Parents' Guide to

Half Brothers

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Uneven buddy comedy has sentimental, jarringly sad moments.

Movie PG-13 2020 96 minutes
Half Brothers Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 12+

Worth Watching

My family and I enjoyed this movie. The stereotypes were flagrant but funny for Americans. The Mexican characters often defied stereotypes. The story is light, heartwarming, and funny. Worth watching.
age 18+

Could have been such a great movie

This movie was very heartfelt and funny at the same time. My problem was how they use manipulation to play on people's emotions. It made every white person look like a redneck hateful racist that treats any race other than their own like animals. How insulting! This movie could have been so amazing!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

At first, this movie feels like a familiar wacky buddy comedy/road trip adventure, but it switches gear into a heartrending immigrant's tale in a way that doesn't work tonally or resolve plot issues. It's like two movies rolled into one, and neither is well served by the existence of the other, even if the performances are notable. It's nearly impossible not to see Del Rio as channeling a younger (if even more earnest) Zach Galifianakis in his role as Asher. And Méndez is fine as the uptight Renato, who's unwilling to give Asher the benefit of the doubt. But their zany adventures just aren't quite original or funny enough to be memorable.

Meanwhile, Half Brothers' flashback drama is compelling, humanizing an otherwise unlikable character (it's initially difficult to redeem a man who starts a new family and abandons his old one). But even as the revelations ramp up in intensity and sentimentality, the truth is that Flavio remains somewhat unforgivable, with the exception of introducing his sons. Director Luke Greenfield knows how to pull heartstrings, however, and audiences will find themselves feeling emotional in parts. It's almost as if Greenfield was inspired by Slumdog Millionaire, but the result isn't nearly as effective. There's a bit of whiplash in the transitions from the physical comedy and the brothers' verbal sparring to the turmoil and tribulations of Flavio's journey in America (even if he does eventually end up financially stable, with a beautiful wife and funny younger son). It's a shame that the movie's two halves don't come together more smoothly, because there are moments in each storyline that are worth watching.

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