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Running Time:
1 hour, 30 minutes

Rating: R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.

Rating Explanation:
for pervasive language, some violence, sexuality, and drug use.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
A powerful, haunting movie, beautifully acted by an ensemble of exciting new young actors.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: Director & editor commentary; Alternate opening & endings; Deleted scenes; Making of documentary; Previews; 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound; Additional never before seen material; Spanish subtitles; Closed captioned.

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
The film starts off with Dito Montiel (Robert Downey Jr.) onstage in L.A. at a book reading of his biography. He's forced to face his past when he's asked to come home to Astoria to help his mother (Diane Wiest) take care of his ailing father ( Chazz Palminteri). Dito hasn't seen his family since he escaped his old neighborhood 15 years earlier, and only reluctantly agrees to return to see his estranged father knowing full well the reunion won't be an easy one for either of them As Dito travels around the mean streets of Queens, the memories of lost friends practically overwhelm him. Now twenty years earlier Dito (Shia LaBeouf) and his teenage friends Nerf (Peter Tambakis ("Igby Goes Down"), Channing Tatum "Step Up" and Adam Scarimbolo ("Bittersweet Place") are all losers. They beat each other up and anyone else along the way with no rhyme or reason aside from some kind of turf or buddy protection excuse. Dito strikes up a friendship with Mike (Martin Compston "Sweet Sixteen"), a new kid in school who just arrived from Scotland, who writes poetry and wants to start a band. Mike gets Dito to think about life outside Astoria as they take the subway around New York City. Dito's mind expands daily as he visits exotic locales he's never been to, like Times Square and Coney Island. The more Dito explores and grows, the more his father and his best friend want to keep him in Astoria and conflicts ensue. And it's all true as Dito reminds us throughout the film. It's the truthfulness to the time and the characters that elevate the film to something far above a cliche. We feel like we're really there in Queens in 1986, and it's not fun. It's a living hell. As violent as this film often is, it also has a tender side as we see Dito aspiring to escape his home and later, trying to cope with the world he's left behind. It's its heart and honesty that make this an unforgettable film.

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