Copyright, Universal Pictures
Prayer Focus

TWO BROTHERS

MPAA Rating: PG for mild violence

Reviewed by: Chris Monroe
STAFF WRITER

Good
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Families, Adults, Kids
Genre:
Action Adventure, Drama
Length:
1 hr. 49 min.
Year of Release:
2004
USA Release:
______
Featuring: Guy Pearce, Le Mai Anh, Freddie Highmore, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, Jean-Claude Dreyfus
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud (The Bear; Seven Years in Tibet; Enemy at the Gates)
Producer: Jake Eberts, Jean-Jacques Annaud
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
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Also, read our INTERVIEWS with the cast and director of “Two Brothers”

Uniting National Geographic with fairy tale is what you will experience when you watch Two Brothers. From French Academy Award winner (the film L’ Ours) Jean Jacques Annaud and director of The Bear comes another good-spirited story that causes us to sympathize with animals and see dangers they can suffer. Easily relating their struggles to our own, the movie ultimately highlights the bond of family and celebrates the joy of being together.

Inside a sacred, ancient temple in the remote jungles of Southeast Asia, a tiger family begins when twin cubs are born. Having their serene dwelling encroached upon by Aidan McRory (Guy Pearce) and his men out to pilfer Buddhist statues, the family’s struggle for survival begins. The young cubs are separated during their family’s plight and grow up in settings opposite of their temperaments. The timid cub is raised in a circus and trained to be a ferocious wild beast, while the bold, aggressive cub lives as the house pet of a young boy, Raoul (Freddie Highmore). Eventually, these brothers reunite, initially as opponents set to fight each other to the death, but their reunion brings about resolve for both themselves and man.

It was interesting to see how much personality was infused into these wild tiger cubs. Through the shots, set-ups and reactions of these animals, we are caused to understand their thoughts in light of the story. The tilt of a head or the perking up of the ears in their reactions did a lot in communicating to us the inner life of these creatures, pertaining to the drama of the story. It was fascinating to watch these animals and relate with them as they travel through their adventure. (Director Jean Jacques Annaud explains more about working with them in our interview article)

Because the reactions of the tigers are so accessible to us, it makes the entertainment a bit more extraordinary. The overall movie is very family friendly and is one that can easily be enjoyed by children. The only potential upsetting moments for kids are the couple of moments where animals are shot with a rifle, but they are done off camera. One of these moments also proves to be only a wounding, and not a killing. These particular moments are really only incidental, and not the focus of the overall story.

The theme of this story is really one of peace. (Director Jean Jacques Annaud addresses this idea in our interview article) Although it was not the director’s intention to make a political statement, it is interesting to see this film in light of the fighting happening in the Middle East. The climactic moment of the story revolves around these two tigers fighting, but the resolve of the moment is one that catches us off guard, with a conclusion that offers us something quite different. Interestingly, the director did not set out to draw an analogy with the war, but simply wrote the story in a state of peace.

An aspect of the movie I did find to critique is that some of the movie looked like it was shot on digital video, and comes across a little fuzzy in places. It was a little noticeable, but may not consciously detract from most people’s overall experience. Still, however, the movie is one to be enjoyed by all ages, and will also be a sure treat for animal lovers.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None

Read our INTERVIEWS with the cast and director of “Two Brothers”

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—Being a fan of animals and a fan of the Animal Planet channel, I had to see this film. It is really cute and heartwarming and will tug at your heartstrings during the film. No sex, little profanity, no nudity make this a good, worthwhile film for kids ages 10 and under.
My Ratings: [Good/3]
—Shannon H., age 22
Positive—My family (husband, two daughters aged 10 and 6, and my sister-in-law) all went to see this movie. We really enjoyed it. It was non-offensive as a whole from a Christian perspective, with minor animal violence. We were slightly worried at the opening animal scene, but luckily it went over my children’s head. As my six year old said afterwards, “The movie was sad, cute, and funny.” My 10 year old was disturbed that anyone would hurt animals, so it was a valuable lesson on good vs. evil. The movie making wasn’t the best, but it was a good family movie night.
My Ratings: [Good/4]
—Katie Wyrosdick, age 33
Neutral—Although this movie has been listed as mild violence, it has quite a bit of senseless (and for younger children, scary) scenes of violence. It has a happy ending but it was not a movie I would watch again or take small children (under 10) to. I went with my niece 7 and nephew 6 based on another review but probably would not have taken them if I had seen it first.
My Ratings: [Average/4]
—Melody Goss, age 46
Positive—I went to see this movie with a friend who shares my Christian faith and my love of animals, and we both enjoyed it very much. Yes, there are disturbing themes about animal cruelty, and I wouldn’t take very young children to this movie, but I don’t think it’s inappropriate to deal with disturbing themes if they represent a real issue, and I can’t imagine that God would ever want us to treat God’s creation as callously as the movie depicts. Love and good do win out in the end, and I found myself leaving the theater with tears streaming down my cheeks. A beautiful, beautiful movie.
My Ratings: [Good/4]
—Feral Burns, age 21
Negative—I took my 5 year old niece to see this. At the end, she said she had enjoyed it, but early on she was asking if we could leave. I love animals—tigers especially, but was not entertained by this movie. A vast amount of time was devoted to the hunting and mistreatment of the animals and the stories of the adults. Thankfully most episodes of cruelty were off camera.

