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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 13.46%
Just Average: 6.41%
Pretty Crappy: 5.77%
Sucks: 1.92%

12 reviews, 84 user ratings

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Boys Don't Cry
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Charles Tatum

"Boo Hoo"
2 stars

I hate to break this to the good citizens of Hollywood, but there are literally hundreds of millions of people in-between the two coasts of California and New York who are not "looking to get out" of their small town existences. Please stop making me feel wrong for the location I have picked to raise my sons...

Based, very loosely, on a true story, Swank is Teena Brandon, who cuts her hair short and becomes Brandon Teena. She is a troubled soul with big dreams about owning a mobile home park, and who likes to pass as a boy in order to be with other women. She leaves Lincoln, Nebraska and lands in Falls City and meets up with "The Center of the World"'s Peter Sarsgaard, who introduces her to his screwed up extended family. Everyone here drinks too much, smokes too much, and works dead end jobs so they can leave this "goddamn town."

Swank meets Chloe Sevigny, falls in love with her, and they make plans to leave Nebraska for a glistening fantasy life in Memphis. Then the cornhusks hit the fan. Swank is imprisoned on a traffic violation and is found out to be a woman. Everyone reacts the way white trash should react, and the final forty five minutes of the film is an orgy of drunken rape and murder.

First, let me state that Hilary Swank deserved every award heaped on her. She has a perfect look, and I sometimes forgot she was a woman as she immersed herself in the lie Teena Brandon lived. I hope Swank can keep up with the promise this breakout role gave her.

I am an Air Force brat, and have lived all over the world before settling in North Dakota. For years now, Hollywood has doled out all this cow plop about how horrible it is to live in the midwest, and I am sick of it. No, this ain't paradise, but I will take a forty below wind chill over drive-by shootings and cities that never sleep any day. I like my livin' crime free and devoid of traffic jams and noise. A blanket statement about big cities, you protest? Well, I guess that's the sheltered midwest existence talking- where we are expected to express shock at Rosie O'Donnell coming out of the closet and to get excited if Nickelback plays the state fair.

The Nebraska of this film is not Nebraska, and I figured it out early. Kimberly Peirce directs the film with all the subtlety of acid thrown in your eyes, and at one point shows us a director-y shot of a big city skyline- Dallas'. Reading the credits, this film proudly states that it was shot in Dallas, Texas. I was born in Fort Worth, and I graduated from high school in Nebraska, and I can honestly say there are more than a few differences. For one thing, the white trash cast here all have Texan drawls that are never explained! The film makers make a point of how horrible Nebraska must be, yet do not even back up their hatred with accurate locations.

The entire cast is awful. Not awful actors, awful people. One of the people portrayed sued the film makers for defamation of character, and you have to wonder what other liberties the director took. Brandon Teena does not come off as a heroic martyr, she comes off as an idiot who could not seem to wake up and smell the stale beer and SKIP TOWN. Peirce throws us into this cesspool, never explains WHY Teena did what she did, and still expects us to be moved and angered.

Peirce has some good moments here and there, but after all the decadence in the first part of the film, the viewer may find themselves dulled to the horrific rape and murder scenes, which leave nothing to the imagination. If anything, I felt bad for the real people involved, who had to relive this nightmare on film in order to shock an audience. I dare use the word "exploitation" to describe the extended rape scene and the murders. While these scenes are strong and shocking, do not let them anger you into thinking this film is gospel fact and therefore good cinema. For a horrific true crime story, see the original film version of "In Cold Blood," that film will stay with you for days for what they did NOT show.

This is a ghastly story that needs to be told. I just think the money may have been better spent on a documentary with the people involved, not a skewed perspective masquerading as an independent film.

