COCK & BULL STORY

[CRITIC’S PICK]

Monday, Oct. 21, 7 p.m.
Lincoln Theatre, $9

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For the longest time, Cock & Bull Story meanders along with competent performances by Brian Austin Green and Bret Roberts as Jacko and Travis, respectively, amateur boxers and lifelong friends desperate to escape dead-end, violence-riddled, inner-city lives. But the supporting characters — Travis’s parents, his boxing coach, a police detective — are hackneyed stereotypes, and it’s far from apparent that this directorial and screenwriting debut from Billy Hayes (the author of Midnight Express, working here with a source material from the British stage) can gel into anything worthwhile.



Cock & Bull Story

Then, all hell breaks loose as Jacko’s long-simmering homophobia erupts into horrific violence and Travis’s long-repressed homosexuality emerges with stunningly brutal honesty — and all the build-up you weren’t even sure was build-up becomes virtually irrelevant, or, at least, certainly worth it. Green emerges in the film’s final moments to show that everything in his performance up to then is cunningly skilled time-biding. He holds nothing back, creating an indelible dramatic impression that pushes the film well into the realm of must-see. — JP

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