Brothers Reviews

Home » Media » Reviews » Brothers Reviews

1. "...And 10-year-old Bailee Madison, as their young daughter, Isabelle, is remarkable in every way, one of the most natural and effective child performances in a long while [...] He [Jim Sheridan] also talked at length about two scenes that are sure to be remembered. One is a pivotal moment between Maguire and his friend (Patrick Flueger) after they are captured by the Taliban. The other is an incredibly intense dinner table scene after he returns home. Without giving too much away, let's just say it centers on Madison and a balloon."
- Pete Hammond @ LATimes.Com

2."The real story of the film, however, is the casting of Bailee Madison and Taylor Geare, two absolutely amazing young girls who knock it out of the park. Much credit is due to Sheridan, of course, who has shown in the past his ability to get great performances out of children. But these two ladies have talent to spare. It was a really nice surprise."
- Kristopher Tapley @ Incontention.Com

3."Even more surprising are the performances of the two child actors Madison and Geare. Madison in particular is very natural as the older daughter and her face-off with Sam at her sister’s birthday party is one of the film’s best moments."
- Mike Goodridge @

3. "...The two youngsters who plays the daughters, Bailee Madison and Taylor Geare, are exceptionally good in showing how adult misbehavior can damage and distort their natural trust and instincts."
- Kirk Honeycutt @ HollywoodReporter.Com

4. "We are also introduced to a brand new child actor, Bailee Madison. If Abigail Breslin could get an Oscar nomination for her performance in "Little Miss Sunshine", then it would be a sin for Madison not to get one. She is an amazing child actor, and hopefully we will see more of her in the future."
- Chris Behn @ Movie Master Headquarters

5. "Very few films that I see can affect me to tears... this one did manage to do that. I am a jaded Industry member that has studied & participated in many films over my 26-plus yr. career, therefore when I got to that point-of-no-return tissue-wise, I had plenty of adjacent sniffles around me. This film has many stellar performances to speak of and most surprising to me was Tobey Maguire's! He has finally won me over as a fan. I am certain that there are at least 5 Oscar Noms. in store for this movie: Best Pix, Best Director, Best Actor (Tobey), Best Actress (Natalie Portman), and Best Supp. Actress (8-yr-old Bailee Madison, a phenom!) Nat Port called her at the screening, "...a little genius!"
-Adrian Tafoya @ Imdb.Com

6. "...The actor who steals the movie, however, is 10 year old Bailee Madison. She is the heart of the film, as we see how all of the conflict (not just familial but the greater conflict between our nations) gets concentrated in her tortured soul. This does not appear to be a performance that was assembled in the editing room. She appears to be fully in control, and she is the heart of the film. Her performance will haunt you. It is perhaps the best performance I have ever seen from an actor under 12."
-Martin Perea @ Imdb.Com

7. "Standout among the rest of the cast is 10 year old Bailee Madison who delivers one of the best kid performances seen in a long time. Her bit with the balloon at the dinner table is an instant classic."
- Pete Hammond @ BoxOffice.Com

8. "...But as that old Hollywood saying goes, never work with children and animals. Nine-year-old Bailee Madison, who is shaping up to be the next Dakota Fanning, steals the film’s most memorable scene when she cruelly spoils a family homecoming birthday meal for her sister."
- Olu Alemoru @ The LA Independent

10. "The story to come is laid bare in the things no one can say and the things they can. There's a triangle of deep bitterness, disappointment, and resentment between Hank and his sons. It's here that 10-year-old Bailee Madison's performance soars. In some ways, the little girl who is Isabelle will be the canvas upon which the family drama will paint itself. The actress is able to express the terrible inner turmoil of a child watching her family fall apart. I've never seen a child so young be so effective onscreen. She is heartbreaking. "
- MaryAnn Johanson @ Charleston City Paper

