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Time Out says
Alan Ormsby's script, about a new kid in a Chicago high school who hires the biggest guy in school to fend off a lunch money protection racket, is (unusually) directed not for nostalgia value but from a perspective of adolescent insecurity, and helped along by fresh performances from a cast of inexperienced young actors. Finally, though, the message that accompanies the central theme - Kids are basically Nice - is that Brute Force Rules. The only real refinement of that great American truth offered here is that it's likely to be most effective when employed intelligently.