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Dark, yet oddly funny
Aspie338 March 2004
I taped this movie on the USA Network at three o'clock in the morning, watched it some time afterward, and I was blown away by this film. Former gangster Carlo Bartolucci aka Charlie Barrett (Christopher Walken in one of his best roles ever) attends a bistro where he finds that a group of swaggering young men, consisting of Max (Sean Patrick Flanery), Avery (Henry Thomas), Brett (Jay Mohr), T.K. (Jeremy Sisto), and Ira (Johnny Galecki), have taken over his usual booth. Charmed by the guys, Charlie takes them for a ride, only for them to knock him out with some chloroform while going down the Queens tunnel in a hilarious sequence. Charlie regains consciousness inside of Ira's mansion taped to a chair with one of his fingers missing, having been cut off to compensate for Avery's kidnapped sister's missing limb. The guys keep Charlie prisoner in the mansion, but soon, Charlie starts to play head games with them, and it soon becomes obvious that there is a traitor in their midst.

This darkly humorous crime thriller can be described in the most simple terms as "The Breakfast Club" meets "The Godfather" or something like that, even though I myself never saw "The Godfather." Walken is increasingly laughter-provoking, suave, and creepy all at the same time as he delivers witticism after witticism despite his usual situation. Four of the lead males (Henry Thomas, Jay Mohr, Sean Patrick Flanery, and Jeremy Sisto) all portray swaggering rich boys, while Johnny Galecki (David from TV's "Roseanne") is screamingly funny as the nitpicking nerd of the bunch and Denis Leary is his usual laid-back self as slick and wisecracking gangster Lono (what a funny name!).

I said it once and I'll say it again -- "Suicide Kings" is a darkly comical film, but it is highly recommended (for those with kids) that you watch this either late at night or while the kids are away.

I give "Suicide Kings" a 10 out of 10 on a scale of 1-10 in my humble opinion.
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Creepy cool thriller
PeachHamBeach27 August 1999
It's hard to name a genre for Suicide Kings, so I put it in my beloved category of "twisted thriller". I compare it with movies like Reservoir Dogs, The Usual Suspects, U-Turn, Kalifornia, Wild Things, True Romance and A Simple Plan. Like all of the above, SK was violent, bloody and full of surprising twists. To add to its shadowy charm, it had a psychotic sense of humor. But the most amazing thing about this movie is Christopher Walken's subtly venomous performance, which complements the sharp, individualized performances of the younger cast members. Walken plays Charlie Barrett, a man who is unwittingly "recruited" to help five college-aged rich kids rescue one of their sisters, who has been kidnapped for a $2 million ransom. The five kids: nervous Avery (Henry Thomas), the one whose sis Elise (Laura Harris) is endangered; handsome Max (Sean Patrick Flanery), who is Elise's sweetheart; Brett (Jay Mohr), the one with a hell of an anger problem; aspiring doctor TK (Jeremy Sisto); and ultra-neurotic Ira (Johnny Galecki) whose house becomes a hideout for the kids after they kidnap Barrett. Brett concocts the plan. Max drugs him, TK severs one of his digits, and Charlie is duct-taped to a fancy office chair, hooked up to an IV which is pumping more drugs into him. Meantime, Avery broods nervously over his missing sis and Ira squeals endlessly about the blood TK is getting all over the nice varnished floor. While the boys bicker at each other about how to continue their insanely flawed caper, Barrett regards this group of inexperienced whipper-snappers with a myriad mix of sympathy, amusement and anger. But anger from a man like Charlie Barrett is not to be taken lightly, it is to be feared. Charlie is a man who with one spoken word, could have these five kids murdered and their bodies hidden where no one will ever find them. You know that from the minute you meet him, but the scariest thing about Charlie is his quiet mannerism. This serpent is indeed subtil. He does not shout, he gently whispers hints of warning to the kids that they've made a bad mistake messing with him. He taps into these kids early on, uncovering their dirty little family secrets and their own individual not-so-secret addictions, to drink, to drugs, to gambling. And he uses devices, honed from years of experience in a world these kids know nothing about, to his advantage. He may be physically incapacitated, he may be outnumbered, but he knows the kids are still no match for him. There's no arrogance in this knowledge, and it is truly creepy. It's a battle of wits that kept me on the edge of my seat, gave me the most delicious shivers of perverse anticipation, and it was honestly very hard to know which side to route for. I really love this movie. See it if you haven't. : )~
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Kidnap Yarn Done Very Well
BB-1530 June 1999
Warning: Spoilers
Kidnap films have been made for decades. (Check out Ransom for a typical example.) In a way Suicide Kings starts out like a low budget "B" movie of the 40's and 50's. The beginning is obvious and a bit overly dramatic. But this is when Suicide Kings began to surprise me.

