The Sisters Brothers is a newly released film starring Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Riz Ahmed. Written and Directed by Jacques Audiard.
I hadn’t heard anything about this film up until a week ago when an ad for it popped up on my Facebook timeline. The cast is amazing, the trailer was awesome, I was instantly all in on going to see it as soon as possible. It’s been playing in a small amount of theaters for the past week or so with a wide release scheduled for tomorrow, so good luck going up against the much-anticipated Marvel Movie Venom.
The film is set in 1851 Oregon and centers around two brothers, Joaquin Phoenix as Charlie Sisters, and John C. Reilly as Eli Sisters. They’re brothers and their last name is sisters…get it? I thought it was clever. Joaquin’s character Charlie plays the dangerous drunk with a hankering for bloodshed, while John’s character Eli is the lovable older brother looking out for his younger bro, and also quite a good shot.
After finishing up a job the two brothers get another immediate assignment: find and extract information from a scientist named Herman Kermit Warm, played by Riz Ahmed. This kid Riz is awesome by the way. If you haven’t watched the HBO mini-series The Night Of, I highly recommend you do so. Lots of good things comin from this fella. Unfortunately, Eli Sisters wants out of the game to open up a shop and live a normal life, while Charlie only seems to want to keep murdering people. Jake Gyllenhaal’s character, John Morris, is an informant for the Sisters brothers, providing them with intel on Herman’s whereabouts.
Alright enough set up, let’s get into the review. This is my very first written review so I’ll try to keep it short, sweet, and relatively spoiler-free.
Going into this film I was very excited for a fresh new western. I feel like it’s been a while since we’ve gotten one after that atrocity that was the most recent The Magnificent Seven. For some reason though, by end of this film it really doesn’t feel like a traditional western at all. There’s plenty of shots being fired throughout, but never a good ol’ fashioned shootout. I’m a sucker for authentic gun-shot sound effects, which this film definitely has. I fucking hate it when movies make discharging a firearm sound like those poppers you throw at the ground. The king of authentic gun-shot sound effects hands-down goes to Heat. That bank heist shootout scene in the streets of LA is an all-time great.
Apart from the sporadic shooting scenes, this movie is paced pretty slowly. It’s relatively dull and helped immensely by John C. Reilly’s lovable comedic touch. Scenes don’t tend to drag on for very long but I kept feeling myself drifting away and having a tough time concentrating.
The Story itself is fresh and original, and pulled off quite nicely with great directing work from Jacques Audiard. That is up until the last quarter of the film. I feel the ending was forced a little too hard and just didn’t make enough sense. Not to mention the total cheese fest ending before the final credits roll…barf.
There’s also a weird side love story going on with Reilly’s character that seems rather unnecessary.
Overall, I feel like I would have enjoyed this movie much more if I hadn’t just paid 17 dollars to go see it. It’s not bad, not by any means, but maybe my expectations were just a little too high going into it. The real saving grace of this film is the cast in which everyone excels and meets all expectations. My advice would be to save your money and wait for it to come out on Netflix or wherever, and then definitely watch it.
Current standing on the Rotten Tomatoes meter: 82% with critics, 83% top critics, and 72% audience. I think the audience has this one pretty dead on with me.
Flickable, 7.1/10 Biehns
Flickin’ The Biehn Movie Review Blog: The Sisters Brothers
By Caelan Biehn
October 3, 2018