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The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
Actors: Kieran Culkin, Jena Malone, Emile Hirsch, Vincent D'onofrio, Jake Richardson
Director: Peter Care
Genres: Comedy, Drama
R     2002     1hr 44min

A group of Catholic school boys plot a series of pranks that they visualize in an obscene comic that they create. Genre: Feature Film-Drama Rating: R Release Date: 1-APR-2003 Media Type: DVD

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Movie Details

Actors: Kieran Culkin, Jena Malone, Emile Hirsch, Vincent D'onofrio, Jake Richardson
Director: Peter Care
Creators: Bob Stephenson, Cheryl La Sasso, Chrisanne Mitchell, David A. Jones, Chris Fuhrman, Jeff Stockwell, Michael Petroni
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Love & Romance
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 11/05/2002
Original Release Date: 01/01/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2002
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 44min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Special Edition
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish

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Member Movie Reviews

Callie K. (ballofglitter) from GRAND ISLAND, NE
Reviewed on 8/15/2014...
This is a cute movie about altar boys being rebels. It's pretty funny too and the end is really sad. The only thing I didn't care for was a lot through out the movie they have whole scenes of the boys as comic book characters like day dreamer. Once in awhile wouldn't have bothered me but constantly kind of annoyed me.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Imaginative blend of live action and animation
Michael J. Mazza | Pittsburgh, PA USA | 07/02/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

""The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys," directed by Peter Care, tells the story of a quartet of Catholic school boys who are engaged in a protracted war against their stern teacher, Sister Assumpta (played by Jodie Foster, who also has a producing credit on the film). One of the boys, Francis (Emile Hirsch) is the primary creator of the boys' alter egos, a group of comic book superheroes. These outcast mutant heroes are brought to life in a series of energetic animated sequences that effectively parallel the main story.The film features solid performances by an excellent cast. Hirsch holds the film together in what is effectively the lead role. As Francis' best friend, Kieran Culkin brings depth to what could have been a stereotypical prankster role. Vincent D'Onofrio gives a nicely understated performance as a nicotine-craving, soccer coaching priest. Jodie Foster has some good moments, but I found her pivotal character to be disappointingly underdeveloped; this lack of insight into Assumpta hurts the symmetry of the film."Dangerous Lives" is an effective mix of humor and adolescent angst, with some really tender and moving moments. Unfortunately, I found the boys' main prank of the film to be just too moronic and unbelievable, and the film seems to lose cohesion towards the end. Still, I can't help but love a film in which the poetry and artwork of William Blake is a key motif."
See it, not just for Jodie Foster
Anna Otto | Seattle, WA United States | 06/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I saw this movie recently at the Seattle International Film Festival. I admit, out of all the choices, I picked this movie because Jodie was in it, in an unusual role - Assumpta, a nun, teaching in a school. And she was great, even though she had to fill the shoes of someone with seemingly little warmth and a peg leg to boot. She is also one of the producers.But truly, the reasons to see this movie are far more diverse...
The script is touching, funny, and dark - adapted from the debut novel of the late Chris Fuhrman.The protagonists here are the teenage boys, Francis and Tim, who live in a world of their own construction. They're comic book heroes, the nun is a super-villain, and Margie, the girl that Francis is interested in serves as a damsel in distress... Todd MacFarlane, the comic-book genius, created the animated sequences in which the stories spun by the boys come to life. The problems, of course, start when the real world's demands interfere with the fiction. Francis' first love is the first sign of coming-of-age that may tear him apart from the trouble-free (in the adult sense of the word) life. The secret that Margie later reveals is another blow, adding to his confusion. It's hard not to grow apart from his friends in the process.
Tim grows visibly fearful that he may lose his friend, and involves him in the increasingly envelope-pushing, dangerous stunts against their shared enemy, Sister Assumpta. And Francis, probably as unwilling to face the responsibilities and dangers of the real life, goes along with Tim, only to regret it later.It is a testament to the power of the movie that when the credits rolled and "In Memory of Chris Fuhrman" were the first words, the audience gasped in disappointment, as one. Such good novels as the one this movie is based on are hard to come by, and it's a tragedy to lose this wonderful writer. I suppose this review is a recommendation to read the book as well as see the movie."
Very entertaining
K. Gittins | CA USA | 08/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I'm not Catholic nor a teen, but I found this movie very interesting and entertaining. The interaction between all the kids was pretty real and the dialog did not seem juvenile.
Although not normally a fan of animation, that portion worked OK in this movie because it was the outward expression of the kids' imagination.

Of the 7 primary actors, Jodie Foster had the weakest character as "nunzilla". Perhaps it was just the nature of the character. Vincent D'Onofrio was entertaining as the smoking, swearing priest (and apparently in the book he was a womanizer, too.) The 4 boys were all pretty good, but Jena Malone probably had the toughest role as the girl with a secret, and she was very good.

The whole cougar plot-point was a bit much, and the dog scene came from nowhere, but the rest was very satisfying.

The extras on the DVD were good, too.

P.S. Originally I could not get this DVD to play in "widescreen". Sony said it was a known encoding problem and to change the DVD player setup for TV to "normal letterbox" instead of "normal pan/scan". Worked like a charm.