“You want to stop, we stop now. You are only a kid…I understand that, but now its the time to grow up . Its too soon for you, but that is the way it is “

The quote above more or less summarizes the story of  Ginostra. I enjoyed the film, even though it was not original or interesting. Nor did it possess any notable coming of age value – which one would expect after seeing the cover artwork and reading the film description on the DVD cover. Ginostra can be classified as a crime thriller, with elements of drama and suspense.  But fans of either one of these genres may be unpleasantly surprised by the way they are presented in the film. Most of the other reviewers trashed the film on all levels – starting with editing, going through absurd elements of the story plot and unrealistically shot scenes.  I also did not like the slow pace of the film (fell asleep the first night I tried to watch it), yet I would say that I am glad that I gave this film a chance – as it had its good moments and ideas.

First the story… it may remind you of the famous film “ The Client “. Itis about an FBI agent Matt Benson (Harvey Keitel) who is sent to Italy to question and protect the 11-year-old Ettore – a sole survivor from a car bombing, which resulted in the death of his family. The boy is not cooperative at first, but, after realizing that the FBI agent is his ” only chance for revenge”, he decides to help him out.  Of course the Mafia ( Cosa Nostra) is not happy with someone spilling his guts about them and is set to eliminate Ettore at all costs.

Mattia de Martino

The performance of the young Mattia de Martino in the role of Ettore is one of the things that may possibly influence your final decision about the quality of the film. His interactions, both verbal and nonverbal, with the other personages in the film, help the viewer to create some kind of the idea of the personality of the main characters. Sadly, he did not get enough screen time – which would have been a disaster if it was not for Harvey Keitel as the FBI agent, who also delivered an above average acting performance (something in his acting reminded me of the style of Robert de Niro).

Mattia de Martino

The film’s tagline is : “The danger awaits outside. But fear has been installed inside …and in between lies an orphaned child …”.  The film would have been much better, in my opinion, if the director stuck to it. Speaking of him (the film’s director), I think that he could have done a better job in the overall direction of his film.  Some of the dialogue is quite dull.  But at the same time, a lot of information about what happened prior to the moments shown on screen is integrated into that dialogue.

To conclude, I would like to say that I was not completely disappointed by the film and, unlike other reviewers,  I would suggest that you see it and form your own opinion. ( By the way I loved the English accent of the actor – probably because I speak English also with an accent) . Your comments on it are always welcome .

This review would have not been possible without the valuable support of CVMC. I would like to express my gratitude for providing the DVD.


Blogger, cyclist , entrepreneur , music lover and film critic.


  1. There is something about the mood of this film that is appealing. Even though there are holes in the story, the moody atmosphere kept me glued to the screen. I wanted to find out where the story was going. I was rewarded with a cool relationship between Ettore and the family protecting him. This gets a 3-1/2 stars from me….

  2. My understanding was that because the Mafia bosses had headquarters at the USA , in additional to the one they had in Italy the FBI agent was sent in first place. There is something more – in relationship with the personality of the agent himself – but I will let you discover that for yourself. Glad you liked the review.

  3. This movie does seem a bit intriguing even if some parts does not make sense at all. For example, what would an FBI-agent from the USA do in italy to protect an italian boy? Dont they have their own kind of “special agency”?

    Even if it's not a movie i will do everything i can for, just so that i can watch it right now… i will befinitely try to get a hold of it some day :)

    Thanks for the splendid review!


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