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Brotherhood and Revenge: A Study in Fighting Crime

  • Dec 27, 2005
  • by
John Singleton has a gift for depicting the gritty side of life and making it credible: there are reasons for heads-up defensive action in neighborhoods where perpetrators and victims live side by side in a world teetering on imbalance.

FOUR BROTHERS is a finely tuned, taut little film that demonstrates the influence of a caring adult on kids with little future can impact lives. Evelyn Mercer (a terrific Fionnula Flanagan) is a single woman who adopted four orphans as children and raised them tightly bonded brothers: two are white (ex-con Bobby - Mark Wahlberg - and gay musician Jack - Garrett Hedlund: two are African American - (gentle Angel - Tyrese Gibson - and stay-at-home businessman Jeremiah - André Benjamin). The four brothers reunite when their mother is killed during a store holdup. Knowing that the Detroit police are a corrupt organization they take matters into their own hands, seeking out their mother's killers. Along the way they discover aspects of each other that draw them eventually even closer as brothers.

The cast is excellent with fine cameo performances from Terrence Howard and Josh Charles as polar opposite policemen, from Flanagan (who though murdered in the first frames of the film reappears to 'spiritually' influence the brothers), Chiwetel Ejiofor as the bad guy, Taraji P. Henson as Jeremiah's wife and Sofía Vergara as Angel's girlfriend. The story is solid if a bit predictable, but the messages are many about racism, brotherhood, family importance, and awareness of police corruption. Singleton directs with breakneck speed yet allows us time to get to know everyone in the story. This is a dandy action film with a heart. Grady Harp, December 05

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More Four Brothers (Special Collect... reviews
review by . September 10, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
He's not heavy, he's my brother.
A woman is in a convenient store apparently at the wrong moment. Two men rob the store, then kill the employee and then her.      She is the mother of four adopted sons. When no one else wanted these boys, she took them in and gave them love and lessons on life. Two of her sons are black and two are white.      The action takes place in Detroit, Michigan and we see Mark Wahlberg and his brothers at their mother's funeral. Terrence Howard plays the police …
Quick Tip by . September 10, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
If possible, listen with surround sound, the music and special effects are outstanding.
review by . February 25, 2006
I wasn't expecting much on this movie, I mean it does have Marky Mark in it and I'd hate to think he's be the start of the movie. But I was hoping for it to be exciting, emotional, and engaging... And surprisingly it was.    Mark Walbergh, Garrett Hedlund, Andre 3000, and Tyrese Gibson play the four brothers very well as delinquent,....... but there were many simple one-liners and Mark Wahlberg seems to play the same character way too often. Not really acting so much as reading …
review by . January 03, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
This movie was about as painful to watch as the revenge exacted by the brothers in this movie on the killers of their "mother."    An old woman is gunned down during a robbery and it turns out she was a type of social worker that had taken in four troubled youths and raised them as her sons. The sons vow to find and kill the ones who did this. They later find out that it was not a simple robbery but that that their mother was followed and executed.    The …
About the reviewer
Grady Harp ()
Ranked #96
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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Bound by love for their slain adoptive mother, the brothers inFour Brothersform a unique quartet that gives John Singleton's film a razor's edge of redemption. It's a thin edge, to be sure, because while Singleton's urban Western pays homage to the Blaxpoitation films of the '70s (as he did with his remake ofShaft), it walks a fine line of credibility with a mythic vengeance plot (recalling John Wayne's 1965 hitThe Sons of Katie Elder) that endorses violence as the last resort of a family under siege. When a saintly foster mother (Fionnula Flanagan) is gunned down in a convenience store, her only adopted sons (two white, two black, played respectively by Mark Wahlberg, Garrett Hedlund, Tyrese Gibson and Andre Benjamin) go after the killers, only to discover that their mother's death was not a random event. As they uncover a sticky web of criminal activity involving a local kingpin (Chiwitel Ejiofor), the character-driven plot races toward an inevitable showdown, with ex-con Wahlberg leading the way. Making excellent use of blue collar locations in Detroit, Singleton keeps the action moving fast enough that the film's lack of realism is easily ignored, and the well-drawn characters (including Terrence Howard as a tenacious detective) lend emotional dimension to an otherwise familiar revenge scenario.Four Brothersis manipulative, but it's filled with grace notes of rugged working-class humanity, and it definitely holds your attention.--Jeff ...
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Director: John Singleton
Genre: Action
Screen Writer: David Elliot, Paul Lovett
DVD Release Date: December 20, 2005
Runtime: 109 minutes
Studio: Paramount
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