Bad Boys (1983) Poster

(1983)

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9/10
Great Film with some heart-wrenching acting
JCisneros11 January 1999
This film has to be one of the best youth crime dramas around. Sean Penn delivers a strong performance as a troubled youth, without the will but the courage to change his ways. Ally Sheedy also delivers a strong performance as the sole light in Penn's insane lifestyle. Esai Morales delivers a strong performance as a youth who has takes the wrong roads in life. Buckle up, and get ready for an emotional ride by some talented actors/writers/director in this movie.
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Not your ordinary teen movie
Snoopymichele13 February 2005
I recently saw this movie again (on video, not the uncut DVD). I hadn't seen it in about twenty years, but it affected me the same at 35 as it did when I saw it on cable at 14. It is one of the grittiest, rawest movies I have ever seen, and it works on a visceral level. The performances of Sean Penn and Esai Morales in this film go to show why they have both continued to be two of the hardest working actors in Hollywood. After seeing Penn as Jeff Spiccolli in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," I was amazed by his range in this film (although he was excellent in "Racing With the Moon," which if memory serves me right also came out around this time). Morales took what could have been a one-note role and turned it into a caricature of a revenge-bent punk, but his talent even back then was clear that he was up to the challenge of putting emotion into the role and bringing some sympathy to Paco's plight. Clancy Brown and Ally Sheedy were excellent in their roles as well.

The movie worked not just because the acting was great, but because the story moved along at an exciting pace. It was suspenseful and was not overly cliché or pat. Overall, it was an unforgettable movie experience, a strong cautionary tale that still makes people think.
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Penn At His Grittiest
Brian Washington26 November 2003
This is probably one of the grittiest teen flicks to ever come out. This film puts all the films in the Dead End kids to shame. Sean Penn is perfect as Mick and Esai Morales is great as Paco. Also, this film as well as the similarly themed Born Innocent pulls no punches as it shows how the juvenile justice system which is supposed to rehabilitate young offenders does just the opposite and makes them even more hardened. This truly is one of the best films of the 1980's.
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10/10
Awesome film.
sundancekid2621 December 2006
Bad Boys is a gritty, suspenseful film dealing with drugs, rape, death and young delinquents existing in a hostile environment. I just want to point out that this is NOT the Michael Bay film of the 90's! This version of Bad Boys was released in 1983 to moderate success at the box office, compared to the summer blockbuster status of the newer Bad Boys films. Rick Rosenthal (Halloween 2) occupied the director's chair with strong support coming from Sean Penn, Esai Morales and Reni Santoni. The story goes like this: Mick O'Brien (Penn) is being held in a juvenile facility for the vehicular manslaughter of his rival's younger brother. The rest of the plot is a riveting tale of suspense as his nemesis Paco (played by Morales) rapes Mick's beloved girlfriend while Mick is still in prison. This vengeful act lands Paco in the same prison where our character Mick currently resides. What follows? You guessed it; a barrel full of drama as a dramatic confrontation between Mick and Paco ensues! I first saw Bad Boys a few years ago after I purchased it for 3 dollars in a used movie bin. It ended up being the best three dollars that I ever spent! It really is that good of a movie. I realize I might be a sucker for early 80's dramas, but I rank Bad Boys as the most under-rated film of Sean Penn's entire career. It's hard to believe that he was only 22 in the movie, having just come off the set of Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Esai Morales is solid throughout as Penn's rival as well. Apparently Esai used to get quite a bit of attention from young girls visiting the set. This left Sean Penn in a crabby and malicious mood, which resulted in him getting a gym membership and having some prep talk with director Rick Rosenthal. For more on that conversation I suggest you listen to the films commentary track. All of the acting in Bad Boys is 100 percent believable at all times. I actually felt like I was in a deadly prison environment where one minute I have a best friend and the next he's making a stereo to blow up in my face! Oh yes…Bad Boys is that bad! On a more technical note, I really enjoyed some of the steadicam shots that follow characters down various stairways and around sharp corners. There is even a mistake in the last 10 minutes of the film where you can plainly see a steadicam operator directly in the shot! But it is barely noticeable considering how intense the last few scenes are! The movie itself is rather dark in some spots; which is probably the result of the lower budget price tag. But nonetheless, this film is much better than any other teen angst movie of the 80's that I've seen (including Coppola's 'The Outsiders' released in theatres only 2 days later!). There is really so much more to Bad Boys then I can write in these few paragraphs. It paints a dark picture for the American judicial system and an even darker picture for dramas of the early 80's. Please see this movie!

