• Alternative view 1 of Brother
  • Alternative view 2 of Brother


4.6 3

Cast: Claude Maki, Omar Epps, Masaya Kato

Some fans felt that actor/writer/editor/director Takeshi Kitano's foray to win over the American audience, Brother, lacked the all-around Renaissance Man's stylish explorations of violence, his keen satirical edge, and overall laconic cinematic mood that made his earlier films (Hana-bi and Sonatine to name the most popular) so breathtaking and


Some fans felt that actor/writer/editor/director Takeshi Kitano's foray to win over the American audience, Brother, lacked the all-around Renaissance Man's stylish explorations of violence, his keen satirical edge, and overall laconic cinematic mood that made his earlier films (Hana-bi and Sonatine to name the most popular) so breathtaking and memorable. Other fans felt that Brother's screenplay was just too clichéd, unfocused, and perhaps a little too Westernized for their tastes. Regardless of the die-hard fans' grumbling, Brother still contains enough of Kitano's trademark cool factor and is a film that should appeal to action fans who usually stray no farther than the latest Steven Seagal or Jean-Claude Van Damme flick. Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment's DVD is presented in its proper 1.85 aspect ratio (enhanced for widescreen televisions). The picture is excellent and very sharp, although there are a couple of scenes about a quarter of the way into the film that contain some slight compression problems. Outside of that, the picture is stable and excellent. The disc also contains a 5.1 Dolby Digital Japanese/English language soundtrack, as well as a very good and robust two-channel option. The disc has been equipped with English, Spanish, and French subtitles. Note that the disc defaults to English subtitles when playing, even though the film contains a duel Japanese/English soundtrack. So if you don't want to watch the film's English dialogue subtitled, make sure to switch them off before beginning. The disc unfortunately does not contain the original theatrical trailer, though three other Columbia/TriStar DVD release trailers have been supplied.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Chas Turner
Blithely ultraviolent and brutally funny, Brother may be as close to a by-the-numbers genre film as celebrated Japanese director Takeshi Kitano is ever likely to come. This crime saga is littered with ritualistically severed fingers and other ingredients drawn directly from Japanese cinema's long tradition of yakuza (gangster) potboilers. Kitano stars as gangland under-boss Yamamoto who, exiled from Japan after a series of ill-fated power plays, heads to Los Angeles in search of his younger brother, Ken (Claude Maki). Ken is already running with a bottom-rung crew of his own, which includes among its members an unusually lucky street hustler named Denny (Omar Epps). The film's title, clearly, is a kind of triple entendre about siblings, race relations, and the fraternity of the criminal underclass. The filial bond that develops between Epps and Kitano amid the backdrop of clan warfare among Asians, African-Americans, and Latinos -- a milieu drenched in kamikaze nihilism -- becomes the heart of the film. A return to form that fans of the director's classics (including Sonatine and Fireworks) will be sure to embrace, Brother is also the perfect introduction to Kitano's inimitable brand of ruthless comedy and slapstick mayhem.
All Movie Guide - Jonathan Crow
In much of his work, Takeshi Kitano has coupled deadpan wit and sentimentality with jarring, often horrific violence. In his previous outing, Kikujiro, he veered towards the former, while with Brother, Kitano firmly positions himself in the realm of the latter. While never losing Kitano's signature mordant humor, this film features disembowelments, grisly beatings, and buckets of lopped-off pinkies. Although lacking the brilliant narrative experimentation of Hana-Bi, Brother retains that film's restrained style and elegant cinematography. Just as Fritz Lang, Michelanglo Antonioni, and Wim Wenders have employed America's vast and overwhelming landscape into their aesthetic mold, so does Kitano. Here, Los Angeles is given the same austere treatment as Tokyo in the filmmaker's early work. Though a crime saga, at the heart of this film Kitano also explores the nature of brotherhood. While Yamamoto shares a biological connection with his thick-witted sibling Ken, and a sort of foxhole loyalty with his gangster comrade Kato, Yamamoto's closest affection -- as evinced by the film's poignant ending -- lies with Denny. While Kitano and Terajima deliver solid, often laconic performances, Omar Epps' screen presence dominates every scene in which he appears. Although perhaps not Kitano's most innovative or accomplished film, Brother is a poignant, darkly beautiful work by a master of international cinema.
Village Voice - J. Hoberman
If nothing else, Brother confirms Kitano's stature as the most original purveyor of on-screen mayhem since Sam Peckinpah.
New York Times - Elvis Mitchell
Mr. Kitano directed, edited and wrote Brother and his style of close-to-the-vest brutality travels extremely well.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Special Features

Digitally mastered audio and Anamorphic video; Widescreen presentation; Audio: English/Japanese 5.1 [dolby digital] and 2-channel [dolby surround]; Subtitles: English, Spanish, French; Bonus Trailers; Interactive menus; Scene selections

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Takeshi Kitano Yamamoto
Claude Maki Ken
Omar Epps Denny
Masaya Kato Shirase
Ren Ohsugi Harada
Joy Nakagawa Actor
Tatyana Ali Actor
Susumu Terajima Kato
Ryo Ishibashi Ishibashi
James Shigeta Susimoto
Tetsuya Watari Jinseikai Boss
Kool Moe Dee Jack
Manny Perez Mexican mafia henchman

Technical Credits
Takeshi Kitano Director,Editor,Screenwriter
Ann Carli Co-producer
Joe Hisaishi Score Composer
Norihiro Isoda Production Designer
Masayuki Mori Producer
Jeremy Thomas Producer
Yohji Yamamoto Costumes/Costume Designer
Katsumi Yanagishima Cinematographer
Takio Yoshida Co-producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selections
1. Start [2:44]
2. Big Tipper [6:02]
3. Big Boss Goes Out [7:43]
4. Sake Ceremony [5:46]
5. Half-Brothers [3:42]
6. Denny [2:33]
7. Cheating at Dice [2:15]
8. Victor [2:59]
9. At War in America [2:11]
10. Kate [3:43]
11. Sunset Square Massacre [3:33]
12. Marina [9:54]
13. Settling Accounts [2:55]
14. "Denny, Shoot. Shoot!" [2:36]
15. Runaway Pusher [1:20]
16. Expansion Plans [1:31]
17. Shirase [2:11]
18. Staking His Life [2:19]
19. Gang War [3:14]
20. Letter From Harada [3:51]
21. "We Got Your Woman." [5:53]
22. Killing Geppetti [3:46]
23. A Terrible Thing To Do [2:19]
24. War! [2:08]
25. Death [4:51]
26. Playing the Odds [5:10]
27. Last Stand [6:47]
28. $60 Plus Interest [1:59]


Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Brother 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you have ever seen Takeshi Kitano he always comes out as a very quiet, odd, unpredictable Japanese mob, but his acting is extremely talented and never seem forced. You actually believe that he is like the movie character in real life. You will know why he is known as ''beat''.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first saw this movie on HBO, and was amazed by the skill of the actors. They slipped into their roles, and no one stuck against the rest of the cast. This is simply a great movie, and will make you respect the name Aneki
Anonymous More than 1 year ago