I don’t have any siblings. As the spoiled product of my parents’ undivided affection, I’m obviously fine with that, but deep down, there’s always been a part of me that feels like I sorta missed out by not having a brother. More often than not, I can stifle that longing and pretend it doesn’t exist, but during certain movies with fun, over-the-top brother relationships, my sad panda face involuntarily comes out a little bit. I can’t help it.
There’s just something about the whole love/ hate dynamic of growing up with another dude in the house that feels like it would be awesome. Throwing punches at each other right before dinner. Working together to concoct elaborate plans that involve jumping off the roof. Always trying to one-up the other in terms of grades, jobs and the hotness of significant others. It sounds like an amazing and stressful ordeal.
Luckily, there are more than a few movies that come out every year that tackle brotherly love/ hate relationships head on and allow brother-less viewers to live vicariously through them. So, in honor of Thor and Loki’s bitter, violent and oddly touching relationship that’s hitting theaters for the third time, Cinema Blend has decided to circle back and celebrate 10 of the greatest love-hate brother relationships ever committed to film.
Brennan Huff and Dale Doback As Seen In Step BrothersDale and Brennan aren’t big fans of half-assing anything (except their life trajectories), and that includes their dangerous and hysterical brotherly relationship. If they feel like fighting, one of them is going to end up buried alive. If they feel like making up, they will do as many activities as possible together twenty-four hours a day. Shark Week? They will both watch that shit all day. Low end job interview? They’ll each tuxedo up. Neither of these two believe in the shallow end.
Every single bad habit Brennan and Dale have, they share. As human beings, there is about an eighty or ninety percent overlap. Consequently, any bad idea that pops into either of their brains is immediately seconded, especially if it involves boats and/ or hoes, and every single minor slight is blown wildly out of proportion, especially if it involves either of their birth parents.
Sonny Corleone and Michael Corleone As Seen In The GodfatherMichael and Sonny Corleone are often studied as contrasts. The former is a cool, level-headed and highly educated leader who prefers to engage in civilized conversations and always maintain outward appearances, while slyly putting in motion plans to crush his enemies. The latter is a philandering, aggressive and street-wise soldier who prefers to handle problems himself and to respond to all threats immediately. Given that, it’s no surprise the two sons aren’t exactly BFFS, but in a weird way, they sort of need each other.
Even if he didn’t initially listen, Michael needs Sonny to berate him about risking his life for strangers instead of his family, and beyond that, he needs his older brother to show him the pros and cons of using brute strength. On the other end of the spectrum, Sonny needs Michael to show him some of the old mafia codes are outdated and sometimes the best plan of action is one that’s carefully hidden. There’s much to learn from each other and humorously, almost nothing to learn from middle brother Fredo.
Thor and Loki As Seen In Multiple Marvel Studios MoviesLook at Thor with his perfect hair and his burly, blonde and rugged handsomeness. How insanely annoying would it be to have that as a brother, eating up all the food without ever gaining weight in bad places and winning all of father’s affections? It shouldn’t surprise anyone that his little brother with a complicated paternity situation grew up to be a clever and conniving little brat with aspirations of world domination.
Luckily for us, that little brother also turned out to be the best character in the Marvel universe, and the sometimes-trying-to-murder-each-other, sometimes-getting-snippy and sometimes-joining-forces relationship dynamic between him and Thor is habitually watchable. Honestly, if all goes according to plan, I would like to see the two of them take their shenanigans to Vegas for a movie that’s less about world domination and more about Loki going on a heater at the craps table and getting pissed at Thor for nagging him to leave because it’s 3AM and Jane is expecting a good night call.
Jake And Elwood Blues As Seen In The Blues BrothersWith Jake serving a three year stretch for armed robbery, Elwood Blues was forced to make a few changes. He sold off the duo’s Cadillac, let the beloved band fall by the wayside and moved to a flophouse. Not surprisingly, his brother isn’t exactly stoked when he discovers the state of disrepair their life has fallen into, but the Blues Brothers are nothing if not in it together. They concoct a wild scheme to get their lives back on track, save their childhood home and play some damn good music in the process.
When most of the other siblings on this list fight, they do so with a little more aggression and a little more hatred. That’s not Jake or Elwood’s style. On the whole, they’re underreactors, but whether stealing beds or placing each other in harm’s way, they’re not above shooting some pretty dirty looks to get their points across.
