Little Boy Blue

  • 1998
  • Movie
  • R
  • Crime, Drama, Mystery

This squalid, sleazy tale of backwoods nastiness tries to redeem itself with a triumph-of-the-human-spirit coda that can barely pull itself loose from the tar pit of sordid lunacy in which it's mired. Recent high-school grad Jimmy West (Ryan Phillippe) is smart, athletic and, to all appearances, a decent kid, born of the kind of rural nut jobs city folks...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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This squalid, sleazy tale of backwoods nastiness tries to redeem itself with a triumph-of-the-human-spirit coda that can barely pull itself loose from the tar pit of sordid lunacy in which it's mired. Recent high-school grad Jimmy West (Ryan Phillippe) is smart, athletic and, to all appearances, a decent kid, born of the kind of rural nut jobs city folks live in terror of meeting up with on dark country roads. Jimmy has a wealthy girlfriend whose family is not only not freaking out that she's dating trailer trash, but is willing to send him to college, so you have to wonder why he's not jumping at the chance to get away from daddy Ray (John Savage), a human time bomb given to brutal rages, and mama Kate (Nastassja Kinski), who spends an inordinate amount of time trying to calm him down. The answer to his reluctance lies in the West family closet, which is crammed with twisted stuff of which mother-son incest is only the beginning. The arrival of a strident stranger from up North (Shirley Knight) brings it all tumbling out. The sheer nastiness of all this is simply mind-boggling, but what it's meant to add up to is a bit of a mystery. For gratuitous nastiness with some oddly similar preoccupations and an even loonier set of particulars, rent 1990's SONNY BOY — which starred this film's screenwriter, Michael Boston — and give this picture a miss.

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: R
  • Review: This squalid, sleazy tale of backwoods nastiness tries to redeem itself with a triumph-of-the-human-spirit coda that can barely pull itself loose from the tar pit of sordid lunacy in which it's mired. Recent high-school grad Jimmy West (Ryan Phillippe) is… (more)

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