Rolling Stone - 10/03/1991
"...Sean Penn shows a sure hand with actors and a knack for setting up a scene visually and dramatically..."
Sight and Sound - 01/01/1992
"...Semi-improvised, soul-searching conversations, punctuated with atmospheric footage....Moments of haunting intimacy..."
Los Angeles Times - 09/20/1991
"...As a writer-director, one of Penn's strengths is the ability to create a coherent world, visually and psychologically....Penn is surprisingly focused as a director..."
Inspired by the song "Highway Patrolman" by rock legend Bruce Springsteen, this is a provocative story about two brothers in 1968. One is a cop with a family, the other lives his life breaking the laws. A story that enriches the senses and touches the heart.
In 1960s Nebraska, Joe returns from the Vietnam War embittered and emotionally estranged from his family. His older brother Frank, a cop and all-around upstanding citizen, tries to re-establish their once-close relationship. But, despite his brother's efforts, Joe drifts ever deeper into self-destructive and criminal behavior.