Gilbert And Arnie Grape As Seen In What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?There are differences in age, in intelligence and in power between Gilbert and Arnie Grape, but in many ways, those alterations only serve to bring them closer together. In Gilbert, Arnie finds a protector and someone to play with. In Arnie, Gilbert finds a purpose and someone to care for. The imbalances make each keenly aware of how important the other is.
At times, they hit, swear, tear each other down and lose their tempers, but more often than not, they laugh, share, scheme and hang out. Ultimately, they’re as loving and bonded as any on this list, which is, of course, why they annoy the shit out of each other on an almost daily basis. Twenty years from now after the events of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, I can imagine the title character married with his own family, but I can’t imagine, no matter what he’s gotten up to, Arnie not being right there by his side.
Timmy And Tommy Timmons As Seen In The SandlotTimmy and Tommy Timmons do everything together. On a regular basis, everything includes but is not limited to a wide variety of activities such as playing baseball, swimming, going to the carnival, chewing tobacco and fighting The Beast. An overwhelming majority of the time, they happily hang out and enjoy each other’s company. A small minority of the time, they snap at each other like really aggressive fish, all because of one little character trait.
Tommy, the younger sibling, just so happens to repeat almost everything his older brother says. That’s why people call him Repeat, and that’s why he, at times, bugs the living Smores out of his sibling. Now and again, it adds a nice little exclamation point of emphasis, but more often, it just comes off as redundant and stupid. For his sake, I truly hope he’s able to drop the habit by the time he enters high school. If not, girls aren’t going to take too kindly to that quirk either.
Mitch Weaver And Sam McKenna As Seen In Dirty WorkSecretly brothers thanks to a really long story (Sam’s dad boned Mitch’s mom), Mitch and Sam have very little in common on the outside, save a shared love for dishing out elaborate revenge fantasies and a lifelong history of best friend-ness. That’s actually a good thing, however, because they don’t share any of the same strengths at all. Sam is a big dumb animal who loves nothing more than fighting and jumping in It’s Always Sunny style without weighing any of the consequences, and Mitch is a calculating smartass who is terrified by even the slightest threat of physical violence.
They’re like a bumbling, comedic Michael and Sonny Corleone, except their aspirations are a whole lot lower and instead of starring in one of the most revered, gritty and celebrated films of the 1900s, they starred in a flop that has no connection whatsoever to reality but is still oddly brilliant and hysterical.
Jake And Joey LaMotta As Seen In Raging BullAll of the pairs on this list have their own sets of problems, but compared to Jake and Joey LaMotta, they all get along perfectly. Thor and Loki have straight up tried to muder each other, and I would still take their relationship in a heartbeat over Jake and Joey’s. From infidelity accusations to physical confrontations, they despise each other at least fifty percent of the time, but as aggressively as they feel that hate, they also feel every bit as much a sense of protection and devotion to one another. At various points, the men start fights, make deals with mob bosses and sweet talk women, all to help their sibling out.
It’s a sick and extremely unhealthy love, an emotion that cannot possibly be sustained over the long haul, but not every single family can be the Cleaver’s. Sometimes people need to look out for each other and bond on their own terms, and in each other, at least the LaMotta boys can find someone who fundamentally understands their world view.
Seth And Richie Gecko As Seen In From Dusk Till DawnYou know that angry, pissed off feeling you get after your idiot brother rapes and murders a perfectly nice teller that wants to cooperate? No? You’ve never felt that anger before? Well, Seth Gecko certainly has thanks to his dumbass brother Richie who can’t control his psychotic impulses. He’s had it up to here with trying to reign that idiot in, but at the end of the day, brothers need to stick together, at least until one of them is turned into a vampire.
George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino may not be the same levels of attractive, but as siblings, there’s something about their chemistry that actually works in From Dusk Till Dawn. I’m pretty sure every single person involved with this movie, except maybe Juliette Lewis, has better things to do with their time right now, but if all involved decided to write a prequel focusing on Richie and Seth committing a slew of crimes, I certainly wouldn’t complain.
Brendan Conlon And Tommy Riordan As Seen In WarriorHaving a brother seems to usually involve a lot of fighting, especially if the siblings are close in age. With plenty of aggression to get out and not necessarily the best handle on their emotions, little boys will hammer each other with right hands for fun. Warrior, however, takes that dynamic to another level and throws on an estranged, pent-up anger blanket for good measure.
Watching the relationship evolve a bit is pretty gripping in Warrior, but the film stops short of showing us where the evolution might continue to. Maybe it would involve opening a gym together and occasionally having far too intense sparring sessions to instruct students. Maybe it would involve a few more real goes inside the fence. I have no idea, but I would be there to watch it in a second.