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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Not to be hyperbolic, but Richard Linklater's first big-budget movie may be the Jules and Jim of bank-robber movies, thanks to its astonishing handling of period detail and its gentleness of spirit, both buoyed by a gliding lightness of touch.
  2. 75
    A fast-paced, entertaining motion picture that replaces gritty tension with a lightly-dramatic character interaction that occasionally borders on straight comedy.
  3. If Mr. Linklater is not entirely at ease with action sequences (or with the obligatory having-fun montage once the brothers become successful), he still makes this (after ''Before Sunrise'' and ''Suburbia'') another admirable directorial stretch.
  4. Director Richard Linklater ("Dazed and Confused") should have taken a cue from the music -- the film needs a lot more snap.
  5. 50
    The film chronicles their criminal career in a low-key, meandering way; we're hanging out with them more than we're being told a story.
  6. 50
    In his true-life film about four brothers who robbed banks out West during the late teens and early '20s, Richard Linklater seems to achieve the impossible: He makes Ethan Hawke bearable.
  7. Scored to a disarmingly quaint array of fiddle-and-banjo tunes, The Newton Boys has so little in the way of blood or rancor that before long, you begin to notice that there's no real drama in it, either.

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