Ten Benny

  • 1998
  • Movie
  • R
  • Crime, Drama

Indie film's fascination with small-time suburban goodfellas wears on with this routine tale of two working-class New Jersey friends and the woman who comes between them. Mike (Michael Gallagher) and Ray (Adrien Brody) have been best friends since childhood, but they've grown up as totally different people. Mike is a nice, sensitive guy -- the kind who...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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Indie film's fascination with small-time suburban goodfellas wears on with this routine tale of two working-class New Jersey friends and the woman who comes between them. Mike (Michael Gallagher) and Ray (Adrien Brody) have been best friends since childhood, but

they've grown up as totally different people. Mike is a nice, sensitive guy -- the kind who takes writing classes at the local college and secretly loves Ray's neglected girlfriend Joanne (Sybil Temchen). Ray, however, is another animal altogether: The son of a small-time wiseguy (Frank Vincent),

Ray's a sharp-dressed operator with big plans of marrying Joanne and owning his own business, but knows his job as a shoe salesman won't get him very far. So Ray borrows 10 grand from local loan shark Donny (James E. Moriarty), puts it all on a horse he's been told is a shoo-in and loses every

cent. Hounded by Donny and his thugs, Ray takes several predictable wrong turns as he tries to gamble his way out of debt, while his relationships with Joanne and Mike start to unravel. Ray is the kind of reckless, self-absorbed character who immediately begs the question, "Why would anyone

want to be this guy's friend?" Writer-director Eric Bross's film inadvertently becomes more about the unacknowledged ties that bind than the ultimate price of Ray's cheap ambition: It isn't until one of Donny's goons describes the sight of Ray and Mike slugging it out as looking like "fags at a

fabric sale" that it begins to make sense. Decent performances from Brody and Temchen are buried under dopey dialogue and poor cinematography, which ranges from amateurish to awful: Action scenes shot with a handheld camera are probably the closest film has ever come to simulating a grand mal

seizure.

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Indie film's fascination with small-time suburban goodfellas wears on with this routine tale of two working-class New Jersey friends and the woman who comes between them. Mike (Michael Gallagher) and Ray (Adrien Brody) have been best friends since childhoo… (more)

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