Knockaround Guys (2001) Poster

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Better than expected, underrated!
With the negative response from critics for this movie I was concerned that this would be rubbish, especially when it was released straight to video in my country (UK). As a Diesel fan I had high expectations for this film but was aware he had a supporting part.

However I was actually pleasantly surprised that the film was actually fairly enjoyable. The story is basic, about a mobsters son (Barry Pepper) who has grown up disparaged by the life of crime his family are involved in, but in his adults days he is unable to get the sort of legit career he wants, as a sports agent, because no-one will hire him for the simple reason that he is related to Dennis Hoppers character. Anyway he resigns himself to the fact that he can't go legit and that working for his dad is the way forward, but since his father only has enough faith in him to pick up his sandwiches, Matty is frustrated and begs his father to give him some more responsibility, he gets support here from his uncle Teddy played by John Malkovich. He gets his responsibility of course but things go awry, by fault of Matt's friend Marbles played by Seth Green. Half a million pounds has now gone missing in a small town, with some fairly clichéd hicks. Matty takes two of his friends over to assist Marbles in getting the money back, and on ensures a tale of deception and murder, with dirty cops, double dealing mobsters, and unwelcoming locals.

It's a fairly simple film that is nicely placed and very well acted. There are comical moments and some moments of character depth, particularly with central character Matty. There are really any surprises in this flick but it is on the most part entertaining. Barry Pepper is very good in the central role as is Vin Diesel as his best friend Taylor, who offers support and advice as well as muscle when it's needed. John Malkovich and Dennis Hopper are good in their small roles although they are cruising really but it is Tom Noonan who steals the show in a delightfully seedy role as the bent small town sheriff Decker.

All in all this is worth a rental, if you're a fan of Diesel like me you'll appreciate his performance in a role that has more depth to it than XXX. 6/10
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Can A Mafia Story Be Funny? Yes
ccthemovieman-17 April 2006
This is another of those films I thought was great the first time, so-so on the second. Overall, it got high marks - at least on the first viewing - because it's an entertaining film that doesn't overstay its welcome at 92 minutes.

Four young guys get involved in their first Mafia-type adventure. One is asked to do a simple job of picking up a bag of money out west and bringing it back home to Brooklyn. However, troubles ensue big-time when the bag is stolen at the little airport out West. His three friends have to come out and help him get the money back and all kinds of problems develop.

There is some black humor in here which helps spice up the film, which then turns very serious about halfway through with a few shocking twists near the end.

There are two famous veteran actors in here - Dennis Hopper and John Malkovich - and four young ones who becoming better known these days as well: Seth Green, Vin Diesel, Barry Pepper and Andrew Davoli.

The only problem I had with the movie is Pepper, who played Roger Maris, the famous baseball player in the film '61." He looks so much like Maris that I can't believe him as anyone else! To us baseball fans, Pepper will always be Maris and nobody else.
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Nice movie. Worth watching.
Streetwolf31 December 2002
Almost all of my recent reviews have been very negative, but this movie is worth watching if you are a Vin Diesel fan.

Summary: Matty is the son of Benny, a mobster and he is as bad as they come. As a kid he is put to the test of killing someone, but fails, therefore his father keeps him away from the life of a mobster, but now as a grown up, Matty can't get a job anywhere due to his father's reputation, which gets on his last nerve. So he decides to talk to his father about letting him work for him. Benny puts him on a task, to collect some money in a bag and to come back with it. Doesn't sound so difficult. Matty meets up with his childhood friends, Scarpa, also a son of a gangster, but trying hard to concentrate on his restaurant, his cousin Marbles who has always been the screw up and Taylor, the guy that everyone brings in when they need to scare the heck out of someone. So Marbles has a plane, he gets the money, but in Montana he lands for gas, only there are 2 hillbilly cops there, that intimidate Marbles, as he feels they are on to him and during his panic he puts down the bag of money with other luggage that is being put on another plane. Only he is too late to retrieve the bag so he calls upon his friends to help find the missing bag, which didn't make it to the other who took the bag?

Seth Green plays the messed up Marbles, who wants responsibility, but doesn't know the meaning of the word. Vin Diesel was great in this movie as a tough guy Taylor, he played his part perfectly. John Malkovich was the ruthless right hand of Benny and he was great! As for the roles of Matty and Scarpa, they were ok. The plot was a little weak, but got better after the first 20 minutes or so.