10 OUT OF 10
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A great "Street kids" drama
BasilFlty6 May 2001
Sean Penn, Esai Morals, Ally Sheedy, and the other principles in this film deliver great, realistic, gritty performances. Certainly one of the great performances of Penn's career.

My only complaint is that the DVD release by ARTISAN ENTERTAINMENT & REPUBLIC PICTURES - Deletes 2 scenes from the original. (That may explain the bargain pricing). The deleted scenes I noticed are: 1. The scene in which Ally Sheedy's character picks Esai's character out of a line-up. 2. A scene inside the Juvenile facility where the inmates are watching the Richard Widmark film "KISS OF DEATH", where he pushes the old, wheelchair-bound lady down the stairs, much to the delight of the inmates!
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9/10
One of Penn's best films
RoseNylan20 September 2009
This is a fantastic crime drama/thriller about a troubled teen(Penn) who accidentally kills a young boy during a bungled drug heist. He is sent to a maximum security juvenile correctional facility and is thrown in with some of the meanest, most violent young criminals. Meanwhile, the older brother of the young boy that he accidentally killed is out for revenge and tries to get back at him through his girlfriend(Ally Sheedy) outside of prison.

Many of the horrific images in this film will stay with you for a long time. There is a constant sense of fear and danger that lingers throughout the film and is highlighted by a terrific score by Bill Conti(Rocky, The Karate Kid). Penn gives one of his best performances here. A must see film.
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10/10
Outstanding!
pwmoses25 May 2000
Warning: Spoilers
This is a great film. When I saw it when I was around 12, it made me petrified of ever going away to a juvenile prison. I think since I saw it, I've always thought twice before doing something stupid. The director gets such tremendous performances out of the actors, that it doesn't seem at all like the viewer is watching a film, but a documentary. In fact, these great performances go all the way through the credits, when Sean Penn is crying and the guards lead the others prisoners to their cells after the climatic fight scene. To just single out Sean Penn's great performance would be a travesty to all of the others. The musical score is very sad and moves the film along always at a poignant pace.
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10/10
Intense view into crazy youths
lloydyboy_uk16 January 2007
This film shows a world that most people will never ever see. It blasts you into this intense, horrible, psychological nightmare. Thinking of what it would be like to be a part of this facility creeps me out.

The acting is top class and there are loads of familiar face that make you laugh when you think of them in recent films ha ha.

I don't want to give anything away but if you like harsh movie you will love this one! things like KIDS, Doom Generation, Thirteen etc Great movie 10 out of 10.

This film had made me want to watch more of the directors works. If this is his standard then im sure i will not be disappointed.

Lloyd Alexander
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10/10
Review
James Lawrence12 October 2008
Bad Boys, starring Sean Penn as Mick O'Brien and Esai Morales as Paco Moreno, is one of the most entertaining and disturbing movies ever. But to focus on the two leads is unfair to the host of other actors who put in magnificent performances, particularly actor Eric Gurry as Barry Horowitz.

Teen Mick O'Brien is a vicious gangster punk. When one of his armed robbery schemes goes awry, a robbery of a drug deal involving Paco Moreno, he unintentionally runs down and kills Moreno's little brother, and ends up in juvenile prison. His cell mate is Horowitz. After an awkward start they become close friends and confidantes. Horowitz, who has been there a while, teaches O'Brien the ropes. Meanwhile prison guard and counselor Ramon Herrera (actor Reni Santoni) wants to set Mick on the right path, but this is not an easy task.

