10th and Wolf (2006) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

10th and Wolf is a mob drama, and a pretty good one. The direction from first-time helmsman Bobby Moresco is solid, and it features some good performances from the leads, some strong performers (Brian Dennehy and Leslie Ann Warren) in minor roles, and some bigger names (Val Kilmer, Dennis Hopper) in cameos. Moresco also worked on the script, and he is an Oscar-winning scenarist.

So why did it basically end up as a straight-to-vid? (It played in six theaters, grossing a grand total of $54.000.)

Originality problems.

It's basically just a longer episode of the Sopranos, except with unfamiliar characters. If you watch that show, you've already seen this story played out with a different cast in a different city. This film brings not a single fresh idea to the table. Local mobsters try to avoid being muscled out by the Sicilians; the two parties have a history of bad blood; one of the local guys is actually helping the Feds bring down the Sicilians in return for freedom or leniency for his brother and cousin. The usual exercise in badabingitude.

The DVD box says that the story is inspired by a true story from Joe Pistone, the FBI agent famous as "Donnie Brasco." If that's true, Joe must be like my Uncle Joe Beck. Joe would show up for all the holiday family gatherings, have a few brewskis, and then tell the same old stories again and again as if nobody had ever heard them before. They were always about things that he and my dad had done as kids, some decades earlier. The details were always a little different. He would change the location of the story from Buffalo to Syracuse, or he would add some colorful minor characters, but everyone knew that he was telling the some story. After all, how many times do guys walk home sixty miles from a night club? It's not like that was a regular occurrence. Nobody in the family ever questioned the fact that the details of the story had changed since last Thanksgiving's version because Joe was a nice guy and not the brightest bulb of the tree. I mean his lights were flashin' and the gate was down, but no train was ever gonna come. He was one of those guys so pathetically dumb that others feel protective toward them. The rest of the family would even allow him to win at penny-ante card games once in a while. You didn't question his stories because questions would only get him flustered. I figure that Joe Pistone must be the Joe Beck of his family, not in the intellectual sense, but because all of his stories seem to be basically the same, with a few colorful details changed here and there. If you've seen the movie named after Donnie Brasco, you can safely take a pass on this one. It's the same kind of story with a little Uncle Joe Beck tinkering here and there.

On the other hand, if you have not seen many mob movies or TV shows, or if you just can't get enough of this genre, or if you are a visitor recently sent from outer space to study our quaint earthling ways, this may seem like quite a good movie to you because all of its parts are totally satisfactory. 10th and Wolf has quite respectable scores at IMDb and Yahoo, 6.4 and B-, respectively. Originality, after all, is only valid currency among those who are familiar with the earlier works.

There are two other reasons why you might enjoy this film more than the critics did:

  • It will be of special interest to you if you live in or are interested in Pittsburgh, because not that many films are shot entirely in Steel Town, and you may enjoy seeing some familiar haunts.
  • If you want to find out whether I'm right about the stories, Joe "Donnie Brasco" Pistone actually joins the director for the commentary track on this DVD!


  • Filmmaker Commentary featuring Academy Award Winner Bobby Moresco and FBI Agent Joe Pistone, aka "Donnie Brasco"
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Trailer Gallery


All of the nudity, breasts and thonged buns, comes from unidentified strippers

Lesley Ann Warren shows a great deal of cleavage

The Critics Vote ...

  • It was reviewed by Variety and the New York papers. The links can be found at the IMDb page.


The People Vote ...

  • Box Office Mojo. It was budgeted at $8 million for production. It was nearly a straight-to-DVD, except that it was shown in six theaters and grossed $54,000
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this film is a C. A good, workmanlike movie, just too familiar.

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