Wednesday, December 2, 2015

'Brooklyn Brothers' are a likable twosome

About the movie
The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best
MPAA rating:
Running time:
Release date:
Arielle Kebel; Michael Weston; Christopher McDonald; Jason Ritter; Melissa Leo; Ryan O'Nan; Andrew McCarthy; Wilmer Valderrama
Directed by:
Ryan O'Nan

A pair of misfit hipsters hit the road in Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best, a likably goofy, lo-fi indie propelled by the syncopations of a cheesy keyboard - and the cheesy dreams of its hapless heroes.

Alex (Ryan O'Nan - who also wrote and directs) has just broken up with his girlfriend and has proved an abysmal flop playing the bars and cafes in his Brooklyn 'hood. When he loses his day job (real estate) and his gig as a singing pink moose at a school for mentally challenged kids, life looks especially bleak. Enter Jim (Michael Weston), who talks a good game, and talks the downtrodden Alex into embarking on a last-ditch, cross-country tour. Alex plays guitar and sings, while Jim, a self-anointed "musical revolutionary" prone to revelatory outbursts, wields a bunch of kiddie instruments, and uses an old cassette recorder to supply a beat.

Off they go, running into small-town music promoter Cassidy (Arielle Kebbel), who can't help bobbing her head enthusiastically whenever O'Nan starts the concertizing montages.

Deadpan and a bit dopey, Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best has a shaggy charm, and the chemistry between the tuneful twosome's would-be Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty makes up for the inevitable rock-and-roll road movie cliches.

Their songs are kind of catchy, too.

Contact Steven Rea at 215-854-5629 or Read his blog, "On Movies Online," at


Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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