Monument Ave.

A labor of love driven by Denis Leary, who hails from the blue-collar Boston-area town where this 1980s-era tale of family loyalty and street justice is set. Bobby O'Grady (Leary) is a true son of the old neighborhood, a working-class Irish enclave where everyone's related and gray-haired mothers rule with tears and guilt. Bobby, his Dublin cousin Seamus...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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A labor of love driven by Denis Leary, who hails from the blue-collar Boston-area town where this 1980s-era tale of family loyalty and street justice is set. Bobby O'Grady (Leary) is a true son of the old neighborhood, a working-class Irish enclave where

everyone's related and gray-haired mothers rule with tears and guilt. Bobby, his Dublin cousin Seamus (Jason Barry) and childhood pals Mouse (Ian Hart), Red (Noah Emmerich) and Digger (John Diehl) all work for local gangster Jackie O. (Colm Meany), whose lovable-lug exterior barely conceals a

right bastard who'll stop at nothing to protect his turf. Jackie orders a hit on newly sprung jailbird Teddy Timmons (Billy Crudup), a coked-up former employee whom Jackie suspects of having ratted him out for a lighter sentence, a grievous violation of the neighborhood code of silence. But Teddy

is Bobby's cousin, and his murder opens a rift that can only be closed by violence. This film is well-acted by an eclectic cast that ranges from Leary (who delivers his best performance to date) to Dutch-born one-time Bond Girl Famke Janssen, who does a very creditable turn as a local girl torn

between Jackie and Bobby. The only thing really wrong with this picture is how much it resembles scores of others: hard but not-so-bad guys torn between the code of the streets and their own moral compasses. Blue-collar underachievers watching their neighborhood change, unsure that they can change

with it. Charming local gangsters who polish their Robin Hood images by paying old ladies' rent. Mothers and girlfriends weeping as their sons and husbands and boyfriends get sucked into the hustle of the streets. Aging thugs waxing nostalgic over a simpler time when disputes were settled with

fists instead of guns. The fewer movies like this you've already seen, the better this one will play.

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A labor of love driven by Denis Leary, who hails from the blue-collar Boston-area town where this 1980s-era tale of family loyalty and street justice is set. Bobby O'Grady (Leary) is a true son of the old neighborhood, a working-class Irish enclave where… (more)

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