Two Brothers

Rated 3.0 Two Southeast Asian tiger cubs become separated from their mother and “kidnapped” by humans—one going to a seedy traveling circus and the other becoming a pampered pet in a French colonial household. Adventurous director Jean-Jacques Annaud—whose The Bear (1988) was one of the best animal movies ever made—tries to repeat the magic and narrowly misses: The story is disjointed and uninvolving, the human characters are thin clichés (Guy Pearce as a repentant hunter is the exception), and key shots seem to be missing (perhaps to avoid harming the animal actors). Still, the tigers are magnificent, surprisingly expressive creatures; the scenery is beautiful (despite the muddy, high-definition-video look of Jean-Marie Dreujou’s cinematography); and the message of protecting endangered species is a noble one.