Four Brothers

Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, Andre Benjamin, Garrett Hedlund, Sofia Vergara

Directed by John Singleton
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 2.5
Community: star rating
5 2.5 0
August 11, 2005

In this tale of four foster brothers out to nail the ba ds who shot down their activist mother, director John Singleton tries to blend the social drama that made his name in 1991's Boyz N the Hood and the junk instincts that made him box-office gold with 2003's 2 Fast 2 Furious. It's a head-on collision. But you can't deny the sparks.

Mark Wahlberg is in his element as Bobby Mercer, the hard-case older brother who returns to Detroit ready to kick ass. That takes whipping his siblings into shape. He rides Angel (Tyrese Gibson) by questioning the loyalty of his girlfriend Sofi (Sofia Vergara): "She's got hard dick in her right now," he sasses. Baby brother Jack, played by Garrett Hedlund in the kind of heartthrob role that lit a fire under Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise, is a third-rate rock who becomes a target for Bobby's homophobic humor. OutKast's Andre Benjamin delivers the film's most subtle and affecting performance as Jeremiah, the brother who stayed behind in Detroit, watched over mom, married, had kids — and just may be involved with the wrong people.

The wrongest is Victor Sweet (Chiwetel Ejiofor), the mob boss who precipitates the film's brutal climax on a frozen lake. Working from a script by David Elliot and Paul Lovett, Singleton keeps the action percolating with rude laughs before tragedy strikes and sentiment cracks the film's tough veneer. What holds us are the actors, including Terrence Howard as a cop who grew up with the brothers. Howard's ferocity and feeling remind us of his let's-talk-Oscar tour de force in Hustle and Flow, which Singleton produced — and which radiates an authenticity that Four Brothers loses along the way.

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Bird on a Wire”

    Leonard Cohen | 1969

    While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

    More Song Stories entries »