I rate this movie 7/10.
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Mobsters sons wish for the freedom & glamorous lifestyle their fathers had.
becktribe12 September 2004
Loved this movie! It's the type of movie you'd want to see more than once; so much of the humor is so subtle that it's easily missed. Deals w/ the next generation of baby mobsters, & how much has changed since "back in the day". Performances by Pepper, Davoli & Green have a surprising depth; their characters are so immediately recognizable that it's almost scary. As a strong Diesel fan, I have no complaints at all about the Taylor Reese character. Diesel's moody acceptance of his position in life & his lack of options, is gloomy, but believable. The strong point of the film is the loyalty & love the characters have for each other. It gives a true nobility to characters who mainly live outside the law.

See it twice. No, three times!

rating: 8 out of 10 (Okay, I really mean 9!)
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Watch Your Back
siciliangirl_0225 April 2003
Patience is the key element in watching a mafia movie. "Knockaround Guys" didn't require any patience for me, and I was hooked at the first scene. This movie gives a formal description of friend and enemy. Who exactly is the real "bad guy" in a mafia movie? In most mafia movies it is quite obvious who the bad guy is, but this one will keep the viewer guessing. Berry Pepper plays the son of a well-known gangster. He, however, does not want to follow in the footsteps of his father. Peppers character's name is Matty Demaret, and he wants to be a sports caster. He has no luck finding a job because people know of his father's past. So, after a bombing interview , Matty decides that working for his father may be the only way for him to make a living, but Matty's father and uncle beg to differ. They believe Matty doesn't have what it takes to be in the mafia. After he convinces his father that he's got what it takes, his father gives him a job. Matty tells his father that he and his friend Johnny Marbles (Seth Green) will go out on their mission to collect money. Marbles flies planes, so he will be able to fly to collect the money. He was given strict orders to come straight back to Matty with the cash, but Marbles gets side tracked. He stops to get gas at a small airport, and leaves the bag unattended. The bag ends up getting into the hands of the sheriff, and he wants to keep the money for himself. Matty then calls his other two friends in to help. Chris Scarpa (Andrew Davoli)who is a sweet talking mob wanna be, and Taylor Reese (Vin Diesel) is the only one is the whole movie who actually looked and acted like a real gangster. The four boys travel to a small town in hopes of finding the money. Matty knows that if he doesn't get that money back, his father will be dead, and he will be a failure. This movie makes the viewer not want to take their eyes off the screen. I was very surprised at who was the real bad guy behind the plot. I think that anyone who watches this movie will be shocked at all the twist and turns. I would recommend this movie to anyone, because it was very easy to follow. I enjoyed this film.
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below average story benefits from good casting
Special-K8811 October 2002
Born the son of a powerful and fearsome crime boss, wannabe mobster Pepper recruits low-rent pals Diesel, Green, and Davoli to make a routine delivery, impress his old man, then finally go into business with him. Unfortunately for the young man and his pals, they get stuck in a bleak little town where violence, mayhem, and every other thing that can go wrong eventually does. It's no Goodfellas, but this watchable, well-crafted little mob story is easy to take, and goes a long way on its appealing cast and dark, profane sense of humor. The only major let down is the film's story which—while interesting—lacks momentum and builds toward a familiar conclusion. A not bad showing from the film's young and old cast alike, especially Pepper and Diesel. **½
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an enjoyable rip-off
Coventry14 June 2003
You can feel about two ways when you're watching this movie. Either you make yourself very angry about all the stuff this film steals shameless from other classics in the genre...or you can just sit back and enjoy and don't bother about all the rip-off elements. When I saw it, I was in a 'sit back and enjoy'-mood so my thoughts on this are rather positive. This film is well made and contains all the elements you expect. Like I said, some things are stolen obviously ( the execution GoodFellas-style, the True Romance shoot-out at the end...) but there are at least as much good things to tell about it as well. This film may count on a class A cast. Especially the older generation is great. John Malkovich, even when this guy is acting half as good as he usually does ( like in this movie ) he is still very entertaining. And naturally, Dennis Hopper and Tom Noonan are good as always. There's also a lot of talent in the younger generation: Barry Pepper, Seth Green. And this is even Vin Diesels best film ( besides Saving Private Ryan, but I'm not counting that one) Vin doesn't have too much lines, so that's positive. Overall, this film will be forgotten soon, but it's enjoyable while it lasts
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a Great Time! rent or but this movie
Meltdown5309853318 March 2003
Knockaround guys tells the tale about four guys wanting respectfull work from a mob. Matty (Barry Pepper), Taylor (Vin Diesel), and Marbles (Seth Green) are the main and interesting ones who end up losing $500,000 of the mob's money and must find the money within 2 days or the mob is in huge trouble. All the performances are greatly acted and the story (although a bit slow at times) is exciting. Vin's tallent is showing that he's going no where, but up! Barry Pepper delivers a surprising performance as the mob's son. Seth green is funny as always and a good character to add to this 2 hour ride of near garenteed enjoyment. shouldn't have rated this 5.9 out of ten because this movie deserves much higher, almost an 8. Watch this movie if you're a fan of crime dramas, comical action flicks or Diesel fans and you'll truely get a kick out of this flick. 7.2/10- my movie pro rating
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* * out of 4.
brandonsites198112 October 2002
The son (Barry Pepper) of a mobster (Dennis Hopper) and his best friend (Seth Green) lose half a million dollars that they were sent to pick up for Pepper's father. If Pepper is not able to get the money back, his father will be killed. So Pepper sends out for his friends in a desperate search of the money. However, the money is somewhere in a small very southern town and the towns citizens aren't exactly excitied about Pepper and company presence. Routine crime caper offers no surprises and features many situations that just simply don't make any sense and some rather horrid dialogue. Saving it from the pits are performances that are much better then the film deserves.

