The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 27, 1998 · Page 104
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 104

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Friday, March 27, 1998
Page 104
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Page 104 article text (OCR)

Page 8 The Palm Beach Post ' MARCH 27, 1998 TGIF .1 in experience ml rails 1 i iioontifs STALE NEWTONS: Matthew McConaughey (left) and Skeet Ulrich play bank-robbing brothers in The Guviie Lanctot. Newton Boys, the uneven new movie by Richard Linklater, the director of Before sunrise. Stick-up flick doesn't quite hold up, despite hunky stars THE NEWTON BOYS Evbrv tie. 1 Rated PG-13: Violence. Running time: 2 hours, 1 2 minutes. The verdict: This likable true story of a band of Roaring '20s bank robbers never comes together to steal the audience's hearts despite a nice performance by Matthew McConaughey. Skeet Ulrich (Scream) is baby brother Joe, who is never quite sure that he hasn't gotten into the wrong line of work. The always reliable Vincent D'Onofrio (Men In Black) doesn't have much to do as brother Dock, who joins the band midway through the film. The movie is nicely filmed and captures the period detail to perfection. But its bounder moments, such as a humorous courtroom scene, can't overcome the fact that this cliched film involves some of the hoariest genres in the movies gangsters and Westerns (there's a mail-train robbery, and one brother is a bronco buster!). The movie does have a nice surprise as the credits start to roll, so don't leave early. But, at bottom. The Newton Boys is a good-humored, good-hearted saga that never quite manages to steal the audience's heart. Now showing at: River Bridge Centre, Wellington Market Ilace, Okee Square, Jupiter 18, PGA Cinema 6, Boynton 8 Cinemas, Defray 18, Mizner Park, Mission Bay Plaza 8, Deerfield Cinema, Fox Festival, Coral Springs Six, Treasure Coast Mall, Regal Regency Square, Galaxy 12. By Gary Schwan Palm fieack Post Arts Writer Forget Dillinger and Baby Face. Forget Willie Sutton, who said he robbed banks because that's where the money was. It seems the most successful serial bank robbers of them all were four country boys from Uvalde, Texas the Newton Brothers. In the early '20s, they roared through the I leartland, pulling off more than 80 heists. Their M.O. involved adding a dash of nitroglycerine to safes with square doors. Their biggest score, and eventual undoing, was a $3 million robbery of a mail train outside Chicago. The Newtons were gentlemen, of sorts. They never set out to hurt an honest citizen, never stole from widows or orphans and never ratted on anyone, least of all each other. With The Newton Boys, his first big-budget film, director Richard Linklater has created a stylish romp. But the film is too unfocused and by-then umbers to sustain our interest. The first part of the movie is a character study, introducing the four brothers, each of whom has a very different personality. The robberies are amusing but rather nondramatic. The flick doesn't pick up steam until a mail heist, in which one of the robbers shoots another by mistake. Linklater is known for his studies of youthful angst in suburbia such as SLukrr and Dazed and Contused. As screenwriter of The Nation Boys, he makes sure his heroes don't sit around moping Call for free consultation and video. y3 F about their bad luck as dirt-poor farm boys; they do something about the situation. That makes them almost admirable or at least so the movie implies. The criminal as likable rogue is an old movie dodge, of course, and so is the boys' rationalization for their thievery: They aren't stealing people's money; they're stealing insurance company's money. Oh, sure. Matthew McConaughey plays Willis Newton, the brains of the operation. It's his most convincing performance to date. You'd expect him to have a solid Texas accent, but he also comes across well as a bumptious, good 'ol boy with an engaging twinkle in his eye whether what he's eytballing is a bank or a girl (love interest Ju-hanna Margulies from TVs ER). Ethan Hawke finally stops being morose and gives an uribeat performance as the lighlhcarted, heavy -drinking brother Jess. fu Guylaine Lanctot Cliniques m Varicose and Spider Vein Treatment Total Skin Health Find the vehicle of your dreams in The Post Classifieds. See Classification 90. 4 South Florida luxations 561-624-5347 Visit our website at

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