11. "The crowning achievement in BROTHERS, however, is the performance Sheridan pulls from young actress Bailee Madison. Sheridan proved in 2004’s IN AMERICA that he has a gift for getting staggering performances from his child actors, and, with Madison’s turn in BROTHERS, he seals the deal that he is the go-to guy for this type of thing. Madison makes you weep for her character, and, at only ten years old, she has an effortless ability at capturing the audience’s attention."
- Kirk @ We Are Movie Geeks

12. "But it's Bailee Madison who steals this movie away from her more seasoned co-stars. Madison delivers a performance actors with dozens of years more experience would be hard-pressed to find within themselves. When she smiles up at Maguire in the family's backyard and then as he walks away her beautiful little face crumbles and ages - right there is a moment in film I'll never forget. This young actress is going to go far."
- Rebecca Murray @ About.Com

13. " in In America, he elicits outstanding performances from his child actors, with Madison in particular exuding not just youthful joy and fear, but soul-deep anxiety (laced with bitterness) over the dawning comprehension that her dad's happily-ever-after return has mucked up her reality more than his apparent death. Madison's angry tears during a volatile birthday dinner have a naturalness that's bracing"
- Nick Schager @ Slant Magazine

14. "Also holding her own is ten-year-old actress Bailee Madison, who plays the Cahills' oldest daughter Isabelle with an astounding level of control and timing. Her talent is undeniable, and one can imagine the well-prepared Sheridan taking particular care with Madison and her role, particularly in a wildly edited scene in which a hardened Isabelle pushes her Dad's buttons. The problem is Sheridan and company too often rely on Madison's performance to pop open the waterworks and grab the audience's sympathies. We barely need the help."
- Norm Schrager @ FilmCritic.Com

15. "...and his two young daughters (Bailee Madison and Taylor Geare, both charmingly natural)."
- Randall King @ Winnipeg Free Press

16. "In past films like In America (2002), Sheridan has displayed a knack for working with child actors, and true to form, he coaxes a great turn from youngster Bailee Madison. As Isabelle, the older and more sullen of Grace's two daughters, Madison injects a much-needed element of danger into a dinner party scene near the film's end. Dragging her fingertips across a balloon until it makes deliberately nerve-fraying squeaks, the pouty kid creates the atmosphere of dread that permeated Brødre from start to finish. By refusing to make nice, the child points to the elephant in the room: Sam's tour of duty might be over, but that doesn't mean bombs won't detonate before the night is through. Madison's wonderfully bratty scene reveals the one thing that's missing from this new, American Brothers – mess."
- Lee Ferguson @ CBC News

17. "Geare and Madison, especially, are good depicting their growing attachment to and acceptance of their'Uncle Tommy'."
- James Verniere @

18. "Sheridan, who directed children so well in 2002's In America , also gets unusually resonant performances from the child actors, especially Madison."
- Liam Lacey @ The Globe And Mail

19. "As he showed with 'In America,' Mr. Sheridan has an especially good touch with children, and the scenes with Ms. Geare and Ms. Madison — grieving, playing, fussing with each other — are the finest and truest in the movie."
- A.O Scott @ The New York Times

20. "And young Bailee Madison, as Sam and Grace's firstborn, Isabelle, gives one of those frighteningly empathetic performances that little kids in the company of practiced actors sometimes, somehow, come up with. Her hurt is palpable."
- Steven Rea @ Philadelphia Inquirer

21. "...Sam's older daughter (an excellent Bailee Madison)..."
- Rene Rodriguez @ The Miami Herald

22. "...for that matter, Bailee Madison and Taylor Geare, the two young actresses playing the daughters, are pretty amazing, too."
- Tim Miller @ Cape Cod Online

23. "Best of show goes to Madison, who acts the pants off the adults with sensitive expressions of fear, affection and inevitable parental damage on her vivid little face."
- Jeanne Aufmuth @ Palo Alto Online

24. "She should take a lesson from Bailee Madison and Taylor Geare, the little scene-stealers playing her precocious daughters."
- Al Alexander @

