Note: This review was contributed by Deidre Woollard, editor of Weblogs, Inc. sister site, Luxist.
This is the second movie I have seen this summer that has a 1970s theme (the first was The Devil's Rejects). The screenwriters said that they imagined Four Brothers as an urban Western. It definitely has the feel of Clint Eastwood spaghetti Westerns; it's also reminiscent of the John Wayne movie, The Sons of Katie Elder, with just a touch of Shaft courtesy of a Motown-inspired soundtrack.
When Detroit do-gooder Evelyn Mercer is gunned down in a convenience store robbery, her four adopted sons come home to bury their mother and bang some heads. The four brothers are a multiracial group including Bobby (Mark Wahlberg), Angel (Tyrese Gibson), Jack (Garrett Hedlund), and Jeremiah (Andre Benjamin). We learn about the four boys as a local policeman (Terence Howard) narrates their backstories. The four are the most degenerate boys that Evelyn Mercer ever worked with, and because she couldn't place them in foster homes, she adopted them. The movie opens with a lot of very heartfelt grief and teasing/bonding between the boys. Then it's time for the ass-kicking to begin.