A darkly funny, satisfyingly violent adaptation of Patrick DeWitt’s novel, The Sisters Brothers follows four men whose bumbling paths cross in Oregon and California in 1851. The titular brothers are assassins, and are played with predictable excellence by John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix; when they aren't drinking or bickering, they're chasing two other men, played by Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed (also excellent, also predictably). There are intense shoot-outs and there are goofy pratfalls, and there's dread and sadness and mishaps involving everything from an angry bear to a well-loved shawl. Somehow, the ungainly contraption holds together beautifully.
by Erik Henriksen
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