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A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Rosario Dawson, Shia LaBeouf, Dianne Wiest, Melonie Diaz
Director: Dito Montiel
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2007     1hr 40min

A coming-of-age drama about a boy growing up in astoria ny during the 1980s. As his friends end up dead on drugs or in prison he comes to believe he has been saved from their fate by various so-called saints. Studio: Firs...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Rosario Dawson, Shia LaBeouf, Dianne Wiest, Melonie Diaz
Director: Dito Montiel
Creators: Dito Montiel, Alex Francis, Amanda Mackey Johnson, Bobby Sager, Charlie Corwin, Clara Markowicz, Jonathan Elias
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Family Life, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: First Look Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 02/20/2007
Original Release Date: 10/13/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 10/13/2006
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 40min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, Spanish
Subtitles: Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

George K. from COLCHESTER, CT
Reviewed on 8/18/2014...
A random choice from the new postings for me. I liked the cast and took a chance.


Everything about the movie was authentic, from the relationships to the characters to the settings. Anyone who has had a rough time with one or more parents, had a teen romance that haunted a bit into adulthood, known a damaged but stand-up guy bully, or lived in a rugged, down-and-out city neighborhood will relate.

Definitely worth seeing--deserving of its Sundance honors.

Note: I'm 71 and the New York of this movie was my New York.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Nina E.
Reviewed on 3/31/2013...
This movie will leave a lasting impression. You want to see it!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

They Walk Among Us
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 10/05/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Recalling your childhood can be a slippery slope: you can choose to glaze over the bad and present an imaginary world in which very little is based on reality or you can choose to tell it like it is or was.
Whether or not Dito Monteil scrimps on the bad in his film of his autobiography, "A Guide to Recognize Your Saints" is very doubtful because this film is at turns brutal, violent, emotionally poignant and difficult and many scenes are so truthful that they are almost impossible to watch.
There is also much beauty here: scenes of Love: Dito (a truly amazing Shia LeBeouf in a career making performance) and his father (the great Chazz Palminteri) in the bathroom after Dito's friend is killed, a grown up Dito (Robert Downey Jr.) and his mother (a tragic, loving, disappointed Dianne Wiest) on the porch stoop discussing Dito's friend Antonio (a terrific Channing Tatum )...these scenes form the emotional center of the film around which all the others rotate and draw strength from.
"AGTRYS" is ultimately a story of friendship among 5 boys (Dito, Antonio, Mike, Joey and Nerf): all desperately poor, all full of pride and bravado and all full of emotional and sexual fire with very few ways to diffuse and direct it.
Dito Monteil has created a thoughtful, emotional and heartfelt film, a memoir really, about his childhood and the people that were most important to him at that time. It truly is about the everyday Saints and Angels that people our lives and because it is set in a slum in no way diminishes its beauty and grandeur.
Awkward + tense + ... = perfectly exquisite
e. liza | california | 01/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I saw "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" at the 2006 Sundance festival and I was blown away. If it's rough and imperfect, it's successfully so; its quirks complement the youthfully wild and tragic themes of this artfully presented memoir. Part of what made the film for me was Dito Montiel's apparent sense of humor in dealing with his past. "AGTRYS" is an infusion of sex, tragedy, violence, and uplifting spirit. I left the theatre feeling great and I've been searching desperately for the DVD ever since. Try it!"
Once more with feeling . . .
Ronald Scheer | Los Angeles | 03/19/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This well-made film has galvanizing performances by a young, energetic cast and some wonderful turns by veteran performers, Dianne Wiest and Chazz Palminteri (plus a cameo by Eric Roberts). The cinematography and editing create a constantly kinetic and agitated style of storytelling. The viewer is propelled between past and present, as the central character, Dito, lives and relives the experience of being a teenager 25 years ago on the mean streets of Queens. Based on the memoir of Dito Montiel (who also wrote and directed), the film covers ground we have seen in many other films: coming of age in a working class Italian-American neighborhood, where street talk is rough, violence is everywhere (both in and out of the home), and just getting through childhood alive is a major achievement.

Some viewers may wonder whether Robert Downey, Jr., is the right fit for the role he plays, but if you're a fan, you won't mind his portrayal of a perplexed and troubled man thrust into the position of making amends with a dying father who seems to have loved another man's son more deeply than his own. The DVD has a commentary by the director, an informative making-of featurette including interviews with cast members and the director, plus other material."