Christopher Walken in an amazing performance shows that an actor can be the center of a film while sitting down for almost an hour. Also, this movie pulls no punches in showing organized crime/mob violence. Yet, the vigilante college kidnapers are shown in such a harsh manner that after a while you begin to root for the mobsters over the ivy league losers. It's an amazing turn around.

On top of this there is some wicked humor in the film not unlike Goodfellas. Denis Leary as he was in the Ref is great as the abusive and befuddled thug.

What was very satisfying was that the ending was just right. Finally a movie that does not have a ridiculous happy ending tacked on to it. Suicide Kings is brutal in its logic but the story makes sense from start to finish. Despite its low budget and its routine beginning, this is a very good film.
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damn good flick
laughtamasta3 November 2003
I can't believe I hadn't heard of this movie before last night, although I do live in a fairly cinematically sheltered environment. I was walking through Blockbuster when I see out of the corner of my eye a picture of Chris Walken taped to a chair in front of Dennis Leary and Jay Mohr. I pick up the box, I read the back, I rent the movie. When I got home and watched it, I was, to say the very least, impressed. Left with only one question regarding Dennis Leary's character's heritage (which isn't all that important), I really liked this movie. I wouldn't call it a film for the ages, but I surely would disregard it as decent entertainment either. I would call it a really good movie. Chris Walken is fantastic and the dialouge is great. Come to find out this is Peter O'Fallon's first film, and that he has only done one other film since (he's done a bunch of television), I'm surprized and impressed.
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Careful who your friends are ....
rambow11 September 1999
I was surprised with Suicide Kings. In the same spirit as Something Wild and The Usual Suspects, this movie is not about the end, but getting you there. The film is well told, keeping you on the edge wanting to know "who's on the inside". Unlike some movies where the wrap up at the end seems too improbable, this one works and works well.

I was unsure of what the movie would be like and so my expectations were low. At the end I had done an 180 degree turn. I was impressed. I look forward to watching this again and picking up on all the clues as to who was doing what and seeing the small details from the start.
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First We Bicker!!
edwinalarren18 February 2006
This movie exemplifies the praise a movie gets by virtue of the plethora of outstanding acting talent it possesses!! Christopher Walken could have coasted on his credentials in the elitist Hollywood venue after his performance in "Deer Hunter" but, he decided not do that!! He combines psychotic reasoning with deliberate hostility, you the movie viewer may take your pick as to what you prefer!! Either way, he is sensational in every movie he stars in !!! Denis Leary (The former Cop) always seems to make his point very clearly with a gun and/or a lethal object!! Jay Mohr has a flippant demeanor towards his roles no matter how serious these roles are!! This acting mode of his makes him very effective!! He is wonderful at engaging in degrading condescension and intellectual obviation of anyone he perceives as his adversary!!!Anything that has to be accomplished in a role, Jay Mohr seems to carry it off and flawlessly!! The list of all other actors in this movie merely epitomizes the superb acting talent in "Suicide Kings"..Very few films exude such acting ability!!

The movie starts out with an amateurishly orchestrated kidnapping attempt which is used as a defense strategy to abort another kidnapping!! It is a proverbial case of the adolescent's version of an eye for an eye!! This convoluted logic serves as a dementedly lingering discontentment for a bunch of educated pipsqueaks!! The bottom line on this whole charade is that there is little or no organization for the expedition of this particular kidnapping!! Mutilation of Christopher Walken's finger serve as a cry for attention!! It really does not work, of course, this is the movies, not real life!! The intensity of emotions in this film makes everything cohesive in terms of what depraved mixes of irrationality prevail in these affluent derelict's lives!!

