Brother's Keeper (1992)

"Extraordinary"

Brother's Keeper (1992) Review


Brilliant documentarians Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky collaborated for the first time on this enthralling documentary about the "Ward boys" of rural Munnsville, New York. The four Wards were farmers, living in the same run-down shack where they were born, some 60 years earlier.

And then one morning, Bill Ward didn't wake up. And the state decided that Delbert, who always slept beside his brother, had smothered him in the night, taking mercy on his ailing brother and simply killing him.

Brother's Keeper follows the trial of Delbert; which wouldn't have happened, it seems, had Delbert not signed a confession (despite his ability to barely read). The directors interview townsfolk, follow the media circus that quickly surrounds the trial, and how the Ward brothers' lives are turned upside down. Then there's the question: Did he do it? Delbert is quick to dismiss his "confession" as a frame job, but Berlinger and Sinofsky leave you with a flicker of doubt. Is Delbert really as dim as he seems? After all, the guy watches Jeopardy.

Endlessly fascinating, I found my stomach in my throat when I recently watched the new DVD release -- a decade after first seeing the film and knowing full well what the verdict was. The Docurama disc adds a number of extras, including a commentary from the directorial duo (they'd later sell out and direct the phenomenally bad Blair Witch 2), deleted scenes, a short film of the Ward boys in New York City (constituting the original ending of the film), and a trial that features Spalding Gray (and no footage from the film).

Highly recommended.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Office Christmas Party Movie Review

Office Christmas Party Movie Review

Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman reunite with The Switch directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck...

Snowden Movie Review

Snowden Movie Review

Here's another remarkable biopic from Oliver Stone, who has used all-star casts and intensely pointed...

The Birth of a Nation Movie Review

The Birth of a Nation Movie Review

This true story from 19th century America feels eerily relevant today in its depiction of...

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

An unusually realistic teen movie, this drama gets deep under the skin of its characters,...

Bleed for This Movie Review

Bleed for This Movie Review

This is such a ripping true story that it can't help but grab hold of...

Moana Movie Review

Moana Movie Review

In a clear echo of Frozen, this Disney animated adventure centres on a fiercely independent...

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Advertisement
Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.