25. "Also worth mentioning are the two young actresses Bailee Madison and Taylor Geare, who play Portman and Maguire’s daughters. The way they connect with the cast is so authentic, it makes it effortless for the audience to in turn connect with the family’s hardships."
- Ilan Mester @ andPOP

26. "Sam's daughter's, Maggie and Isabelle (Taylor Geare and Bailee Madison, respectively, delivering moving, standout performances)..."
- Kirk Baird @

27. "Madison is an excellent young performer..."
- Abbie Bernstein @ iFMagazine

28. "...and I was also impressed with the young Bailee Madison. This kid is powerful and is sure to take Hollywood by storm for years to come."
- Brian McKechnie @ CityNews

29. "But Brothers is well worth it just for the performances of its four adult lead roles and the young girls who play Sam’s daughters (Bailee Madison and Taylor Geare) are also wholly believable."
- Peter Covino @ Osceola News-Gazette

30. "Ten year old Bailee Madison is an absolute natural- she is astounding real."
- Shelli Sonstein @

31. "It's an impressive ensemble piece, rounded out by two remarkably non-annoying young actresses (Bailee Madison and Taylor Geare) as Sam and Grace's daughters."
- Alison Hallett @ The Portland Mercury

32. "Even if Brothers is intended as an Oscar vehicle for McGuire and Gyllenhaal, it’s ultimately Bailee Madison, playing Sam’s oldest daughter, Isabelle, who steals the spotlight. First struggling against her father’s inevitable deployment and then against the broken man that returns, Madison delivers stunning complexity to her small role, eclipsing the trio of high-profile actors who are acting so very, very hard."
- Jeff Kubik @ FFWD

33. "Mention also must be made of Madison and Mulligan, who play the girls. They’re fantastic; their comfort with their characters, their unaffected portrayal, makes what they’re going through all the more devastating."
- Bill Goodykoontz @ Oshkosh Northwestern

34. " the oldest, 10-year-old actress Bailee Madison shows natural instinct..."
- Justin Strout @ Cleveland Scene Weekly

35. "And the two youngsters playing Sam's kids, Taylor Geare and especially Bailee Madison, will rip your heart out -- Sheridan is once again great with kids, as he was in In America."
- Bill Wine @ AHN

36. "The real stand-out of the entire film is the acting work done by Bailee Madison and Taylor Geare as Sam and Grace’s daughters (Isabelle and Maggie, respectively). Whereas certain parts of the film shift into by-the-numbers territory, Madison and Geare both turn in stirring and rich performances. Madison, in particular, dominates a few scenes showing the breakdown of her family. It is actually her, as oldest daughter Isabelle, that speaks out and ultimately kicks off the big turning point of the film."
- Kate Erbland @

37. "...and her girls (Bailee Madison and Taylor Geare, both excellent; Sheridan once again exhibits a way with children)..."
- Todd Hill @ Staten Island Entertainment

38. "The breakout here is the impressive Bailee Madison, the elder daughter (9-10 years old) of Natalie and Tobey, with an insanely adult-like portrayal and delivers the most gut wrenching lines... Showing much disdain and little remorse for her fathers return, she’s one to keep an eye on."
- Zach Lawrence @

39. "However, one performance that is probably (sadly) going to be ignored, and that bowled us over is the ten-year old Bailee Madison's turn as the eldest daughter, Isabelle. In the second half of the film, she is given scenes with the kind of depth that would test even the most seasoned of actresses and she absolutely kills it with jaw dropping confidence. The frightening metamorphosis she sees in her father is expressed with trembling eyes, body language and a dinner sequence that is central to the entire picture. It's remarkably assured and crafted work from such a young actress, and is one that we hope is going to be a career changer for her."
- Kevin Jagernauth @ The Playlist

40. "Excellent support is provided by Sam Shepard as the military Dad whose past has laid the seeds for the present, and Bailee Madison and Taylor Geare, two of the screen's most unaffected recent child actors."
- James Berardinelli @ Reelviews

