Four Brothers

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Four Brothers Movie Poster Image
A rowdy, brutal revenge movie -- not for kids.
  • R
  • 2005
  • 110 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 10 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Vengeance allows all manner of violence.


Explosions, gunfights, car crashes, bodies falling and breaking.


Sexual allusions and one woman's sexy outfits.


Lots of action movie language, of all sorts.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking, smoking, drug use.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the movie features relentless violence and harsh, action-hero language (repeated uses of "f--k" in jest and malice). The mother's murder is made visible on a convenience store video tape, with cuts to the brothers' horror and grief. Characters smoke cigarettes and marijuana, drink beer and liquor, play rough pickup hockey, and chase down culprits who wear ski masks or otherwise look menacing. The shootouts involve large, automatic weapons (lots of shots fired). One character falls out a window and breaks his leg (the injury is shown in close-up), others are shot to pieces, with very visible blood and mangling.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydarthsitkur January 18, 2013

Who doesn't love a good revenge flick?

I like this movie a lot, there's great performances, there's drama, there's humor, there's suspense, and plenty of intense action
Parent of a 11-year-old Written byjsharpe October 17, 2009
Teen, 14 years old Written byLukeCon December 4, 2020

Mixed messages in intense and gripping Singleton flick

Singleton brings some difficult messages to the forefront in this new flick. These messages leave the audience thinking--were the good guys right, or were the g... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byLuke Rambo October 25, 2020
The only big problem was the 70+ f-words.

What's the story?

When their adopted mother (Fionnula Flanagan) is killed, an accidental victim of apparent gang-related activity, her sons grow suspicious. Troublemaker Bobby (Mark Wahlberg); "pretty boy" Angel (Tyrese Gibson); family man Jeremiah (André Benjamin); and sensitive, pot-smoking wannabe rocker Jack (Garrett Hedlund) become intent on finding out the truth.

Is it any good?

FOUR BROTHERS is upfront about what it is: a rowdy, brutal revenge movie. The brothers' mission -- justice? revenge? havoc? -- leads to all kinds of mayhem, which a sympathetic Lt. Green (super smooth Terrence Howard) condones as "self-defense." Four Brothers practices the sort of chilling logic whereby the good guys' outrageousness looks "decent" compared to cruelty committed by the Head Villain, here Victor Sweet (Chiwetel Ejiofor), the most depraved gangster this side of Jeffrey Wright's psycho killer in Shaft. This is how mean he is: when a fearful councilman (Barry Shabaka Henley) stops by Victor's home to report bad news, the host sends him to sit at the kids' table in the corner.

The shoot-outs are gargantuan, the car chases demented, and the snow storms actually rather arty. One car chase is especially ingenious, in its way, as it's not about the spectacular driving, but about blindness amid swirling snow. The brothers drive on, unable to stop. It's a useful metaphor for the film.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the film's mixed messages about violence: it's bad when "gangs" or thugs use it against citizens, but fine and even celebrated when deployed by the vengeful heroes. How do corrupt law and municipal officials, in league with the central villain, create a sense of pervasive dishonesty? How do women characters appear as stereotypical sexual or maternal figures? How does the film promote the brothers' bonding, at the expense of civil order or even hope for any justice aside from murdering the villains?

Movie details

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