Like most kids, Ned idolized his father and dreamed of following in his footsteps. Unfortunately, his father was a two-bit crook who spent most of his life in jail. Without a family of his ... See full summary »
David E. Allen
A terrific movie about children, but not for children.
This is a haunting coming-of-age film about children, bound by a common, shocking tragedy, who struggle to get on with life and overcome their own troubling problems. Despite the severity of issues conveyed in this film's overlapping vignettes, it never becomes melodramatic. Artful screen writing and direction infuse humor in the telling of these children's stories---stories rich with characters who are colorful, but never contrived. All of the children provide very genuine, endearing performances---essential if the audience is going to empathize with them and their disturbing behavior. This movie will frequently make you uncomfortable---very uncomfortable. But no matter how horrifying and even monstrous these children's actions may be, they never lose their appealing and disarming qualities as children. These are very cool kids, even the most troubled, who easily win your affection.
During the course of the movie, one of the children queries the others by asking, "Do you know ninety-percent of people's problems are due to their inability to get over the past?" All of these children will be faced with this challenge. You hope all will overcome this obstacle, but sadly, not all of them will or should be able to get over their past.
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