Robert Downey Jr. has an uncanny talent for dazzling audiences in all the roles he is positioned in. His performances are huge, from a Los Angeles Times columnist in this year’s heartfelt drama The Soloist (co-starring a fascinating Jamie Foxx, showing us once again that we shouldn’t judge him for past decisions, namely Booty Call. ) to the opposite end of the spectrum as the conspiracy theory that Barris casts in Richard Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly. However, oddly enough, possibly even more impressive was Shia LaBeouf as our young main character Dito Montiel. Unlike several additional movies that satisfy Shia’s Hollywood résumé, such as this summer’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (as Robot Chicken put it, Michael Bay only knows one thing: explosions) and Disturbia, Shia actually manages to instill real excitement. while facing Dito. Another new face in the Hollywood spotlight of late is Fighting star Channing Tatum. But before there was street fighter Shawn MacArthur, Antonio came along. If this particular role represents any of Tatum’s ability, it’s that despite recent decisions, he can act. Dito’s father in the picture, Monty Montiel, is instilled with a great deal of passion courtesy of Chazz Palminteri (see: The Usual Suspects and A Bronx Tale). Palminteri has made his mark on the film industry gangster genre, and proves here that he is more than just another “sage.” Saints also stars the beautiful and talented Rosario Dawson (Sin City and 25th Hour, among a host of diverse and incredible movies, including the first Light It Up) and plays Dito’s love interest. Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight) also stars in the dying moments as a much older Antonio, and Dianne Wiest (Edward Scissorhands, The Lost Boys) as Dito’s mother.

Set in 1986 in Astoria, New York, Saints is an emotional journey into coming of age through the eyes of a young Dito Montiel, author of the autobiographical novel and director of the latest blockbuster, Fighting. It starts out slow, steadily progressing through each character’s trials and tribulations until finally escalating to the breaking point. Dito and his small group of friends hang out on rooftops, in windows, and experiment with all the temptations life has to offer. He surrounds himself with the peculiar, for example, Antonio’s mentally unstable brother (Adam Scarimbolo) who at one point can be seen by high school classes walking naked on a nearby rooftop. But again, how much fun would “normal” friends be? Finally, after some altercations with thugs who spray-paint the “Reapers,” Dito befriends a Scottish exchange student. Together they come up with a plan to form a band and head west to the great city of angels (and lost dreams). However, this is a problem. His dilemma with the Reapers is growing. His father apparently cares less about his son’s opinion and more about Antonio’s, Dito discovers that he cannot stop the unfortunate events that unfold around him. The death and destruction of your own existence, your friends and family. All you want to do is escape; to run. It becomes difficult to understand as a true story and that Dito Montiel existed, still standing today. The reunion of Dito and his father at the end of Saints is a battle of artistic brilliance between two worthy contenders, Robert Downey Jr. and Chazz Palminteri. You will not leave indifferent, that is a promise.

A recurring theme in Saints is how this united faction can seemingly hate each other, but immediately when something happens, they forget their differences and come to their aid. In his book, Dito explains more about how he believes he was saved from such dire fates, drugs and imprisonment, by his so-called “saints.” Antonio symbolizes what can happen given the right (or wrong) circumstances. Beginning with an abusive father part, a short fuse, a lack of emotion, and a pension for the violence, Antonio became Dito’s holy guardian. Mike O ‘Shea (played on screen by Martin Compston), the Scottish exchange student who inspired a dream within Dito that soared far beyond the crowded streets of Astoria. Laurie (Rosario Dawson / Melonie Diaz) illustrated how love can feel for the first time. They were all his saints, they all sacrificed something for him.

Dito’s directing style reminiscent of the 1996 Sleepers (starring Robert De Niro and Brad Pitt) along with an incredible cast evokes an emotional tornado that brings with it a sense of nostalgia, even for the rest of the population that did not grow up. in Astoria. during the 80s. It is as if you could imagine Dito out of the corner of your eye, observing the development of these events that made him who he is and while you embrace a satisfied smile, exclaim like our grandparents did: “Ah, in the past “.

Saints is a film that will be recognized for years to come and has laid the groundwork for future coming-of-age dramas. Hopefully, there will be more of the young actor Shia LaBeouf (who has come a long way since his stint at Disney’s Even Stevens) in movies that don’t rely so much on special effects rather than character development.