A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints Reviews

February 27, 2008
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.
February 28, 2007
The plot itself might not break much new ground, but the telling, by both cast and crew, makes this a memoir to remember.
November 17, 2006
It takes a while to recognize these saints, but the effort is worth it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 17, 2006
The movie never answers the question of why, exactly, the audience should care about these characters.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 27, 2006
Though A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints is not a great movie, I prefer its street-grit version of adolescent desperation to the arch, mannered tone of Running With Scissors.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 26, 2006
Like an O'Neill play, its virtues are not in well-constructed ideas but in the emotional catharses it wrings out of its audience.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
October 25, 2006
A misfire.
October 19, 2006
The memoirist turned screenwriter turned director has hit it out of the park with his first feature, crafting an unflinching, often brutal retrospective of his formative years in Astoria, Queens.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 13, 2006
It's not the whole, rough-edged film that appeals most, but the individual moments that feel exactly right, accumulating to form a lasting impression.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 13, 2006
The results, although a bit uneven, are never less than compelling to watch and won a couple of awards at Sundance last year, including a directing prize.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 13, 2006
Montiel brings enough of his own emotional confusion and life experience to the party to make the cuts feel real, to make one more tale of mistakes and mangled youth worth following.
Full Review | Original Score: B
October 13, 2006
Guide gets the details right, recalling the minutiae of Dito's teen years -- from clothes to conversations -- with near-psychoanalytical clarity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 13, 2006
The first-time filmmaker aspires to show us what caused him to leave his neighborhood and stay gone for 20 years. All I can really glean is that the place was too loud.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 12, 2006
Pulses with the honesty and spontaneity of early films by Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee.
October 12, 2006
The fractured narrative, with its era shifts, its talking-head soliloquies, and screenplay-style subtitles, gives an edgy, artsy pulse to what is essentially a well-honed exercise in nostalgia.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 12, 2006
Populated with actors who know their characters so intimately they seem to spring to life from the screen.
Read More | Original Score: B+
September 29, 2006
This is a gifted director who actually has something to say and knows how to say it. We'll be hearing from him again.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
September 29, 2006
'Stick to the book' isn't always the best advice for a screenwriter adapting a best- seller, but when it's his own memoir, it would lend a more certain authenticity.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 29, 2006
There's a quality of daring in Montiel's approach, trusting that the intensity of his feeling for his characters can become contagious.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
September 29, 2006
Montiel attempts to interweave past and present, but he yields so much time to his teenage years that the present-day material comes perilously close to looking like a framing story.
Read More | Original Score: B-
September 28, 2006
Saints is so personal and site-specific a work that it's hard to imagine what Dito Montiel will pull out of his hat for an encore. But even if this is the only movie he has in him, the Queens kid hasn't done so badly for himself after all.
September 28, 2006
Dito Montiel's autobiographical tale is so full of life and feeling that the screen can hardly contain it.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
September 28, 2006
The flow of flashbacks isn't as seamless as it could be. But, as noted, coping with one's past is never as neat as most other movies make it out to be.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
September 28, 2006
It's forceful and alive and spilling over with crazy poetry.
September 28, 2006
Guide is rich in nostalgia but it goes nowhere.
September 28, 2006
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints illustrates that it's still possible to do something interesting with a familiar premise.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 27, 2006
The praise heaped upon A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints is way too much, way too soon.
September 27, 2006
The gods of cool appear to have kissed Dito Montiel's fingertips.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
September 26, 2006
Blessed enough to have drawn Gautier and Downey away from better-paying gigs, the kid hasn't likely failed to recognize his saints.
September 25, 2006
Montiel's debut packs a visceral punch that most coming-of-age tales do not.
January 23, 2006
The effect is one of a fabulous acting showcase more than a wholly finished work.
January 23, 2006
After a while, the crudeness and venality of the central characters proves as stifling as the incessant Queens summer heat does to our dubious protagonists.