Four boys growing up in Hell's Kitchen play a prank that leads to an old man getting hurt. Sentenced to no less than one year in the Wilkenson Center in upstate New York, the four friends are changed by the beating, humiliation and sexual abuse by the guards sworn to protect them. Thirteen years later and a chance meeting lead to a chance for revenge against the Wilkenson Center and the guards. Written by
Author Lorenzo Carcaterra has claimed that his book on which the film is based was a true story of his childhood. When the New York legal community went on record stating that no cases resembling the events of his book could be found in any court records, Carcaterra refused to discuss the discrepancy. It is generally believed that his book was almost 100% fiction. Carcaterra's school attendance records show he could not have been in prison for as long as he said, and that he could not have been in prison at the dates given for certain events in the book. See more »
The amount of blood on Michael's face during the scene in the Wilkinson lunchroom. See more »
This is a true story about friendship that runs deeper than blood. This is my story and that of the only three friends in my life that truely mattered. Two of them were killers who never made it past the age of 30. The other's a non-practicing attorney living with the pain of his past - too afraid to let it go, never confronting its horror. I'm the only one who can speak for them, and the children we were.
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A well-adapted, epic story of the childhood innocence of four boys brutally snatched away, and the subsequent revenge that took place so many years later. Perfectly paced, it is a long film whose length is never an issue; exciting courtroom drama, realistic sense of time and place, gritty yet sleek cinematography, and convincing performances from a cast that is actually to die for: Jason Patrick, Billy Crudup ("Big Fish") Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Kevin Bacon, Minnie Driver and Brad Pitt in the same movie; it is a rare lineup. This is not to mention the young leads, who are completely convincing in heavyweight roles.
Leading the pack was Brad Renfro, whose passing in the same month as Heath Ledger was unfortunately nowhere near as noteworthy, and sadly is still a shock, for some, to learn of! If one is to go back and watch not only this film, but "The Client", "Apt Pupil" and the indie hit "Ghost World", one can see another talent that was perhaps not as widely recognised as that of Ledger, but just as unfairly snubbed short, and just as worthy of our recognition.
Barry Levinson puts together a film here that could easily be mistaken for a Scorsese work, and that may be the only criticism, if it is even that! Well drawn characters, electrifying, often emotional drama, the story never in a rush but never feeling laborious, this is an overlooked work of perfection.
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