Jake Gyllenhaal in "Brothers": one of his best works

Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal are easily mistaken by the common public, Jake was mistaken for Tobey by a cab driver who believed he had played "Spiderman" and somebody thought Tobey has appeared in "Brokeback Mountain", these aren't news here in Weirdland because I've compared often both (I admire Tobey's career too). Now we have to add another point in common: having played war veterans with post-traumatic disorders:Jake Gyllenhaal as the Marine Swofford in "Jardhead" (2005) - "Jarhead Diaries".Tobey Maguire plays presumed dead Captain Sam Cahill in "Brothers" (2009)."Natalie Portman plays the wife and mother in Sheridan and Benioff's version, Tobey Maguire the deployed Marine, Jake Gyllenhaal his ex-con sibling.And all three - Portman, Maguire, Gyllenhaal - turn in the best work of their careers.Maguire is Sam Cahill, a Marine captain, called up for a return trip to Afghanistan with his men. He leaves behind two young daughters and Grace (Portman), his high school sweetheart. (She has "Sam" tattooed on her shoulder.) The Cahill girls are accustomed to his absences, but no less anxious each new time he decamps.
While the audience discovers that Sam has survived and is being held prisoner, for the Cahills the process of mourning - the ache, the grief - begins to bore a hole into the family's collective soul. Sam's father, a Vietnam vet who long ago turned to booze, is broken by the loss of his "good" son. Sam Shepard is this bitter, taciturn man, and it's a fine portrayal. And young Bailee Madison, as Sam and Grace's firstborn, Isabelle, gives one of those frighteningly empathetic performances that little kids in the company of practiced actors sometimes, somehow, come up with. Her hurt is palpable.As for Tommy Cahill (Gyllenhaal), a hard-drinking screw-up straight out of a Raymond Carver story, he finds a new sense of responsibility and purpose in his brother's absence. "Uncle Tommy" becomes a sort of surrogate father figure. He gets close with Grace - in ways neither of them is entirely comfortable with. And he brings in a crew to renovate Grace's ramshackle kitchen. Driven by grief, guilt, and his own needs - not by calculation - Tommy insinuates himself into Grace's and Isabelle's and little Maggie's life.Which creates a problem when Sam, finally, is rescued and returns home. Brothers is a movie about post-traumatic stress disorder, about how war forces people to do unspeakable things, irrevocably changing them. Maguire, gaunt and hollow-eyed, is chilling as the soldier come home, bearing an ugly secret and the scars of months in captivity.Irish director Sheridan (In the Name of the Father, In America) is a master of concise storytelling, able to describe family dynamics in keen detail (look at the way Gyllenhaal's Tommy eats his peas at a family dinner - his gestures speak volumes), getting to bigger issues through the small. Brothers is a heartbreaking film that speaks to the lifelong aftershocks of war, and to the powerful bonds of family and of love". Source: www.philly.com