Rated R; Violence and Profanity.
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Vin speaks
David Ferguson14 October 2002
Greetings again from the darkness. After seeing a few of the chick flicks that are currently dominating the cinema, I was looking forward to a little testosterone. Relative newcomers Brian Koppelman and David Levien co-wrote and co-directed this little mob film. Barry Pepper ("Saving Private Ryan" and "61") does an admirable job in his first attempt at carrying a movie. He does get some nice assistance from Seth Green ("Austin Powers" movies) and Vin Diesel, Tom Noonan, Dennis Hopper and John Malkovich. Vin Diesel is surprisingly impressive in the second half of the film where he actually gets to act. Tom Noonan ("Manhunter") provides another creepy character for his resume. Dennis Hopper has very little screen time, and thankfully, the directors keep his close-ups to a minimum. John Malkovich provides some veteran acting stability, but at times, seems to dare Pepper to stay in the shot with him. Overall, interesting, though simple, story that supposedly addresses the lack of loyalty among friends - even in the mob world.
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Watch this movie!
Mona020818 October 2002
This movie was very good and entertaining. The actors did a great job with their characters. I thought Barry Pepper was great as the protagonist of the film and his friends in the movie Vin Diesel, Seth Green, and Andrew Davoli also did a great job. I don't think the accents of Dennis Hopper and John Malkovich were bad, they portrayed being "mafia bosses" very well.There was action when there was suppose to be action and there was comedy when there was suppose to be comedy. The story unfolds to show real friendship. You have to watch this movie, it was great. I gave it a 9.
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Dismal failure
tiefling2322 October 2002
This was a lousy, boring movie. My first thought when the movie ended was, "At least it was only 90 minutes long." I've been trying my hardest to classify this movie, but nothing seems appropriate. There was no action to justify calling it an action flick. The horrible acting, 2D characters, and empty plot defy the term drama. The occasional laugh the movie inspired did not in any way make it a comedy. The only classification I have for it is "fiction." It is a waste of whatever money you spend to see it.

On the bright side, Vin Diesel plays an excellent tough-guy in this movie, and John Malkovich is great like always. It's a shame the movie could not have been written around these two actors, because the rest of the cast is pathetic. The lead actor, Barry Pepper, tried his hardest to be Johnny Depp, and his forced acting made me cringe.

