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A Guide to Recognising Your Saints [DVD]

Dianne Wiest , Robert Downey Jr , Dito Montiel    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
Price: £9.97 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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A Guide to Recognising Your Saints [DVD] + Stop-Loss [DVD] + Son of No One [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Dianne Wiest, Robert Downey Jr, Shia LaBeouf, Melonie Diaz, Julia Garro
  • Directors: Dito Montiel
  • Producers: Charlie Corwin, Clara Markowicz, Trudie Styler, Travis Swords
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Revolver
  • DVD Release Date: 13 April 2009
  • Run Time: 66 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001U8WPPE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,707 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Coming-of -age drama set in 1980s New York. Returning home to see his sick father (Chazz Palmintieri), Dito (Robert Downey Jr.), reminisces about his youth in the NY borough of Queens. As the action centres on events in his childhood, we follow a younger Dito on the verge of making a tough choice between staying in the gang-ridden streets and the bosom of his family, or breaking free into a wider world, full of possibilities.


A film adaptation of Dito Montiel's memoir of the same name, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints is a compelling, thoughtful movie based on Montiel's childhood growing up in 1980s Queens. A writer and director who understands his limitations, Montiel wisely left the acting to the pros. Shia LaBeouf (Holes) plays him during his adolescence, while Robert Downey Jr. (Good Night, and Good Luck, Wonder Boys) portrays the grown-up Dito. Never mind that there is absolutely no physical resemblance between the two actors; LaBeouf and Downey are so convincing in their roles it doesn't matter. Switching effortlessly from present day (where Dito is a successful author) to the past (where he is a tough little kid trying to figure out if there is life beyond New York), A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints tackles Dito's complicated relationship with his parents (Chazz Palminteri and Dianne Wiest), as well as the friends he left behind. Eric Roberts is magnificent in a small role as one of Dito's tough, childhood buddies. His powerful performance makes viewers remember there was a time when Roberts was better known for his acting skills than for being Julia's big brother. Montiel--a first-time filmmaker--won the Director's Award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival for his autobiographical movie. Raw, gritty, and honest, Saints makes a strong impact and leaves the viewer curious as to how the rest of Montiel's life will work out. --Jae-Ha Kim --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent 6 July 2007
an excellent film, chronicoling the tough lives of a group of teenagers living in the hard times of 80s Queens, New York. The movie is gritty and tough, the artistic style adding to this particular flavour of the film itself. definitely one i would recommend espescially if you enjoyed Kids, Kidulthood and A Bronx Tale.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this film 20 July 2007
When released this film received mix reviews so I didn't see it at the cinema - a decision I now regret. I thought the DVD was fantastic.

It isn't an easy film to watch having been cut up and spliced together in intricate ways but as a whole I thought it worked extremely well. The editing and direction is innovative and fresh, leading to a dreaminess that is rarely successful in this genre.

I recommend that people give this film a shot.
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5.0 out of 5 stars blistering debut 12 Nov 2009
As 36-year old dito (Robert Downey jnr) looks back at his childhood with laurie (Rosario Dawson) we are whisked off to the sweltering New York summer of 1986. For 16-year old Dito (Shia LaBeouf) this is his Queens - battleground, playground, school and home. But to a kid like Dito, poised on the brink of manhood, a long hot summer can change a lot.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Much Better Than I Thought... 23 July 2009
This film is bit like the oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire as it has flashbacks while he is traveling to his mother and father. Great performances from Shia LaBeouf, Channing Tatum and Chazz Palminteri. There are alot of very tense moments and the gangster atmosphere is really well acted. 5 out of 5. I recommend watching it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 29 Sep 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Excellent cast. Just love this! I have watched it twice on tv and was made up to find it on dvd. Such a good story of tough teenagers on Americas streets. Good soundtrack too - takes you back! 10 out of 10!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Underrated Gem 26 Jun 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you are a fan of recent Channing Tatum or Shia LaBeouf movies then this might not be your cup of tea.

But if you are not a fan of their recent films and were put off as a result, then I urge you to give this film a try whatever you think you know about the cast.

Dito Montiel gives his own story an excellent direction with a cast of largely unknown actors (at the time!). Most of all it exudes a sense of living in Queens, for good and for bad. This isn't a pretty film and it isn't always a pleasant film, but you will find it hard to come away without being affected in some way.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Huge Film 22 Mar 2012
One of my favourite films from a few years ago - watched it again last night and just had to post a review up. It's searing Scorcese-inspired cinema. Shia LaBeouf shows exactly why at that moment in time he was the most-exciting young actor in Hollywood, Robert Downey-Jr is inspired as his adult version. Brilliant and brutal.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant film 8 Aug 2011
By Jaq
Had I read reviews on this film I never would have bought it, however I am so glad that I caught it on tv first and just had to own it to watch again at leisure. You possibly will like it if you are personally introspective because it has such a strong message. The acting is brilliant, especially Channing Tatum. Eric Roberts who, although he takes up only a small part at the end of the film, performs with such profundity it leaves you stunned. Watch it if you want to learn something....
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Great
I bought this film purely because Channing Tatum is in it, film was a waste of an hour and a half of my life!! Gave 3 stars only because i got to see a topless Channing Tatum :)
Published on 18 Oct 2011 by Zoey
4.0 out of 5 stars Brutal
I'm quite surprised at some of the reviews here, how can a true story been seen as cliched and contrived? Maybe the reviewers missed that it is a true story. Read more
Published on 29 Jun 2011 by Dignitas
2.0 out of 5 stars Just plain awful.period.
this film is about nobody and the boring life he lives, why does these type of films keep getting made. Read more
Published on 20 April 2011 by ekb
2.0 out of 5 stars Clichéd, contrived and unoriginal
As if there haven't been enough 'coming of age' dramas set in New York, we are presented with yet another. Read more
Published on 7 Dec 2010 by Joe Langton
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow
Gritty, artistic, hard hitting, honest- This was a truly memorable movie. It's dramatic, action packed and real.

It's based on a book and you can tell. Read more
Published on 6 Oct 2010 by Amy Connolly
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull, contrived and messy.
A Guide To Recognising Your Saints is Dito Montiel's autobiographical coming of age drama based in Queens, New York. Read more
Published on 17 July 2010 by Ernie
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly different
This film isn't the same as most. Most say if you're from "the hood", violent area's there is a loyality to die there early and except it. Read more
Published on 6 April 2010 by Mr. James G. Bradford
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