I thought the acting was fantastic in this film, and it was a simple plot outline of age and experience winning out over precocious recreation with criminal chicanery!! Everything was an argument..there were more issues out there besides a kidnapping!!! Criminal doubts and insecurities are always depicted in movies like these, just not so succinctly!! This movie illustrates how ideological disagreement with a prevailing situation does not sufficiently justify engaging in a felony!! I thought this film was excellent!!!
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Slick, entertaining thriller with fine cast
MovieLuvaMatt13 July 2003
"Suicide Kings" is an often enjoyable and compelling film, despite a few plot holes due to some twists at the end that the writers desperately threw in to surprise the audience, but didn't take the time to reflect on whether they made perfect sense or not. Nevertheless, it's a fun ride all the way through. The characters are all interesting, in their own way. People have referred to the Ira character as annoying and obnoxious, but he's also the character I most relate to. You'll never catch me throwing a party in my house when my parents are gone, because I'm incredibly paranoid about people wrecking the place and I can imagine how paranoid I'd be in Ira's situation with his friends keeping a gangster with his finger cut off captive in my parents' living room. The actors all do splendid jobs, and have a natural chemistry. As for Christopher Walken, when does he not please? He's one of the most intense, engaging, brilliant actors of all time and that's that! Once Walken's on screen, the dynamic completely changes for the better, whether it be a movie of this quality or one of the "Prophecy" sequels. Denis Leary is hilarious as Walken's right hand man whose running gag is the fact that he wears boots made from stingrays. People keep referring to them as "fish boots." He plays the same irritable, pugnacious, f-word-spewing character as in 90 percent of his work, but who cares? Some actors are so good at playing one character that they get away with it no matter how many times it's reprised. Leary is one of those actors. His talents mainly lie in stand-up comedy, so his range isn't that broad. But Leary's good at playing Leary, or an extension of himself, and I'd much rather see him in that role than as, say, a sensitive romantic lead. I loved watching him beat the guy up with a toaster and the other one with a golf club. I love to see Leary do stuff like that. Jay Mohr, a fellow stand-up comedian, is also good mainly at playing that particular role and that's what he does in this movie. Not a big stretch for him either, but it's what he's good at. It was also cool to see "Everybody Loves Raymond's" Brad Garrett in a more serious role, and using language he can't use on TV. The whole film is basically filled with 4-letter words, but it fits the testosterone-filled tone, being that the cast is predominantly male. There is as much excitement as there is dark humor. Director Peter O'Fallon balances those elements nicely. And I loved the theme song over the credit sequence. For some reason, it's still pounding in my head.

My score: 7 (out of 10)
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Enjoyable but a bit too twisty for it's own good
bob the moo1 September 2003
When the sister of one young man is kidnapped while she is out on a date with another young man, the group of friends kidnap an ex-mobster to make use of his contacts and his money to help get her back in one piece. However the longer they keep Bartolucci the closer his right hand man Veccio gets to finding them and the more the friends realise that the kidnapping plot may be more complex than first thought.

Attracted to this film by the presence of Walken playing the role he does best – some sort of mobster – I wasn't really sure what to expect. The overly stylised opening credits and the initially confusing mix of flashbacks within flashbacks to set the story were quite distracting however soon settled down into a more straightforward plot. This plot holds the interest due to the confined situation in which most of the action occurs and is quite involving. The first few twists are well handled but it starts to put the film into a spin from which it doesn't recover, as more twists mount up and become increasingly alienating and contrived. At the end I didn't feel any involvement or surprise by the twists whereas I had sat up and paid attention to the first few.

The film is quite comic at places and this makes it feel like a more enjoyable piece than it would have if it had just been played straight. However this comic touch doesn't take away from the fact that the film is really a thriller of sorts. The cast is roundly good, without anyone of the main group really stealing the show. Walken does his role in his sleep but is still effective – his transformation as he gains confidence during the film is well put across. The young group of actors playing the friends are all pretty good although the `where have I seen him before factor' was a little distracting (6 Feet Under, Roseanne etc). However it is the (wisely expanded) character played by Leary that really is the one that I kept looking forward to seeing. His character almost feels like he is in a movie of his own which is a distraction, but means his scenes are all very enjoyable. His dialogue is knowingly cool and his character is comically overblown to good effect. The film truly benefits from having him in the role.

