Lawrence O'Toole
April 26, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Boys of St. Vincent

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
186 minutes
performer
Ashley Billard, Henry Czerny, Brian Dodd, Johnny Morina
director
John N. Smith
author
John N. Smith
genre
Drama

We gave it an A

John N. Smith’s extraordinary three-hour film about the sexual abuse of boys in a Newfoundland orphanage run by Christian brothers, inspired by actual events, is more than welcome on video. The subject matter and its uncompromising treatment may be just too sensitive — too harrowing — to watch in a public space. Made for Canadian TV but released in theaters in the U.S., The Boys of St. Vincent is as intricately designed as a stained glass window. And as the malevolent yet tortured Brother Lavin, Czerny is so mesmerizing he may haunt the dreams of the little child within us all. A

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