"Boys Don't Cry" is not worth the tears.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=2233&reviewer=325
originally posted: 03/17/03 23:22:52
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell strong but 2 brutal 3 stars
10/03/13 Trisha Wirt Very powerful movie! Hit home! 5 stars
2/28/11 Captain Slog Such a sad, sad movie 5 stars
12/17/08 Clara Absolutely jarring. Stunningly made. 5 stars
12/05/08 Shaun Wallner Well made. 5 stars
2/05/07 glitter girl what a powerful and sad movie... you may know someone like this and not even know it.. 5 stars
8/18/06 Lauren Absolutely fabulous. Swank and Sevigny offer stellar performances. 5 stars
4/24/06 imran reveals the issues of society Good movie 3 stars
8/23/05 Ron Patterson Absolutely Fantastic 5 stars
8/11/05 ES Couldn't care less about the characters, no redeeming qualities = blah 1 stars
3/23/05 katie wright i think lana was the master mind behind the crimes 5 stars
12/23/04 Nick Boyd Very well acted, moving story 5 stars
9/26/04 Brigitte Sad, but powerful story.Very realistic. 5 stars
9/25/04 NJ Cup Winner 95-00-03 In its own category, which, coming from me, is the highest compliment 5 stars
8/27/04 ELI ARG!!!!! It's so DEPRESSING!!!!!!!!! Good movie! 5 stars
8/03/04 Alexia Absolutely the most touching movie I've ever seen 5 stars
8/01/04 Denisia de Castro Macedo Excellent movie 5 stars
6/25/04 Eric One of the dumbest movies I have ever seen, seriously 1 stars
2/29/04 Liz The movie is very good and i like it. 5 stars
1/24/04 Elena I wish bad critics weren't allowed to post reviews! :P 5 stars
1/17/04 linda wang it's the best moving movie i've ever seen!!! 5 stars
11/23/03 Shams Huque Swank was incredible. 5 stars
11/12/03 alia i absolutly loved that film it was amasing 5 stars
6/11/03 Jareth I just can't find fault with it, one of the most powerful films I've ever seen. 5 stars
6/04/03 Charles Tatum Don't let the sleaze fool you 2 stars
3/26/03 Marcia Lartz C'mon Chris Parry, just call it awesome. Don't do it a disservice with your caustic review. 5 stars
3/18/03 Jack Sommersby Uninsightful and a bit exploitive. ChloŽ Sevigny, though, is outstanding. 2 stars
2/17/03 Pyli Amazing... i loved it, it's one of those movies that changes the way u look some things. 5 stars
12/18/02 mylen cee exeptional 5 stars
12/01/02 Bobi its cool 5 stars
11/15/02 Big Ted Swank delivers an Oscar performance that will be remembered like Streep's Sophie's Choice. 5 stars
8/19/02 willy a moving, harrowing film... cried and cried and cried 5 stars
6/02/02 sdjfsdkjf that was some fucken rape scene. Good film but never wanna see it again. 5 stars
5/11/02 Butterbean Swank's performance was outstanding. It's ending put knots in my stomach 5 stars
3/07/02 Mo Anand It was a good movie, but sad...good for indy watchers 4 stars
2/27/02 Alan Smithee Very difficult to watch at times, but well acted and extremely tragic. 4 stars
2/27/02 malcolm part II she did not deserve what happend, but the lies had to catch up. 5 stars
2/27/02 malcolm reminded me of Sling Blade. don't forget - Teena lied and stole thru the whole movie. 5 stars
9/04/01 Bada Bing Crosby I'm happy to knock the last comment off the board, people are just a-holes here 5 stars
8/28/01 Phil M. Afficianado Acting (capital A) out the shockingly sad reality of man's inhumanity to (wo)man. Stunning. 5 stars
7/30/01 Basil Sad and disturbing, Swank definitly deserved the Oscar. 5 stars
4/25/01 timmsy Sevigny carried the last 30 minutes. Should have won Oscar. 5 stars
4/17/01 looni31 Shit hot film 5 stars
3/22/01 Danyo McPee Feelings can be decieving 4 stars
