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IMAGE: Step Brothers
Mark Seliger  /  Columbia Pictures
Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly had a knock-down fight over a drum set in "Step Brothers."
By
TODAY contributor
updated 8/23/2011 4:35:12 PM ET 2011-08-23T20:35:12

At the movies, sibling rivalries can run hot and cold.

They’ll fight over women (“Sabrina”), control of the family business (“The Godfather”), con games (“The Brothers Bloom”) and sometimes, just because the older brother likes to torment his little bro (“Diary of a Wimpy Kid”).

But at the end of the day, blood usually runs too deep to be ignored. The best brothers tend to reconcile by the time the credits roll. Of course, there are exceptions.

Most likely to send you on a one-way fishing trip: Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) in “The Godfather, Part II”

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As a crime boss, Vito Corleone’s youngest son was ahead of his time. As a family man, he left a lot to be desired. After learning older brother Fredo had betrayed him to a rival crime boss (“I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart.”), Michael waited patiently for his chance at payback. He was nice enough not to whack poor, weak Fredo (the late John Cazale) while their mother was still alive, but he didn’t wait very long afterward. In one of the most memorable scenes of Francis Ford Coppola’s classic mob saga, Fredo is sent to sleep with the fishes, on brother Michael’s orders.  Talk about holding a grudge.

Video: Watch the trailer for 'Our Idiot Brother' (on this page)

Most likely to ruin your front lawn: Brennan Huff (Will Ferrell) & Dale Doback (John C. Reilly) in “Step Brothers”

Forget boomerang kids. Brennan and Dale never even left their parents’ homes in the first place. Forced to live under the same roof when their single parents marry, the two 40 year-old losers struggle to respect each other’s boundaries. When Brennan ignores Dale’s warning not to touch his drum set, it sets off a sibling slugfest that winds up outside on the front lawn. It could be worse. They could have tried to bury each other alive. Oh, wait. They did.

Story: Paul Rudd happily embraces his 'Idiot' side

Most likely to get you kicked out of a casino: Raymond Babbitt (Dustin Hoffman) in “Rain Man”

After learning he has a brother with autism, Charlie (Tom Cruise) decides the best course of action is a cross-country road trip, with a detour to Vegas. There he uses Raymond (Dustin Hoffman) and his gift for total recall to clean up at blackjack — until Raymond admits his good fortune was due to counting cards. That’s one Sin that’s not allowed in Sin City.

Story: Dummies in movies can make for smart humor

Most likely to fight over a dead brother’s girl: Tristan Ludlow (Brad Pitt) & Alfred Ludlow (Aidan Quinn) in “Legends of the Fall” 

Tristan and Alfred have a falling out over which one will help grieving Susannah (Julia Ormond) get over the death of little brother Samuel (Henry Thomas). Somehow, Ormond manages to keep Susannah from coming off as a shameless bimbo, despite having gone through everyone in the Ludlow family tree except their dad, the Colonel (Sir Anthony Hopkins). In the end, neither brother gets the girl, but Tristan and Alfred do make peace.

Most likely to beat you senseless: Tommy Riordan (Tom Hardy) and Brendan Conlon (Joel Edgarton) in “Warrior”

We can think of few worse places to settle a longstanding sibling rivalry than a Mixed Martial Arts tournament. That’s exactly where estranged brothers Tommy and Brendan wind up. This being Hollywood, you just know where this collision course will end — in the ring, brother against brother. And while we won’t spoil the movie for you since it doesn’t hit theaters until Sept. 9, we can tell you that these siblings don’t hold back. Their family issues are resolved, one crushing blow at a time. Talk about blood brothers.

Video: Watch the 'Warrior' trailer (on this page)

Best brother in the movies? Worst? Discuss on Facebook.

Michael Avila is a writer based in New York. Follow his random Pop Culture musings on Twitter.

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Video: Watch the trailer for 'Our Idiot Brother'

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