41. "Another standout also permeates in the form of Bailee Madison as one of the young daughters of Portman and Maguire. She matches most of the grown up actors toe to toe without being presumptious. Like Jake, in my mind, she deserves an Oscar nomination for their work because it is so purely emotional. The film is a surprise of riches wrapped in a small package, ready for delivery for those who are able to see its reflection."
- Insidereel @ SirkTV

42. "[..] the only cast member able to rise above that is 10-year-old Bailee Madison, who plays Sam and Grace’s oldest daughter, Isabelle. Her performance offers up more emotion than a little girl should be able to, beautifully capturing the disappointment of her father leaving again and the dismay of his return as an entirely different person."
- Anders Wright @ San Diego CityBeat

43. "Though child actresses Bailee Madison and Taylor Geare are sharing the screen with far more experienced performers (especially Sam Shepard and Mare Winningham), the girls give some of the best young performances in recent memory. They're required to succeed in moments of womb-tugging adorableness and deep emotion, and nine-year-old Madison is particularly impressive as Isabelle."
- Kimber Myers @ CinemaSpy.Com

44. "Bailee Madison, as the oldest of Sam's 2 daughters is so riveting I think we may see a lot of this young actor. She managed to show us the emotions behind her emotions on screen. Incredible. Really incredible." "
- Blogger @ Imwideawake.blogspot.Com

45. "But child stars Bailee Madison and Taylor Geare almost steal the show as the captain’s daughters. In spite of their tender years, they tell the adults what’s really going on. The acting is outstanding, but the tension is strong and this film is not easy to watch. For those who can handle it, it’s a worthy effort and a cut above ordinary Hollywood fare." "
- John Depko and Susanne Perez @ Daily Pilot

46. "...let me just say that all actors did an amazing job - especially Bailee Madison who plays the older daughter of about 10 years of age. This girl is one to watch for! The range of emotions and feelings this little girl has to portray would be daunting for even an accomplished adult actor, and she is flawlessly believable. I cried when she cried, was scared when she was scared. Did I mention she's only 10?? She pretty much stole the whole show. "
- blogger @

47. "....and a pair of warm and loving daughters (the sparkling Bailee Madison and Taylor Geare). Not only are the girls terrific little actors, but both serve as more than window dressing to a coming-home plot that has their believed-to-be-dead dad returning from Taliban capture as a changed and borderline-crazy man. Family on the "Brothers" home front: from left, Bailee Madison, Natalie Portman and Taylor Geare.Nine-year-old Madison, who might remind some of Tina Majorino (most recently a notable teen in “Napoleon Dynamite” and cable HBO’s “Big Love,” but a smart fixture in some early ’90s films), is particularly poignant. "
- John M. Urbancich, Sun News @

48. "The best performance is a remarkable one by Bailee Madison as Maguire’s older daughter. Her character is a child who is too sensitive for her own good, and can feel the undercurrents of rage from her father and the attraction between her mother and uncle. In a scene at her sister’s birthday party, she acts out and says some things that are shockingly inappropriate, but the young actress makes us understand exactly where it’s coming from.
- Jackrabbit Slim @

49. "Brothers flew under the radar, even with the talented cast of Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire. But like many of the great child performances, the youngster in the cast had no problem succeeding amongst the bigger names. Maybe it was the unexpected surprise that made her so engaging, but Bailee Madison quite simply stole the entire film from three of the best young actors in Hollywood.
Every scene she is in will tempt you to tears. Her face melts with every emotion and sadness is her best. As a scared child of a scarred war veteran, she puts fear in our eyes as a viewer. This was not just another child actor. Bailee just might be another Meryl Streep, only in a 10-year-old frame.
I challenge anybody to watch the dinner scene and not break down as this innocent-faced little girl pumps attitude in her father’s direction. With every verbal lashing he gives her, she returns it with a 1,000-yard stare and an intensity unmatched by any child actor today.
- Mike Eisenberg @ ScreenRant.Com

Back » Forward » Home