The prison officials have given authority over other prisoners to two tough inmates, cell mates Viking (actor Clancy Brown) and Tweety (actor Robert Lee Rush), who get to hand out prison work assignments, receive the profits from cigarette sales, etc. They immediately come into conflict with O'Brien and Horowitz. O'Brien manages to usurp their position of authority, leading to further conflicts. O'Brien's toughness and street smarts make him the winner time and again.

The character of Horowitz, a young Jewish boy who came to juvey after a botched revenge plot, is worth a whole review by itself. What a shame that this magnificent actor, Eric Gurry, has appeared in relatively few films. Though he is small and weak and would appear to be of little help in a fight, his wit, dogged determination and superior intelligence help him to survive in this environment where he is very out of place. Despite being nothing like the other prisoners, as the film progresses we learn that he has strong criminal tendencies and prison is probably where he belongs.

Moreno, seeking revenge on O'Brien, beats and rapes O'Brien's girlfriend (actress Ally Sheedy) so he can go to prison and get even. Tweety is paroled, and Moreno moves in as Viking's roommate. These kindred spirits promptly begin plotting against O'Brien.

Circumstances take both Viking and Horowitz out of the picture, leaving Moreno and O'Brien to face a final showdown alone.
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American version of Scum
sandspider15 March 2003
I loved this film it was excellent, it had a good cast, good story, good performances and you could really understand the characters. This film is very similar to Scum but although both are very gritty I think this film is a little better. Sean Penn is good in every film he has starred in but this film is what made him a creditable actor. If you want to watch a film with a good powerful story then I recommend this and I thought the ending was pretty good if a little predictable.
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9/10
Excellent Film, But a Bit Too Brutal.
jbartelone11 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Bad Boys tells the story of teen delinquents inside and outside of a juvenile detention facility. The acting is top-notch with very powerful, emotional, scenes that are not only realistic in their telling, but make the viewer, especially troubled youths, perhaps think twice before doing something stupid.

SPOILERS: The main protagonist is Mick O'brien, played masterfully by Sean Pean, who has a rap sheet a mile long. He participates in a gang-related drug-deal that goes horribly wrong and winds up accidentally killing a rival gang member's (Paco Mareno, played by Esai Morales) little brother.

Sentenced to a juvenile correctional facility for rehabilitation. Mick must deal with the harsh realities of the teen prison which is anything but a positive rehab influence. The inmates are constantly fighting, harassed, or beating up on each other. Inside trading of cigarettes, drugs, weapons, and other prison paraphernalia is common. Overcrowding is an issue. This facility seems to have like 80-100 inmates but only about 5 guards/supervisors to try to keep order.

There are some VERY brutal and disturbing scenes, such as an inmate getting pushed over a railing and you see his body and head crash into the floor where he is killed. Mick O'brien sees all of this, but considering his troubles with the law, is desensitized by it. BUT, when Paco Mareno is sentenced to the same facility as O'brien for beating and raping Mick's girlfriend, as revenge for O'brien's accidental killing of Paco's little brother, tensions run high, leading to a very climatic and bloody fight sequence between the two rival's at the film's conclusion.

I'd like to give Bad Boys a perfect 10/10 stars rating. However, the film's brutal ending fight scene goes on a bit too long. The overall atmospheric conditions of the film is realistically dark and unpleasant. So I would advise people to have a strong stomach before seeing this movie. If you don't, you might be turned off by the two brutal scenes described above and might want to avoid this film.

However, I DO recommend this film to troubled kids, or kids who may be headed down the wrong path. It will make them think. Supporters of the film have said that the prison scenes are very realistic. If you can handle the violence, Bad Boys is definitely worth seeing and a film that you will remember for the rest of your life.

