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Four Brothers (R)

Release Date: August 12th, 2005 by Paramount Pictures.
The Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Andre Benjamin, Tyrese Gibson, Garrett Hedlund.
Directed by John Singleton.

BASIC PREMISE: Four brothers hunt for their mother's killer in Detroit.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: There is a lot of exciting action suspense throughout this very entertaining, crowd-pleasing movie. The plot structure is very effective without spoiling any surprises. The four brothers' mother is murdered in the beginning and, fortunately, it is impossible to even guess who the murderer is until the very end. Despite that the mother has very few scenes, she is still an integral character who fuels her four adopted sons' persistence to find her murderer. In a city full of gangs and daily violence, finding the right killer is like trying to find a needle in a haystack--everyone appears suspicious. Each of the four brothers is very smart and tough enough to find clues no matter how aggressive they have to be. Bobby (Wahlberg) is the most likeable, charismatic brother with a lot of surprising humor. There is one particularly funny scene when he cuts a basketball game short just to inquire about a man he is looking for who might be the murderer. Another memorable scene is when the four brothers eat dinner together while they imagine their mother making embarrassing comments about them. The other brothers, Angel (Gibson), Jeremiah (Benjamin), and Jack (Hundland) all help in their own way to try to solve the crime. At one point, Jeremiah's brothers discover a secret about him that leads them to believe that he is the killer. No matter how complicated the plot becomes, there is enough action, tension, and humor to make this a very engaging film. The screenplay is very well-written, with believable and logical twists. The soundtrack is just as hip and cool as the movie itself.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Revenge can be very satisfying, but taking it into your own hands with violence is not a good lesson to learn. However, there are a few touching moments, such as when Bobby has visions of his mother and is reminded to continue on his mission to find her killer. That the four brothers risk their lives in many ways shows how much they love their mother. The ending is very satisfying and is subtly uplifting--which is surprises given how grim and violent most of the film is.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: The fact that the cops are corrupt is unoriginal and clichéd.


THE BOTTOM LINE: An intense, action-packed crowd-pleaser with surprising humor, suspense, and a killer soundtrack!

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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