Like many people I would have written Shia LaBeouf off as a young novelty act, a movie of the week at best. Then I saw A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints, and ate every single word. In a Bronx Tale meets Do The Right Thing type of film, LaBeouf explodes on screen like a ticking time bomb ready to burst at any second. Based on the true story of writer and first time director Dito Montiel, this coming of age drama is about a young Dito (LaBeouf) looking to find more in his life growing up in Astoria, Queens in the late 80's. He and his rag tag group of friends are always getting themselves in trouble and he wants out. Told in a non-linear fashion and flashing back between present and past. Dito recounts his whole life as an adult (played by Robert Downey Jr.) and as a young man. Along Dito's life journey he meets his so-called saints that lead him to the person he becomes. It is a heartfelt yet brutal story that capture the attention of its audience right away. It is a performance laced film packed with many surprising displays of acting not just by Shia, but also Channing Tatum, Diane West, and Anthony DeSando. The film not only stars the legendary Chazz Palmentari, but he even tackled on the role of Producer, along side Sting and his wife. A film done on a shoe string budget that it was rumored Palmentari didn't pick up a pay check for it, shows that CGI and lots of names and cash do not always make a good film. A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints should not be missed.