Turns out the hope we held out for Brothers wasn’t unwarranted. This tragic portrait of the effects of war on young lives brims with real emotion and powerhouse performances from its lead actors, particularly Tobey Maguire and Natalie Portman. For the most part, despite the potential for cheese in its subject matter (man goes off to war, brother steps in to fill his shoes on the home front, man turns out not to be dead and returns to awkward situation in family), the narrative avoids cliche and leaves you with a real, confronting sense of heartbreak. It’s a harrowing film experience that hits you right in the guts, and it could well be the resurrection of Maguire’s post-Peter Parker career.
From Brit-grit gangsters in 44 Inch Chest to hard-hitting drama in Brothers, Best For Film looks at all the upcoming releases and lets you know what’s worth the price of admission. Also up this month we’ve got the hotly anticipated crime drama A Prophet, rom-coms from Sandra Bullock, The Book of Eli, Up in the Air and heist action in Armored.