'Sins of Our Youth': Film Review

A very hard-to-believe premise sinks an overserious drama.
12/2/2016

Four boys who've accidentally killed a child hatch a bizarre scheme in Gary Entin's drama.

A morality play whose lesson will be unneeded by most if not all viewers, Gary Entin's Sins of Our Youth argues that playing with automatic weapons in the back yard is a bad idea — especially when it's dark, and you and your friends have spent all night drinking. On the off-chance you should find yourself in this situation and must deal with the likely result, try not to latch on to the most stupid idea floated as to how to avoid going to jail. Though the film works hard to squeeze credible tension out of its teen protagonists' predicament, moviegoers are unlikely to pay much attention in this quality-packed release season.

"We knew it was a terrible idea," a voiceover informs us in the pic's opening frames. And boy, is that accurate: After they accidentally kill a boy in the back yard, four teens haul the corpse into the garage and keep drinking. After a day of debate, they pick a plan: They'll film four different group confessions, each of which exonerates a different one of them; then the four will all try to kill each other, and the survivor gets to give the cops the version of the footage that will set him free.

Still with me? No? That's probably for the best, since the film, having found a ludicrous excuse for a game-of-death, can't even deliver the guilty pleasures associated with that genre. Instead we get a kitchen sink full of unrelated teens-in-trouble elements — unexpected pregnancy, parental alcoholism, the scourge of EDM — thrown in to distract us. As some of the kids try to back out of the plan and others suspect them of concocting an elaborate double-cross, the movie seems almost more interested in whether its hunky but neglectful alpha male will make his girlfriend's birthday wishes come true.

Distributor: Breaking Glass Pictures
Production
company: Huffington Pictures
Cast: Lucas Till, Joel Courtney, Mitchel Musso, Ally Sheedy, Bridger Zadina, Dani Knights
Director: Gary Entin
Screenwriter: Edmund Entin
Producer: Michael Huffington
Executive producer: Anthony Bretti
Director of photography: Matthew Irving
Production designer: Scott Enge
Costume designer: Dahlia Foroutan
Editor: Robert Brakey
Composer: Lior Rosner
Casting directors: Janet Hirshenson, Jane Jenkins

Rated R, 91 minutes

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