Box art for The Brothers Grimm

The Brothers Grimm

sci-fi & fantasy

Matt Damon and Heath Ledger team up to bring you one of the year's most fantastic adventures in this magical tale based on the lives of the legendary storytellers.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 13
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Not a fairy tale. For teens and adults.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that the film includes some scenes in the dark woods that might be frightening for younger viewers. The brothers argue and sometimes fight physically. Characters drink and behave boisterously (it's 19th-century rural Germany). Language includes German and French versions of "s--t" as well as some slang for "breasts." The brothers' investigation centers on kidnapped girls, producing spooky, sometimes violent images (in particular, a girl is whisked into a well by a black blob and a horse eats a child, in silhouette). Creatures in the forest include tree roots that grab at passers-by and a gigantic wolf. A powerful witch looks alternately ancient and beautiful, casting spells and wreaking havoc.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the brothers' complicated and changing relationship. How do they represent two positions on magic and faith? How does their relationship form a ground for the plot, as they deal with surprising tests of their beliefs systems? How does Angelika serve simultaneously as romantic object and intrepid adventurer?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: everyone involved in the production appears to have become lost in the dark woods, hoping somehow to find their way out with an incoherent trail of compromises.

- Anton Bitel, Eye for Film, Thursday, March 4, 2010

Rotten: Those who adore Terry Gilliam for his taunting French soldiers in Monty Python and the Holy Grail or his weird subversiveness in Brazil may find The Brothers Grimm to be a fairy tale gone sour.

- Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle, Friday, August 26, 2005

Rotten: The Brothers Grimm has enough haunting, fairy-tale imagery for 10 movies, but no emotional kick to drive those images home.

- David Edelstein, Slate, Monday, August 29, 2005

Audience Reviews

2 stars

I really wanted to like this movie, and not just because I wanted to be different from my friends who didn't like it. I just can't though, and it's a damn shame. This should have been a really good movie, especially given the director, actors involved, and the concept. Conceptually, yeah, it is good, but specifics with plot, story, and the script itself is where there;s trouble, Ehren Kruger just isn't a good writer.That's the first problem. Aside from that, the film is also overlong, poorly paced (too slow) and, worst of all, it's boring and hard to care for the characters or what happens. I can enjoy a movie that favors style over substance, but only for so long. This is especially true when I still care what happens, even if substance is lacking. The best part of this movie is everything involving visuals: the art direction, set design, set pieces, and general visual look and style. Unfortunately, I feel as if all of this is overbearing here, becoming too much of a good thing. In the acting department, Damon and Ledger give it their all inspite of what they have to work with. Headey does more than look nice, which helps, and Stormare gives a typically off the wall performance, but all of the hard work the actors put forth is in vain-they can't save the picture.

- cosmo313, Friday, May 21, 2010

2 stars

It was like Sleepy hollow, Shriek and Fear and loathing in Las Vegas rolled into one but without being that good. I don't think Gilliam realises but people act a certain way in his films, maybe its his doing, I'm not sure but its annoying. Yes he is a python but that doesn't make you John Cleese!! Aw, it was ok, I thought everyone did very well, i just expected more from such a great director!

- SirPant, Thursday, August 27, 2009

3 stars

"Eliminating Evil Since 1812" Will and Jake Grimm are travelling con-artists who encounter a genuine fairy-tale curse which requires genuine courage instead of their usual bogus exorcisms. REVIEW The Brothers Grimm seeks to give us the "real story" behind the classic Grimm's Fairy Tales such as Hansel & Gretel, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel without compromising the mystical or enchanted aspects in each of those stories. Just like the fairy tales represented in the storyline, to truly enjoy this film requires a temporary suspension of disbelief; but in the end what makes this a satisfying experience is that, along with the characters in the story, we enter into this tale as skeptics and walk out the other side as believers. This movie was filmed in true Terry Gilliam fashion and features the kind of fantastic creatures and special effects we have already seen in Time Bandits and Baron Munchausen. The PG-13 rating has little to do with strong language or sexual content (both noticeably lacking) but some of the special effects scenes may be too scary for young children.

- mrpopcorn, Tuesday, June 16, 2009