The Boys Next Door - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Boys Next Door Reviews

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March 23, 2015
Definitely a period film of the 80s and underground at that. This is not as much a film to admire, but more a film that depicts a social message wrapped up in a cultish presentation. Growing up in the 80s, a guy could almost relate to Sheen's character albeit we hope that friend we know isn't really as psycho as portrayed here.... or are they?

All in all, worth the watch - plus ironically due to the low knowledge of this film, most people won't realize it was remade in 2013. That film is called "Girls against Boys". Same thing.
June 23, 2014
Charlie Sheen and Maxwell Caulfield go on a murderous rampage throughout L.A. What's not to like? Cheesy 80's awesomeness!
TheDudeLebowski65
Super Reviewer
April 24, 2014
Penelope Spheeris' The Boys Next Door is a pretty good crime thriller starring a young Charlie Sheen in an impressive performance. The film starts off a bit too slow, but steadily builds up to a good final. This is not a perfect picture, but is nonetheless impressive in its acting, storytelling and directing, especially considering that director Spheeris would start making bland films after 1992's comedy classic Wayne's World, along with that film, this among her strongest efforts, and it's a shame her career in the 1990's would suffer the way it did, but at least she managed to make a few good film, and The Boys Next Door is one of them. The film could have been better in some areas, but for what it is, it's a well crafted picture that manages to be riveting from start to finish. If you enjoy a good crime drama, you're sure to enjoy this, it's not a great film, but it's a pleasant time waster for what it's worth. Charlie Sheen was far better as an actor in his younger years, and he displayed a charisma that just lights up the screen. I enjoyed the film for what it was, and though it may seem a bit dated, it still is worth seeing if you enjoy Sheen's early work. I felt that the story was good and that it could have been a bit longer. The biggest issue with this film is that it tries to compress way too much material into a short run time, therefore it falls short of it potential, and it never becomes the crime film that it deserves to be. Despite its imperfections, The Boys Next Door is a well crafted picture that is much better than you would think. But in the end, it could have been a great, memorable picture, nonetheless it's quite entertaining and like I've said, is worth seeing.
October 3, 2013
Here's a largely forgotten gem. Penelope Spheeris' follow up to "Suburbia" documents a different type of urban alienation as it follows Maxwell Caulfield and Charlie Sheen as two extremely alienated recent high school graduates who travel to L.A. and commit an escalating series of crimes. A really solid 80s genre flick.
June 27, 2013
Charlie Sheen was so young. Funny he never changed otherwise. His personality fits everything I've seen him in.
June 7, 2013
Two newly graduated high school misfits take a road trip to Los Angeles where they engage in a spree of violence. Sheen and Caufield successfully portray two callous individuals but they don't quite fit the roles as guys who can't make any inroads with Bonnie and her popular friends or get invited to nerdy Joe's party.
May 20, 2013
this is one of the most underrated movies there is.
so much violence!!!!
December 9, 2012
Two outcasts with limited future prospects go on a destructive rampage of escalating violence after graduation. Caulfield looks a tad old for high school here. Soundtrack includes Great White before they achieved any mainstream success.
January 6, 2012
Back When He Only Played Crazy

There is a confusion in this movie between spree killers and serial killers. We start with discussion of the latter, but the movie is really about the former. These are not people who have anything in common with, say, David Berkowitz, who is one of the people shown at the beginning. These two are closer to Charles Starkweather, who--with or without the help of his girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate (depending on which of them you asked)--killed eleven people in two months. Generally, spree killers are less methodical and less likely to kill similar people. Serial killers tend to have a preferred victim and a preferred method of killing. There are insights to be gained from the study of serial killers, but these boys just don't fit into it. This movie is the story of one terrible weekend, and while it's true that the boys were loners and outcasts before the movie starts, but it's equally true that there is no reason to believe they had a body count yet.

Roy Alston (Maxwell Caulfield) and Bo Richards (Charlie Sheen) are graduating from some high school in middle-of-nowhere, Arizona. They have never gotten along with their classmates. Bo's grandparents give him two hundred dollars for graduation, and after the boys make a total nuisance of themselves at a classmate's party, they steal his mother's dog and drive to California. Only Los Angeles isn't what they expect--Mythic Los Angeles strikes again--and they decide to make their own fun. This starts with a gas station attendant who angers them by only giving them the gas they pay for; Roy beats him half to death. They hit an old lady with a beer bottle on Venice Beach. They then drive off with several women attacking their car. And on and on, while policemen are left to figure out if the crimes are connected. Which initially they have no reason to expect but which becomes increasingly obvious, given their car.

Bo is not a healthy boy, but he would get in far less trouble in the end had he just avoided Roy like everyone else. He strikes me as the sort of person whose life would be improved if he just moved away from where everyone had known him his entire life, somewhere he could teach himself how to be a different person. Maybe if he got a little counseling. Got out of his own head for a while. Bad Influences and Peer Pressure only count for so much, I think; there are some minds that are just more susceptible to that kind of thing, and I think Bo is one of them. When he meets the girl, Angie (Patti D'Arbanville), he realizes that there's a life out there that isn't the one he's always thought he'd be stuck with. He can get out. He can meet girls. He doesn't have to work in a factor and stay in the same small town. And if he had learned that [i]before[/i] he had gone on a crime spree (and probably one which would get him the death penalty), that would have been so much the better for him.

