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A loosely based remake of the 1965 western film The Sons of Katie Elder, Four Brothers is a 2005 movie about what happens when beloved citizen Evelyn Mercer is murdered in a store heist. Her four dangerous adoptive sons come to her funeral: Bobby Mercer, Angel Mercer and Jack Mercer join the regenerated ex-union leader Jeremiah Mercer. They decide to investigate the murder, discover that her execution was intentional, and resolve to find the criminals by themselves.


This film provide examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: At least two of the brothers, Bobby and Jack, are alluded to having these (either biological or foster) before Evelyn adopted them.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Bobby could be considered this prior to his mother's murder, although he becomes much more involved after returning to Detroit.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Jack is often treated like this, especially when he tries to act as the Only Sane Man by telling his brothers to stop doing something dangerous or stupid. Unfortunately, he's often promptly told to shut up.
  • Asian Store Owner: The owner of the store where Evelyn was killed is Middle Eastern.
  • Badass: All of the four brothers share this trait, though its Bobby and Angel who do most of the work.
  • Bad Boss: Victor Sweet. Implied to be a Complete Monster.
  • Berserk Button: Don't ever hurt a member of Bobby Mercer's family. Period.
    • Don't talk bad about Evelyn around Jack, either.
  • Big Brother Instinct: The three oldest brothers all have this, but it's especially clear in Bobby.
  • Big Little Brother: The youngest of the four brothers, Jack, is by far the tallest. Coincidentally, Bobby is the shortest.
  • Car Chase: Bobby, Angel, and Jack chase down the men who were hired to kill their mother through Detroit during a blizzard.
    • On rims when their front tires get shot.
  • Casanova: Angel certainly acts like one, although the results can be questionable at times.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: All over the place, especially if Bobby's in the scene.
  • Crapsack City: Detroit is definitely portrayed as this.
  • Creator Cameo: Jon Singleton is the goalie of the opposing hockey team during the Turkey Cup scene.
  • The Cutie: Jack.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: All of the brothers have this in spades.
  • Dirty Cop: Detective Fowler.
  • Don't Tell Mama: Implied to have happened quite often, both in the past and present. Of course, it's also stated that Evelyn always found out what they did anyways.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Jack has plenty including "Cracker Jack", "Jackie Poo" and "Little Fairy".
  • Engineered Public Confession
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: And how.
  • Fan Service: Every brother but Bobby gets a shirtless scene and as a bonus Jack is completely naked in the shower.
    • Fan Disservice: In the very same scene Bobby is sitting on the toilet reading the newspaper. Angel tells him to light a match.
  • Flaw Exploitation: The brothers brutally exploit Victor Sweet's mistreatment of his workers, turning them against Sweet with the right incentive.
  • Flipping the Bird: Numerous times, both by the brothers and the hired guns. The latter usage has tragic results.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Jeremiah and Jack are far more responsible and rational than their more impulsive and hot-headed brothers, Bobby and Angel.
    • Making Jack's death all the more surprising.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The brothers seem to fit this — Bobby is Choleric, Jeremiah is Melancholic, Angel is Sanguine, and Jack is Phlegmatic.**
  • Four Is Death: Enforced then brutally subverted.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: The brothers successfully track down and finish off their mother's killer, but they never anticipated losing their youngest brother in the process.
  • Happily Adopted: Jack states in a deleted scene that they never went in search of their biological parents because Evelyn was enough.
  • Happily Married: Jeremiah's wife is incredibly loving and understanding, Jeremiah thinks of her and the kids as he's stabbing a man to death.
  • High Altitude Interrogation: Played for Laughs but they drop him anyway.
  • Hot Mom: Jeremiah's Wife. Evelyn is also heavily implied to be this.
  • Ice Hockey: A number of scenes revolve around either playing, discussing, or watching the sport. One scene even includes a Creator Cameo.
  • Implied Death Threat: Bobby and Angel love this trope, as does Victor Sweet and his cronies. However, by the climax, full-out death threats become more the norm.
  • Kick the Dog: Victor Sweet's usual way of punishment even going so far as forcing Evan and his wife to eat food off of the floor for "sitting in his seat". He also demands that one of his mooks let him have sex with his finacee. Luckily, he never gets to.
  • Kill the Cutie: In classic Jon Singleton Style.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Bobby. He turns into this when any of his brothers are hurt, but especially Jack.
  • Lying to the Perp: Fowler's ultimate demise.
  • Mama Bear: Evelyn in general, but especially evident when she goes to the police after finding out that Victor Sweet was trying to illegally shut down Jeremiah's development project.
  • Mook Face Turn
  • Motor City
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: During the shooting when Jack is shot and killed Bobby is so enraged that Angel has to pull him off of the guy in mid-gunfight.
  • N-Word Privileges: All of the characters do this, but Bobby is definitely the worse offender, especially since he's white and tends to drops N-bombs like candy whenever he's pissed off.
    • This is likely a result of Bobby growing up with two black brothers and living in one of the roughest neighborhoods of Detroit.
  • Papa Wolf: Jeremiah slowly gets to this in the end.
  • Parental Abandonment: Angel and Bobby don't even have adoption papers.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "You killed my mother and my little brother, you motherfucker. Thank Victor Sweet!" BANG!
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Bobby and Angel are as red as you can get, Jeremiah and Jack are quite clearly in the blue.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge
  • Scary Black Man: Angel likes to use this stereotype to intimidate people during interrogations.
  • Scenery Porn: The depressingly colorless scenes of a rundown, desolate, and snowy Motor City are eerily haunting.
  • Sibling Team: And probably one of the sexiest.
  • Snow Means Death: Bobby and Angel shoot their mother's killers in the middle of thick snow fall.
  • Spicy Latina: Angel's on again-off again girlfriend, Sofi.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Jack's death.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Oh yes and it's awesome.
  • The Siege: Happens when Sweet's men goes to attack the Mercers at their home.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Evelyn's rosary, which Bobby wears around his neck during the movie.
  • Tranquil Fury: Bobby's final fight with Sweet.
  • Vigilante Execution: The Mercer brothers take out many of Sweet's cronies and eventually Sweet himself without any permanent legal repercussions.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Sofi and Bobby seem to be this, they argue and insult each other constantly but she seems to be the only person other than his brothers that he trusts to get stuff done.