The Boondock Saints is a 1999 American crime thriller film written and directed by Troy Duffy. The film stars Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus as Catholic Irish fraternal twins, Connor and Murphy MacManus, who become vigilantes after killing two members of the Russian Mafia in self-defense. After both experiencing an epiphany, the brothers, together with their friend David Della Rocco, set out to rid their home city of Boston, Massachusetts of crime and evil; all the while being pursued by FBI Special Agent Paul Smecker (Willem Dafoe).
Duffy indicates that the screenplay was inspired by personal experience, while living in Los Angeles. The film experienced a limited theatrical release of only five theaters for one week, and was met with poor critical reviews; but the film has grossed about $50 million in domestic video sales. The ending credit sequence, which features the media asking the people of Boston, "Are the 'saints' good or evil?", was shot by Mark Brian Smith, co-director of Overnight, a documentary film about the making of The Boondock Saints, and Troy Duffy himself.
The film opens with Irish brothers Connor (Sean Patrick Flanery) and Murphy (Norman Reedus) MacManus attending Mass at a Catholic Church, where the priest mentions the fate of Kitty Genovese. Next, while celebrating St. Patrick's Day with friends, the two get into a bar brawl with three Russian mob who want to close the pub and take over the land it is built on. The two brothers try to reason with the mobsters, but they responded with violence. The next morning, the bandaged bodies of two of the mobsters are found in an alley.
FBI Special Agent Paul Smecker (Willem Dafoe) is assigned to the case and surmises that the death of the Russians was not a professional hit, but probable self-defense. The brothers decide to clear their names and arrive at the police station, where they find that the police and local news reporters see them as heroes. To avoid press attention the brothers decide to spend the night in a holding cell, where they receive what appears to be a "calling" from God telling them to hunt down wicked men so that the innocent will flourish.
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