Go see anything else. Some movies make you laugh because of how bad they are; this is not one of them. A dismal failure.
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Knockaround guys
futurestevenspielberg21 July 2005
A Action/Thriller/Crime/Drama about 4 guys Matty Demaret(Barry Pepper,Saving Private Ryan),Taylor Reese(Vin Diesel,The Fast And The Furious),Johny Marbles(Seth Green,Rat Race),and Chris Scarpa(Andrew Davoli,first movie).Who get a opportunity from a mobster named Benny chains(Dennis Hopper,Speed).The job is they will fly to Canada get some money and bring it back. But Marbles loses the money and it finds its way into the hands of a sheriff and his deputy.

Vin diesel played a guy that didn't really talk a lot his purpose in this movie was to be the big strong bad*** and he did it well he did what he was supposed to do and for that i say he did a good job in this movie.But none of the other actors gave a good performance they didn't give bad performances but they didn't give good ones either.The directing reached the medium but not even close to passing it.The screenplay was what you would expect out of a mobster movie.The storyline could have been better but it was what it was i guess.

Best actor/actress-Vin Diesel

A pretty average movie-Jake Hyden

I gave this movie a 5 out of 10

Rated R for violence, language and some drug use.

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Young man has to decide if he's in or out.
senortuffy15 September 2003
This is a fairly interesting story of a young man who thinks he wants into his father's business (the mob) but faces difficult decisions along the way.

Barry Pepper ("25th Hour") plays Matty, the young man whose father, Benny Chains (Dennis Hopper), is an important figure in a Brooklyn crime family. John Malcovich plays "Uncle Teddy" - his father's top man. Matty wants to become a sports agent, but everywhere he turns in New York, people are afraid of him because of who his father is.

Matty had a chance when he was 13 to prove to Uncle Teddy that he had what it takes to be a gangster, but he wanted no part of the killing of the informant who sent his dad to prison. But now things are difficult and he decides to try and become a working member of his dad's gang.

With a push from Uncle Teddy, Matty talks his father into letting him do a job for him - delivering half a million dollars someone in Spokane owes him. One of Teddy's friends, a real lightweight, flies out and picks up the money, but he manages to lose it at some airport in a small Montana town. In a panic, Matty flies out with two of his friends, Taylor (Vin Diesel) and Scarpa (another mobster's kid trying to move up in the world).

Together with Marbles the pilot, the four scour through this little town trying to find out who has the money, but a problem soon arises - the local sheriff, played by Tom Noonan, has it and he wants to keep it. And he doesn't especially care that it belongs to some Brooklyn crime boss.

I don't want to spoil it by revealing the ending, but Matty has to decide at some point who his friends are and does he really want to be like his old man.

Well-acted. Barry Pepper, Vin Diesel, Tom Noonan, and John Malcovich all shine in their roles. The pathos of whether to follow in his father's footsteps isn't as interesting as how the characters try to get the money back, but the film is still pretty good.
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Oh yeah love this 1
Jodie (savagecharmed)10 August 2003
I loved this movie, Barry Pepper shines in his brightest glory, he suits this character so well. There is a style in this movie that only Pepper brings, the class charisma charm and straight out appeal. Diesel brings the muscle. All out I loved the story line. The cast was amazing. I will watch this movie quite often now. Barry Pepper should get more roles just as good if not better than this 1.
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In a perfect world this movie would have never been made
trappjl16 April 2003
I can only pray that the following comments can prevent at least one other human being from viewing this travesty. I think, for the first time ever casting Vin Diesel wasn't the directors primary problem. In this case the primary problem is the plot. In short, it sucks. Here's a bunch of "knockaround guys" and not one of them is doing anything (that isn't completely "round"-about) to quickly solve the problem at hand. When all is said and done however I would like to thank Barry Pepper for not giving us another Battlefield Earth performance, even though he came pretty damn close. My final comment, see "Made" instead, you'll thank me.
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One to miss
George Parker26 February 2003
"Knockaround Guys" is yet another movie which tells about a bunch of people chasing after a bag full of money. In this case, they're penny ante mobsters or "Knockaround Guys" who have to go to BF Montana and try to outwit the locals. This flick pulls together okay art and technicals and a solid cast around an silly excuse for a story which is transparent, obvious, hacked, naive and a waste of talent. The film just can't seem to find it's center though it appears to be trying for drama while ending up like a slip-shod comedy which aims for poignancy and misses every time. Regardless, the best which can be said about this flick is it might make an okay watch for the couch potato into crime/drama. (C)
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Bad. Really bad. But not in a good way. Just REALLY bad.
Dave-29111 October 2002
Warning: Spoilers
*Mild SPOILER alert - although it really won't make this crappy flick any worse*

I tend not to comment on the movies that I watch, but I think this particular flick deserves a few words on my part. A friend once told me that "free" makes everything taste better. Well, I saw a free preview screening of "Knockaround Guys" tonight, and let me assure, there are some things that even "free" can't make palatable. It's like tripe. But bad tripe. That even Scottish people can't enjoy. Yep, THAT bad.