In general, there was nothing morally offensive for a Christian, but a lot of camera shots focused on the Buddhist temple idols. The tiger story was resolved satisfactorily at the end, but much of the film was focused on adults and adult issues. Be wary of letting your children think it’s safe to have tigers sleep in their bed or that it’s safe to approach grown tigers and pet and kiss them.

Not offensive, but not that entertaining. Too much reality. Constant tension with little comic relief. It was not a happy movie. Statistics on screen after the movie documented significant demise of tigers over the last century.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/3½]
—Georgia Heisler, age 54
Positive—Although my 8 and 11 year old are very sheltered from Hollywood movies in general, they not only “handled” the intense moments of this movie but they really enjoyed it. My eight year old’s first comment as the credits scrolled was, “Mom, can we get the DVD?” The beauty and majesty of God’s creation was really showcased through these beautiful tigers and lush jungle scenes. It was extremely sad at times but maybe that’s a good thing considering the big cat’s dwindling numbers. We laughed, and we cried, and although the plight of these two tigers was intense we were never offended because it’s not off color or compromising at all.
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Teresa Robotham, age 42
Negative—We took three 8 yr. olds to see “Two Brothers” yesterday… and we walked out after 45 min. The violence against animals was unrelenting and the storyline was disturbing and tough to follow. Overall, this was a “dark” film with little value. There may have been a happy ending, as some reviewers claimed, but the scenes you need to bare in order to get to that “happy ending” were just too overpowering for me (and I’m 35). Skip it!
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/1]
—Diana O., age 35
Negative—There was a definite “anti-hunting” theme throughout this movie. The tigers were given moral qualities that do not exist in the animal world. These God-given moral qualities are what separates us as humans from the animal world. Men only were portrayed as hunters, not the tigers yet tigers are predators that survive by killing and eating other animals. The tigers in this movie were never shown doing this. Hunting and killing were never a part of God’s plan but is a fact of life ever since Adam and Eve were evicted from the Garden.
My Ratings: [Good/3]
—Wayne McCready, age 39
Positive—I went with my 2 sons, my niece and mom and sisters. We anticipated a cute film along the lines of “Milo and Otis.” The movie was so stressful. At every turn it became worse and worse with cruel people and mistreatment of animals. We wanted to leave early but stayed to see how it ended. At almost 2 hours long it was a long wait and not worth it. I would think I would be very disturbing to children under 10 not to mention stressful to adults!
My Ratings: [Good/1½]
—Melissa, age 41
Neutral—“Two Brothers” is a sweet film that quickly turns sad but encouragingly ends well. Two tiger cubs are separated at birth because of a band of ruin thieves in the jungle. The sweet, innocent tigers grow up in sad environments which change their lives and hearts for the worse. Separated for years, the two brothers finally reunited—but this time in an arena where each tiger is expected to battle the other to the death. My wife and I were expecting a more light-hearted, fun-to-watch movie. We ended up getting a movie that quickly turns very sobering and sad. Though the ending is heart lifting, the overall movie should not be expected to always put a smile on your face. A positive aspect was that there was no swearing that I can remember, nor any sexual content. Most kids should handle this movie fine, unless they are extra sensitive to animal mistreatment.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/3]
—J.D., age 25
Positive—I think it was the best movie I ever have seen in my whole life. Two brothers is a great movie for little kids 8 and under. It has a good moral. My three kids (16, 12, 4) loved it. I’ve taken them to see it three times already.
My Ratings: [Good/4½]
—Renee Anderson, age 38
Positive—This movie is a great movie. I loved it! I took my three nieces {12, 10, 7} with me and they enjoyed this movie as well. You have to see this movie it is so cute!!
My Ratings: [Good/3½]
—Nicole Taylor, age 23
Comments from young people
Positive—I thought it was a great, but very sad movie. My little sister (6) felt so bad for the baby tiger cubs, and I even cried a little. Our family loved it but I don’t think any young kid would like seeing animals tranquilized, locked up, or yelled at harshly. My sister certainly did not like it. Overall, I think it’s a great family movie, but not for young kids (especially those who love animals a lot). IT WAS GREAT!!!
My Ratings: [Good/4]
—Kacey, age 13
Positive—Great movie! Nothing offensive at all! Me, My parents and My sisters (9 and 12!) loved this movie!
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Ashley, age 11
Neutral—This movie was not too bad. It is not something great you’ll miss if you don’t see it, but if you do, it’s not something bad to sit through. I found only a few things objectional. One, throughout the movie, the characters said, “For the love of G__,” which to me, is a form of taking God’s name in vain. Another, the wife of one of the men in the movie is sort of flirting and such with the main character of the movie, played by Guy Pearce. A married woman should not be carrying on that way. Overall, the movie was pretty good and it was enjoyable.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Molly, age 14
Positive—This movie has the best photography, and there is absolutely nothing offensive about it. It’s something for everyone, action, comedy, and romance. And wait till you see those adorable tiger cubs! I could’ve melted!!
My Ratings: [Excellent!/5]
—Allison, age 14