Steel City | Chicago Reader

Steel City

Set in a decaying industrial town in downstate Illinois, writer-director Brian Jun's gritty first feature is a heartfelt portrait of a fractured working-class family. Tom Guiry, intermittently defiant and vulnerable, stars as PJ, the youngest son of a man incarcerated for vehicular manslaughter (John Heard, in a nicely shaded performance); his older, factory-worker brother is shirking his family responsibilities and seems headed down the same path as their father. PJ sees how self-destructive they are but isn't sure how to avoid making the same mistakes. Jun, a downstate native, has an ear for plainspoken dialogue and neither glamorizes nor patronizes his characters. With Raymond J. Barry, Clayne Crawford, and America Ferrera. 95 min.

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