An armored car is robbed by three men. A passing police officer and one of the robbers exchange fire. The robber is Paulie. In a flashback we follow him and his closest friend, Brian, as they grow up together in South Boston. They're tough guys, thugs, doing jobs for the local boss and chaffing to do more. Paulie's the leader. Brian drinks too much and free bases, ignoring his wife and two young boys. Life-changing events lead him to try to go straight, look for work, take what comes his way, and go to A.A. meetings. He struggles. Paulie shows him the plans for the armored car job. Will they do it? "I am who I am," Brian tells his wife. Is crime his only skill? Written by
The guys who made this movie sure have a lot of heart, the title says it all.
A beautiful movie that holds at its centre a story of personal transformation. While Paulie (Hawke) tries to play the best hand with the cards he is given, Brian (Ruffalo) plays along, craps out and eventually learns a different game. An inspiring story of what can happen when someone loves something past themself and gets a little help along the way.
The soundtrack is special. A repetitive, echoed and slightly haunting motif reflects the unspectacular, cold & sparse urban scenery. The music brings a sense of gravity & continuity to the movie, binding the characters & landscape together into 'the cards they have been dealt' as well as pacing the plot development.
The stylistic shooting acts as a vehicle for the story and quickly dissolves into the background as Ethan & Ruffalo capture centre stage from the first scene.
Highly recommended. Leave expectations at the door. This is not 'The Departed'. This is a movie with an emotional sensitivity that no amount of violence or 'leave you guessing' plot line could ever deliver.
Well done Brian, Paul & Donnie. Great job!
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