Jim Sheridan's adaptation of Susanne Bier's 2005 Danish drama about the human costs of war is, thankfully, generally faithful to the exceptional original. Playing Sam, a responsible Army man with a beautiful wife (Natalie Portman) and two daughters who's preparing to return to Afghanistan, and Tommy, his ne'er-do-well, ex-con brother, Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal respectively bring their acting work to new levels, while Portman does her best to keep up.

Jim Sheridan's adaptation of Susanne Bier's 2005 Danish drama about the human costs of war is, thankfully, generally faithful to the exceptional original. Playing Sam, a responsible Army man with a beautiful wife (Natalie Portman) and two daughters who's preparing to return to Afghanistan, and Tommy, his ne'er-do-well, ex-con brother, Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal respectively bring their acting work to new levels, while Portman does her best to keep up.

As Brothers follows the family and the central siblings - Sam captured, tortured and presumed dead, Tommy finding peace by taking over Sam's responsibilities until he unexpectedly comes back - Sheridan sometimes lays the differences in their circumstances on a little thick, but the emotions at the core of the film are dead-on. And given an eerily similar news report I heard in the car right after the screening, about an incarcerated Ohio Iraq war veteran whose wife says he returned a changed man, so is its timing.