Top 10 Big Brothers

Postpartum jealousy and ass kicking aside, it's always good to have an older brother around to make sense of the world. Someone to mold you. Someone to look up to. Someone to reach the cookie jar. Hollywood's take on siblings isn't always realistic but it does have a knack for creating some of the most heartwarming relationships ever seen. I dedicate this list to my own big brother John, whom without I wouldn't be such an obsessively deranged film nerd that writes top ten lists for a movie web site in his spare time. Thanks bro! Thanks also to Kim and Scotty for their help rounding out the list. Time on the line well spent.

1. Derek Vinyard - AMERICAN HISTORY X (1998)

In a complete opposite direction from Doughboy, Derek (Edward Norton) takes the violence out of his life in order to show his little brother, Danny (Edward Furlong), how not to die (I'm pretty sure the prison rape swayed his decision too). No more swastika tattoos, no more n-words, no more stomping on the back of a man's head while he has a curb in his mouth. This is one of the most powerful displays of family bonding ever created if you consider the amazing transformation Derek's character goes through. It would be the equivalent of my brother taking me aside and saying "You know Jim, THE EVIL DEAD is just another b-movie. It's not even that good. You need to move on and see bigger and better films that will make you a better person." To which I'll respond, "Put your f*ckin mouth on the curb."

2. Darin Baker - BOYZ IN THE HOOD (1991)

I hate to glorify violence and what-not but Doughboy (Ice Cube) did what he had to do. In his half-brother, Ricky (Morris Chestnut), Darin saw everything he wanted to be but couldn't because of the gang banging, drug pushing, and prison visits. Ricky was off to university with a football scholarship and plenty of ass in his future. When all that ends with the pull of a trigger there was only one way Doughboy knew how to deal with it. Straight up "an eye for and eye" shit. Is anyone's life better for it? No. Did it bring Ricky back? No. Did I enjoy seeing Ice Cube track down the murderer and empty his gun into his chest? You're damn right.

3. Gilbert Grape - WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE (1993)

Gilbert has one shitty life. His little sister is a major bitch. The only customer at the local grocery store he works at only shops there to use him for his manhood and her husband isn't too happy with that whole scenario. This new girl stops by the town to spread her craziness and horrifying stories about pray mantis'. His mom is the size of a dump truck. The house he's living in is falling apart because his mom is the size of a dump truck. His dad killed himself in the basement of said crumbling house. And finally, his mentally challenged brother won't stop climbing that f*cking water tower every chance he gets. The thing is, Gilbert handles all this with as much grace as humanly possible (except that time he beat the shit out of Arnie in the bathtub). I would have had dad leave room in noose for me.

4. Michael - E.T. THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL (1982)

Not bad for a guy I referred to as "Penis Breath" for over a decade. Michael's (Robert MacNaughton) importance to this film is so overlooked. It starts when he brings the little slimy bastard trick or treating. Hiding a genuine alien while in the middle of a cluttered street is no easy task. The famous bike scene is all due to Michael and his friends knowledge of the streets. He steps it up a notch by finding E.T. on his death bed near the river after a careless Elliott (Henry Thomas) loses him the night before. And to top it all off, he not only steals a van from a top government agency, but he drives Elliott and his stubby friend to the exact spot the alien spacecraft is landing in the park. All this without even knowing how to drive. Consider your props served Mike.

5. Michael Emerson - THE LOST BOYS (1987)

The fact that Mikey (Jason Patric) doesn't question why his little brother Sam (Corey Haim) has a sexy poster of Rob Lowe hanging on his closet door speaks greatly for his character. Then he turns into a vampire and doesn't eat him. Then, in what I'm pretty sure is a major no-no in the world of the undead, he starts killing all the other cool vampire kids. All this while nailing the hot chick and sporting a mullet/perm. Bravo!

6. Lt. Steven McCaffrey - BACKDRAFT (1991)

"Look at him..... that's my brother god damnit!" It was the one line that made you realize Bull (Kurt Russell) wanted nothing more than to have his brother be better than him. All the humiliation, bitter divorce, and drunken brawls are put aside for that one cheesy moment of brotherly love. No matter how much of an asshole the makers of this film try to make Steven out to be, I can never stop myself from being mesmerized every time he's on screen. When he went, I went.

7. Chet Donnelly - WEIRD SCIENCE (1985)

In all honesty, Chet (Bill Paxton) is a complete asshole as a brother. The only reason he makes this list is the fact that he's one of the funniest f*cking characters ever invented. Anyway, once Lisa (Kelly LeBrock) turns him into Jabba's cousin (above pic), he changes his ways for the better. "I'm gonna tell Mom and Dad everything. I'm even considering makin' up some shit!" Just..... awesome.

8. Brandon Walsh - THE GOONIES (1985)

At first, Brand (Josh Brolin) doesn't think it's possible for his brother and a band of nitwits to save their house from the evil land developers. His job is to baby-sit and work out in the living room, and that's just what he's going to do. What Brand doesn't know is that his destiny has already been set and it involves more than having Jason Priestley's character on 90210 named after him. He's a Goonie and before the night's through he'll befriend a giant retard, come to terms with the fact that his girlfriend made out with his little brother, and find a shit load of gold sitting on a boat they found with a treasure map that's been in their attic for years.

9. Denny Lachance - STAND BY ME (1986)

It's almost by default that Gordie's (Wil Wheaton) brother be awesome since his dad is such a dick. Everybody loved Denny (John Cusack) but when he tragically dies is a car accident, nobody takes it harder than Gordo. Through the power of flashbacks we see a picture perfect image of what being a role model is all about and why the search for The Body seems to be something more than just another adventure for G- Money and his group of troubled friends.

10. Darrel Curtis - THE OUTSIDERS (1983)

Imagine being the only father figure to two members of the Brat Pack, the Karate Kid, Soul Man, The Flamingo Kid, and Tom "fricking" Cruise. Things didn't always go as planned for Darry but it was nothing a nice relaxing rumble with the Socs couldn't solve. I always like to imagine that Swayze plays the grown up version of this character in ROAD HOUSE. It's fun, try it.

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