Boston's Alternative Source! image!

R: ARCHIVE, S: MOVIES, D: 09/03/1998,

Monument Ave.

Already Boston-based feature filmmaking seems in a rut -- take a tough blue-collar neighborhood, a conflicted hero, and some wiseguys, add a few variations, and you've got Next Stop, Wonderland, The North End, Southie, and now Ted Demme's Monument Ave. For its variation this one boasts Denis Leary as a Charlestown car thief whose complacent, larcenous lifestyle crumbles when friends and relatives get whacked for perceived violations of the local code of silence. Should he buck tradition and be a snitch (one of the film's previous titles), turning in ruthless mob chieftain Colm Meaney to world-weary police inspector Martin Sheen? Should he just count his money and keep quiet? Take justice into his own hands?

As those questions stumble toward their predictable resolutions, most of the film's best moments are inconsequential -- Leary and his pals on coke and booze discussing popular movies, or cruising the streets in a cab and alighting on an African-American who wandered into town by mistake. The latter scene is jarring, if gratuitous, demonstrating the kind of edge and energy this pedestrian effort otherwise lacks. Screens at the Cheri at 7:45 p.m. Star Denis Leary and director Ted Demme will introduce the film.

-- Peter Keough

| Digging to China | Monument Ave. | Rounders | With Friends like These |


More Boston Film Festival information, film descriptions, and show times