Update: Upon watching the film recently, I have updated the score from 8/10 to a 9/10.
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7/10
Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do
bkoganbing12 December 2008
Bad Boys and The Falcon And The Snowman are the first film that Sean Penn was taken seriously as an actor and not just a James Dean wannabe. A lot of people with that rebel persona have come and gone, but Penn's proved to have staying power in his adult roles.

But it was a part like Mick O'Brien, kid from the mean streets of Chicago that first attracted the movie going public to Sean Penn. Bad Boys is not your usual teen dream Brat Pack film. Penn's representative of some of the baddest of the bad from the Eighties.

Penn's a high school kid from Chicago, but the kind who only goes to school on occasion, maybe to get messages from his hoodlum friends. A heist he plans goes horribly wrong and the little brother of another tough kid, Esai Morales, is accidentally killed simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

That last crime finally puts him in reform school and of course Morales winds up there as well. That's after raping Ally Sheedy who is Penn's girl friend. That sets up the final confrontation between them.

Bad Boys is one of a long line of films going back to Wild Boys Of The Road dealing with the juvenile delinquent problem and the incarceration thereof. It's interesting how rape is used as a weapon in two instances here and how it's thought of that way. Morales rapes Sheedy as a way of getting back at Penn and in the reformatory the two who run the cell block where Penn and later Morales is put, Robert Lee Rush and Clancy Brown, use it as a way of establishing their authority.

Brown who will tell you this is a method of enforcement belies his own gay nature with those muscle pictures in his cell. And O'Brien's cellmate, Eric Gurry is also a latent case, maybe more. His performance in many ways is the most interesting in the film. He's a nerdy kid who happens to be one unusual inmate for the place. He's been picked on and in retaliation bombed a bowling alley where his tormentors were hanging out. Not too many kids his age have the scientific knowledge to pull off that and what we see him do here.

Still the film builds up to the climax between Penn and Morales and Bad Boys does not disappoint in the end. Bad Boys might have some charter Brat Pack members in the cast, but John Hughes wouldn't be doing a project like this.
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8/10
Rainford Juvenile Correction Facility-Home of Bad Boys.
Spikeopath15 March 2012
Bad Boys is directed by Rick Rosenthal and written by Richard Di Lello. It stars Sean Penn, Esai Morales, Eric Gurry, Alan Ruck, Ally Sheedy and Clancy Brown. Music is by Bill Conti and cinematography by Bruce Surtees and Donald E. Thorin.

Mick O'Brien (Penn), a teenage criminal from Chicago, finds himself doing hard time at the Rainford Juvenile Correction Facility after his latest robbery attempt ends in tragedy. Rainford is not a place where young thugs get reformed, it's where they become harder and more prepared for a life of crime........

Teenage hoodlum movies are notoriously difficult to get right, more often than not, in spite of being riveting viewing experiences, they come off as being exploitive rather than educationally observant. Over the years there have been one or two exceptions, leading the way was Scum (1979), Alan Clarke's scorching appraisal of the British Borstal system, and from America, Rick Rosenthal's Scum influenced Bad Boys starring a pre-fame Sean Penn.

Bad Boys is a rare old beast in the pantheon of young offender movies, it manages to overcome inevitability and primitiveness of plot by giving thought to its central characters, notably Penn's wounded animal protagonist., who remarkably isn't a perfunctory part of the plot. Sense of place, too, is given much attention to detail as Rosenthal gets in tight within the confines of this juvenile facility. Di Lello's script is thankfully free of the clichés that often detract from the drama in a prison based movie, the moral choice heartbeat that pounds away in Bad Boys is never twee or shoehorned in by way of a necessity. The thematics exist on very real humanistic terms. Led by a spitfire turn from Penn, cast are mostly great, with Gurry (engaging), Sheedy (tender), Morales (complex) and Brown (menacing) adding a professionalism not often seen in films of this type.