Overall this film wants to be cooler and better than it really is, the end result of which is a spiral of twists which become increasingly uncontrolled and uninvolving. It is enjoyable enough to watch and the use of one main set helps to add to the tension of the story, however once the twists come they don't stop which sadly leads to them becoming increasingly less effective. Worth a watch but subject to the law of diminishing returns in terms of plotting.
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No "Usual Suspects" but I don't think it was meant to be
razorbladebidet4 July 2004
First, I like Mafia movies. Second, I like comedy. I find this movie to be more of the latter. And I enjoy it. I found Johnny Galecki to play the most interesting and funniest character in this movie. It's a good movie overall, enjoyable, and yes, I do own it. In my massive collection of 10 DVD's, this is one of them. I'm no film buff, but it has its good parts and it has its bad parts. I won't over-analyze it, but I liked the plot twists... all of them.. didn't like the overuse of profanity... loved the comedy parts. It has some awkward dialog and what sounds like dubbing, but it is entertaining, and I watch it on a regular basis. Give it a shot! I rated it 7 / 10
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A Plot Twist Too Far
jamesowen-227 February 2006
A survey of the cast, which include Christopher Walken, Jay Mohr, and Denis Leary, suggests there might have been a cracker here, alas 'Suicide Kings' founders with a script more shallow than a paddling pool and plot so contorted an audience can feel cheated.

The collegiate bucks at the centre of this film make up annoying group of young man, each friends and each jerks with an intense pre-existing dislike for each other. That makes it doubly bizarre and unbelievable to suppose they'd ever trust each other to carry out the convoluted plan which serves as the basis of the story. Indeed they're all so devoid of any redeeming qualities it's difficult to imagine why we should care what happens to them.

Ultimately I'm left assuming this was an attempt at a thriller with the shock value of 'The Usual Suspects', but the devices used are so obvious you spend half the film second guessing an answer that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. In fact whatever you come up with would probably have been better.

This is a dud.
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Ridiculously unbelievable
claudecat25 February 2003
Perhaps if this movie had been better structured I might for one minute have bought its premise, but as it was I found the whole thing laughable. I couldn't imagine how any of the characters would have come up with their idiotic plan, since it made no sense. And since the characters are poorly introduced and inadequately developed, I didn't understand any of their motivations for going along with it. I've never been a fan of Quentin Tarantino, but this film made me admit that he at least has a sense of pacing and timing. "Suicide Kings" injects bits of Tarantinoesque humor in the most inappropriate places, and goes off into meaningless tangents that never add anything to the storyline. It also tried to make suspenseful moments out of nothing, merely by throwing in some anxious music. Some of the acting is okay, e.g., Denis Leary's performance as a Mafia thug, but mostly the actors are powerless to make anything out of the foolish script. Christopher Walken is the most grounded person in the movie--and that's a scary thought.
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Excellent acting, mediocre film
itamarscomix13 November 2012
The premise of Suicide Kings - four young and privileged men kidnap a retired mob boss played by Christopher Walken - is appealing. So much so that it makes me wish it made for a better film.

Suicide Kings tries to be a psychological thriller focusing on mental cat-and-mouse games between the mobsters and his kidnappers, and the actors are good enough to pull it off - in fact, they're good enough to make you think that there's any psychological depth to the film, when really there's none. Walken and the talented young cast - Denis Leary, Jay Mohr, Sean Patrick Flanery (The Boondock Saints), Jeremy Sisto (Law & Order), Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory) and Henry Thomas (E.T's Elliot all grown up) - all deliver their lines with so much passion and conviction that you almost don't notice how messy and shallow the script really is.

