Review: The Sisters Brothers

Title: The Sisters Brothers
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Jacques Audiard
Starring: John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal
Runtime: 2 hr 1 min

What It Is: Eli (Reilly) and Charlie (Phoenix) Sisters are two outlaw assassins and also brothers. Their current mark is a chemist and potential prospector Hermann Kermit Warm (Riz Ahmed). He’s being pursued by the two. With the help of John Morris (Gyllenhaal), Hermann might just make it to the gold with his new invention. A way to prospect that could change the game. Now, across over 1,000 miles of Oregon desert will the Sisters Brothers find their mark? Or die trying?

What We Think: Let’s preface this by saying western…I like them. Here we get GREAT performances from the four main characters. I think that Jacques Audiard has done something truly fantastic behind the lens. Making a western isn’t easy in 2018. Making a good one is about as difficult as it gets. When you look at the levels of the narrative being brought here that to me is what makes this film a really fun and interesting surprise. Audiard nails the 1850s aesthetic and Phoenix is in his sweaty glory. Reilly is wonderful here and his arc is so complex and intriguing.

Our Grade: B-, A film that nails its aesthetic choices, its narrative choices but one ultimately let down by some pacing problems. I recommend this film. I do caution some that the issues mentioned can hamper the experience for those that don’t like slower burning films. Joaquin Phoenix, who’s a favorite of mine is having himself a year. Couple this performance with his award-worthy turn in You Were Never Really Here and MAN this guy is talented. AND he’s playing The Joker in a Todd Phillips adaptation in 2019. Good luck with that one my guy. You have some tought shoes to fill.

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