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The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002)

Cast: Kieran Culkin, Kieran Culkin, Jena Malone, more...
Director: Peter Care, Peter Care
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Columbia TriStar
Genre: Drama, Independent, Costume Drama/Period Piece, Coming of Age
Running Time: 105 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish
    see additional details...

The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys brings Chris Fuhrman's well-received, posthumously published teen novel to the screen. Set in the 1970s, the film concerns two rebellious Catholic schoolboys -- bashful, pensive Francis (Emile Hirsch) and whip-smart, impulsive Tim (Kieran Culkin) -- who spend their free time pulling elaborate pranks and creating a comic book featuring themselves and their friends, Wade (Jake Richardson) and Joey (Tyler Long), as superheroes. Their alter egos are brought to life in animated sequences by Spawn creator Todd McFarlane. Their grim, strict, one-legged teacher, Sister Assumpta (Jodie Foster), is drawn as a motorcycle-riding supervillain. Vincent D'Onofrio plays the more easygoing Father Casey. Egged on by Tim, Francis admits that he has a crush on Margie Flynn (Jena Malone). Tim encourages Francis to pursue Margie, at one point even sending her a mash note and signing his friend's name. Francis and Margie eventually begin seeing each other. But when Margie reveals a terrible, painful secret to Francis, it sets off a chain of events that leads to tragedy. The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys marks the feature debut of director Peter Care. It was screened at several festivals, including the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. The film sparked a small controversy at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, where it was rejected, allegedly in retaliation for producer Foster's decision to forego heading up the fest's jury in order to replace Nicole Kidman in Panic Room. ~ Josh Ralske, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Cat got your tongue? by ABrooks August 12, 2004 - 11:15 AM PDT
4 out of 5 members found this review helpful
Ok...The title of my review will make sense after you watch this movie.
I really liked it. Jodie Foster was supurb as a nasty nun with some seemingly un-tapped sexual desires. This is a very well done teen boy becomes a man movie.What makes this stand out is the boys have talent and desires that go beyond just s-e-x. Which is where most of these "types" of movies get stuck. I really felt for the boys, and the Jena Malone character.
Of course the comic book animation scenes were great fun and added depth to the boys characters.

Dangerous lives of altar boys by LGrove May 17, 2004 - 3:09 PM PDT
1 out of 5 members found this review helpful
I liked the movie pretty well, but the cross props for a Catholic movie subject having Protestant crosses was rather humourous. I believe an Episcopal church was used and that could account for the crosses. Only those of us that grew up the Army and saw both crosses in the sacristy probably caught the inconsistency.

overated if you thought it was underated... by HKim December 24, 2003 - 10:59 AM PST
4 out of 6 members found this review helpful
uninteresting cast- flat characters- and the plot was illogical- maybe because I'm not a 15 year teenage boy their schemes seemed over the top and unbelievable. that makes me lose interest in a movie- when you really just dont care if the characters suceed or not. however the format of the movie- where it cuts from animation to live action was neat - though it didnt make the movie more interesting.

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GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.68)
184 Votes
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Indie Spirit Awards: Best First Feature
Winners of the Independent Spirits annual Award for Best First Feature Film. (Notice quite a few former screenwriters making their directorial debut.) Fun mix,
morpheme's favorites
in my opinion

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