Early in the film, Roy tells Bo about the anger he has inside himself. He reminds Bo of a time when he was legitimately angry, when someone damaged the car, and tells him that he himself feels that way all the time. He considers joining the Marines to find an outlet for it, but the recruiter (Leonard O. Turner) knows the sort of questions being asked and says that the Marines are not for him. And indeed they are not; a military organization doesn't want someone who resents taking orders. They don't want loose cannons, and there's only so much inner rage which can be channeled. Bo would not have gotten into anywhere near as much trouble without Roy, but eventually, Roy would have gotten into just as much trouble without Bo. He was a lit fuse. The rules of society not merely didn't apply to him but simply didn't factor into his thought processes. In short, Roy was legally insane. No matter what situation he found himself in, it was only a matter of time, and not much of it, before he killed.

That he was half in love with Bo didn't help. Oh, I'm not sure it was scripted that way; certainly one would not currently ask Charlie Sheen to find out. But there is definitely tension between the two, and it helps elevate a cheap exploitation flick into something a little more. Not [i]much[/i] more; this is still a mediocre film at best. (Though it is awfully satisfying when someone gets yelled at for using language which was common and even acceptable in 1985.) It could have been even better had that aspect of their relationship really been explored. After all, those rare killers who work together usually have something complicated and sexual between them. We don't much like to talk about it, because we as a society fear even tamer kinds of alternate sexuality, but the thrill of killing isn't just the kind of thrill the average person gets from, say, a roller coaster. There are more hormones at work than just adrenaline. Though of course, both of these guys are part of a mindset which wouldn't let them admit mutual attraction even if they weren't crazy.
½ December 29, 2011
from the lady that brought you "the decline of western civilization," "suburbia," and "wayne's world," this movie is like a homoerotic version of "badlands" that doesn't bother at all with the 'why' behind all the rage. the two sociopaths at the center of the story remind me of a few people i knew in high school and after, minus all the killing (at least as far as i know). it kinda creeped me out. also, anyone that doesn't get "drive" should probably watch this as it's totally a template for later style pieces that reinvent los angeles as all grime, all crime, all the time. pretty cool.
December 4, 2011
This was a pretty good movie. Seeing a very young charlie sheen was different. Shows some pretty troubled codependent youth with crappy parents and what can happen if they make bad choices.
July 27, 2011
this movie is just awesome. you got two teenagers on a road trip ones a psychopath and the other one is charlie sheen and together they kill, pee in pools and have fun.a must see
½ June 25, 2011
Two Catcher-In-The-Rye-type teens decide to go an after graduation psycho road trip to L.A. Charlie Sheen gets drunk , they kill some people, Charlie Sheen gets drunk, they kill some people, Charlie Sheen gets drunk, they kill..........well you get the idea.
Super Reviewer
June 21, 2011
A good teenage drama based on real life serial killers. It really makes you more paranoid about people you might run into on the streets. Sheen and Caulfield are really good in this movie as the two troubled teens. And the ending is both realistic and satisfying. This is a good movie.
June 23, 2010
Penelope Spheers' little seen 80's road film is filled with stylish violence,
profanity, and sexual confusion , but the problem is that the film doesn't contain much else that will move you.
½ May 5, 2010
Charlie Sheen Has come A Looong Way .. His youth and acting Are So raw Its Comical... The Chalk outline had me rollin so funny .. Thees two young boys go on a Murderous roadtrip One kid is out of controll the other kind of keeps thing's A Little mellow.. And The Weird Couger sex scene That Randomly Happends UGh?? ... Corny With out the chips Rilly .. This has high reviews .. I Dont get it ?? Not Good Not Even Great ..
April 11, 2010
Brutal but because of it hilarious rebeldrama. Nothing is sacred and you'll be amused about it through the film. But not for the weak minded.
January 30, 2010
...taut..hypnotyc..chilling..pshyco...blood...and nobody know when he's dead.....Mantafff..!!!
½ January 25, 2010
Before hitting the mainstream with such adolescent-friendly SNL-inspired comedies like 'Wayne's World' and 'Black Sheep', and toned-down, yet very watchable family reboots as 'The Little Rascals' and 'The Beverly Hillbillies, Penelope Spheeris proved she had much more balls as a director than most male indie film auteurs, directing films inspired by the young angst of the California punk rock and heavy metal scene, and doing nihilistic road films. Her 1985 gutsy attempt 'The Boys Next Door' stars Roy and Bo (played by Maxwell Caulfield and Charlie Sheen before his prime) as high school grads who share a poorly-contained curiosity for violence and the perversion that comes with the package. With little money and a beat-up muscle car, they take a short road trip to LA for a good time and an experiment with "freedom" - two ideas which make for the core of most well-received and memorable road films like Clint Eastwood's 'Thunderbolt and Lightfoot' and Dennis Hopper's classic 'Easy Rider'. Along the way, Bo gets rejected by girls just like in high school while Roy increasingly flirts with violence, and eventually murder when they both find a handgun; Thus, their simple stress-free road trip becomes an escape from Johnny Law. 'The Boys Next Door' performs like a purposely bad Troma film with reckless nihilism and clothes-on perversion that could have been the inspiration behind Greg Arraki's miserable exploitation of youth-gone-wrong 'The Doom Generation'. There's literally nothing discreet about its heavy-handed jabs at social order, societal standards, the US military's passionate access to fulfilling erection-bound gun fantasies, high school rejection, racial profiling, and violent obsession. Its heavy-handedness, however, does make for an enjoyable 80's experience, tightly knitting it close to its 80's cinematic peers, no matter how many times in this film you may find yourself rolling your eyes. The carefree, punk-rock nature of this film makes Penelope Spheeris a true badass behind the lens, yet there's a reason why this one remains very forgettable.
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