The Sisters Brothers
Sibling assassins wander the frontier.
When you’re watching The Sisters Brothers, “it’s almost impossible to believe it wasn’t made by the Coen brothers,” said Leah Greenblatt in Entertainment Weekly. Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly co-star as Charlie and Eli Sisters—deadly bounty hunters in 1850s Oregon who are often thwarted by their own bumbling and bickering. There’s a lot of dry cowboy humor, but the movie “gets sadder as it goes along.” A gentleman scout played by Jake Gyllenhaal has gone out ahead of the Sisters boys to draw a secret out of one their targets, and the scout proves “the most singular figure on screen,” said Anthony Lane in The New Yorker. Gyllenhaal always seems to be withholding something, and the trait’s “an especially good fit for this movie, which glitters with half-revealed secrets” and values each character’s potential for change. Though it’s often violent, The Sisters Brothers is “more interested in shooting the breeze than shooting rifles,” said A.A. Dowd in AVClub.com. As in great hangout Westerns of the past, “the best moments are the ones that find vulnerability in rakes and rogues pulled away from their baser instincts by the bonds of friendship and family.”
Robert Viglasky/Bleecker Street, Magali Bragard/Annapurna Pictures ■