In "Brothers," a Marine about to embark on his fourth tour of duty, Sam (Maguire) is a steadfast family man married to his high school sweetheart, the aptly named Grace (Portman), with whom he has two young daughters. Tommy (Gyllenhaal), his charismatic younger brother, is a drifter just out of jail who's always gotten by on wit and charm. He slides easily into his role as family provocateur on his first night out of prison, which is also Sam's farewell dinner with their parents, Elise (Winningham) and Hank Cahill (Shepard). When Sam's Blackhawk helicopter is shot down in the mountains of Afghanistan, the worst is presumed, leaving an enormous void in the family. Tommy steps in to fill the void, with consequences that will shake the foundation of the entire family. Based on the Danish motion picture "Brodre" by Susanne Bier and Anders Thomas Jensen. (Gary Reber)
Special features include audio commentary with Director Jim Sheridan, two featurettes: "Remade In The USA: How Brodre Become Brothers" (HD 12:46) and "Jim Sheridan: Film And Family" (HD 15:53), the theatrical trailer, and up-front previews.
The 1080p AVC picture exhibits a natural character that communicates realism throughout. The picture is cinematic, with the slightest grain structure. Contrast is well balanced, though, at times shadow delineation is weak and difficult to discern the background imagery. Fleshtones are perfectly natural and reveal subtle shadings in skin tone. Colors are well balanced and not exaggerated. Resolution is generally good and reveals fine facial features and object textures in close-ups. This is a nicely presented picture that works well to tell this emotionally charged story. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is monaural focused, with brief sequences of subtle surround envelopment. The nicely recorded and presented music score, when present, provides envelopment but then the music is followed by a sudden collapse to monaural. There is not a lot of opportunity to really engage the surrounds. Even the Afghanistan scenes are quiet, except for the downing of the Blackhawk helicopter. Even then the surround presence is not particularly aggressive. Dialogue is well recorded and effectively integrated spatially. This is a quiet, dialogue-focused soundtrack that is undistinguished in terms of surround impact. (Gary Reber)