The Boondock Saints

Released 1999


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Movie Summary

Troy Duffy

The Boondock Saints is a thriller film made in 1999 written and directed by Tory Duffy, about Irish Catholic fraternal twins Connor and Murphy MacManus (Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus). The brothers kill two members of the Russian Mafia in self- defense, and are seen as heroes when they come forward. They receive what they interpret as a sign from God to take the law into their own hands, working as vigilantes to free their home city of Boston from criminals. Their first mass killing occurs at a meeting of Russian bosses at a hotel where they kill nine mobsters, recite their family prayer, and place coins on the eyes of the bodies, part of the ritual that indicated that they are doing the work of God and ridding the world of evil. With the help of their friend Rocco (David Della Rocco) they undergo a series of violent mass murders, and a mobster named Papa Joe catches wind of their work, sending his hit man to end their reign of justice. The hit man, Il Dulce, wounds but doesn't kill them, and Rocco loses a finger. An investigative detective, Paul Smecker (Willem Dafoe), uses t his to discover who they are and decides to join their cause. In a final showdown at the headquarters of Papa Joe, the brothers, Rocco, and Smecker are at the mercy of Il Dulce, who takes pause when he hears their family prayer. Il Dulce turns out to be the last person they expected him to be, and the Saints are free to continue their work, but will the public see them as good or evil?


Metacritic Score

  • 75

    Boston Globe

    (Duffy) navigates the twisted collision of religious faith and the thrill of the kill, altruism and brutality, with an ingenious mix of humor, horror, mysticism, and just plain hip...

  • 60

    Variety Robert Koehler

    More interested in finding fresh ways to stage execution scenes than in finding meaning behind the human urge for self-appointed righting of wrongs, (the film) is stuffed with effe...

  • 50

    L.A. Weekly Manohla Dargis

    (Duffy's) assembled a fine cast -- it's hard to take your eyes off the two young leads -- but he's given them little to do but squeeze triggers and mouth platitudes.


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