I am a huge fan of director Rian Johnson's first big movie "Brick". His follow-up, "The Brothers Bloom" kept some of the style of that movie, but had an overall completely different tone. "Brick" was dark and serious, and while "Bloom" has some down moments, for the most part it was a fun watch.

Mark Ruffalo and Adrien Brody play Stephen and Bloom, two brothers who became con artists as children. The two were orphans, never fitting in with any foster family, and ended up having to fend for themselves. The scams were just a way for them to survive. Stephen is the brain behind the plots, while Bloom's job was to gain the confidence and trust in the mark.

Bloom has dreams of giving up the game, retiring away and living the straight life. Stephen says he wants to pull off one last con, this one turned on Penelope, played by the beautiful Rachel Weisz. Bloom is supposed to fall in love with her as a character, but starts to fall in love with her for real. This obviously complicates the scam, and things twist deeper and deeper.

As far as a typical con movie, there isn't much new ground broken here. The love story is fairly predictable, we've seen many movies that surround "the last big job before retiring", and many movies where each character never seems to reveal the true motive to their action. There are crosses, double-crosses, and triple-crosses. The cons do the conning, then get conned, then con eachother, or maybe they don't?

Despite the predictability of some of the plot, I enjoyed watching this, and that's one of the biggest things for me. Ruffalo is a great actor, Brody is usually good and I liked him here. Rachel Weisz usually does dramatic roles but shows she is capable of being funny, with good timing and adorable looks; she was also seriously distractingly beautiful, when she was on screen I couldn't take my eyes off her. Rinko Kikuchi also had a fun supporting role as a silent cohort of the brothers, specializing in explosives. Overall a fun movie-watching experience.




On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, "The Brothers Bloom" gets a 7 out of 10.


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