2/20/01 Rocket Boy While Swank was excellent, it was Sevigny's performance that made the film 4 stars
2/10/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi Poignant, disturbing, violent, romantic, relentlessly in your face. The way LIFE really is 5 stars
2/04/01 spunkie Most disturbing film about small town mentality since "River's Edge". Swank= WOW! 5 stars
1/31/01 Vivien Leung strange lesos 3 stars
12/23/00 Connoisseur makes me jerk off... 5 stars
10/31/00 k8e_chapstick@excite.com the most touchign ,amazing film i've ever seen. you will be a different person after wards 5 stars
10/19/00 Stunned Back Into Mikeness I really didn't wanna see this boring-looking film, but it punched me in the gut. Wow! 5 stars
10/06/00 Perverted Pixie Horrorfic cruelty. Swank broke my heart. I can't believe this was all true... 5 stars
8/28/00 Juan both actresses performed really well, swank deserves the award!! 5 stars
8/08/00 Mic You could feel the tension in the audience in the final half hour. 5 stars
7/12/00 Tom Strong performance by Chloe Sevigny. 4 stars
6/22/00 fire-n-ice great movie i hated the ending though 4 stars
5/20/00 mellemel Good acting by Swank, but there's a reason why the movie wasn't nominated. 2 stars
5/15/00 Tracy The toothy Hilary Swank certain out acted anything Ice Princess Paltrow has coughed up. 5 stars
5/15/00 The Bomb 69 great performances all around, tough movie to watch 5 stars
5/14/00 Chrissy T Hilary looks great as a man, and her acting is first rate. Chloe always impresses me. 5 stars
4/10/00 Ernie Levesque This movie is wonderful and funny and uplifting and so heartbreakingly tragic. 5 stars
4/05/00 PJ What a draining movie, I have to say Hillary Swank gave one of the best performances ever 5 stars
4/02/00 Asun Espes The best movie of the year 5 stars
3/24/00 Robert P Gray Honest and brilliantly acted 5 stars
3/15/00 Justine Briggs The movie is tough to watch but you can't help but be in awe of Hillary Swanks performance 4 stars
3/08/00 Booyah! Amazing film. Did not expect to be so moved. 5 stars
3/06/00 John Baranyai Tjis movie is a must-see. Hilary swank is unbelievably good. Go see for yourself. 5 stars
3/03/00 Pix very affecting 5 stars
2/29/00 Matthew Smith Hiliary swank's magnificent performance has oscar written all over it. 5 stars
2/21/00 Bozo Swank will win Actress Oscar, she's great, Hunt & Paltrow before her SUCKED 5 stars
2/10/00 Victor Ramirez depressing. Beautiful. 5 stars
2/09/00 Jess Bennett Goddamn this movie is great. Its very disturbing and every actor involved is so real. 5 stars
12/31/99 jenn "Blu Smrf" this is an amazing film considering the issue that was dealt with, very well done! 5 stars
12/28/99 Malbert Hillary Swank was very good, it was a disturbing movie 4 stars
11/27/99 Kate Badger very well done film....best this year 5 stars
11/15/99 Bearpaw Very hard, very good film 5 stars
11/15/99 joefire, himself The movie actually wasn't bad -- however it was disturbing and the characters were pathetic 3 stars
11/15/99 Heather Great performance from Hilary Swank, but was annoyed by the white trash characters 5 stars
11/14/99 Ellen Dickson amazing and powerful, the performances were the best I've seen all year.... 5 stars
11/14/99 clara the most brilliant, best-acted, and most emotionally draining film of the year 5 stars
10/28/99 "Wild Bill" Kutzner So remarkably annoying & stupid. Why would anyone like this fucking trash-heap of a movie? 1 stars
10/25/99 Jill Morge 5 stars
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  08-Oct-1999 (R)
  DVD: 13-Dec-2005


  02-Mar-2000 (R)

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