Entertainment Weekly - 05/22/2009
"THE BROTHERS BLOOM is a con-artist movie....We expect to be played, but the twist is that we're also touched -- which, the film implies, is the cinema's own form of deception." -- Grade: B
USA Today - 05/15/2009 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "THE BROTHERS BLOOM has it all: charming romance, jaunty adventure story, witty dialogue, gorgeous cinematography and superb performances."
A.V. Club - 05/14/2009
"[The director has] upped the ambition, using a light, stylish touch and a David Mamet-inspired hall-of-mirrors plot to comment on the nature of storytelling..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 05/20/2009
"Rian Johnson's THE BROTHER'S BLOOM lets us in on the con and then fools us. It does that in an interesting way."
Washington Post - 05/22/2009
"THE BROTHERS BLOOM is all about exploding forms, tropes and archetypes. But it's also a charmer, a witty sandbagging of one's resistance to fairy tales..."
Uncut - 07/01/2010 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he characters are appealing....THE BROTHERS BLOOM is inventive..."
Sight and Sound - 06/01/2010
"Devices honed by Wes Anderson -- snappily narrated and edited cutaways to episodes gilded with quirk -- are in full effect....The most interesting part of the film is often Weisz's performance."
Total Film - 11/01/2010 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]here's enough heart, soul, flair and subtext to THE BROTHERS BLOOM to offset its jaunty hipster affectations..."
Though THE BROTHERS BLOOM seems to be equal parts THE STING and THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, director Rian Johnson's second feature is still strikingly original. Adrien Brody (KING KONG) and Mark Ruffalo (ZODIAC) star as the siblings of the title, who have been working as conmen since they were children. There is a constant tug of war between them, with Bloom (Brody) desperate to get out of the game, while his brother Stephen (Ruffalo) drags him back. Like so many other films, THE BROTHERS BLOOM hinges on "one last job;" here, it is to steal millions from lonely, bored heiress Penelope (Rachel Weisz, THE CONSTANT GARDENDER) while they pose as antique dealers. But Bloom falls in love with the charming Penelope, and the con gets even more complicated.
Johnson's directorial debut, BRICK, was a critically aclaimed exercise in style, and THE BROTHERS BLOOM proves to be even better crafted. In both its gorgeous aesthetic and its witty script, this is a film that is incredibly modern while it remains in the spirit of classic con films such as PAPER MOON. Director of photography Steve Yedlin is a wonder with camera angles and lighting, while costume designer Beatrix Aruna Pasztor perfectly creates a vintage-inspired wardrobe for the stars. With these visuals, it might be difficult for actors to stand out, but Johnson has assembled a fantastic cast that more than holds their own. His three leads are great together, and he gets wonderful supporting work from BABEL's Rinko Kikuchi as a nearly silent explosives expert and Harry Potter favorite Robbie Coltrane as a Belgian who may or may not be on their side (and, in fact, may or may not be Belgian). There are plenty of twists and turns on this road, but this fun film proves there's joy in the journey.
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