The Boys Next Door - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Boys Next Door Reviews

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January 18, 2010
Another favorite from my teen years. This one fares better under the gaze of my adult eye than one of my other early favorites, Red Dawn, does. I remember that it concerned my mother a bit that I liked this so much (It's pretty violent.). But she didn't need to worry. I knew it was just a movie and I'm the same person who would later go on to get slightly upset about accidentally killing a fish. :)
November 24, 2009
A typical teen-movie with the elements of violence and lust about two nobody friends who try out to be somebodies
½ October 23, 2009
this is a hard movie to find but if you can watch it. it is funny and distubing. one of sheens better early movies.
September 14, 2009
These teenager have so much angst that they drive to LA & go on killing spree; a John Hughes film this is not. Penelope Spheeris gives us road trip that goes deadly wrong (for Sheen mostly who for the most part seems along for Caulfield's bloody ride but in the end having to deal w/ all the consequences) laced w/ a superb soundtrax. Iggy Pop's I Got Nothin is classic.
½ August 6, 2009
Sometimes a film comes along, that will truly stick with you long after you've seen it. It will gnaw at your mind and make you look at life and people in a very different way, which you never did before. "The Boys Next Door" is just such a film for me.

Director Penelope Spheeris is probably most well-known for her work on perennial comedic fare, such as "Wayne's World" and "Black Sheep," but long before that she was a very edgy and somewhat visionary filmmaker. Some of her earliest works have a very deep social commentary to them, of which this film is one of her best (and most overlooked). This tale of two high school outcasts, who go to the big city and raise some murderous hell, almost has a modern ring to it. In the wake of real life events, like the massacres at Columbine and Virgina Tech, this film seems less the low-rent crime drama it probably was seen as when it first debuted and more like a prophecy of things to come.

It is absolutely chilling in how it shows the casual use of violence by two supposed teenagers. Their lack of conscience and concern for anything or anyone, save themselves, feels like a mirror being held up to our so-called modern world. What really stuck out for me, though, was the moments of seemingly uncontainable rage expressed by the character of Roy (incredibly performed by Maxwell Caulfield). One scene that truly made my blood run cold, was after his first act of violence on a gas-station attendant, when he and his friend Bo (played by a very young Charlie Sheen, in one of his earliest leading roles) are talking about it in their hotel room, and Roy expresses that the beating wasn't good enough. That he should have killed him. The look of satisfaction on his face as he expresses these thoughts, brought out a dark symmetry to the character, which would dominate everything he does afterwards. It actually comes off like a blueprint to the mindset of such thrill-killers that we see in our real world today. I really enjoyed how the film almost plays like a docudrama in some instances, like this one.

While some of the language and settings might be a bit dated, the emotion and societal insights into the mind of teenage rage are as powerful now as they ever were back in 1985 (when the film debuted). At the time, this film had a bit of controversy about it, due to the amounts of violence shown on screen, but I think that today, in our much more politically-correct minded worldview, it is the thoughts behind the violence which should be more disturbing. It is a film that has truly become MORE relevant as time has gone by, not less. If there is anything lacking in the film, it would be not enough information given on the characters life at home. We see the torment they have with not fitting in with their peers at school, as well as their fears of living out the rest of their lives at dead-end jobs, but there is little info on the role played by the family in helping these boys to be filled with such murderous contempt. There is one scene with Roy's father being shown as a neglectful parent, more interested in getting his next beer than the welfare of his son, but I felt this brief glimpse should have been expand on more. Still, even lacking in this one area, the film is still a very potent brew to behold.

Make no mistake, this is not a "feel good" or party film. It is a shocking, and sometimes twisted, look into how society can mold a teenager into a raging killer and how easily the that rage can be let loose on an unprepared society. And the fact these two characters are attractive looking, as well, only deepens the scary similarities of our current times. Despite that, however, it is certainly a very worthwhile film and is deserving of much more attention. If you are looking for a film that isn't just out to entertain you, but also make you think, this is one movie you need to seek out! But be warned... prepare to be unnerved by much of what you will see. I doubt many will walk away from this film totally unaffected, nor should they.
August 4, 2009
Charlie Sheen should forever be referred to as "Emilio Estevez's brother"; in spite of the subject matter and Spheeris' blatant homophobia, I found this forgotten movie to be very intriguing. Lots of psychological intensity and misdirected rage, almost cathartic.
July 7, 2009
one of the best films ever! seen it 2 times now!
½ March 21, 2009
THE BOYS NEXT DOOR [5.5] I like the raw, edgy quality Penelpe Spheeris gives this movie, but I think her previous effort, "Suburbia", was more provocative. (Since then, she's gone into weird mediocre comedies like "Black Sheep" and "The Beverly Hillbillies".) Charlie Sheen and Maxwell Caulfield are well cast as the killer teens on the run, but everything feels more like a dark after-school special than an honest exploration of teen alienation.
January 27, 2009
Young. Handsome. Desirable. Deadly.
It's not just a motion picture...It's a warning.
It's in the look. It's in the touch. It's in the eyes. It's the latest style...IN MADNESS.
Day by day, they're changing the face of America...and they're barely old enough to vote.

They're trapped...They don't fit in...What happens when there's no way out?

The anger. The destructiveness. The urge to kill in cold blood. They weren't born with it...
½ January 26, 2009
A classic 80's hidden gem.
½ December 7, 2008
Distrubingly good. The level of mindless violence coupled with teen angst is protrayed very convincingly by the lead actors.
½ August 5, 2008
Good movie...Shame that this actually happens.... Punish bad people before innocent people get hurt...
½ July 11, 2008
Great movie...This is America too !!!
May 10, 2008
Another hidden gem with a pumping 80's rock soundtrack starring a teenage Charlie Sheen and Maxwell Caulfield (Grease 2,Casualty). Two boys named Bo (Sheen) and Roy (Caulfield) finish school with nothing and are set to work in a factory. With nothing to look forward to they go on a vacation to L.A. A harmless holiday becomes a nightmare as Roy takes out his built up rage on anyone to cross him with Bo along side him. This film doesn't sound too deep but Caulfield brings alot to his frustrated character and it's funny to see a baby faced Sheen before he became a big star.
½ March 24, 2008
This movie had potential, but fell through the cracks. To bad.
½ December 5, 2007
Dont expect great things.
October 8, 2007
This is my al time fave film, a classic tale of friendship, lives with no future and with a tragic ending.
September 15, 2007
i know this as no apparent motive, which is a more approiate title. it makes me cringe every time i watch it, but i love it
September 8, 2007
A somewhat disturbing film. A good example of just how dangerous it is NOT to care about people.
½ September 4, 2007
An excellent example of how to spend your last weekend of youth, before starting a lifetime of drudgery at the local mill. Classic.
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