Problems arise when the film goes outside of Rainford's fences, for it loses some pent up momentum. What made Scum so searing and oppressive was that it never left the Borstal facility, claustrophobia and anger inherent were the order of the day. Bad Boys' makers choose to weld two concurrent stories on the outside, with that of Mick O'Brien's fate, it works in respect of the narrative outcome (which with some annoyance is never in any doubt), but at some cost to the mood created in the bleak interiors. There's also the issues of having to accept the ridiculousness of certain developments in the story. Be it the easy access to substances no real life prisoner would be allowed near, or the leap of faith needed to imagine that the prison authorities would allow the final confrontation to become a reality, we are asked to look the other way in order to get some hefty wallop into the drama.

Violent and unflinching in its emotional honesty, and supremely crafted on both sides of the camera, Bad Boys, one or two hiccups aside, is a first rate drama. 8/10
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7/10
Engaging film with flawed screenplay.
TOMASBBloodhound14 January 2009
Bad Boys certainly has a lot going for it on many levels, but there are enough implausible moments in the script that keep it from any type of "classic" status. The story centers around Sean Penn playing an angry and violent young hood from the streets of Chicago getting sent to a tough juvenile detention center after accidentally killing a young boy during a botched robbery attempt. The balance of the story deals with Penn adjusting to his new confinement and having to prove how tough he is again and again. Once he has established himself as the toughest kid in the place, the plot is turned on its side. The older brother of the boy he killed (Morales) is also sent to the facility... for raping and almost killing Penn's girlfriend as revenge for the boy's death! From the moment he arrives, everyone knows that the score will have to be settled once and for all. Who will survive??

Yes, its a pretty good premise, but too many detours are taken before the anticipated climax finally arrives. And many of them just don't make sense. First of all, there is no doubt that Penn's character is one tough punk. Yet he is just not physically imposing enough to be the "barn boss" as the toughest inmate is called. Yes, he whips the two punks who once held the title in a crafty manner, but there would no doubt have been many others waiting in line for that title. Another problem deals with Penn's escape attempt. After learning of his girlfriend's rape, he actually breaks out of the facility and somehow is able to make it all the way back to Chicago from the location several miles out in the country. Even if he were actually able to do this (which wouldn't be likely), notice how once he's captured and returned to the lockup, they don't even punish him!! Uh huh! I'm guessing the escape and brief rendezvous with the badly bruised girlfriend were meant to establish some sort of motivation for Penn wanting to kill Morales. But honestly, would this type of character need such motivation? Not likely. In addition, Penn is momentarily taken to the state prison for adults and warned that this is the path he is headed down if he screws up again. And apparently this is why he initially refuses to fight Morales when he first arrives at the facility. Penn just wants to do his remaining time and split. Again, not likely. A guy like this would not hesitate to accept a challenge from any man who violated his woman. Another problem deals with how Morales and Penn are left in the same cell block right up to the moment Morales is about to be transferred to another facility. Wouldn't it have been a better idea to keep the two sequestered from one another, even if it meant putting one of them in the hole for a while??? But then we couldn't have had our final fight then, could we? Oh, well.

There are a lot of good aspects of this film, too. The acting is outstanding, the casting is picture perfect, and the locations look authentic. The film is full of surprises, and a lot of them work. The Jewish whiz-kid who shares a cell with Penn steals every scene he's in. Look for a young Clancy Brown as the yard boss de-throned by Penn. Ally Sheedy gives a good performance, but she doesn't look like she belongs in that neighborhood! And I like the fact that the film doesn't try to make Penn or any of the others out to be misunderstood kids. They are all rotten to the core and deserve their punishment! Despite some flaws with the script, Bad Boys is still worth at least 7 of 10 stars.

The Hound.
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Great, timeless film!
Bathory923 April 2004
When this was released in 1982, I remember the movie title "Blackboard Jungle" being tossed around, but this movie was the 80's updated version. The innocence of the 50's no longer applies to these kids.

