Over the Edge [1979]

Return to the pre-Internet days of 1979, when teens had KISS on their T-shirts and Led Zeppelin on their walls (wait, other than the high-waisted pants, that could be today). Richie (Matt Dillon in an electrifying debut) and Carl (Michael Kramer) are two such teens stuck in the planned community of New Granada (rural Colorado). Richie is a two-bit hood in Jackie Earle Haley (Bad News Bears) mode. Carl, his partner in mischief (breaking curfew, setting off firecrackers), comes from a more stable environment. Once a gun enters the picture, petty crime leads to tragedy and then apocalyptic revenge. Over the Edge gets the details right: the kids, the era, and their frustration with an uncomprehending adult world. At times, it almost feels like documentary, except for a few moments of high Kubrick-meets-Walter Hill drama, as when Carl gets jumped by a couple of hoods, including Vincent Spano (Baby It's You). Directed by Jonathan Kaplan (The Accused) and shot by Andrew Davis (The Fugitive), Over the Edge was unavailable for too long and deserves to find the same audience as other teen rebellion classics like co-writer Tim Hunter's River's Edge. The period-perfect soundtrack ups the ante with potent tracks from Cheap Trick, the Ramones, and the Cars. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

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