As children, Lorenzo Carcaterra - Shakes to his friends - Michael Sullivan, Tommy Marcano, and John Reilly were inseparable. They grew up in Hell's Kitchen, a far from perfect neighborhood, one filled as Shakes says with scams and shake downs, but one where the rules were known by its residents. The one adult who they admired was Father Bobby Carelli, who understood them as kids more than most adults and more than he himself would like to admit. In 1967, their lives would change forever when a typical teenage prank went wrong which led to the four of them being sentenced to various terms at Wilkinson Home for Boys, a reformatory. There, they were physically, emotionally and sexually abused primarily by Sean Nokes, the head guard of their cell block, and fellow guards Ralph Ferguson, Henry Addison, and Adam Styler, although there were other caring figures of authority at the home including other guards. Their time at the home affected the four, not all who were able to emerge from the ...Written by
Author Lorenzo Carcaterra has claimed that his book, on which the film is based, is 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 it. Carcaterra's school attendance records show he couldn't have been in prison for as long as he said, and he couldn't have been in prison at the dates given for certain events in the book. David Stout, a New York Times reporter who did a story on the controversy, said in an interview that he could find nothing in the newspaper's extensive library, or anywhere else, that resembled the case. See more »
When Father Bobby visits young Shakes at Wilkinson. 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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Disturbing, powerful, but lacking a certain something.
Disturbing drama about four kids sent to a juvenile jail where they were sexually abused, only for them to grow into men years later and seek vengeance on the man (Kevin Bacon) who abused them. A good effort on all accounts, but the film falls apart somewhere in the second half, and seems a bit too bent on making the audience cringe during flashbacks than really trust the story as it sits. Robert De Niro seems a bit held back as a priest, while Brad Pitt and Dustin Hoffman surprisingly hold one's interest more than anyone else.
3.5/5 stars -
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