Unfortunately the plot is completely predictable. Yes, what you suspect is going to happen in the first, oh let's say ten minutes of the movie, is what happens. Big brother (Toby Maguire) is deployed leaving a little brother who just got out of jail and has no life (Jake Gyllenhall), a wife (Natalie Portman) and two little girls. His chopper goes down, they have his funeral, they all think he is dead but he is not. Little brother starts hanging out with his "dead" brother's wife and kids and starts to fall in love with them. He is rescued and comes back home. He is severely traumatized and makes everyone around him miserable. Conflict ensues. That's the movie in a nutshell. Not terribly original but it's brilliant.
I cried, I laughed, I sighed, I was in complete suspense, I cried some more. It is very emotional and I thought very well done. No one is made out to be "the bad guy" not the looser little brother, not the scarred war-hero big brother, not the hard to get along with father, not the wife torn between two brothers. Everything about the relationships was just right for me. The chemistry between Jake Gyllenhall and Natalie Portman was perfect. The subtlety of their relationship as it grew was captivating.
I was a bit dissapointed with Tobey Maguire's performance. He seemed too quiet, wide-eyed and silent throughout most of the movie, so it felt flat and disconnected. Also it was surprising to see such young actors playing parents of such old children. However the kids were brilliant and added so much to the movie. Their constant presence in the film made it feel more firmly rooted in reality.
All in all "Bothers" is a brilliant, touching movie and one of the few that I would want to watch again.