Four mischievous friends growing up in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen are sent to the Wilkinson School for Boys – a sadistic reform school – after a foolish prank goes wrong. Here, they are repeatedly abused at will by a cadre of sadistic guards.
15 years later, they plot their revenge.
The big themes pile up, but director Barry Levinson keeps the story rolling, 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 and exudes importance and integrity, but the plot mechanism and its moral stance – that violent revenge is fully justified – is not totally believable.
Robert De Niro
Lorenzo “Shakes” Carcarterra
Young Michael Sullivan