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The Boondock Saints (1999)

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Two Irish Catholic brothers become vigilantes and wipe out Boston's criminal underworld in the name of God.


Troy Duffy


Troy Duffy
1,430 ( 264)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Willem Dafoe ... Paul Smecker
Sean Patrick Flanery ... Connor MacManus
Norman Reedus ... Murphy MacManus
David Della Rocco ... Rocco
Billy Connolly ... Il Duce
David Ferry ... Detective Dolly
Brian Mahoney ... Detective Duffy
Bob Marley ... Detective Greenly
Richard Fitzpatrick Richard Fitzpatrick ... The Chief
William Young William Young ... Monsignor
Robert Pemberton Robert Pemberton ... Macklepenny
Bill Craig Bill Craig ... McGerkin
Dot-Marie Jones ... Rosengurtle Baumgartener (as Dorothy-Marie Jones)
Scott Griffith ... Ivan Checkov
Layton Morrison ... Vladdy


Two Irish brothers accidentally kill mafia thugs. They turn themselves in and are released as heroes. They then see it as a calling by God and start knocking off mafia gang members one by one. Willem Dafoe plays the detective trying to figure out the killings, but the closer he comes to catching the Irish brothers, the more he thinks the brothers are doing the right thing. Written by KevinYang(meowdragon@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They're on a Mission From God See more »


Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

MySpace | Official Fansite | See more »


USA | Canada


English | Spanish | Papiamento | Russian | Latin

Release Date:

19 November 1999 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Der blutige Pfad Gottes See more »

Filming Locations:

Massachusetts, USA See more »


Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,930, 21 January 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$25,812, 28 January 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Annabelle McManus (the twins' mother) was originally in the script. All of her scenes were deleted. She was originally intended to narrate certain parts of the film, but this was changed. See more »


When David Della Rocco is hit in the bar by Ivan Checkov, his sentence is finished after he's knocked out. See more »


[first lines]
Mackiepenny: Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, the glory, now and forever. Amen.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Clips of people being interviewed about their opinions on "the saints" are shown while the credits roll. See more »


Referenced in Marauders (2016) See more »


White Rapids
Composed by Julian Emery/Rupert Philip Lyddon (as Lyddon)
Jim Long Music Publishing (ASCAP)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Less than 'Saint'-ly...
27 July 2006 | by imagineer99See all my reviews

There's nothing more frustrating than somebody who doesn't get the joke. The punchline rolls by and he's left sitting there—gazing awkwardly into space struggling to figure it all out. Troy Duffy's first feature film, "The Boondock Saints," rests in that type of eternal limbo. At first glance, it seems to bounce back and forth from payoff to payoff, giving the audience a good deal to chuckle about. But, as the film keeps rolling, we begin to get the feeling that "The Boondock Saints" is becoming choked-up by its own gag. Half-way through, the uncomfortable silence of an unrealized ruse seeps into the room. And, sadly it becomes apparent that the filmmakers don't quite get their own joke.

"The Boondock Saints" is a simplistically rendered adult-male fairytale. Whereas children relish in tales of knights and princesses, Duffy makes his Camelot a kingdom adorned with stylized hit-man and generic mafiosos. Two Irish Brothers (Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus) attempt to save the world from the evil and the corrupt by becoming (what else?) the embodiment of a Tarantino fanboy's fantasy. Adorned with dark sunglasses and nifty accents, the MacManus twins strut around the streets of Boston, muttering pleasing Catholic prayers in a futile attempt to somehow try to veil their inherent vacancy. Amidst all the good natured killing is a gay cop, played by Willem Dafoe with bombastic comedic zest, who is attempting to stop these vigilantes with hearts of gold. Dafoe's character—easily the most charismatic of the bunch—is a walking, talking caricature. He smiles and slaps around his compatriots, all the while flicking his bouffant into the air like a swimsuit model leaving the ocean.

This is all not to say that "The Boondock Saints" is a complete failure. Sure, it's over-the-top, but at least there are plenty of gun shootouts and interesting carnage to keep the ball rolling. The slightly non-linear story is managed well. As Dafoe handles one crime scene, we get to see the whole shindig played out in real-time. It's a slow-motion gunfighter's dream! Bodies fall and bullets soar as Dafoe reenacts the entire massacre with emphatic precision.

The true problem with the film is that it is so engrossed in its own mythos, that it actually takes itself seriously. This becomes apparent as haunting cathedral choir musical adorns the madness with Gothic foreboding. All the while, we're shaking our head wondering why Duffy isn't capable of accepting the ridiculousness of his own creation. Heck, even porn star Ron Jeremy enters the fray, but the movie doesn't pause to giggle—instead it continuously plugs along with repetitive and ruthless abandon. It seems that Duffy actually believes that not only is what the MacManus brothers doing right—but that it is actually possible. In that sense, "The Boondock Saints" is like the elephant in the room—the dinner party guess who fails to get the big joke. And, not surprisingly, the audience isn't laughing.

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