A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints

Critics Consensus

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints is a lively, powerful coming-of-age tale with winning performances and sharp direction from first-timer Dito Montiel.



Total Count: 94


Audience Score

User Ratings: 101,419
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A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints Photos

Movie Info

This is the story of a pivotal summer on the hot, sweaty, violent streets of Astoria, Queens--a summer that changed only Dito Montiel, but the lives of everyone around him. Torn between is ill father, his domineering friend and protector Antonio, the neighborhood war and the lustful temptations of youth, Dito struggles against his desire to escape, running away from everything he knows. He finds redemption 15 years later when he returns to Queens and faces the "saints" who have influenced his life.

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Shia LaBeouf
as Young Dito
Eric Roberts
as Older Antonio
Federico Castelluccio
as Antonio's Father
Melonie Diaz
as Young Laurie
Anthony Tirado
as Street Corner Puerto Rican
Erick Rosado
as Puerto Rican Van Driver
Steven Payne
as Beach Chair Guy
Martin Compston
as Mike O'Shea
Marc Castle
as Drunken Man in Subway
Steven Randazzo
as Token Clerk
George DiCenzo
as Uncle George
Olga Merediz
as Aunt Mary
David Castro
as Reaper's Little Brother
Gilbert Cruz
as Queensbridge Bodega Man
Chance Kelly
as Prison Guard
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News & Interviews for A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints

Critic Reviews for A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints

All Critics (94) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (71) | Rotten (23)

  • Given all the filmed memory pieces about screaming, violent Italian-American families in New York boroughs, I'm not especially thrilled by even a well-made example.

    Feb 27, 2008 | Full Review…
  • It positively crackles with energy, featuring startlingly raw performances from a cast that also includes Shia LaBeouf as the young Dito. And if it looks ragged around the edges, that's as it should be.

    Jul 31, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Over-indulgent but often interesting and ambitious in its attempt to recreate the free-wheeling, jazz-improvisational feel of classic independent 70s cinema.

    Mar 3, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The plot itself might not break much new ground, but the telling, by both cast and crew, makes this a memoir to remember.

    Feb 28, 2007 | Full Review…

    Ben Walters

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Tough streets, tough Love.

    Feb 27, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • It takes a while to recognize these saints, but the effort is worth it.

    Nov 17, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints

  • Mar 24, 2010
    None too shabby but really nothing to write home about either. Very middle of the road and 'meh.' Not the worst 90 minutes I've spent in my life, but really theres nothing new to see here either. The acting is good for the most part, the script is okay most of the time and the directing is adequate. Never really climbs above the pit of mediocrity either though. If your into this kind of 'teens in trouble' type of movie give it a watch, but you've probably already seen it done better in the past. Not essential viewing, but not a total waste of time either.
    Ed Fucking H Super Reviewer
  • Jan 13, 2010
    This depiction of harsh times in the Bronx is portrayed with perfection! I thought the performances from LaBeouf and Tatum were amazing! The plot is extremely engaging and every scene sent chills down my spine. The cinematography, the gritty look, the handheld camera shots, and the low-budget production values, are all contributing factors towards what I consider an overall masterpiece in independent filmmaking. Director Dito Montiel (in my opinion) has made his mark on cinema, creating believable characters to go along with a story that is inspired by true events. This film is a breathtaking work of subtle art filmography. I highly recommend this movie to film lovers. "A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints" is a beautiful little film!
    KJ P Super Reviewer
  • Jan 10, 2010
    I had to make great efforts to find a reason to watch this movie to the end.
    Alice S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 07, 2010
    An amazing movie that has a great visual style and a compelling story. The acting was amazing and a lot more realistic than you usually see. Not since The Basketball Diaries has there been such a flawless sense of coming-of-age. It isn't a feel good teen comedy, but a very powerful and relentless tale of the city.
    Conner R Super Reviewer

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