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"BROTHER"
(2001) (Beat Takeshi, Omar Epps) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Extreme Extreme Moderate Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Minor Mild None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Heavy None Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Action: A stoic Japanese gangster travels to Los Angeles to find his half-brother and quickly ends up returning to his old criminal ways by trying to take over the city's criminal trade.
PLOT:
Yamamoto (BEAT TAKESHI) is a stoic, but highly efficient and lethal gangster who's been abandoned by the brotherhood of his yakuza clan and forced to leave Tokyo. Arriving in Los Angeles, he searches for his younger half-brother, Ken (CLAUDE MAKI), and discovers that he's a small-time criminal who peddles drugs with his friends Denny (OMAR EPPS), Jay (ROYALE WATKINS) and Mo (LOMBARDO BOYAR).

It isn't long before Yamamoto's taking care of "business" again, however, as he helps the low-level dealers by eliminating their supplier and rival competitors. Yamamoto's gang soon begins to grow in both size and power, and various associates from back home, including Kato (SUSUMU TERAJIMA), Sujimoto (JAMES SHIGETA) and others, join the operation.

With success comes increased competition and danger, however, which causes Yamamoto to join forces with rival crime lord Shirase (MASAYA KATO). From that point on, the stoic but deadly gangster and his followers do what they must to control the Los Angeles crime scene, including taking on the powerful and dangerous mafia.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of anyone in the cast or are into Japanese-flavored action films, they just might, but older teen males seem to be the most likely audience among kids.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For pervasive strong violence, language and brief nudity.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
Considering all of the criminal behavior (including murdering others, dealing drugs, using strong profanity etc.), it's doubtful many, if any parents would consider any of the characters as good role models.
CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


(Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
Here's a quick look at the content found in this action-laced drama that's been rated R. Violence is listed as extreme due to a large number of people being killed in various and extremely bloody and occasionally gory fashions (including knifings, car bombs, etc., but most of the fatalities are the result of massive amounts of gunfire).

Some non-lethal violence is present (people hitting others, fingers being chopped off, etc.), those responsible for all of that mayhem are all criminals, and some of that material may be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers. Profanity consists of at least 52 "f" words (in spoken English and English subtitles), while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Various characters drink and/or smoke, while some of them and others are involved in dealing drugs, but we don't see any use of them.

Meanwhile, a photo of a bare-breasted woman is briefly seen, and some potentially harmful imitative behavior is present. Should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone in your home who may want to see it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what's present and occurs in it.

For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, some of that occurs as we see a great deal of flashing coming from gunfire, some of it appearing in near strobe-like fashion.


ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Yamamoto accidentally runs into Denny before knowing him, causing the latter to drop his bottle of wine to the street where it breaks.
  • Various people have drinks in a club.
  • A person has some sake.
  • A homeless/drunk man tells others to give him some booze.
  • Denny and his friends have beer.
  • We learn that Ken and his friends are smalltime drug dealers but don't see the drugs.
  • Ken tells Denny that he and Yamamoto should drink beer (when Denny asks what he'll do with this man who doesn't speak English). Denny then opens a beer.
  • People drink in a bar.
  • We see some empty beer bottles in Ken's place.
  • Some men have beer and/or sake in front of them.
  • Some men drink beer.
  • Yamamoto and Denny have beer with dinner.
  • Various men have wine with dinner.
  • A man drinks some malt liquor straight from the bottle.
  • A man has some wine.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Lots of blood runs through Denny's fingers as he covers his eye/face where Yamamoto just jabbed him with a broken bottle.
  • We see lots of blood on the wall and on a man who's just been shot and killed.
  • We see more blood as two more men are shot dead.
  • We see a severed finger with a little bit of blood on a white cloth/towel.
  • Ken has some blood from his nose after being punched.
  • Yamamoto hits that man in the back and we then see that man land on a car trunk and slide off, leaving a bloody smear.
  • More people who are shot and killed are bloody in one scene and then another, where we see a man with a small bullet hole wound in his head.
  • Various people are shot dead with bloody results, with lots of blood ending up on the wall behind some of them.
  • We see some blood dripping/running onto the floor and then see it coming from a man's mouth after Yamamoto hits him in the gut.
  • Denny walks in, finds a man holding a gun to Yamamoto, and then opens fires on both, killing the one and wounding Yamamoto (both are very bloody, with blood on the floor). We later see a large bandage on Yamamoto's body that has some blood soaked through it.
  • A man shoots himself in the head (we see the gun to the head and hear the shot, but don't see the actual impact). We do see lots of blood on the wall and down his head afterwards, however.
  • More people who are shot are bloody.
  • A man shoots another man dead and we see lots of blood on the stairwell post behind him.
  • After being accused of being an outsider and not having the stomach for the business, one man gets up, takes a large knife and essentially disembowels himself (we don't see any graphic cutting, although we do see a lot of blood and hear the sound of the cutting).
  • We see a severed finger with some blood on the end of it.
  • Some men hold guns on a woman, causing Yamamoto to fire many shots at them (we then see all of their dead bodies on the street with some bloody bullet holes in their clothing and some pools of blood beside their bodies).
  • An assassin posing as a waiter stabs a mob boss with a knife or shiv (resulting in lots of blood).
  • We see a severed human head (from behind and with a bloody stump) sitting on a railing as a warning to others.
  • People who've been shot dead by machine guns are very bloody.
  • More people are shot by machine gun fire (with bloody results).
  • We see a dead man in a car with some blood having come from the bullet hole in his head and see a dead man on the ground with some bloody bullet holes in his clothing.
  • A man is shot dead in a hallway and the assailant then shoots another man dead through the peephole in his door (we see the dead man with blood in/around his eye).
  • More dead and bloody people are seen.
  • We see another dead man with some blood from his head.
  • We see a dead and bloody body on the ground (with pools of blood around him).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • All of those involved in criminal behavior (murdering others, running small and big drug operations, etc.) obviously have both types of attitudes.
  • We hear that a big crime boss has a mistress and he refers to his wife as an old bag.
  • Denny initially uses the terms "chink" and "Jap" when referring to Yamamoto.
  • Yamamoto cheats while gambling with Denny about what side will be up on a die after shaking it around inside a cup that's then placed upside down on a table (since he's cut a hole in the side and can look inside at the die).
  • A drug boss mentions "f*cking Japs" when talking about Yamamoto and Ken.
  • We see some crooked cops taking a bribe/payoff from the criminals.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" may be tense or unsettling for some viewers.
  • A scene where the men prepare to cut off another man's finger (for running away) may be unsettling and/or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • We see that Yamamoto and Denny have tied up a mob boss and have him sitting in front of a handgun - pointing in his direction - that's tied to five strings. They tell him that if he pulls three of the strings and isn't shot dead, he can go free (and some will find the subsequent pulling of those strings as tense/unsettling).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Machine guns/Knife (or shiv)/Car bomb: Used to threaten, wound and kill many people. See "Violence" for details.
  • Sword: Nearly pulled out by Yamamoto to use on someone.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Some of the following occurs in English, and some occurs in Japanese with English subtitles. Phrases: "Why the f*ck are you here?" "F*ck if I know," "F*cked" (nonsexual), "What the f*ck /am I supposed to do with him/is this/is going on/do you want/did you do/am I doing/is this sh*t anyway?" "Get the f*ck out of here," "Shut the f*ck up," "I'm f*cking pissed," "You f*cking bastard," "Nice f*cking shirt," "Big f*cking deal," "Who the f*ck does he think he is?" "F*ck him," "F*ck them," "My whole life is f*cked up," "Sh*t happens," "I can't believe that sh*t," "Oh sh*t," "Don't give me that bullsh*t," "That's bullsh*t," "Holy sh*t," "Babes" (for women), "Cheap ass," "Bastard," "Pain in their ass," "Idiot," "Who the hell are you?" "Hell, yeah," "Chink," "Jap," "Nigger," "Ain't that/this a bitch?" "How the hell?" "Shut up," "Whores," "Faggot," "You evil son of a bitch" and "Stink ass."
  • We see that Yamamoto and another man have very large tattoos that cover their entire backs.
  • Yamamoto cheats while gambling with Denny about what side will be up on a die after shaking it around inside a cup that's then placed upside down on a table (since he's cut a hole in the side and can look inside at the die).
  • A person shoots himself in the head to prove a point of loyalty, while another man disembowels himself to prove another.
  • A gun is held to a man's head, while some chopsticks are broken, placed in that man's nostrils, and then jammed up into his head (we don't see the actual jamming, but do hear it).
  • Yamamoto and Denny fake a bike accident to lure a guard away from his post.
