(glowbird) from SPOKANE, WA
Reviewed on 10/14/2018...
This film is based on a novel of the same title by Lorenzo Carcaterra has a powerhouse ensemble cast: Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Brad Pitt, Minnie Driver, Kevin Bacon, Jason Patric, Billy Crudup film debut, Vittorio Gassman, Brad Renfro (young Michael/Brad Pitt), and Frank Medrano who plays Fat Mancho and adds some comic relief in the form of jaded commentary ("If you want dirt, or scum buried under a rock somewhere, or some secret nobody wants anybody to know about, there's only one place to go: right here, Hell's Kitchen. It is the lost and found of shit. They lose it and we find it.") The story of the friendship of four young men and one young woman living in Hell's Kitchen "where spousal abuse was a cottage industry" unfolds during the 1960's when a teenage prank goes wrong and lands the four boys in reform school that changes their lives. The story then jumps forward to their adult lives twenty years later. Fat Mancho doles out his crude Hell's Kitchen philosophy; Father Bobby (De Niro) who provides some interesting analogies of right and wrong, and King Benny, mob boss, teaches street justice. This is an exceptional and brilliant film.