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FOUR BROTHERS

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After their mom is shot in a hold-up, four adopted brothers reunite in Detroit to seek vengeance in John Singelton's action drama. We're meant to care about these four lost man-boys -- two white (Mark Wahlberg and Garrett Hudland) and two black (Tyrese Gibson and André Benjamin) -- as the film provides more backstory and character development than most shoot-'em-up flicks. And despite the work's stock characters, a few performances -- Wahlberg's hotheaded busted heart, Chiwetel Ejiofor as the sadistic crime boss and Terrence Howard's turn as a neighborhood cop -- transcend the inadequate mess that is the crime plot. But a couple worthy actors can't save what feels like a misguided paean to lawlessness. There's something deeply wrong with a film that posits that a score of cold-blooded assassinations is the only way for sons to pay back the nurturing love of a good woman. (AH)

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