Fifteen-year-old Howie loses just about everything and everyone in the space of a single week, but ends up finding himself in the process. His mother has just died. His father, a building contractor, can barely keep tabs on his young girlfriend, let alone his own son. Thusly, the teen must navigate his adolescence virtually unsupervised. Floating towards an ill-behaved existence, Howie and his crowd begin robbing houses in the middle-class neighborhoods off the Long Island Expressway. Together, he and his best friend Gary break into a place belonging to an old guy named Big John, a local man who is a respected pillar of the community. When Big John fingers Gary for the crime, Howie learns that his pal has been leading a secret, dangerous but also alluring double life. Subsequently, we also discover that Big John has secrets of his own. - IMDb
I found the acting to be very good and the plot interesting. Brian Cox gives you both sides of his character and shows how easy it is for children to get into tough situations. I think most people will miss the real message the director was trying to relay to his viewers. This is a very powerful film on a very, very hard core subject matter. I’ve seen Paul in other films, but Howie is by far his best performance, he draws you into his character and you feel his loneness and the anger he has towards his father and why.
Howie also learns that he has to replace a $1000 stolen pistol [which has been lost] with "something" of equal value. In a remarkable seduction scene, the aptly named, grey-haired Big John [BJ] searches for that Something, from Howie's knee upward along his thigh. No explicit sex in this film, but massive sub-text, and an underwear caress that is genuinely moving. Not for those prudes who think that sex is not for boys under 21. Definitely for the Big Johns of your audience.