Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Download Ex Machina
Before the DVD release on 8th June
Win Premiere Tickets
To see Mission: Impossible in Vienna.
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Fady Elsayed
James Floyd
Letitia Wright.
Directors
Sally El Hosaini.
Screenwriters
Sally El Hosaini.
Running Time
111 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Terminator Genisys
2 Star Empire Rating
Magic Mike XXL
2 Star Empire Rating
Dear White People
4 Star Empire Rating
Man With A Movie Camera
5 Star Empire Rating
Hot Pursuit
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Man With A Movie Camera
5 Star Empire Rating
Salt Of The Earth, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Song Of The Sea
5 Star Empire Rating
Look Of Silence, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Mad Max: Fury Road
5 Star Empire Rating

My Brother The Devil
Estate Of Grace


submit to reddit


Plot
Son of Egyptian immigrants Mo (Elsayed) idolises his older brother Rashid (Floyd), following him into gang life on their East End estate. But when Rashid decides he wants out — for reasons he can’t share even with Mo — fraternal ties are sorely tested.


Review
My Brother The Devil
It seems like every week another drab, Hackney-set tale of petty criminals perforating each other with bullet-holes lands in our cinemas, running on the already foul fumes of Guy Ritchie’s heyday. So when one of them arrives on our screens via festival premieres at Sundance and Berlin, chances are it must offer a variation on the familiar guns-and-geezers formula. That’s certainly true of Sally El Hosaini’s keenly observed, visually inventive debut feature, though its opening beats are decidedly familiar.

Stories of brothers alternately united and separated by the underworld have been a Hollywood staple since before movies could talk, so the path for naive schoolboy Mo (Fady Elsayed) and his rebellious, handsome older brother Rashid (James Floyd) seems set. Indeed, for its first act, only some interesting ethnic detailing separates the narrative from limp recent Adam Deacon effort Payback Season, as Rashid tries and fails to prevent Mo from becoming a drug-runner for the dangerous gang in which he himself is a high-level operator.

Just as you’ve set your watch by the inevitable pattern of corruption and redemption, however, El Hosaini steers her film into far riskier territory for this meat-and-potatoes genre, as sexuality becomes a touchier concern for Mo and Rashid than the macho mechanics of gang life. James Floyd is magnetic as he navigates Rashid’s conflicting lifestyles; Letitia Wright, meanwhile, is a luminous discovery as Aisha, the orthodox Muslim neighbour who keeps Mo’s conscience on an even keel. In keeping with her film’s unexpected tonal shift, El Hosaini’s filmmaking balances sharp urban texture with more intimate poetic flourishes, as her camera seeks light and beauty even in the least welcoming tower-block environs.


Verdict
Already a compelling gangland saga, this vastly promising debut turns into something more surprising when social prejudice becomes the characters’ weapon of choice. If that sounds too much like a lecture, El Hosaini’s voice remains crisp, cool and consistently street-smart.


Reviewed by Guy Lodge

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for My Brother The Devil
Empire Star Rating

Stunning

I watched My Brother The Devil on Saturday in Cineworld Glasgow - I had no idea what to expect, and took a chance based on the great reviews it's been getting (since I can't claim any familiarity with London gang culture). It's a gloriously shot and luminous film, and one which repeatedly wrong-foots you to dazzling effect. It stuck around in my head for days afterwards. I really hope it finds an audience - it certainly deserves to. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by benyooro at 21:53, 14 November 2012 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Please Explain! With Arnold Schwarzenegger...
Plus Emilia Clarke on pranks, smiles and 'The Robot'

Terminator Genisys: Empire's Verdict
It wants your clothes and your (re)boots

100 Greatest Movie Characters
Your all-time favourite heroes and villains exclusively revealed!

Bonfire Of The Vanities: When Personal Projects Go Wrong
15 hubristic horrors that went straight to movie jail

Podcast 167: Emily Mortimer, Robert Sheehan, Corin Hardy
It's the live Edinburgh special round 2!

Hollywood Jackanory: Stars Reading Things Out Of Context
From Ian McKellen vs. One Direction to Hugh Jackman vs. baking innuendos

Before And After: How 10 Books Changed On Their Way To Becoming Movies
...And how their authors reacted

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe now and save up to 67%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)