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The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  17 May 2002 (Germany)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 11,176 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 121 user | 78 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

A group of Catholic school friends, after being caught drawing an obscene comic book, plan a heist that will outdo their previous prank and make them local legends.

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(book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Tyler Long ...
Joey Anderson
...
Arthur Bridgers ...
Donny Flynn (as Arthur Bridges)
Scott Simpson ...
Newsie
...
Mrs. Doyle
...
Mr. Doyle (as Mike Harding)
...
Naturalist
Jeffrey West ...
Professor Sullivan
...
Mrs. Sullivan
Nicky Olson ...
Colin Gibbney
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Storyline

In mid-1970s Savannah, two bright but rebellious boys, Francis Doyle and Tim Sullivan, fight boredom, hormones and harsh teachers as they struggle to find something meaningful beyond the walls of their parish school. Francis, an exceptional artist whose imaginative forays into a fictional universe of good and evil fill his notebooks with comic-book imagery, creates a netherworld of superhero alter egos for the two boys. When the ultra-strict Sister Assumpta seizes their artwork one day, the boys embark upon an obsessed trail of revenge that ultimately changes their lives. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boy | comic book | catholic | friend | book | See more »

Taglines:

Trouble is Their Only Defense Against Boredom See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexual content and youth substance use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 May 2002 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Innocent Boys  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$55,000 (USA) (14 June 2002)

Gross:

$1,779,284 (USA) (8 November 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The final shot in the scene where the boys find an injured dog was actually just footage shot of the actors "resetting" after a blown take. It was kept in since it so clearly shows their fatigue and frustration. See more »

Goofs

When Francis is purchasing a comic book at the magazine stand, several comics on the rack (The Punisher, Namor, Nocturne & Quasar) are from the 1990s although the film is set in the 1970s. See more »

Quotes

Tim: Serious trouble beats serious boredom.
See more »

Connections

Spoofs Kung Fu (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

The Atomic Trinity v.s. The Hell's Devil's
Performed by Joshua Homme (as Josh Homme)
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User Reviews

 
Average
22 March 2003 | by (Boulder, Colorado) – See all my reviews

While the novel by the late Chris Fuhrman is one of my top-ten all-time faves, this movie, produced by Jodie Foster's late Egg Pictures was only average. The casting was uneven, especially in casting Foster herself in the role of the villian. Having played too many protagonists or victim/heroes to ever be believable as an antagonist, this fact really pulled me out of the story each time Foster appeared. I couldn't quite reconcile seeing her in a nun's wimple, and playing a stereotypical "bad nun."

On the other hand, the casting of Emile Hirsch as Francis, Kieran Culkin as his best friend Tim, and the unrecognizable Vincent D'Onofrio as Father Casey was brilliant.

The interspersed segments of animation were disruptive rather than helpful to the story, and the plot itself seemed to meander too much without ever coming to a conclusive whole. While I admire that this novel was made into a film, it could've been done much, much better. Some books are better left as books.


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