A 15-year-old Long Island boy loses everything and everyone he knows, soon becoming involved in a relationship with a much older man.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Howie Blitzer (as Paul Franklin Dano)
...
Marty Blitzer
...
James Costa ...
Tony Michael Donnelly ...
Brian (as Tony Donnelly)
Michelle Carano ...
Newscaster
Tatiana Burgos ...
Marty's Girlfriend
...
B. Constance Barry ...
Anne Harrigan
...
Scott
Brad Silnutzer ...
Henry
Bob Gerardi ...
Clifford
...
Elliot
Frank Rivers ...
Man with Pizza (as Frank G. Rivers)
Anthony F. Peragine ...
Tough Kid #1
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Storyline

Fifteen-year-old Howie loses just about everything and everyone in the space of a single week, but ends up finding himself in the process. His mother has just died. His father, a building contractor, can barely keep tabs on his young girlfriend, let alone his own son. Thusly, the teen must navigate his adolescence virtually unsupervised. Floating towards an ill-behaved existence, Howie and his crowd begin robbing houses in the middle-class neighborhoods off the Long Island Expressway. Together, he and his best friend Gary break into a place belonging to an old guy named Big John, a local man who is a respected pillar of the community. When Big John fingers Gary for the crime, Howie learns that his pal has been leading a secret, dangerous but also alluring double life. Subsequently, we also discover that Big John has secrets of his own. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

On the Long Island Expressway there are lanes going east, lanes going west, and lanes going straight to hell.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for some explicit sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 November 2002 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

L.I.E. Long Island Expressway  »

Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$82,530 (USA) (7 September 2001)

Gross:

$1,141,829 (USA) (22 February 2002)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The poem Howie recites in the car is "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking" by Walt Whitman. See more »

Goofs

When Howie visits his Dad in jail, he can't even wear his earrings into the visit area. But when his Dad comes out to see him, his Dad is clearly wearing his wedding ring (and that would not be allowed in the jail anyway). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Howie: L.I.E. Long Island Expressway. You got the lanes going east, and you got the lanes going west. And you also got the lanes going straight to hell. Lot of people died on it. Harry Chapin, Alan Pakula, the movie director. You probably heard of them. But you never heard of Sylvia Blitzer, my mom. She died on a crash on Exit 52. I really miss her. It's taken a lot of people and I hope it doesn't get me.
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Connections

Featured in The 2002 IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Danny Boy
Traditional tune ("Londonderry Air") and lyrics by Frederick Edward Weatherly
Performed by Brian Cox
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User Reviews

 
Brilliant and daring
22 June 2002 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

It's shocking that this film was ever made. You don't often get characters this well written in American independent cinema, and you certainly don't get characters who are pedophiles portrayed with this much thought behind them. Todd Solondz's Happiness can only be partially counted, as that pedophilic character was played half as comedy (very daring in its way, as well). Brian Cox gives the performance of a lifetime with this character - you won't entirely understand how perfect he is or how perfectly written he is until you see it. Any expectation you can come up with will be quashed when you see the film.

But, aside from that, this film is about young Howie, also played brilliantly by newcomer Paul Franklin Dano. This is one of the best films about the status of high school students today. No, not all kids are like this, but these characters represent an important segment in the school population. This could have easily been one of those my-dad-is-too-busy-to-pay-attention-to-me-so-I'm-going-to-act-out movies, and, indeed, it is in a way, but the characters and situations are so well written - and the film's technique is amazing, as well - that they're entirely believable.

I praise the hell out of Michael Cuesta for making this film. He's an absolute daredevil. Almost every piece of the film is like a highwire act, and he only stumbles at the very end. It's just too abrupt and simplistic, as if some producer thought that these characters shouldn't be able to live their lives. I hope Cuesta will make more films in the future. He's one of the best to pop up in the last few years.


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