• 18
  • Barry Levinson (1996)
  • US
  • 140 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

With its powerhouse cast and A-list director (Barry Levinson), this drama is long and exudes importance and integrity. So why does it come across as bogus and too hot under the dog collar? Though based on an admittedly controversial autobiography, the plot mechanism and its moral stance - that violent revenge is fully justified - is not totally believable. The story concerns four teenagers who are brought up by a priest. When a foolish prank causes a near-fatal accident, the youths are sent to jail where they are repeatedly abused by the guards. Years later, they plot revenge. The big themes pile up, but Levinson keeps the story rolling and vividly evokes the hothouse atmosphere of New York's Hell's Kitchen. And the cast is truly impressive: Robert De Niro as a priest, Dustin Hoffman as a lawyer, Kevin Bacon as a prison guard, and Brad Pitt and Jason Patric as two of the now grown-up abused children. It's often absorbing, but always a bit suspect.

Plot Summary

Drama starring Kevin Bacon, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Patric and Brad Pitt. Four mischievous friends growing up in New York's Hell's Kitchen are sent to a sadistic reform school after a foolish prank goes wrong.

Cast and crew


Sean Nokes
Kevin Bacon
Father Bobby
Robert De Niro
Danny Snyder
Dustin Hoffman
Lorenzo "Shakes" Carcarterra
Jason Patric
Brad Pitt
Billy Crudup
Ron Eldard
King Benny
Vittorio Gassman
Carol Martinez
Minnie Driver
Ralph Ferguson
Terry Kinney
Shakes's father
Bruno Kirby
Young Michael Sullivan
Brad Renfro
Henry Addison
Jeffrey Donovan
Fred Carlson
John Slattery


Barry Levinson

Other Information

Contains violence and swearing.
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Certificate 18