Irish Catholic Relations
The Brothers McMullen
Review by Ross Anthony

I'd heard Ed Burns say that he had tried to sell his scripts in Hollywood for two or three years. And that he couldn't even get an agent. Because of which he decided to shoot one of his own scripts himself. In fact, he wrote, directed and starred in "The Brothers McMullen."

Impressed with him in interviews and in later films and intrigued that this picture put him on the map (it won Sundance), I decided to pick it up on tape and view it at home. (Ten years after the fact.)

Burns succeeded early in what he continues to do well, write good chatty dialogue. Dialogue that rings true, speaks frankly on the topics many people want to hear talked about (dating, sex, love), with some depth and a relaxed sense of humor. For the most part, the film is well acted, though it has its rough spots. Burns himself is good, but Mike McGlone as his younger brother is the backbone of the film, both in character and acting.

Not too intense, the film would make a good Movie of the Week. Always engaging, a bit soapy, but with real circumstance and intelligent (or at least plausable) talk. However, for a film that fancies itself somehow smarter than other such in the genre, it still can't help but to tidy up too neatly in the end. Two out of three would have been more than enough. Most noticeably awry, the script writes Molly unrealistically under hurt and over-forgiving.

Overall, just a shade above average.


  • The Brothers McMullen. Copyright © 1995.
  • Starring Edward Burns, Mike McGlone, Jack Mulcahy, Connie Britton, Maxine Bahns, Elizabeth P. McKay.
  • Screenplay and Direction by Edward Burns.
  • Produced by Edward Burns Ted Hope James Schamus Dick Fisher.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:19:41 PDT