This fine group of actors - and Walken's wildly charismatic performance most of all, from an actor so powerful he can dominate the film while being tied to a chair for all but a few minutes of it - is more than enough to make the film entertaining, even very enjoyable. The weak script, which deteriorates into cheap twists and conspiracies towards the end - makes it entirely forgettable. A quick comparison to Danny Boyle's Shallow Grave is a testament to how much more comfortable the British are with theatrical minimalism. With a great director and a great script, Suicide Kings could have been something wonderful. As it is, it's good enough for one pleasurable watch, but leaves no mark and no impression.
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No wonder the theater was empty...
Paris-622 January 1999
What an awful movie. I usually like Walken, but this movie was downright terrible. Any empathy you build up with the main characters is ripped away in the movie's closing moments. This whole trend of trying to make a movie on a plot twist given away at the end (see Scream, etc.) can really pull movies with half a chance down. There's something to be said for movies like Double Indemnity where you see the end coming but still enjoy the show even when the good guy doesn't come out of it ok. Save your money and forget this one.
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Convoluted crime-thriller lacks originality
Screen_Blitz13 September 2015
Directed by Peter O'Fallen, Suicide Kings follows a group of five men who kidnap at former mob boss Carlo Bartolucci and hold him hostage, demanding for $2 million dollars to save one of the men's sister who's been kidnapped. Complexities and dilemmas ensue between these five men when they struggle to execute their plans accurately. The film reaches the cast of Jay Mohr, Denis Leary, Sean Patrick Flanery, Henry Thomas, Jeremy Sisto, and Johnny Galecki.

Upon watching this film, I was expecting to see a neo-noir thriller with suspense and originality. Unfortunately, what we get is an unoriginal and unnecessarily convoluted crime-thriller tries to be a Quentin Tarantino wannabe. The story shamelessly borrows elements from Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, and it fails to execute them with inspiration. When the watch this, you feel like you are watching a remake of Reservoir Dogs with a touch of Pulp Fiction. The five main characters are involved with a kidnapping that goes wrong, then there is the slight non-linear storyline similar to what Tarantino's films are known for. The characters are rather underdeveloped, even Christopher Walken who is the center-stage seems somewhat under constructed. The only candy this film has to offer is some scenes of suspense and tension between the characters. The cast does amazing jobs as their characters, especially Christopher Walken. Other than that, not much else.

All in all, Suicide Kings was a bit of a disappointment. Even with its brilliant cast and suspenseful investment, this film fails to come up with anything original.
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I saw where they were trying to go with this didn't get there.
tigre_chica30 June 2004

I started watching this movie with low expectations, hoping at least to be mindlessly entertained. Though some of the characters are mildly amusing, the plot and script didn't impress me, and the ending left me unsatisfied. Christopher Walken is good, but it is his usual performance...I certainly wouldn't call it the best performance of his life. Dennis Leary is funny, but his role is limited. The characters aren't developed enough to make me even remotely interested in what happens to them, and toward the end of the movie, if I didn't want them all dead, I at least didn't even care if they recovered the kidnapped girl or not. The plot twists were somewhat interesting at first, but there are just too many, especially in the latter half. The film did keep me guessing for a while, especially concerning the "inside person", but the truth turned out to be neither surprising or interesting. I saw where the film makers were trying to go with this movie...and they didn't get there. Rent (don't buy) this movie, but don't expect much. I give it 2 out of 5 stars.
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Great Stuff
QueenMakeda8422 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I found this movie highly amusing. Jeremy Sisto is a favorite of mine, so I caught it for that very reason. I watched this awhile ago, so my memories may not be all that fresh. It was a dark comedy that had you guessing till the end. The ending was great by the way. You would've never guessed where the movie was going. Christopher Walken was awesome as usual. The plot seemed silly, but it was still worthy of a good watch. Some very good up and coming actors (of the time) made an appearance in this film. The performances were honest and gripping. One was driven by a need to protect his sister and his friends, who would do anything for him, helped to kidnap a powerful man in order to turn the tables. Another was driven by protecting his girlfriend. Nothing was really forced or unbelievable within their acting. Even though Walken seems to do these types of mafia parts often, it's only cuz he's good at it. Even though he's kidnapped, he's trying to talk some sense into these kids. That was humorous at best. Not only that, he studies his captors to find out their weaknesses and who could actually be involved in the kidnapping, thus lying to his friends. Sisto's character was a little underdeveloped for me. *SPOILER* You find out he abuses morphine to combat the pressures of being a doctor, but it's like a blip in the celluloid. Nothing after that. It seems fairly irrelevant and not worth the 30 seconds it took to reveal. The whole movie is good and teases you until the ending, which as I said before it wow. I could watch this movie over and over and you see the hidden clues it had from the get-go. Very intelligent movie. Oh, and I must comment on Dennis Leary's role. What a riot! He was great and delightfully amusing as he tries to get his boss (Walken) back. His cynicism and sailor's mouth were a nice retreat from the gravity of the film. Yet, the delving into his character's dual nature (his nice side) was poignant as well. It didn't make him one-dimensional and allowed you to like him more as a person than a comic relief. Very good film!
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Nicely done urban tale.
rmax30482325 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
A sort of frat boy and his girl friend get lost in uptown New York and the girl is kidnapped. Two million dollars in ransom is demanded. Her finger arrives in the mail. (I think this is what happens anyway. I missed a few critical minutes at the beginning.) The frat boy organizes a handful of his upper-middle-class friends and they manage to kidnap a notorious capo, Christopher Walken, who is either behind the kidnapping or knows who is, and so will help them retrieve the rest of her body, minus the finger. They chloroform him and take him to an empty mansion on Long Island where, to convince him they are hard-hearted and determined, instead of the inexperienced nudniks they are, they remove his finger while he's unconscious.

