The Sisters Brother: Joaquin Rides Again

The Sisters Brother is a quirky crime drama western directed by Jacques Audiard. The plot follows the infamous duo assassins The Sister Brothers (played by Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly), as they are sent on a mission to hunt down Hermann Kermit Warm (Riz Ahmed), a chemist who has made a breakthrough in gold prospecting.

The thing that stands out to me about this film is the performances. We get layered nuanced character all round. Heavy hitter like Phoenix and Gyllenhaal knock it out of the park, making what could otherwise be very standard ‘cowboy’ characters feel rounded and three dimensional.

Adding to this the relationship between the Brothers is also very well done by both men and very convincing. I keep saying John C. Reilly is a very talented dramatic actor and this film proves it again. We understand the brothers as people, we can see what makes them tick and understand the ins and out of their relationship the ups and the downs.

Another thing I liked was the fact that this film bucked the trend and didn’t show all the big action spectacle gun battles, sometimes even going out of its way to deliberately keep them off camera. I liked how this film focused more on the brothers and their relationship instead, the drama and the characters were the heart of the film; personally I preferred that to a big noon showdown, but that is just me.

For the most part I thought this film did a good job of pacing itself, but there were scenes that did drag on for a bit too long, I understand that some of these scenes were supposed to be setting the atmosphere, but they felt redundant in that capacity and as such should have been cut.

Overall, a fresh and interesting western film boosted by some strong performances, but it could have been a tight hour and forty-five minutes; a tighter edit needed.

Pros.

Phoenix

Riley.

Gyllenhaal

Not showing the action.

Cons.

It should have been shorter; it felt a bit bloated.

4/5

Reviewed by Luke

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