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The Brothers Grimm (2005)

  Directed by: Terry Gilliam
Written by: Ehren Kruger
Starring: Monica Bellucci, Matt Damon, Lena Headey, Heath Ledger, Jonathan Pryce
Links: The Brothers Grimm on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on DVD
Genre: Suspense/Horror/Thriller

This movie gets: 7.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Worth the wait?" - a review by pearly

I am a huge Terry Gilliam fan. The man is notorious for his visual focus, attention to detail, and incredible bad luck / management on film sets, leading to a way too high proportion of projects being cancelled before they reach completion. With The Brothers Grimm, he utilises the acting talents of a Matt Damon and Heath Ledger pairing, which probably ultimately meant he'd have to stuff up pretty badly for the producers to give up on him this time around.

Despite the use of these two big names in the lead roles, The Brothers Grimm has not enjoyed critical success, nor was it particularly overwhelming in its box office take. The latter is fairly easily explained: Gilliam's bizarre created world is still a little too left of the middle to really expect it to go gangbusters with the regular film-going public. But when it comes to the critics, things get a little more complicated.

I'm sure that many reviewers are, like myself, fans of Gilliam's earlier work. So, part of the issue with The Brothers Grimm has got to be that it had pretty big shoes to fill. Unfortunately, though, The Brothers Grimm doesn't only suffer from being "not as brilliant as his other stuff", though this is true enough (I doubt anyone would place it at the top of their Gilliam list). The film is a touch more convoluted than it needs to be (hardly the first time a Gilliam film has been this way, but it's more pronounced here), and visually, Gilliam doesn't always pull it off.

The Brothers Grimm isn't, in my opinion, a terrible film. It's still above average, and contains enough to look at, and enough of the creativity that we've come to expect from Gilliam, to provide an interesting end result. Some of the performances are pretty brilliant (Ledger), whilst others are lacklustre (Damon), and others still are just a bit too over-the-top (Jonathan Pryce). And whilst the concept is creative, it didn't really hit that new level and blow my mind.

So, yes, The Brothers Grimm is a fine film, and one that any self-respecting Gilliam fan should see, but I can't help but feel a little disappointed that this is the film we've waited the last seven years for.

pearly gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 6 Feb 2006

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