The Brothers McMullen

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Facts and Figures

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 9th August 1995

Distributed by: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Production compaines: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Reviews 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Fresh: 32 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew


Starring: Shari Albert as Susan, Maxine Bahns as Audrey, Catharine Bolz as Mrs McMullen, Connie Britton as Molly McMullen, Edward Burns as Barry/Finbar McMullen, Peter Johansen as Marty, Jennifer Jostyn as Leslie, Michael McGlone as Patrick McMullen, Elizabeth McKay as Ann, Jack Mulcahy as Jack McMullen

The Brothers McMullen Movie Review

The Brothers McMullen are three of the most engaging characters you're likely to come across in American cinema this year. A family of Irish Catholics living in New York, their stories explore living a morally upright life in the 90s, dealing with failed romances, and the timeless question of how to commit.

Jack (Jack Mulcahy), the only married brother, is tempted by another woman. Patrick (Mike McGlone) is torn between committing to his long-time girlfriend and striking out for something new. Barry (Edward Burns, who also wrote and directed), is the classic slacker, unable to even conceive of commitment and an unbeliever in the very notion of true love.

After the funeral of their abusive father, the trio's mother moves back to Ireland to be with her lover of 35 years ago. She leaves Barry with a singular warning, "Don't make the same mistake I did." That's all the encouragement he needs, as Barry becomes the devil on the shoulder of his brothers, trying with all his might to keep them away from the evils of commitment. For Patrick, a devout Catholic and complete neurotic, marriage is a necessity in living the good life, and Barry is no help at all. Jack's infidelity is another problem altogether. And as the brothers explore their own problems in the game of love and self-discovery, each eventually finds the answers.

This lighthearted romance masks the serious issues it addresses with heavy doses of nonstop humor in some of the funniest and most genuine dialogue to ever hit the screen. The perfect blend of seriousness and laughter, it's truly that perfect date movie you've been looking for.

While the film is very skewed toward Irish Catholic culture, we've all had these feelings, and newcomer Burns establishes himself as a true creative genius in American film. There's no slapstick here, just some excellent conversations about the meaning of life and happiness. You will not be able to stop laughing.

It's rare that a film has as profound an emotional impact as The Brothers McMullen, especially a comedy. But Burns has crafted such an incredible picture, that even the most crusty viewer will come out smiling. Highly recommended.


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The Brothers McMullen Rating

" Extraordinary "


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