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Overall Rating
1.71

Awesome: 8.57%
Worth A Look: 2.86%
Average: 2.86%
Pretty Bad: 22.86%
Total Crap62.86%

3 reviews, 17 user ratings


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Newton Boys, The
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by Scott Weinberg

"The Old West, only really bland and dull and silly."
1 stars

Why Richard Linklater (Suburbia, Dazed and Confused) chose to take on a period drama about four boring bank robbers is beyond me. The Newton Boys offers not one new or fresh idea into this stale genre. There's no conflict, no real plot, and not one character who even remotely resembles a real person.

These four brothers rob banks. There's the synopsis. If there were any subplots or anything interesting going on, I'd mention it. Matthew McConaughey is the oldest and dumbest, and he convinces his backwoods brothers to join him in a glamorous and guilt-free life of career criminals. His brothers each have one character trait, and the actors play their one note for the whole movie: Vincent Donofrio is the big dumb one, who we are introduced to halfway through the movie, which is strange because they never mention a fourth brother. Skeet Ulrich is the young, idealistic one who comes to love the life of blowing up safes and sleeping with whores. And then there's Ethan Hawke as the fun-loving drunk brother, complete with laughably bad mustache. Whoever told Ethan Hawke that he could play this role convincingly was a cruel, cruel liar.

So, they rob banks. Um, I think I covered that. What else? Well, there's the "love interest", played by Julianna Margulies, who doesn't get to say "12 ccs of sodium pentathol, stat" even once, so she's out of her element. She's pretty, so I guess she earned her paycheck here. Matt McConaughey, however. Sheesh. He is so bland and so drab as the supposedly charismatic leader of these idiots, I wanted to punch him in the neck. Hey, Matt? Your probation period is over. Get with the effort, pal.

Neither the cast nor any component of this movie ever once rises above the "made-for-TV" aura that surrounds it. The bank robbery scenes are completely devoid of any tension, as apparently all these crimes took place in an America that hadn't yet learned to employ policemen at night. The Newton Boys lurches from exploding safe to exploding safe with no regard for anything approaching dramatic conflict, humor or even a good sex scene. (Hey, it's a cheap ploy, but I'd rather watch a pointless sex scene than one more goddam exploding safe.)

Shockingly banal, slow, drab, dull, lethargic, pointless, unexciting, clichéd, and just plain boring. If you can find something worth recommending in this movie, I have about 30 movies I can guarantee you've never seen.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=130&reviewer=128
originally posted: 01/01/00 09:24:01
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User Comments

12/10/10 PAUL SHORTT LETHARGIC, LACKSADAISICAL TRUE-LIFE SAGA 1 stars
8/26/05 ES Unnecessary garbage, nothing here worth watching or caring about 1 stars
5/28/05 Heidi King Not a blockbuster but quite funny - it is meant tongue in cheek 4 stars
10/14/03 Erik Van Sant Watching this movie is the equivalent of being castrated by a wood-nymph. 1 stars
8/26/02 Jeremy Scott Richard linklater's movies suck and this one keeps that streak alive 1 stars
2/18/02 Andrew Carden Great Guy Flick...Pretty Fun To Watch. Good Performances. 5 stars
1/17/02 Janette Sweet Vincent D'Onofrio rocks my world! 5 stars
12/26/01 tonker101 I loved this movie!! Great acting by all especially by Dwight yoakam.... 5 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk This movie...Jesus. Everything about it is just BAD. I feel weird even talking about it. 1 stars
3/01/99 Reyna Whoever wrote this movie should be dragged out into the street and shot!!! 1 stars
12/29/98 Schizofrenic This movie sucks, see Donnie Brasco 1 stars
12/11/98 Scion of Graveheart Another Untouchables knockoff with no excitement at all. My girlfriend was right. 1 stars
9/08/98 Young Einstein McConaughey is so NOT a crowd draw. STUDIOS TAKE NOT! 1 stars
9/08/98 BBReBozo Saw it on a plane. I prayed for a fiery death to end this dreck. Fuck Matt McConaughey. 1 stars
8/25/98 Mister Whoopee Pretty boys rob banks. Like a Chippendales show. 2 stars
8/16/98 Johny Better than the ad campaign 3 stars
8/15/98 {{{OZ}}} More Ethan Hawke hairy ass sucking 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  14-Mar-1998 (PG-13)
  DVD: 17-Dec-2002

UK
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