- John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix make “The Sisters Brothers” one of the most unique Westerns you’ll ever see.
- Though there are great gun fights and beautiful images, it’s the unique story that will grab you.
Every weekend we pick an indie movie currently playing in theatres we think is definitely worth your time and money, and this week’s is “The Sisters Brothers.”
The Western genre has been around for so long that, if you’re a fan, it can be easy to feel like you’ve seen it all. But then a movie like “The Sisters Brothers” comes along and it makes you realise that’s not the case.
In the first film with spoken English by French director Jacques Audiard (“Rust and Bone,” “A Prophet”), this adaptation of the Patrick DeWitt book is a beautifully shot and incredibly acted story that goes beyond most Westerns of this era. Set around the gold rush, the film deeply explores its two main characters as well as the hope for a better future.
That may sound on the surface like dozens of other Westerns, but it’s the tone Audiard brings and the performances by John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix playing the brothers (along with Riz Ahmed and Jake Gyllenhaal in supporting roles) that elevates this work.
Eli (Reilly) and Charlie (Phoenix) may be two of the deadliest killers of the 1850s, and when they are tasked with taking out a gold prospector (Ahmed), their success is believed to be a forgone conclusion. But it’s the way the brothers see the world and feel there’s more out there for them that truly fuels the movie, taking you to places you never thought it would go.
There’s beautiful cinematography (including the opening sequence which is lit mainly by the flashes of gunfire between the brothers and the men they have been hired to take out), thrilling gunfights, and incredible attention to detail through the production design. But this is a movie that’s looking at men at the cusp of progress in America, men who want to be a part of it and find wealth from it – well, at least until things go horribly wrong.
Even if you’re not a Western fan, if you enjoy great storytelling, don’t miss this one.
Our indie movie picks from previous weekends:
- “Eighth Grade”
- “The Miseducation of Cameron Post”
- “Support the Girls”
- “Sorry to Bother You”
- “Operation Finale”
- “Assassination Nation”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.