The Brothers Bloom is admirable in showing one character’s quest to free himself of a life of crime, but it falls short in suggesting that romance alone is the answer to Bloom’s problems. The psalmist writes, “Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain” (Psalms 119:36), and Proverbs states, “A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper” (Proverbs 28:25). Caper films like this one are to be commended for embracing, even if inadvertently, biblical truths about dissension and selfish gain, but they never dwell on the other aspects of those verses—the call to embrace the rest of God’s guidance for a fulfilling life.

The end result is that caper films, even when enjoyable on the surface, as The Brothers Bloom often is, aren’t fully satisfying. For that, readers need more than a good movie. They need the Good Book.

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  • Smoking/Drinking:  Multiple scenes of smoking and drinking, including one in which a woman lights a cigarette with a blow torch; a flask is shared by men and an animal; drinking aboard a train.
  • Language/Profanity:  Lord’s name taken in vain, including “go--amn” and an exclamation of “f--- me” as a woman realizes the extent of physical damage she’s inflicted; some foul language.
  • Sex/Nudity:  As youths, the brothers are passed from foster family to family after engaging in troubling behavior, including, we are told, the molesting of a cat; a woman writhes and moans on a bed and declares herself “horny”; a woman’s backside is exposed through an open hospital gown; sex between one of the brothers and Penelope is implied; Stephen and Bang Bang appear to live together.
  • Violence:  A boy is slapped by his foster parents; brothers are both shot multiple times, although these incidents are sometimes staged; discussion of a man who took his eye out with a rapier; reckless driving; a car crashes into a home; car hits a man on a bike; gunshots fired through a door; explosions are detonated more than once; a woman engages in target practice with a firearm; automatic weapon is fired multiple times at an automobile with several passengers in it.
  • Crime:  The brothers are con men who build their lives on one con after another; in one instance they share profits with a local businessman who benefits from their scheme.
  • Religion:  One of the young brothers prays at church, with one eye open.