Esai Morales and Sean Penn were terrific in this movie! I saw it in the theaters as a youngster, and since I'm from Chicago and most of the exterior shots were from reform schools in and around the city I was scared straight quite early. One is really drawn into the characters here; it's easy to empathize with Mick O'Brien (Penn), but it's also easy to empathize with Moreno (Morales) who wants revenge. Keep in mind that these guys are both hoodlums of the highest order and we shouldn't feel anything for either of them. For me, this adds to the story.

I've long held this movie high in script, casting (look for an uncredited cameo from Jamie Lee Curtis walking with an afro in the street in the opening sequence), and its timelessness, whereas movies like "Colors" or "8 Mile" simply tap into the urban vein yet again for substance.

Bad Boys was party where it began...urban north Chicago, 1982! See this film - you'll not be sorry!

Thanks for reading...
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10/10
Amazing prison movie!
gangstahippie5 August 2007
MPAA:Rated R for Strong Violence,Language and Some Sexuality. Quebec Rating:13+ Canadian Home Video Rating:R(should be 18A)

The film Bad Boys(not to be confused with the 1995 film of the same name) is a prison movie starring Sean Penn.It has played on TV a couple of times and I have seen it twice.This is an excellent film.Its up on my list of "favorite prison movies" along with "The Green Mile" and "Life".I have not seen Shawshank Redemption but I have read the novel and it is excellent as well.Unlike those movies, this is a very brutal and violent prison movie.Don't watch it if you don't like violence.The film is about a young criminal named Mick O Brian.One day he gets into a shoot-out with some latino's, when the cops come he drives away but loses control of the car and accidentally kills the brother of a latino gang member named Paco Moreno.He gets sentenced to prison.Paco now wants revenge on Mick so he rapes Mick's girlfriend and gets sent to the same prison as Mick.Its hard to choose who to root for in this film.Both men deserve revenge for what happened to them.While in prison they meet all sorts of prisoners such as Horrowitz, a geek who can make bombs out of normal objects and two strong prison rapists named Tweety and Viking.Bad Boys is a very interesting prison movie and I recommend it to fans of prison movies.
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10/10
Brilliant film
Adam E26 September 1999
After a decade ago being the last time I've seen it, I'm still impressed with "Bad Boys" as I was the first time. Sean Penn is incredible in his role and proves how great of an actor he is. The rest of the cast shine as well; Ally Sheedy is touching as Penn's concerned girlfriend; Esai Morales is realistic as a tough guy really p'oed with Penn. There are many unforgettable moments, especially the scene where Penn excitedly visits Sheedy in jail, only to notice her beaten and bruised really bad, and begins bursting in tears. Its a real touching and shocking scene. The film is violent, but never feels exploitive. Director Rick Rosenthal creates a great atmosphere throughout and keeps you rooting for Penn to get out of prison and get revenge. I agree that the end was so-so, but it wasn't your typical hollywood tacked on ending. This isn't feel good entertainment, but a gripping, unforgettable film. It isn't hard to see how Penn is one of Hollywood's most amazing talents.
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8/10
I like this movie.
MyOpinionIsFact10 July 1999
I don't know why, but this movie -- simple as it is -- always gets me involved with it. Clancy Brown (aka the Kurgin from Highlander) happens to be one of the bads guys too, which is always a plus to me. Penn gives a good realistic performance as a street tough in a juvenile detention center that is more like a normal prison. The ending is fairly dramatic and memorable. The first couple of times I saw this one on TV, I caught it right after Penn ends up in juvie. I finally got to see the beginning eventually, but I found it to have a campy feeling. 7/10
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5/10
Great crime movie from old days
