Although the 2nd part of the movie might be a bit heavy on the dramatic note, the 1st part alone presents some serious filmmaking thrills through a simple yet highly efficient approach. The movie evolves nearly as a slow-burn Martin Scorsese film blended with Eastwood's latest efforts like Mystic River or J.Edgar.
I really like this movie, I have seen it many times as I've grown up and it has stuck with me. It is a tale of friends, a community, and what sometimes needs to be done. The first half is a dark grisly tale of a children's penitentiary, and the second half follows the boys as men trying to deal with the horrors of their past.I love DeNiro, a man of the cloth putting his oath on the line to protect his flock.