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A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006)

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The movie is a coming-of-age drama about a boy growing up in Astoria, N.Y., during the 1980s. As his friends end up dead, on drugs or in prison, he comes to believe he has been saved from their fate by various so-called saints.



7 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Diane (as Julia Garro)
Young Nerf (as Peter Tambakis)
Anthony Tirado ...
Erick Rosado ...
Steve Payne ...
Beach Chair Guy (as Steven Payne)


Dito, a writer in L.A., goes home to Astoria, Queens, after a 15-year absence when his mother calls to say his father's ill. In a series of flashbacks we see the young Dito, his parents, his four closest friends, and his girl Laurie, as each tries to navigate family, race, loyalty, sex, coming of age, violence, and wanting out. A ball falls onto the subway tracks at a station, small things get out of hand. Can Dito go home again? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sometimes the only way to move forward is to go back See more »


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, some violence, sexuality, and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

13 October 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tus santos y tus demonios  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$94,784 (USA) (29 September 2006)


$516,139 (USA) (17 November 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Martin Compston was cast as Mike based on his performance in Ken Loach's Sweet Sixteen - for which he won Best Actor at the British Independent Film Awards. Executive producer Trudie Skyler was on the jury for said award. See more »


After Mike introduces Frank and Dito, the trio leaves Franks apartment. The cross the street and start to discuss wages, Job - from the bible, and Frank tells Mike he gets a raise. "well you just got a raise then, for the band". As soon as he finishes "for the band" there is a pay phone emerging from the left side of the screen. Verizon. The year is 1986 in the movie, however Verizon Wireless began operations on April 4, 2000. WSII. See more »


Guiseppe: [after walking in on Antonio and Jenny having sex] Hell yea - when can I get in on that shit?
Jenny: Fuck off, Guiseppe.
Guiseppe: All I'm sayin' is that if I was an ugly bitch and two hot dudes like us wanted to fuck me, I'd be into it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

For Antonio. See more »


Referenced in Chelsea Lately: Episode #6.45 (2012) See more »


Welcome Back
Written and Performed by John Sebastian
Courtesy of John Sebastian Music
See more »

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User Reviews

A Guide to Recognizing YOURSELF...
20 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

An authentically heartfelt, and truly inspiring film, by a first-time filmmaker, Recognizing Your Saints, bellows deep in the heart and soul of everyone that is privileged to see it. Written and directed by Dito Montiel, from his autobiographical novel of the same title, Recognizing Your Saints is a sincerely brave effort, by a shy and yet outspoken filmmaker. Rehashing his hellish childhood in 1980's Astoria, Queens, Montiel brings a brilliant cast together to portray the misery of the youth growing up around him at the time.

Starring Robert Downey Jr. as the adult version of Montiel and Shia LaBeouf as the angst teenager, there is an almost perfect synergy between the two portrayals of Montiel at two different spectrum's of his life. Being called back to a Queens that Montiel left with his life and the clothes on his back, he is called back to take his dying father to the hospital.

Questions of fatherly love and compassion are brought out throughout the film, only to be answered by the gently grim, unyielding hand of Montiel's father played by native New Yorker, Chaz Palmintieri. Comparisons to Mean Streets, Kids and Raising Victor Vargas can be made to this New York drama on the whole. But, every scene, individually is so undeniably real that Montiel's film surpasses its comparisons and resonates as an entirely different type of film.

This film, about a group of kids can be told anywhere and that is what is unique about it, that it does not limit itself to the city it subsequently takes place on. It was a great surprise after the screening of the film, to have a nice personal Q & A, with the director himself. Being a very shy man, Montiel answered a few questions about the characters in the film, and where they are now. He also explained how much he loved working with the young cast, and breaking the rules of film making, he did not know existed. Overall this is a great film, filled with amazing performances, no one should miss.

42 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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God DAMN. banditaxis06
Best Performance In This Film fallinep
A 1986 movie placed in the 1970's was distracting? esboat1
WOW has everyone lost their mind?!?!?! capitalgreen99
I grew up in astoria and know about these guys!!!!! gravy31104
What was 'so moving' about this film? nazogrande

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