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The Newton Boys

After the 'day in the life' indie quartet (Slacker, Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise, SubUrbia) this was supposed to be Linklater's breakout mainstream movie, a Texan gangster flick with a hot young cast. In the event, it bombed at the US box office and limps straight to video in Britain. Set in the '20s, it's the story of four brothers who graduate from cowboy hijinks to federal bank heists. There are echoes of Once Upon a Time in America, Bonnie and Clyde and The Long Riders, but overall this is a pale shadow of those genre classics. Except for McConaughey, the brothers are inadequately characterised, and despite such surefire ingredients as chases, shoot-outs and explosions, Linklater gets no narrative momentum going. Quite what attracted one of the more ambitious US independent film-makers to this tired material is hard to imagine - save for a fascinating end credit sequence culled from old TV chat shows where the real life Newton boys, now pensioners, recollect their crimes. It seems a couple of them pulled another job in their seventies. Now that would have been a movie worth seeing.

Release details

Duration: 122 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Richard Linklater
Screenwriter: Richard Linklater, Claude Stanush, Clark Lee Walker
Cast: Vincent D'Onofrio
Matthew McConaughey
Julianna Margulies
Ethan Hawke
Chloe Webb
Skeet Ulrich
Dwight Yoakam
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