  • We see that Yamamoto and Denny have tied up a mob boss and have him sitting in front of a handgun - pointing in his direction - that's tied to five strings. They tell him that if he pulls three of the strings and isn't shot dead, he can go free.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • The loud sound of an unexpected gunshot could startle some viewers.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of dramatic music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • Some of the following occurs in English, and some occurs in Japanese with English subtitles. At least 52 "f" words (6 used with "mother"), 20 "s" words, 8 asses (4 used with "hole"), 5 damns, 5 S.O.B.s, 3 hells, 7 uses of "Oh God," 4 of "G-damn" and 1 of "Swear to God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • A presumed prostitute shows some cleavage.
  • We briefly see a photo of a bare-breasted woman.
  • SMOKING
  • Yamamoto smokes at least eight times, Shirase smokes cigars several times, and various minor/miscellaneous characters also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The cold-blooded and/or nonchalant way in which the characters kill others.
  • That crime may pay for a while, but will eventually turn ugly (getting caught and/or being killed, etc.).
  • Why a character shoots himself in the head to prove a point and another disembowels himself to do the same.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Many of the shootings listed below are presented in a very harsh/brutal and loud fashion.
  • Yamamoto accidentally runs into Denny before knowing him, causing the latter to drop his bottle of wine to the street where it breaks. After Denny then berates him with profanity, Yamamoto picks up the broken end of the bottle, jams it into Denny's face (causing a lot of blood to run through Denny's fingers as he covers his eye) and then hits him very hard in the chest with several fingers, sending Denny falling to the street.
  • A bodyguard threatens an innocent man by pointing his handgun at him.
  • Yamamoto shoots a young bartender dead after seeing him retrieving a gun to assassinate a big crime boss.
  • We briefly see some surveillance footage of police struggling with others.
  • Two men step out and shoot two other men dead.
  • Some men - who have picked a homeless/drunk man to be the substitute body for Yamamoto - repeatedly punch and kick this man before presumably killing him.
  • A drug dealer hits Ken several times in the face. Yamamoto then hits that man in the back and we then see that man land on a car trunk and slide off, leaving a bloody smear. We then hear Yamamoto kicking this man several times (we don't see the impact).
  • Yamamoto punches Ken in the face.
  • A man holds a gun to Yamamoto as he and others drive him somewhere. Yamamoto then deflects the man's arm, causing him to shoot and the shot hits the driver in the head. We then see a close-up of several shots into a gut and then see this car crash into a guardrail. Yamamoto then shoots a man in the back as he tries to flee the scene.
  • Yamamoto walks in and shoots several men dead, jokes that he'll pay Denny ten bucks if he can shoot and kill the surviving drug boss with one shot, but then does the deed himself (shooting the man in the head).
  • Using guns taped beneath a conference table, Yamamoto and Ken shoot several men dead, while their accomplices outside shoot the other men's accomplices. Yamamoto then shoots their bodies several more times.
  • We see some blood dripping/running onto the floor and then see it coming from a man's mouth after Yamamoto hits him in the gut.
  • Denny walks in, finds a man holding a gun to Yamamoto, and then opens fires on both, killing the one and wounding Yamamoto (both are very bloody). Another man then comes in and punches Denny in the mouth. Kato then shoots the dead man several more times (we don't see the impact).
  • We hear, but don't see a man's finger being cut off by others (although we see the preparations up to that point).
  • A man shoots himself in the head (we see the gun to the head and hear the shot, but don't see the actual impact). We do see lots of blood on the wall and down his head afterwards, however.
  • In a montage, a man shoots two men dead, another shoots a person through a pillow and then shoots a person on the floor (we see the body jump from that).
  • Several more people are shot dead.
  • A man shoots another man dead.
  • After being accused of being an outsider and not having the stomach for the business, one man gets up, takes a large knife and essentially disembowels himself (we don't see any graphic cutting, although we do see a lot of blood and hear the sound of the cutting).
  • The accuser then cuts off his own finger (we see the preparations for that, but not the actual cutting, although we do see the severed finger aftewards).
  • Some men hold guns on a woman, causing Yamamoto to fire many shots at them (we then see all of their dead bodies on the street with some bloody bullet holes in their clothing and some pools of blood beside their bodies).
  • A gun is held to a man's head, while some chopsticks are broken, placed in that man's nostrils, and then jammed up into his head (we don't see the actual jamming, but do hear it).
  • Several more men are shot dead.
  • An assassin posing as a waiter stabs a mob boss with a knife or shiv (resulting in lots of blood).
  • We see a severed human head (from behind and with a bloody stump) sitting on a railing as a warning to others.
  • We see a dead bodyguard with a knife sticking out of him.
  • A car bomb kills a man via a large explosion.
  • Some men drive up and shoot a bodyguard dead. They then race inside and we then hear a tremendous amount of gunfire (from handguns and machine guns) and then see that those intruders are dead.
  • More people are shot by machine gun fire (with bloody results) in an alley.
  • We see a dead man in a car with some blood having come from the bullet hole in his head and see a dead man on the ground with some bloody bullet holes in his clothing.
  • A man goes home and apparently discovers that others there have apparently been murdered (we don't see them).
  • A man is shot dead in a hallway and the assailant then shoots another man dead through the peephole in his door (we see the second dead man with blood in/around his eye).
  • More dead and bloody people are seen, with some of their bodies arranged in the shape of a Japanese warning.
  • Yamamoto stabs a man in the back and apparently kills him.
  • We see another dead man with some blood from his head.
  • We hear all sorts of machine gun fire and see many bullet holes forming in a door. We then see the outside of the diner with it being all torn up from the gunfire and then see a dead and bloody body on the ground (with pools of blood around him).



  • Reviewed July 20, 2001 / Posted July 27, 2001

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [American Made] [Battle of the Sexes] [Flatliners] [A Question of Faith] [Stronger]

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