The Sisters Brothers
Attentive moviegoers may wonder why a film starring John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Riz Ahmed, adapted from an acclaimed novel by Patrick Dewitt, and directed by Jacques Audiard (A Prophet; Rust and Bone) is getting dumped in one local theater for a lone show per day, and is currently slated to depart before a single week has elapsed.
The unfortunate explanation is that The Sisters Brothers simply isn’t very good, despite quality rapport between Reilly and Phoenix as the titular outlaws after a major bounty, frequently stunning natural vistas, and another excellent Gyllenhaal character on the heels of his polarizing, magnificent turn in Okja.
Looping in a perfectly fine Ahmed as a chemist who’s developed a potentially lucrative formula to make gold prospecting easier, the film commits to its tone, but like its genre cousin Damsel from earlier this year, the vibe frequently feels on the brink of brilliant, darkly quirky laughter yet rarely tips in that direction.
Instead, Audiard delivers a familiar strained sibling relationship, spiced up with blasts of extreme, close-up violence that produces little more than a few inspired yet disparate parts.
Grade: C-plus. Rated R. Starts Oct. 19 at Carolina Cinemark
(Photo: Annapurna Pictures)