Watch At Close Range
- 1 hr 51 min
At Close Range is a gripping crime drama that tells the story of a family of petty criminals living in rural Pennsylvania, struggling to make ends meet. The movie takes its title from the expression "keep your friends close and your enemies closer," which is a recurring theme throughout the film. The story centers around Brad Whitewood Jr. (Sean Penn), a troubled teenager who lives with his mother and siblings on a farm on the outskirts of a small town. Brad's father, Brad Sr. (Christopher Walken), shows up one day after years of absence and takes him and his brother Tommy (played by Penn's real-life brother, Chris Penn) under his wing, introducing them to a world of crime and violence. At first, Brad is attracted to his charismatic father, who treats him like an adult and takes him on dangerous heists to steal cars and rob stores. But as Brad gets deeper into the criminal lifestyle, he begins to realize that his father is not the hero he thought he was. Brad's loyalty is tested when he falls in love with his girlfriend Terry (Mary Stuart Masterson), who has aspirations of leaving their small town and making something of herself. The tension builds as Brad's father becomes increasingly desperate to avoid getting caught by the police, and Brad struggles to decide whether to stick with his family or turn them in. The dynamic between the two Brads is fascinating to watch, as the father tries to mold his son into a mini version of himself, while the son grapples with his own conscience and desire to break free from the cycle of crime. The movie is gritty and realistic, accurately portraying the bleakness of small-town America and the desperation of people who are forced to turn to crime as a means of survival. The performances are outstanding, with Christopher Walken delivering a chillingly intense portrayal of a man who will stop at nothing to protect his criminal empire, and Sean Penn giving a nuanced performance as a young man who is both repelled and attracted by his father's criminal lifestyle. Mary Stuart Masterson is also excellent as Terry, a smart and determined young woman who represents a glimmer of hope for Brad and offers him a way out of his dead-end existence. The chemistry between Penn and Masterson is palpable, and their scenes together are some of the most tender and heartfelt in the movie. Overall, At Close Range is a powerful and thought-provoking film that explores the dark side of the American dream and the consequences of choosing a life of crime. It holds up well after more than 30 years and is a must-see for fans of crime dramas and character-driven stories.