Did You Know?
-Was Billy Crudup's film debut
-Because Brad Renfro and Joseph Perrino have brown eyes, they wore colored contact lenses so they would have the same color eyes as Brad Pitt and Jason Patric who played them as adults

-Lorrenzo "Shakes" Carcaterra(Joseph Perrino), Thomas "Tommy" Marcano(Jonathan Tucker), Michael Sullivan(Brad Renfro), John Reilly(Geoffrey Wigdor) are 4 kids who grew up in Hell's Kitchen, New York in the mid 1960s. During this time, local priest Father Bobby(Robert De Niro) plays an important part in their lives and keeps a fatherly eye on them. However, early on they start running small errands for a local gangster named King Benny(Vittorio Gassman)

-On a summer day in 1967, their lives take a turn when they almost kill a man after pulling a prank on a hot dog vendor. As punishment, they are sent to serve time at the Wilkinson Home for Boys in upstate New York. While there, they are systematically beaten, raped, and abused by guards Sean Nokes(Kevin Bacon), Henry Addison(Jeffrey Donovan), Adam Styler(Lennie Loftin), Ralph Ferguson(Terry Kinney). These events change the boys and their friendship forever

-14 years later, John(Ron Eldard) and Tommy(Billy Crudup) are now gangsters, who find Sean Nokes in a Hells Kitchen pub. They both shoot him dead in front of witnesses. Mike(Brad Pitt) is now a District Attorney who is now assigned to the case. He arranges to botch it so he can get payback. Moreover, he and Shakes(Jason Patric)start forming a plan to get their revenge on all the guards who abused and raped them. Together with their friends, especially Carol(Minnie Driver), a social worker, and King Benny, they manage to carry out their revenge using information on all the Wilkinson guards compiled by Mike previously. They hire Danny Snyder(Dustin Hoffman), a washed up alcoholic lawyer to defend John and Tommy to make it seem as if the case is hopeless so they can carry out their plan without suspicion.

-However, to close the case they need a key witness who can give John and Tommy their alibi. Shakes has a long talk with Father Bobby, and tells him about the abuse they suffered at Wilkinson. After a few days of searching, Father Bobby agrees to lie on the stand about where John and Tommy were on the night of the shooting; the priest swears under oath that they were with him at Madison Square Gardens at a New York Knicks basketball game. As a result, they are acquitted and another one of the guards, Ralph Ferguson, exposes himself and Nokes as abusers when called in as a character witness in court. The remaining guards are also punished for their crimes; one, Henry Addison, is killed by the drug gang run by the older brother of Rizzo, a boy killed years before in the Wilkinson Home; the other, Adam Styler, a corrupt cop accused of extorting and killing a drug dealer, is exposed and arrested. After the case is over, Mike quits his job as a DA and moves to the English countryside where he becomes a carpenter; John drinks himself to death and Tommy is eventually murdered. both within a few years of the acquittal.


Lorenzo "Shakes" CarcaterraJoseph PerrinoJason Patric
Michael SullivanBrad RenfroBrad Pitt
Thomas "Tommy" MarcanoJonathan TuckerBilly Crudup
John ReillyGeoffrey WigdorRon Eldard
Carol MartinezMonica PolitoMinnie Driver
Father Bobby CarilloRobert De Niro
Sean NokesKevin Bacon
Henry AddisonJeffrey Donovan
Adam StylerLennie Loftin
Ralph FergusonTerry Kinney
King BennyVittorio Gassman
Danny SnyderDustin Hoffman
Nick DavenportDaniel Mastrogiorgio