L.I.E. (2001)

NC-17  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  29 November 2002 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 8,282 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 108 user | 72 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

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


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


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


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

29 November 2002 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

L.I.E. Long Island Expressway  »

Box Office


$700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


First film directed by Michael Cuesta. See more »


Howie doesn't have the earring in his cartilage during the fight with Marty and Kevin. See more »


[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.
See more »


References Casablanca (1942) See more »


Lascia ch'io Pianga
Written by George Frideric Handel
Naxos Music Ltd.
Performed by The Vienna Boys' Choir
Courtesy of Phillips Classics/Universal Music Recordings
See more »

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User Reviews

"Mouth dropping"
23 December 2001 | by (philly) – See all my reviews

I think that's the adjectivian phrase that i'm looking for to describe my reaction to this film. From the opening film scene to the abrupt end my eyes were like saucers as my head often shook side to side as if to say no. As a shrink who deals with children, this is an excellent examination of how many times there are no easy solutions and good kids can easily find themselves in bad straits. This is the best movie that I have seen in the past 3 years, which is quite a compliment since I attend movies regularly. I've warned fellow movie buffs of the strong content while suggesting that they look beyond that to examine what they think about the films commentary on teens developing their identities as they seek to enter into adulthood.

44 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Paul Dano`s best movie in my oppinion stefan_2006
Is this film worth hunting down? ferguspearson
This is the American Lilja 4-Ever PatrickQRS
Long Island Expressway MrClockworkOrange
River Phoenix as Howie? bearlean-1
Question about sexual content? MaynardisGod
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