Southie - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Southie Reviews

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½ September 13, 2016
The acting excellence is ultimately cancelled out by the derivative nature of the story, which is not presented in a terribly fresh or distinctive manner.
½ August 25, 2013
Thought offender was the worst thing I could see this weekend, this cliched Irish mob film is terrible. Donny Wahlberg's most embarrasing episode, including New Kids on the Block
May 20, 2013
great movie for our hometown. great cast and great people. Steve did a great job acting in his first movie.
January 28, 2013
When you return home after disappearing for three years, you hope that the rest of your family has held it together. This isn't the case for Danny Quinn (Donnie Wahlberg), who left a long time ago but returned for some reason. He claims it's for a friend's wedding, but since many weddings have happened over the last few years, his family doesn't believe that. Really, he's doing it to provide us with a movie, one in which he decides to start cleaning up the lives of the people he left behind.

That's quite literally all there is to the plot. There are a bunch of people in his life that are in need of rescuing, and systematically (and possibly alphabetically for how efficient he is), he begins to solve their problems. All because his mother wants him to, apparently, although he probably would have anyway for how saint like he is. Is someone in debt? He'll get the money. Is there a drug addict in the family? Detox/rehab it is! He's such a good person; it's kind of impossible to not find him an endearing character.

Eventually, Irish mobs get involved, and a very familiar crime story comes out. There's an old fling that Danny abandoned when he packed up and left town (Amanda Peet), some guns get involved, and there are eventually some thrilling scenes that you'll only get to if you decide to sit through the hour of tedium that precedes them. And by this point, you're so involved that the film could probably do anything and you'd applaud. Because if you manage to get through and enjoy the first part of the film, you're already a fanboy.

That's not a bad thing, but considering how low-grade the first two acts of Southie are, it was really hard for me to like it. I'm not from Boston, and I'm sure the film will play way differently there, but the mob wars story has been done far better in earlier films, and the "clean up the family" storyline is dull and simple. The only tension is what's brewing underneath, but that comes up so infrequently that it's barely worth mentioning. I wanted to sleep during Southie, and for a while I thought I did doze off. But then the film still went nowhere and I realized that even if I did fall asleep, I wouldn't have missed anything.

This is a mostly uneventful drama -- and I use the word "drama" about as loosely as possible. You'll like Danny -- I mean, why wouldn't you -- but he seems so untouchable, so perfect, that you'll never care for him or his safety. He can't be touched by the mob, as he's too perfect. His family is full of ungrateful people, with the only one you'll grow to like being his mother (Anne Meara).

But then you think about how wrong she might have gone to raise so many terrible, terrible children. Only Danny turned out okay, and he, a former alcoholic, only did so after leaving for three years. Mrs. Quinn seems like a nice enough lady, and certainly the streets of South Boston had something to do with how her children grew up, but how much should she be blamed? Yes, this is the type of thing I was thinking about in Southie. Not, you know, what was actually going on in the film.

The best part about Southie is how it establishes the setting in which it takes place. I suppose the "toughest neighborhood in America" tagline explains it all. This setting has been used in films before, and even if you haven't seen those movies, Southie does a good enough job explaining to you why you don't really want to live in South Boston. It is a rough place to grow up and live, and you see that very clearly in Danny's family -- even if I still don't think that absolves his mother of blame.

The acting is surprisingly good, considering it doesn't have a ton of established or even well-known names. Donnie Wahlberg is the second most famous Wahlberg brother -- the role was actually offered to Mark, but the filmmakers couldn't afford him -- and he shows a general likability and the potential to show intensity. He makes for a good lead, and based just on Southie, he could be a leading actor. None of the other males are worthy of mention.

On the female side, the most sympathetic actor is Anne Meara as the elderly mother. She gets that way simply by showing determination and kindness even though she's suffering from heart disease. Rose McGowan turns in a surprisingly strong performance as Danny's alcoholic sister, getting a few scenes to really show that she has dramatic chops. I was most impressed with her here, actually, and anyone who is a fan of hers needs to see Southie simply to witness her performance.