This was the most touchy-feely mob movie I've ever seen in my life. The characters sit around gabbing to no end about their plans, dreams, goals, hopes, and disappointments. Barry Pepper should've had a PA on hand to hold a box of Kleenex, he did so much whining about not having his father's love and respect.

And any movie that can make Vin Diesel sound dumber than he already is? Wow.

But perhaps the most tragic thing about this movie is the fact that they wasted the extraordinary talents of Dennis Hopper and John Malkovich. In addition to only featuring them briefly in minor supporting roles, the writer/directors fed lines to these two acting icons that my dog, with a considerable amount of brain damage, could top. Take this Malkovich classic, for example: "You may think this situation is manageable, but there are some situations that are unmanageable!" Wow.

Too much expository dialogue. Wasted talent. Awful pacing. No innovation whatsoever. After viewing it, I completely understand why this film's been shelved for the past three years. I tell you: movies like this make me wonder why I can't get my own stuff produced when this garbage is slated for mass release.

A bit of advice for everyone who hasn't been subjected to this waste of celluloid? Don't see this movie. Watch a Guy Ritchie movie instead. At least it'll be entertaining.
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The kind of picture to watch on a rainy weekend day
MisterWhiplash13 October 2002
Knockaround Guys never goes to achieve much with it's story, and the characters are not terribly important to care about like in past gangster movies (better ones), but it works since it doesn't go for the big-bad rip off and has the feel of a B gangster movie, a decent one. Here, Pepper, Green, Diesel and Davoli play gangster wannabes (although Diesel is more of the muscle-type character than the gangster) who go after lost money in Montana, and are pitted against a crooked Sherrif. Some good fun along the way, mainly from performances from Hopper as Pepper's father and Malkovich as another key character, just don't expect Sopranos-type entertainment if you pay for admission. B
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For me, it's suck
kankawin2501327 April 2011
Knockaround Guys is a crime film about the four sons of the big mobster who have to involve in the serious situation, their father's money.

At first, I am "very" very surprised that Vin Diesel received the supporting role as Barry Pepper's "friends" (or actually the bodyguard). If you think he is the film's main hero as he portray in many movie, change your mind.

For my comment, I think this movie had a big fault. They focused on their drama scene too much, so this very slow-paced film made me boring. They tried to show everyone's feeling even its not important for the film. Especially when Vin Diesel in his role, Taylor, beat up the bad guy in the bar. The film's crew made Diesel horribly due to his talkative dialog. I believe Steven Seagal will not act like this even he is in cold-blooded style.

Some good side of this movie maybe on three things. First, the simply but very interesting plot. How the guys do when they make the mob boss' money loss? I am also very surprised about some plot twist in the film's climax which made me thrill. Second, all of the main actors act very good. Even Vin Diesel still show his professional skill in acting. Barry Pepper made us believe that he can be "adult" even his father (maybe) never trust him. John Malkovich also shows his delightfully role too.

And the last one, the movie give us in the common opinion that you can find in many crime movies. "No one can rise in the bad side." The last scene of the film pleased me.

However, if you want to see the crime film. You still have many choices.
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John Malkovich & Everyone in this was horrible
mattup2018 June 2008
I gave this movie a 3 only because the bar scene near the beg/middle of the film was pretty good. Other than that the script was poorly written with a lot of lame dialog. Adding to that was the lame cast for this movie (they couldn't pull even pull Frank Vincent to start in this B list movie).

