A nameless young character goes into travels to the country, meeting some acquaintances and strangers as well, having banal conversations, dedicating his existence into daily mundane ... See full summary »
Four Newton brothers are a poor farmer family in the 1920s. The oldest of them, Willis, one day realizes that there's no future in the fields and offers his brothers to become a bank robbers. Soon the family agrees. They become very famous robbers, and five years later execute the greatest train robbery in American history.Written by
Ethan Hawke's character is seen shooting a road-side sign for target practice. The sign reads "Bandera 12M Kerrville 2M". Those two cities are roughly 28 miles apart and there is no point on the map that can be 12 miles from one and only 2 miles from the other. See more »
In the tradition of such as the James, Daltons, and Doolins of the previous century, the Newton Brothers who hailed from Uvalde, Texas were more in that tradition as they robbed banks and such throughout the middle part of the USA in the post World War I years. The Newtons are played by Matthew McConaughey, Skeet Ulrich, Ethan Hawke, and Vincent D'Onofrio. Watching them on the screen I kept thinking of that theme from the Dukes Of Hazard, "just some good old boys, meaning no harm".
Especially McConaughey who is the leader and brains of the outfit. He just oozes country boy charm. It serves him in very good stead when the Newtons are standing before the bar of justice. It also serves him well in courting Julianna Margulies who in that other country tradition stands by her man though she has to do some thinking on it.
Like the other family outlaw gangs of the west, the Newtons had their associates, though for them none like Bob Ford. Like the James Brothers they tried to switch to trains. It was that switch to trains that led to their downfall and a close call for one of the brothers. For the Newtons that train robbery was the equivalent of what happened to the James gang after the Northfield, Minnesota bank job. One of them nearly doesn't make it.
No one was ever killed during a Newton caper a fact that stood them in good stead at trial. The sentencing hearing with McConaughey is also outstanding.
I liked Vincent D'Onofio who is the most rebellious of the brothers. He'd be going the outlaw way even without family support.
The Newton Boys does very well in depicting post World War I in rural America. American agriculture after the boom of World War prices for food abroad and for the troops never shared in the Roaring Twenties boom for the city folk. This film depicts that fact very well.
The four players who depict the Newtons and the rest of the cast are set perfectly in their roles. One thing about the Newtons I have to say is that the film is done with style in the way they did their crimes.
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