September 27, 2018

The Sisters Brothers is in theaters on September 28th, 2018.

There are few things in life I love more than a good dark comedy. Something that makes you laugh when you probably shouldn't. It's such a strange feeling; a bit indulgent.

In Bruges was one of the best to ever grace the genre. A monumentally hefty reveal surrounded by some of the funniest dry humor I've ever seen in my life.

Then you've got the don't-cha-know-laden classic, Fargo, the controversial Django Unchained, and possible the most relatable, Office Space.

All of these films employ the same tactic: build the tension until it feels like a rubber band about to snap and release. The Sisters Brothers is the newest picture from director Jacques Audiard, whose previous work I am quite frankly unfamiliar with. That said, if Sisters Brothers is any indication of the quality of the other movies in his filmography, I'll be seeking them out as well.

Eli and Charlie Sisters (John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix, respectively) are very good at what they do, or at least Charlie thinks so. Which just happens to be killing people. Famed assassins, the Brothers are motivated primarily by money, secondary only to ego.

Their search for riches is amplified when word of a formula used to locate gold -- curated by chemist Hermann Kermit Warm (Riz Ahmed) -- makes its way to them. This miracle product can be used to sort of illuminate the gold, making it easier to collect.

Detective John Morris (Jake Gyllenhaal) will play an integral part in whether or not the brothers will get their hands on the formula, and possibly Warm, too.

I don't do remarkably well with movies that have a seemingly large amount of downtime -- or quiet time -- and then loud bursts. This will make me sound like an 87-year-old, but I get nervous and then the sudden volume startles me. Good examples of this sort of thing are There Will Be Blood and literally any horror film.

The Sisters Brothers played with that tool quite a bit, and it was no different. I had my ears plugged for a decent portion of the film. I've always wondered if anyone else does that.

I think it's funny that -- at this point in the game -- anyone is making movies about money-hungry white men. But perhaps that's the whole thing; call attention to it and take away its power? I'm not sure.

I always enjoy Reilly and Phoenix, and I think they worked very well together. Phoenix has that wildcard shtick down pat. Very reminiscent of the scene in Signs where they're running around the house screaming.

Reilly does well with a more somber portrayal of a nut job. To kill people as a vocation, that's a bit nutty. I felt this role gave him the same amount of depth as his role in We Need To Talk About Kevin. He got equal parts playful and no-nonsense.

It was also a treat to see Riz Ahmed and Jake Gyllenhaal sharing the screen again. This was the first time I've seen them together since the brilliant thriller Nightcrawler. The two bounce off of each other in a delightful fashion. Massively entertaining.

While the film does maintain the vibe of a Western, there's more substance to it, which I appreciate. Well-timed laughs, a bang-up script, and well-rounded performances illuminate the rave reviews Sisters Brothers has been receiving. This is definitely one to see and could likely be buzzed about come Oscar season.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Katie Katie (Contributor) is a cinephile and Chicago native who has been reviewing film for nearly a decade. Her heroes include Roger Ebert and Jay Sherman -- it stinks!
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