Gyllenhaal proves acting chops in “Brothers”

Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal star with opposite personalities in "Brothers." (Flickr/Alessandra Ogeda)

Jake Gyllenhaal has been in serious movies– let’s get that out right from the beginning. “Donnie Darko” and “Jarhead” showed the actor in disturbing and man-on-the-edge-type roles, and let’s not forget he was Oscar-nominated for “Brokeback Mountain.” But for some reason in Hollywood, if you’re just a little too pretty or have a private life that’s just a little too public, your actual talent can sometimes be overlooked, even by extremely observant movie bloggers. But in the current release “Brothers” when we were expecting Tobey Maguire or Natalie Portman to steal the show, Gyllenhaal rose to the top with the best performance to show for the trio.

It’s a heart-wrenching and at-times scary, real story of marriage and family, and not every moviegoer will enjoy “Brothers.” But it’s the real life performances that all of its actors give that make it a solid movie, and also what will certainly lead to multiple Oscar nominations next week. Gyllenhaal and Maguire star as brothers Tommy and Sam, respectively; Tommy is the classic screw-up, released from jail at the start of the story, while Sam is an honorable military man, dedicated to his wife Grace (Portman) and two young daughters.

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