The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

  • Jake GyllenhaalJoaquin Phoenix...
  • Action & AdventureComedy
  • Jacques Audiard
reviewed by
Cairo 360
rate it
review it
The Sisters Brothers: Just Not There

You know when you are leaving for a trip and can’t shake the feeling that you forgot something? You keep rechecking items in your head over and over and assure yourself you didn’t forget anything, but the feeling does not go away. That is when you remember the important thing you forgot. By the end of watching The Sisters Brothers, you might feel that something is missing, and no matter how many times you go through the good movie checklist, whatever it is, is just not there.

The Sisters Brothers follows sibling assassins for hire, Charlie (Joaquin Phoenix) and Eli (John C. Riley), as they embark on a mission to kill prospector Hermann Warm (Riz Ahmed) and retrieve a chemical formula that he has discovered. With Charlie’s constant drinking and hunger for violence, Eli’s willingness to quit killing, and complications from the pair’s detective ally, John Morris (Jake Gyllenhaal), their mission becomes violently complicated.

The film’s plot is very intriguing even if not too original but, is presented with fresh perspective and detail that it is able to capture the audience’s attention, at least in the beginning. The feature is more than 120 minutes long and moves at a pace that is too slow for that length, and for a western film. Yes, the film delves into characterisation very well and still has a ton of ruthless bloodshed but, the same message, information and feelings could have been delivered in a much shorter, more captivating time frame.

The film’s plot is very simple; two assassins hired to kill a man with valuable information, but the complexities lie in the depth and struggles of the characters, and this is where the movie shines. The audience can see what it is like to be in these characters’ shoes, and feel the complicated emotions that they do.

The action scenes have the proper western tradition to them and deliver for western lovers who crave the old school action and mayhem.

There was a major problem with the dialogue as it did not really represent the content or the manner that “cowboys” would speak, at least not the ones in this feature with how tough they are portrayed. The language and word choice were way too fancy and took the audience away from the atmosphere the film was trying to create.

For the acting, Joaquin Phoenix did a fantastic job at portraying the dysfunctional, homicidal drunk, with wild facial expressions that could creep out anyone. John C. Riley’s performance was very fitting to his role as the follower, with not a lot of evocative emotions but just enough to make the audience sympathise. Riz Ahmed’s performance was somewhat synthetic and too clean to be real, and his character’s relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal’s John Morris took an intense turn with no chemistry or even major plot points to back that up. On his own, Jake Gyllenhaal was adequate but rather held back compared to many of his previous performances.

There is a lot of good in this film and not too much bad, but at the end there is a big chance you will feel, lost even though you got everything that just happened. If that, and some dialogue and plot issues, do not really bother you, then get ready for some amazing Joaquin Phoenix acting.

Like This? Try

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), Django Unchained (2012), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) 

360 Tip

Filmed in France, Spain, and Romania. Despite the film's American setting, none of the scenes were shot in the United States.

Write your review

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.