Early in his career, director Richard Linklater crafted this true story about brothers who rob banks and trains back in the 1920's. For Richard Linklater, who is best known for his slow character dramas, this felt like one of his weaker efforts to say the least. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Ethan Hawke, and Vincent D'Onofrio as the most notable leads, this film follows these brothers from town to town as they try to stay hidden while increasing their loot. With love, lust, and bad decisions, this film has many elements that would make for a great film. Is this a great film? Sadly no, but it does have promise, and that is what I am going to talk about here.
"The Newton Boys" helms a very lengthy script, not that it is too long, but the slow pace makes the film feel much longer than it's two hour run time. That being said, films can still be great when that happens, they just have to have exciting sequences and relatable characters to back it up. For the most part, it does have that, due to it's likeable cast and intriguing story. These men never kill and that is what humanizes this story. I loved watching portions of this film, mainly due to the banter written by Linklater, but in the end, it is a very forgettable picture that seems too caught up in it's characters, rather than the way it affects the towns they harm. In the end, I enjoyed watching this film for what it was, but I think a property like this could have been better in different hands.
Review By: KJ Proulx