The Sisters Brothers | Chicago Reader

The Sisters Brothers

French director Jacques Audiard (A Prophet, Dheepan) takes a surprising turn into Americana with this semicomic western set in 1850s Oregon. John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix play the title characters, a pair of outlaw siblings who share a tender relationship with each other despite their murderous contempt for nearly everyone else. The film also considers the friendship between a gold prospector (Jake Gyllenhaal) and a young inventor (Riz Ahmed) who dreams of starting a utopian socialist community in Texas; the two narrative lines converge gradually and relaxedly, as Audiard and cowriter Thomas Bidegain (adapting a novel by Patrick DeWitt) draw out themes of ruthlessness, loyalty, and capitalist enterprise. Neither a nostalgic throwback to traditional westerns nor a revisionist antiwestern, this advances a positive view of camaraderie between individualist western types while subtly critiquing the unfettered capitalist system in which they operate. As in most of Audiard’s films, however, the observations seem conceptual rather than genuinely felt.



  • Jacques Audiard


  • John Reilly
  • Joaquin Phoenix
  • Jake Gyllenhaal
  • Riz Ahmed
  • Rebecca Root
  • Allison Tolman
  • Rutger Hauer
  • Carol Kane
  • Patrice Cossonneau


  • Pascal Caucheteux
  • GrĂ©goire Sorlat
  • Michel Merkt
  • Michael De Luca
  • Alison Dickey
  • John Reilly
  • Megan Ellison
  • Chelsea Barnard
  • Sammy Scher
  • Fernando Victoria de Lecea
  • Tudor Reu
  • Delphine Tomson

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