• This Boy's Life (1993)

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Release Date: April 9th, 1993

DVD Release Date: May 13th, 2003

R|1 hr 55 min

Plot Summary
In the 1950s, Toby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his mom, Caroline (Ellen Barkin), move to the state of Washington. There they meet mild-mannered Dwight (Robert De Niro), who falls in love with Caroline. They're married, and, after some initial happiness in the household, it becomes apparent that Dwight believes violence is the best way to discipline his troubled stepson. Unfortunately, Caroline is unwilling to give up on her marriage. As Dwight's abuse intensifies, Toby plans an escape.

Cast: Robert De Niro, Ellen Barkin, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Blechman, Eliza Dushku, Chris Cooper, Carla Gugino, Zachary Ansley

Director: Michael Caton-Jones

Genres: Drama

Production Co: Warner Bros.

Ratings & Reviews

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  • De Niro's decision to make Dwight a loony from the get-go throws the delicate symmetry of the story out of whack. show more

  • The movie is successful largely because [DiCaprio] is a good enough actor to hold his own in his scenes with De Niro, so that the movie remains his story, and isn't upstaged by the loathsome but colorful Dwight. show more

  • In capturing the compelling battle between a boy and his abusive stepfather, director Michael Caton-Jones cannily avoids obvious sentimentality, opting to let a rather brutal story tell itself. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com