Brett Sprague returns to his family home after 12 months in gaol. Things have changed  while he has been away - his brother Glenn has moved out with his girlfriend Jackie, younger brother Stevie's pregnant girlfriend Nola now lives with the family, and his mother Sandra has taken up with a Maori drifter.  Reunited with his brothers, Brett uses his first day back to restore order.

4.5
A disturbing depiction of violence, hate and crime within a suburban Australian family.

The Boys opens with a man leaving prison. Brett (David Wenham) has served his time for bashing the owner of a suburban bottle shop. His brother, Stevie (Anthony Hayes), comes to take him home, where his other brother, Glenn (John Polson) and his Mum, Sandra (Lynette Curran), are waiting to welcome him. Also at their home on this particular day are Stevie`s pregnant girlfriend, Nola (Anna Lise), Glenn`s sensible, concerned wife, Jackie (Jeanette Cronin), Sandra`s lover, George (Pete Smith), a Maori derisively referred to as "abo" by her sons, and Brett`s girlfriend, Michelle (Toni Collette).

As the family celebrates Brett`s return home, a lot of beer is consumed and a lot of dope is smoked - and as Brett`s anger against the world steadily mounts, the stage is set for something terrible to happen.

We must warn you now that the language in The Boys is frequently very harsh. Rowan Woods' corrosive film version of Gordon Graham`s award-winning play is much more successful than last year's Blackrock - another filmed play - in charting the events leading up to an horrific crime. Stephen Sewell`s screenplay punctuates the claustrophobic suspense with chilling flash-forwards, depicting what will happen to these "boys" - a clever, dramatically effective device.

Sewell and Woods also know exactly how much to show - and what not to show - for maximum dramatic effect. Of a flawless cast, I must single out David Wenham, exceptional as the fearful Brett, and Toni Collette giving her best screen performance to date as Michelle. The Boys is an almost unbearably tense depiction of the events leading up to a crime