7.1/10
11,957
122 user 78 critic

The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 28 June 2002 (USA)
Trailer
2:22 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young man's peculiar upbringing renders him unable to competently cope with the struggle of growing up.

Director: Burr Steers
Stars: Kieran Culkin, Susan Sarandon, Jeff Goldblum
Saved! (2004)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a girl attending a Christian high school becomes pregnant, she finds herself ostracized and demonized, as all of her former friends turn on her.

Director: Brian Dannelly
Stars: Jena Malone, Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin
The Mudge Boy (2003)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Sensitive, somewhat effeminate farm-boy Duncan Mudge can barely cope with grim, since Ma's death even gloomier father Edgar's manly expectations, and seeks comfort in petting a chicken he ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Burke
Stars: Emile Hirsch, Richard Jenkins, Tom Guiry
Lymelife (2008)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A family unit begins to bow under the pressure of a failing marriage.

Director: Derick Martini
Stars: Rory Culkin, Alec Baldwin, Jill Hennessy
Mean Creek (2004)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When a teen is bullied, his brother and friends lure the bully into the woods to seek revenge.

Director: Jacob Aaron Estes
Stars: Rory Culkin, Ryan Kelley, Scott Mechlowicz
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Dede is a sole parent trying to bring up her son Fred. When it is discovered that Fred is a genius, she is determined to ensure that Fred has all the opportunities that he needs, and that ... See full summary »

Director: Jodie Foster
Stars: Jodie Foster, Dianne Wiest, Adam Hann-Byrd
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The Travis family façade is destroyed by an event incomprehensible to them -- an event which will open locked doors and finally reveal the secrets that have haunted them for decades.

Director: Dan Harris
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Jeff Daniels, Emile Hirsch
Catchfire (1990)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A witness to a mob assassination flees for her life from town to town, switching identities, but cannot seem to elude Milo, the chief killer out to get her.

Director: Dennis Hopper
Stars: Dennis Hopper, Jodie Foster, Dean Stockwell
Nell (1994)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In a remote woodland cabin, a small town doctor discovers Nell - a beautiful young hermit woman with many secrets.

Director: Michael Apted
Stars: Jodie Foster, Liam Neeson, Natasha Richardson
Thumbsucker (2005)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Justin throws himself and everyone around him into chaos when he attempts to break free from his addiction to his thumb.

Director: Mike Mills
Stars: Lou Taylor Pucci, Tilda Swinton, Vincent D'Onofrio
American Girl (2002)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A pregnant teenager is determined to leave her trailer park home with the hope of living a happy family life.

Director: Jordan Brady
Stars: Jena Malone, Harmony Blossom, Erik von Detten
Bully (2001)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A pack of naïve teenagers conspire to murder a mutual friend, whose aggressive demeanor has proved too much.

Director: Larry Clark
Stars: Brad Renfro, Nick Stahl, Bijou Phillips
Edit

Cast

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

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

Taglines:

Forgive me father, for I am 14. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 June 2002 (USA)  »

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Chris Fuhrman died of cancer before completing the final draft of the book. The movie is dedicated to him at the beginning of the final credits. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Donnie is fighting Francis, it is clearly visible that it is in fact Francis. But when it zooms in on Donnie punching Francis, it is someone else. This boy has blonde hair instead of black hair. Than as the boy rolls over, you can clearly tell that it is Francis and his hair is back to it's normal color. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Francis Doyle: Tell me again why we're doing this.
Tim: Homework, Francis. Your future's built on it.
Francis Doyle: [whispered] Right.
See more »

Connections

References The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Atomic Trinity
Performed by Joshua Homme (as Josh Homme)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Totally great
18 July 2004 | by (The Penumbra) – See all my reviews

The Dangerous Lives of Alter Boys is kind of like a cross between The Virgin Suicides and Stand By Me. Set in the 70's (featuring many cool 70's haircuts) in small town Georgia, the story focuses on Francis, a 14-year-old dreamer and troublemaker. He and his pals, Tim, Wade, and Joey cope with life under the oppressive rule of one-legged nun Sister Assumpta (Jodie Foster) at the Puritan Christian high school they're unfortunate enough to attend.

One of their methods of escape is the 'The Atomic Trinity' comic book. Each of them have their own character with superpowers (such as The Muscle, Captain Asskicker and Skeleton Boy), battling against the tyrannical regime of Nunzilla/Pegleg (a gross caricature of Sister Assumpta). These fantasy stories make up the terrific animated sequences of the film. The cool thing is that they are not so totally removed from the reality of Francis, Tim, Wade and Joey.

The boys soon find their way into a lot of trouble though. After stealing the school's nun statue mascot the quartet plan to steal a cougar from the zoo and put in Sister Assumpta's office. A mad plan yes, but their determination and invention behind it is very clever.

Some scenes of the film are very emotional, so if you have soft spot you'll find it tough to get through the scene where Tim finds a dying dog by the side of the road or Francis reading a poem at the funeral.

Francis' relationship with Margie (the very cute Jenna Malone) also takes many curious and unique turns. The scene with the ghost watching them sleep was pleasingly weird.

Taken from the one and only book (posthumously) by Chris Fuhrman (a book I must get as soon as I see), The Dangerous Lives of Alter Boys is attractively shot, wonderfully acted and definitely worth getting.

The DVD is in 1.85:1 widescreen (strangely non-anamorphic, though the region 2 version is) with Dolby 5.1 sound and a mild bunch of extras.


36 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Other Mischiefous youth movies Nick02178
Crap??? alexdavina
what does the H stand for? MschiefMayhmSope
'I made him do it and i loved it' erikc05
Homosexuality themes anonymousAnomie
You HAVE to read the book nattyboy420
Discuss The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?