Mike D'Angelo
February 20, 1998 AT 05:00 AM EST

Like Matty Rich’s Straight Out of Brooklyn, Salvatore Stabile’s first feature Gravesend, which he began shooting at age 19, is a cogent reminder of why teenagers shouldn’t direct movies. Some impressively kinetic editing aside, the film is definitely amateur night; Stabile simply grafts the plot of Menace II Society onto a Brooklyn Italian milieu, then lets his actors yammer pointlessly in one contrived confrontation after another. There’s no insight — just nonstop obscenity and macho posturing. It’s enough to make you nostalgic for the days of indentured servitude. C-

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