John Malkovich was accent was the most irritating part of the film. He tried so hard to sound like a cross between Christopher Walken & Armand Assante. Most of the cast of supposed-to-be mob guys aren't even Italian (some don't even resemble Italians). It is full of clichés and should only be watched by teenagers who don't know any better because they have the attention span of a gnat.
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Decent, but not compelling; strong cast dragged down by a flawed script
lemon_magic15 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Poor Barry Pepper. I can't help but think that he thought his role in this film would be his Big Break, or at least a chance to do some real, "meaty" ACTING, but the story, dialog and direction let him down. (On the other hand, it's a major step-up in quality from "Battlefield Earth", which sucked major hind-tit through no fault of Pepper's).

There are some interesting story elements here, and some well-done individual moments. Diesel's little set-piece speech about '500' actually works if you just relax and go with it; not a lot of actors could get away with it, and he does. The actor who plays the corrupt sheriff is really pretty good - in fact, he is so good it's easy to overlook how well he fleshes out his character. Seth Green would not be my choice for any 'serious' gangster film, (he's a great actor, but he isn't physically menacing or imposing in any way) but since he is cast as the screwball/'weak sister' of the group, he works fine, and his character is given a moment of dignity and courage near the very end. A lot of people are making fun of John Malkovich in this role, but I think it all depends on whether you are a member of his cult of admirers. If you think of him as the Meyer Lansky of the film (to Dennis Hopper's Bugsy Siegel) he's perfectly valid as a seemingly effete but treacherous and cold blooded killer.

However, in spite of some good performances and some good story elements, this seems to be a case where the movie is less than the sum of its parts. I'm not sure where the air leaks out of the balloon on this project, but it simply misses the mark.

But I'm not sorry I saw it, and when I saw a used DVD of it for $10, I got it for my collection. I'll probably watch it again in a year or two, along with "Red Planet" and "Alien Resurrection", two other films that had good moments but are in no sense classics.

I'd give this one 6 and 1/2 out of ten. Competent,professional work, with enough merit to fill a slow night of couch-potato movie watching with your girlfriend or wife.
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Great cast, so so plot.
foxxsden25 March 2005
Well, the cast has some great people in it, Hopper, Malkovich, Pepper, Green and even Diesel. Wide variety in casting,yet, they all seem to work together rather well.

Barry Pepper was extremely believable as the frustrated son of Dennis Hopper. Physically there was an odd resemblance, and personality wise you could feel the tension between them.

Malkovich would be good if all he did for two hours was stand on a stage and recite the alphabet, so as the under boss his particular brand of oddity worked well.

Whats not to like about Dennis Hopper.

Seth Green in some ways was the least believable of the characters, somehow I just couldn't buy him as a pilot. Or as the best buddy of mob kids. But given the material, he did well.

Vin Diesel's character was not all that well fleshed out, except, it didn't need to be. He played exactly what the part demanded, loyal muscle. How fleshed out do you want that to be? Not everyone in a movie needs to be the subject of minute after minute of deep discussion and dissection. Some characters are there to serve a purpose, that is what Diesels character did.

Unfortunately I found, over all the plot to stretch my capabilities to believe in it. The dialog was okay, and over all the plot was alright.

Mostly I liked the acting.
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Good to great for genre or Vin fans only
Brian B-227 September 2003
A "6" on a global basis, but "8" if you like action movies. This is more a buddy movie than a gangster movie. It is very violent, and has numerous holes and coincidences in the plot.

Vin Diesel steals the movie despite being fourth billing. His is the character with the most integrity, and grit. You have to wonder, given that it was filmed before Vin became famous, but released after, whether they recut the movie to refocus on his role.

Despite the shaky character development, there is a useful theme of delayed coming of age, the value of trust, and the risks of wanting to be someone you aren't.

Great for fans of Vin, good genre movie.
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Organized Crime at its Nastiest
Warsteel16 June 2003
Knockaround Guys is a movie centered around organized crime similar to that of the Godfather. Even though the Godfather was a much greater film, this movie can still hold its own in the world of MOB flicks. The movie is centered around the son of a crime boss who desperately wants to be like his father. After failing a test as a child (no one would pass this test) he was labeled by his father as a nice kid who would never make it in the crime business. The son begs his father for an assignment and gets one. To avoid ruining the story i'll stop there, but the son takes a path that was completely unexpected. Vin Diesel's role is not as large as I would have thought, but the part he played he played well. Basically anyone who likes crime movies or shoot outs will love this movie. I give it a 7 out of 10 and recommend it to everyone....Definitly worth the money to rent at least....
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