There is very little to say about Southie. It's a generic crime movie for its final half hour, and a nothing movie for the first two-thirds that it plays. It tries to establish characters, it succeeds in establishing setting, but it fails to give us reason to care or feel excited. It sits there, hoping that we'll care simply because of where the film takes place. Maybe those of you who live in Boston will greatly appreciate it -- The Boondock Saints was a massive hit there, after all -- but for most of the potential audience, it's worthless.
December 5, 2012
An amazingly good indie film
½ August 7, 2012
"Southie has some glimmers of hope, but mostly it leaves you scratching your head lost in translation."
Boston's indie is Full of established actors (IE: Amanda Peet, Rose Mcgowen) and a reputable film maker. Regardless it still doesn't put into account how choppy and confusing the storyline is one minute i'm fully engrossed in the story. The next i'm lost, unsure what the heck is going on.
June 4, 2012
no info = no interest
½ July 23, 2011
Donnie Wahlberg is so bad it's almost funny. But it's not.
July 10, 2010
Wasn't bad..... was the south end really like that at one time??
March 25, 2010
I wound up liking this more than when I first saw it many years ago; there's nothing new at all about the wrong-un trying to go straight surrounded by hard times but it kind of works . . .
June 5, 2009
I FINALLY own this movie....only took 10 years!? Good movie, good story line and Donnie and Robert Wahlberg. Nice.
January 25, 2009
Great Hair, done by Troi!
November 24, 2008
Southie has a great premise that is somewhat hurt by casting. Whereas I believe that Mark Wahlberg could be (and was) a street tough, I just don't get the same authenticity from Donnie. I guess he just didn't have the..."right stuff."
October 13, 2008
ok... i watched this because it's set in boston in an area i am familiar with. not the best movie out there... but if you like - or are in the mood for - B-movies then give it a look. the story is nothing new nor is the result but it entertains; it's kind of like "carlito's way" without the sad ending. interesting to see lawrence tierney in this - though he doesn't do much. one thing i'll say that was spot on was the way the characters talked and acted... i know people like that!
½ September 1, 2008
Not a bad movie... I called it a "The Departed"/ "Four Brothers" wannabe - until I realized that this was done YEARS before either movie came out!

This movie really should have gotten more exposure than it did... I just found out about it thanks to Netflix recommending it, and it looked interesting... I'm glad I saw it..

Was a good story, with a great local South Boston feel... Got a little confused throughout the movie on which character was on whose side, but not enough to ruin the movie...

Donnie Wahlberg gave a great performance (dare i say "the Right Stuff LOL), as did the rest of the cast... Will Arnett was good, but I kept expecting him to do a bad magic track (ala his character on Arrested Development)...Some parts were a little predictable (Ma's fate, Donnie's decision at the end), but thats ok - the rest of it wasn't..

I just saw that it was an Indie/low budget movie -- I wouldn't have known it -- great cast, great scenery, and a good story... Wish there were more like this...
July 14, 2008
awesome, if you fall asleep, you don't know a thing bout southie
June 5, 2008
Looks cool. The DVD seems pretty hard to get a hold of though.
April 19, 2008
Was a big fan of Donnie Wahlberg since NKOTB and him being older brother to Mark only makes it better....good movie about the life growing up in South Boston. Donnie in with the wrong guys got ran out of town then returned years later to see his family and ending up in the same mess that drove him out of town to begin with. Donnie Wahlberg is a great actor.
March 8, 2008
LOVED it! I loved Donnie as a singer, but I think acting is his true calling-he's wonderful! Rose McGowan is great in this as well. This movie should've got more attention and recognition than it did. Recommend it to everyone!
½ January 10, 2008
Would be less stars, but seeing Southie onscreen was cool
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