Prior to starring in the hard-edged 1983 drama Bad Boys, Sean Penn had proved his early promise in the TV movie The Killing of Randy Webster, played a memorable supporting role in Taps (with fellow newcomer Tom Cruise), and created the definitive California surfer dude as the perpetually stoned Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. But it was Bad Boys that cemented Penn's reputation as a rare talent--an actor whose skill transcended his youth, revealing a depth and maturity that the majority of his acting peers could only aspire to. That gravity and emotional dimension is evident throughout Penn's performance here as Mick O'Brien, a chronic offender whose path to a Chicago juvenile corrections facility seems utterly preordained. The institution is hardly conducive to reformation--it's a jail for problem kids, and a cauldron for all the societal ills that sent kids there in the first place. Mick's there because he was involved in a shootout during a botched robbery of drugs from rival street gangster Paco Moreno (Esai Morales), whose little brother was killed when Mick accidentally ran him over with his getaway car. Overcrowding results in Mick and Paco's being sent to the same facility (one of the film's few stretches of credibility), and this leads to a rather predictable showdown that will take the jive prison's violence to its inevitable extreme. It's a shame this conclusion ultimately doesn't live up to the film's superior first hour, but Bad Boys remains a remarkably authentic, even touching portrait of troubled youth whose torment is conveyed through thoughtful and richly emotional development of characters. Director Rick Rosenthal (who had previously helmet Halloween II) maintains a vivid sense of setting within the correctional facility's cold walls, and through the performances of Penn and a superb supporting cast (including Ally Sheedy in her film debut as Mick's girlfriend), Bad Boys emerges as one of the best films of its kind, forcing the viewer to ask difficult questions about at-risk youth and the proper way to improve or at least preserve their endangered lives.
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9/10
Caught it on TV and was mesmerized
neon-dreams-125 January 2008
Just caught Bad Boys on TV, and couldn't stop watching. Thought Penn was brilliant, and loved Horowitz. Thought the screenplay was exceptional, and loved that it ended when it did. What could have been cliché was avoided by tasteful direction and excellent casting, though I agree with one of the reviewers that "Viking" seemed too old to be in the reformatory, as did his sidekick whose name escapes me. I did think that the character actor who played Viking did a great job. Penn is really amazing in this film. He never overplays. He really became Mick O'Brien. As a young actor, I used to feel that Penn over-acted. I considered him to be a bit of a show off, until Mystic River and 21 Grams changed my perception dramatically. He's now become one of my top ten actors. I didn't know about Bad Boys. I was frankly blown away by his performance. The reformatory did remind me of "Oz" on HBO, which is one of the reasons I couldn't stop watching it! I also thought the prison staff were very good, especially Penn's counselor, who doubled as a teacher and guard. I loved that Viking was singled out for his drawing, revealing a sensitive side to him. It makes him more complex, rather than settling for a stereotype of an evil, dimwit. Next to Penn, Horowitz was my favorite character. He was brilliantly cast, and written. All in all, a terrific film. Good to see a young Ally Sheedy doing great work.
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A well made gritty and violent prison film.
john-gotti1013 April 2004
A really good little film. Bad Boys is a gritty take on urban survival, set in Chicago. The film features great performances from Penn and Sheedy. The film reminded me of a British film called Scum particularly with a violent scene involving a pillow case and three cans of cola. With Penn delivering a great performance and the film having well handled gritteness this is definetely one to check out. See it if you liked 8 mile, American Me or Menace 2 Society. Because the film had Ally Sheedy (the Breakfast Club) and a small part with Alan Ruck (Ferris Bueller's Day off)and also the fact that it was set in Chicago, Illinois I was expecting a John Hughes take on prison. But what I got was completely different. This film is a classic in it's own right, just too bad Will Smith and Martin Lawrence movie had to use the same name or maybe this would've got more praise.
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The Real Bad Boys...
acretella16 October 2003
This is the flick that convinced me that Sean Penn is a real actor (after Fast Times at Ridgemont High). Unlike Will Smith's Bad Boys, this film disturbed me from the moment Sean Penn arrived on the scene. Great actors have to prove that they can be downright dangerous when necessary (see Dustin Hoffman in Straw Dogs). Worth seeing just to see Penn emerge as an actor with teeth, chops, grit, or whatever term you prefer.
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