Two brothers in a small Nebraska town—a gentle, well-adjusted cop (David Morse) with a Mexican wife (Valeria Golino) and a child, and a ne’er-do-well (Viggo Mortensen) who enlisted in the army to fight in Vietnam—are reunited in 1968. Before long, the veteran impregnates his girlfriend (Patricia Arquette) and starts getting involved in drunken brawls. Sean Penn’s first film as writer-director, steeped in sullen Method acting, pretentious symbolism, and mannered slow motion, is obviously a sincere and considered effort, but I found it insufferably tedious, self-indulgent, and reeking with self-pity. A few sparks of interest are contributed in all-too-brief cameos by Charles Bronson and Sandy Dennis as the brothers’ parents and Dennis Hopper as a bartender.