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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.

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7 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

In the end, he left everyone and everything... but no one really left him. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

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Release Date:

13 October 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tus santos y tus demonios  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of George DiCenzo. See more »

Goofs

In the 1980s scenes the red hand/green walking person can be clearly seen at the street crossing, but in NYC at that time the older walk/don't walk signs were being used. See more »

Quotes

Young Dito: Cause me and Mike, we're going to California with our band and shit and I want you to come cause I love you, and the fucking Mets won.
Young Laurie: What? What did you say? You said you loved me.
Young Dito: What?
Young Laurie: You said you loved me right? I'm serious that shit means a lot to me you know?
Young Dito: Yeah I love you, i don't understand, I love you, cause I love you... fucking.
Young Laurie: [laughs] Stupid.
See more »

Crazy Credits

A small scene is shown in the end credits while "New York Groove" is playing. See more »

Connections

References Asteroids (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

New York Groove
Written by Russell Ballard
Performed by KISS
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

 
"My name is Dito and I'm going to leave everyone in this film"
22 November 2006 | by (Sweden) – See all my reviews

In this autobiographical coming-of-age piece, director Dito Montiel confronts his gritty past in Astoria, Queens. He tells the doomed story of a teenage boy who spends his days in the seedy hot crime-infested backstreets of 1980's New York City to the day when he leaves for California and does not return until twenty years later, when his father (Chazz Palminteri) is sick. The retelling is impressive and absorbing.

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints is bursting with the flair of a debut director, who is eager to employ a wide variety of techniques – steadicams, punctured narrative, flashbacks, script interjections, dreamlike non-chronological editing and an uneven pace. The good news is that it channels Spike Lee's criminal Queens street style with fast-paced local jargon that recycles 'fuck' in every sentence and snaps and crackles like kindling in a fireplace between its many thug-like characters. Owing to its coming-of-age format, the story often stays wildly unfocused and you get the feeling many scenes do not serve a purpose other than to get us a feel for the venality with which things were run.

Nevertheless, the characters are all absorbing, especially the young versions of Robert Downey Jr, Eric Roberts and Rosario Dawson. One of these is Antonio – a childhood friend of Dito's and local bully – who does wonderful improvisation-like raw lines. The vast contingent of American preeteen fangirls who were lusting after Channing Tatum after his cheesy teen movies had put me off this actor at first, but it cannot be denied that he gives one of the most intense performances in the film as Antonio – he is hard-edged, testosterone-fuelled and doomed. Robert Downey Jr. is remarkably toned down as the grown-up Dito, delivering sparse lines and abandoning his usual colourful style of acting.

Together the four Queens teens harass girls, beat up rival gangs, shoplift and give attitude to on-lookers and this is undoubtedly when it feels the most like Spike Lee Lite. Saints patiently crafts tension at several points in the story, and it prefers climaxes to continuity as bad events snowball into criminal messes, deaths and the final abandonment by Dito. A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints is an interesting and compelling story, recreated with deft strokes by local Dito Montiel.

Sting and Trudi Styler loved the script so much they went to great lengths to support the production, and Chazz Palminteri delayed the shooting of another film of his with money out of his own pocket just to be able to play the bruised father in the film. These should serve as marks of its success and most of all the commitment with which its cast approached the film.

7.5 out of 10


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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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