7.0/10
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119 user 78 critic

The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002)

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

On Disc

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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:

Peter Care

Writers:

Chris Fuhrman (book), Jeff Stockwell (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 wins. See more awards »

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Director: Brian Dannelly
Stars: Jena Malone, Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Emile Hirsch ... Francis Doyle
Kieran Culkin ... Tim Sullivan
Vincent D'Onofrio ... Father Casey
Jena Malone ... Margie Flynn
Jake Richardson ... Wade Scalisi
Tyler Long Tyler Long ... Joey Anderson
Jodie Foster ... Sister Assumpta
Arthur Bridgers ... Donny Flynn (as Arthur Bridges)
Scott Simpson ... Newsie
Melissa McBride ... Mrs. Doyle
Michael Harding ... Mr. Doyle (as Mike Harding)
Chandler McIntyre Chandler McIntyre ... Naturalist
Jeffrey West Jeffrey West ... Professor Sullivan
Yvonne Erickson ... Mrs. Sullivan
Nicky Olson 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

Taglines:

One of the most inventive, funny coming-of-age films in years! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 June 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Innocent Boys See more »

Filming Locations:

South Carolina, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$55,000, 16 June 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,779,284, 10 November 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

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

[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 »

Alternate Versions

The DVD deleted scenes include the following:
  • An extended scene of Sister Assumpta and Father Casey erasing things from the school's books while the boys dangle the statue outside.
  • The scene where the newsie gives Francis and Tim the angel dust is longer. The original scene ends with the newsie smoking the pot and saying "Tastes like one, too." The new addition to the scene shows Francis and Tim actually taking the drug and we see the newsie's wife come out and try some too. The aftermath of their drug use is slightly longer (the spinning trees).
  • Tim tells Francis angel dust is animal tranquilizer. Francis asks Tim why angel dust isn't called animal tranquilizer to which Tim responds, "They probably wanted people to try it. That's why they call them sisters and not permanent virgins."
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 2003 IFP Independent Spirit Awards (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

On The Road Again
Written by Alan Wilson and Floyd Jones
Performed by Canned Heat
Courtesy of EMI Records
Under license from EMI-Capitol Special Music Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another entertaining look into the eyes of children
14 November 2010 | by SeptumSinSee all my reviews

Well now we have a film that tends to capture some of the child's mind qualities of "stand by me" mixed creatively with some creative cinematic and an interesting plot line.

The story follows four friends going to a catholic school and getting together causing trouble drawing comics and otherwise being boys. The main story starts when Jenna Malone's character comes in and turns some of the relationships on their heads. There is a lot to be said about the dynamics of growing up and coming to terms with life.

This story is quite dark and goes through a different line than many movies of it's type and therefore is not quite as viewer friendly as stand by me. The ending may also be debatable but I will let you as the viewer decide.

The story cuts into animated scenes to illustrate the imagination of the main character and does a fair job conveying the emotions and relationships throughout the plot. These scenes are of course brought to you by Todd McFarlane himself and again isn't exactly child friendly.

In the end this is a movie for adults but does a good job moving the message it goes about trying to convey. It is creative and draws you in. The plot is a bit dark and it does have some issues that may not sit with many viewers. All in all I believe this is a good film.


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