Gary Hardwick (2009)

15 Certificate


Our Score
When US marine Captain Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire) is presumed killed in action in Afghanistan, the process of healing brings spouse Grace (Natalie Portman) and black-sheep brother Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal) closer together in this contemporary home-front melodrama. A fairly faithful remake of a fine 2004 Scandinavian film, it shows that the story is arguably even more relevant in the setting of an American military town, where the siblings' ex-soldier father (Sam Shepard) is as proud of Sam's service record as he is withering towards Tommy's shiftless ways. Director Jim Sheridan (In the Name of the Father) has a justifiable reputation for getting the best out of his performers, and while he creates a wholly convincing sense of a family tested almost beyond resilience, he also cajoles standout work from Gyllenhaal as the wastrel who finally realises that no-one else is going to do his growing up for him. If the other key performances were just as persuasive, this might be something really special, yet a slightly bland Portman and an overwrought Maguire rather highlight the contrived turns in the plotting of what is a thoroughly respectable effort, but one that is not all it could have been.


Directionless ex-convict Tommy develops a sense of responsibility when his soldier brother Sam is assumed killed in action, and resolves to take care of his widow and children. However, when Sam is later found alive and well, he becomes resentful of his brother's newfound closeness with his wife. Drama, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire and Natalie Portman.

Cast & Crew

Jackson Smith Morris Chestnut
Derrick West D L Hughley
Brian Palmer Bill Bellamy
Terry White Shemar Moore
Sheila West Tamala Jones
Cherie Smith Tatyana Ali
Louise Smith Jenifer Lewis
Director Gary Hardwick
see more

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: LionsgateAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 22 Jan 2010
Drama Comedy