Four Brothers

Year: 2005
Studio: Paramount
Director: John Singleton
Producer: Lorenzo Di Bonaventura
Writer: David Elliott/{aul Lovett
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, Andre Benjamin, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Garret Hedlund, Terrence Howard, Sofia vergara
John Singleton has had a patchy career. Showing early promise as an auteur with Boyz N the Hood, he quickly turned into a studio hack with increasingly audience friendly, corporate-packaged stuff like Shaft and 2 Fast 2 Furious.

Four Brothers is the best example of both those directorial personas in one movie. It's a dramatic and heartfelt story of four deadbeats who've grown up in crime-ridden Detroit under the care of a saintly woman who took them in, now considering themselves brothers. But it doesn't scrimp on cinematic action, with enough gun battles and car chases to satisfy died in the wool boy fans.

When their mother is shot in a seemingly random robbery, nobody knows better than Bobby (Wahlberg) and his brothers how to navigate the streets, not even the cops. The four take it on themselves to get to the bottom of it.

The action is grungy enough so it isn't a slick Hollywood product, and the story is thick enough to keep you interested, multiple layers of agendas affect each of the four and their adversaries.

And Singleton is smart enough to know not to scrimp where it counts, with cannonblast gunshots as the baddies shoot up the house with the brothers taking fire inside, or with a neck-breaking car chase through a snowy streetscape.

Satisfying, fun, and emotionally rich enough to quality as something worthy.

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