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The Brothers Bloom (2008)

PG-13  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Drama  |  19 June 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 39,959 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 103 user | 181 critic | 26 from

The Brothers Bloom are the best con men in the world, swindling millionaires with complex scenarios of lust and intrigue. Now they've decided to take on one last job - showing a beautiful and eccentric heiress the time of her life with a romantic adventure that takes them around the world.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Narrator (voice)
The Duke
Craig Johnson ...
Apple Cart Vendor
Dubravko Jovanovic ...


Brothers - older Stephen and three years junior Bloom - have been con artists since they were kids. Stephen is the mastermind, for who the intricacy of the story used in the con is as important as the positive outcome of the swindle. Bloom is the main character of Stephen's stories, the character he considers the anti-hero. As adults, they travel the world and never enlist the same people twice in their cons, except for their consistent sidekick, the mysterious and primarily silent Bang Bang, a Japanese woman who just appeared in their lives one day and who has a penchant for blowing things up. As Bloom hits his mid-thirties, he wants to quit the business as he is losing his own identity to that of the characters he portrays; he doesn't know anymore what is real and what is make-believe. Stephen talks him into one last con, the mark to be the eccentric, lonely but beautiful New Jersey heiress, Penelope Stamp. Penelope's primary past-time in life is to, as she calls it, "borrow hobbies... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They'd never let the truth come between them See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence, some sensuality and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| | |

Release Date:

19 June 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Penelope  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$90,400 (USA) (15 May 2009)


$3,519,627 (USA) (31 July 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The script's original title was "Penelope", after Rachel Weisz's character. See more »


When the Brothers Bloom first visit Penelope's castle, they are driving a Cadillac Seville. Bloom asks Bang Bang, "This a '78 Caddy? Controversial choice." The car is actually a 1983 Seville, whose bodystyle was built from 1980-1985. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: As far as con man stories go, I think I've heard them all. Of grifters, ropers, faro-fixers; tails drawn long and tall. But if one bears a bookmark in the confidence man's tome, it would be that of Penelope, and of the brothers Bloom.
See more »


Written by Robbie Robertson and Richard Manuel
Performed by Rinko Kikuchi, Brian Reitzell, Dave Palmer & Chris Bruce
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Archer Fish of Cinema
21 October 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Brothers Bloom unwinds the story of two confidence men, an Asian sidekick and their rich but isolated mark. The Brothers Bloom is a charming off kilter dramedy about love.

Bloom (Adrien Brody) and his brother Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) work as confidence men with their explosive sidekick Bang Bang (Rinko Kikuchi). Tired of the life, Bloom tells his brother he's done. His brother talks him into one final con against Penelope Stamp (Rachael Weisz.) Penelope is a rich, eccentric shut-in who has yet to live. They take advantage of her loneliness in a scam meant to satisfy her need for adventure.

Rian Johnson sees the world in The Brothers Bloom the way an archer fish sees bugs. The archer fish hunts bugs above the water's surface by shooting water at the bug from below the water line. When looking up from underneath everything looks like it is one place but actually is in a slightly different place because water refracts light, changing the view for the submerged. The archer fish has to see things slightly cockeyed in order to get the archery right. Rian Johnson took a slightly crooked approach to get the cinematic physics just right.

Penelope Stamp is the Robin Hood of cinematic archer fish. Everything about her life, her development, and her emotions are delightfully off balance. She isn't brilliant but she had dedicated herself to learning how to do many strange and obscure things. It wasn't good enough for Rian Johnson to make Penelope interested in pinhole cameras (a camera made by putting a piece of photo paper in a light-tight container and poking a pin hole in it to expose the paper), it had to be a pin hole camera made of a watermelon. Johnson made sure Penelope is beautiful, but by casting Weisz, made her an interesting beauty.

It isn't just the nature of the characters, but also how they talk. Johnson commits so fully to this strange-ified world, that dialogue that would warrant a call to the loony bin in real life, seems natural in the world created in The Brothers Bloom.

The downside to making the characters fit so naturally in their world is jokes or emotions that might resonate deeply in our world sometimes fall a little flat in The Brothers Bloom. There are no gut busting jokes but occasionally the audience finds themselves chuckling. Cheeks will not be soaked in tears, but occasionally a frog may find way into the throats of the viewers.

The Brothers Bloom is an endearing quirk-filled film sure to whisk the audience away on a flying crime filled love carpet.

49 of 84 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Too self-consciously 'cute';I Just Didn't Care about any of them film_ophile
The clothes are the real star of the film nymhanson
So what did Penelope say to the Chief of Police? sewerking7
Penelope's Driving Skills sunbatt50
Was the Diamond Dog a molester? bolicked
Bloom Bloom? ellectrastar
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