Walken wakes up in this large house belonging to one of the preppies and the rest of the film is taken up with his trying to get the girl back from the wheelchair he is duct-taped into.

Doesn't sound too promising. It's mostly shot on one set, like a filmed play. But three things lift this effort above the level I'd expected.

One is the working out of the plot, which has several unexpected pirouettes. The kidnapping is pegged by the mob almost immediately as "an inside job," which is about as far as attorney-client privilege will allow me to go.

The second is the dialog, which has innumerable sparkles in it -- and that's critical because it's a talky movie. Some lines are very amusing. Some are dead serious. Here's one of the funnier ones. Walken is taped into his chair and has to pee. So how will it be managed? Do they free his hands, something they're understandable loathe to do, or does somebody unzip Walken and make sure he evacuates his bladder in a tidy manner? ("Aim him good!", cries the chubby little kid whose parents own the mansion.) While this mission is being discussed, Walken contributes his point of view. "If somebody is going to be holding hands with my ****, can I at least get a drink first? I'm not asking for dinner and dancing. I'm not asking for a commitment."

The third is the acting. Man, do these guys put it across. Especially notable are Dennis Leary as Walken's chief agent, and Walken himself. Neither steps wrong. Christopher Walken is a marvelous actor. He's confined to a chair. He's bled half to death. He's strung out behind some analgesics and booze. And his set expression is one that artfully blends boredom with mild interest in the proceedings. At times he speaks like the soul of reason amidst these adolescent collisions of will. The director, Peter O'Fallon, gives us multiple reaction shots of Walker placidly watching the arguments and barbs being thrown back and forth by his captors, and they're funny as hell.

But don't be misled. It's not ALL talk. There's action too for the aficionados. Several shootings take place and while none of them results in a bath tub full of gore and splattered brains, none is done for laughs either.

It's well written, nicely directed, and the cast is fine.
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newellrp124 September 2001
I don't get it. Everyone raves about this movie, but I found it predictable and trite. It seemed much longer than it was. I have no objection to long movies, just short movies that seem long. Overall, I think it fails to live up to its undeserved hype.
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a waste of talent
analyst-226 April 1999
i felt like this film was trying way too hard to be clever, and it just doesn't work. the story line was totally fake and some of the performances were poor. Henry Thomas was stone-faced and the kid from 'Roseanne' was merely annoying. i expected more from this film. even Dennis Leary's lines felt like they were forced. the small-talk about his boots didn't seem natural (obviously trying to recreate a pulp fiction vibe). what a letdown!
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Tarantino wannabe
SnoopyStyle9 July 2016
Carlo Bartolucci / Charlie Barret (Christopher Walken) is a former mob boss. He finds Avery Chasten (Henry Thomas) and Max Minot (Sean Patrick Flanery) sitting at his regular restaurant table. He starts talking to the young men and Brett Campbell (Jay Mohr) joins them. He wants to have a night out with the boys. Instead, they kidnap him after a struggle. Medical student T.K. (Jeremy Sisto) is there to treat him. Avery's sister Elise had been kidnapped for a $2 million ransom. They want his connections and money to save her. The kidnappers have cut off her finger and the boys cut off his finger in kind. Lono Veccio (Denis Leary) is Bartolucci's bodyguard. The guys have taken Bartolucci to their unsuspecting friend Ira Reder (Johnny Galecki)'s family home.

