Amongst Friends

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -3

Yet another gangsta' movie hits the screen with AMONGST FRIENDS, though with a twist. Instead of poor individuals struggling for money and power, this film concerns three boys who grow up in a very affluent New York neighborhood. They turn to criminal activities for power and recognition, not for the money. Billy (Joseph Lindsay) is the most ambitious of the three in his drug pushing and gambling endeavors. Trevor (Patrick McGaw), on the other hand, wants to be part of their group but is not really eager for a criminal life. When Trevor gets caught in a drug bust and sent to jail, Billy and Andy (Steve Parlevecchio) continue a life of crime, with Billy in control. Trevor returns four years later to find his girlfriend spending time with Billy. Andy is trying to break into big-time drug selling on his own. The three boyhood friends grow farther apart, each torn by the consequences of their criminal activities and Billy's lust for power. The near-sighted Hollywood "artists" responsible for this film should don their rose-colored glasses so their films might entertain rather than depress audiences.

AMONGST FRIENDS delivers some insightful statements about the attraction for power through crime. Overall, however, the violent plot gives no satisfying answers and has no direction. Two scenes are especially offensive: one of a corpse shot in the eye with its throat cut; in the other, after a brief fist-fight, a man is shot in the chest at point-blank range and left to suffocate from the wound. One brief scene of sexual intercourse occurs when Trevor and his girl friend are shown in bed together, but they are under the covers. A topless bar is the setting for another superfluous scene that shows prolonged female breast nudity. On top of all this, what modern gangster movie would be complete without a truckload of objectionable language? Over 200 obscenities are batted around in the dialogue. Is there any artistic excuse for use of language like this? The language, the violence, and the nudity in AMONGST FRIENDS, as well as its plotless premise, will hopefully assign this movie to oblivion.

Preview Reviewer: Greg Wilson
Fine Line Features, 888 7th Ave., 20th Floor, NY, NY 10106

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (15) times - Mild 3; Moderate 12

Obscene Language: Many (220) times (s-word 18, 186 f-words, 16 others)

Profanity: Regular 3 times

Violence: Few times - Severe (corpse shot in head and throat cut; man shot in chest, left to suffocate; short fist fight)

Sex: Once, briefly with no nudity

Nudity: Several times - breast nudity

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times - references to intercourse

Drugs: Drug and alcohol abuse a few times

Other: None

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