake Gyllenhaal is the scrappy brother who's cleaning himself up to make things right. This is pretty much all you need to know about the movie to be able to tell yourself if you're going to enjoy it or not.
I thought the movie was difficult to watch at some times, but I really thought it was amazingly done. It was heart-wrenching to watch at points, and the main thing that I really walked away thinking after everything was said and done was, "Wow, Tobey Maguire can actually act." Quick note, I was interviewed after watching the movie and was asked my first reaction, and these were my exact words.
If you're prepared for it, it's great, and I'd recommend adding it to your Netflix queue. It really shows how dynamic some actors that are generally typecast in Hollywood can be. I know respect Tobey Maguire.