BROTHERS directed by Jim Sheridan, written by.

BROTHERS directed by Jim Sheridan, written by David Benioff, with Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman. An Alliance release. 110 minutes. Opens Friday (December 4). For venues, times, and trailers, see Movies. Rating: NNN

Good-boy soldier Sam (Tobey Maguire) gets captured by the Taliban, and his family assumes he’s dead. When he miraculously returns, he discovers that bad-boy brother Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal) has been getting close to Sam’s wife (Natalie Portman) and kids.[rssbreak]

Sheridan goes into Deer Hunter territory when it comes to demonizing the enemy, but he gets superb performances from his cast, especially 10-year-old Bailee Madison as the not-so-lovable older daughter, and the film’s emotional power can’t be denied. But it comes to an abrupt end at what should be the beginning of the last act.

Perhaps the star-laden cast will help Brothers break the post-9/11 box office hex on war-related movies. But I fear I’m dreaming.

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