This tries very hard to be like Tarantino. A finger is cut off pretty quickly. It's got Walken with a motley crew of young actors. The potential is there but it's all wrong. The guys take him from someplace public with lots of witnesses and bring him to Ira's home without telling him. Why? What if Ira shows up? What if Ira's parents show up? What if anybody shows up? It's a bad plan. The incompetence is really annoying. Then there is the reveal. It doesn't really make sense that they kidnap Bartolucci. None of these friends are appealing characters. They bother me a lot with their argumentative idiocy. That's its most glaring failing compared to Tarantino's electric dialog. The problem with this movie is how obvious it fails to hit its target and the failure is really bothersome.
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Jokers Wild
tedg6 April 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

Tarantino is greatly overrated to my mind. This film isn't great, but it is better than `Dogs.' Tarantino's innovation was to add a more self-aware cinematic quotation of prior films. The humor over violence is just an instance of that new distance with the viewer. Seemed novel at the time, but since so many people are doing this better, now it seems rather trivial.

`Kings' is a very simple thing, done well. The ensemble works. The camerawork and editing isn't very adventuresome, but does do some impressive continuous shots. I think it is worth seeing for the framing.

The plot twists the requisite number of times in the last 15 minutes. But it is the simplest and cheapest kind of twist: the doublecross. It is a shame that they cut the women so severely. I think more development on that side would have made this seem less derivative.

Is it art? No. Neither is `Dogs.'
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Where do I start
thomas196x20003 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
If someone told there was a worse 'comedy/drama/mob movie' than "The Whole 9 Yards" I would have found that hard to believe. Not after watching this absolute garbage of a movie.

As another writer put it, if you like this movie, I don't want to know you. Bad acting, bad script, and nihilistic stupid ending.

Everyone dies except the bad guys, who get away with multiple murders, in a script that makes no sense.

Wow, what is not to love?

Two stars for production values that are not totally in the toilet. Avoid at all costs.
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Almost drove me to suicide
dude-638 September 1999
This ranks fairly highly on my all-time bad film list.

It's one of only two or three movies I have actually stopped watching half-way through. I just knew that if I sat through any more, I would really want those minutes back at the end of my life. Horrific writing included completely unbelievable situations and preposterous dialogue. No suspension of disbelief whatsoever. I didn't buy it at all.
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gruvers114 February 1999
Warning: Spoilers
I was really built up to see this movie and extremely let down. So many plot holes, so many contrivances. Is it a comedy, is it a drama? Well, it's not funny and it's not dramatic. The real king of dramatic black comedy is John McNaughton (Wild Things). This movie tries hard but fails miserably. Why are we following Lono, why do we care about this girl, why would a mob boss get in a car with a bunch of kids, and why cut off his finger when her's never was. Why watch this movie? Don't.
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Not great but not bad
serpent_coil18 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I admit I only saw this movie because it starred Christopher Walken and I figured it would at least be worth the time. And sure enough... I liked it. Sure, there were more then a few strange holes in the plot. And sure, you won't be seeing any Oscar-worthy performances. But I enjoyed it nonetheless goddammit! Sometimes you just have to watch a movie without overanalysing it and just enjoy the ride. I guess one of the things you could get hung up on is the fact that the whole set-up for the movie depends on the fact whether a mob-boss chooses to get in a car with a gang of youngsters he's never seen before to join for dinner with one of their fathers. A bit hard to swallow I'll admit. But hey, if you accept that someone could acquire superpowers by getting bitten by a radioactive spider this is a small leap of faith. Anyway, there are more of these strange irregularities in the script but I'll take a few strange coincidences for the sake of a good movie. What I'm having a harder time dealing with is the strange tone. It's like the director couldn't make up his mind whether to make it a dark comedy or a thriller/gangster film. Now it just sort of stumbles in between. A shame really, because it is a great set up with a rather unusual hostage situation where the hostage gradually takes control of and turns the tables on his kidnappers. In the right hands this could have been a fantastic movie instead of just a good one.

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