7.0/10
12,655
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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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:

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:

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

Emile Hirsch and Jena Malone reunite again in Into the Wild (2007), in which they played as Christopher McCandless and Carine McCandless. See more »

Goofs

A G.I. Joe comic book is seen in Sister Assumpta's drawer of confiscated items, but G.I. Joe comic books did not appear until 1983 (after the film was set). 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 »


Soundtracks

Do It For the Others
Written and Performed by Stephen Stills
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
17 June 2002 | by george.schmidtSee all my reviews

THE DANGEROUS LIVES OF ALTAR BOYS (2002) *** Kieran Culkin, Emile Hirsch, Jena Malone, Jodie Foster, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jake Richards, Tyler Long. Funny and poignant coming of age story centering on two Catholic school adolescents (Culkin and Hirsch both superb) whose penchant for juvenile acts of defiance is only underscored by their innate desire to fit in and be loved while pitted against their arch nemesis, their teacher Sister Assumpta (a dourly cheeky Foster, who also produced the project), a one-legged harridan from Hell. Based on the novel by Chris Fuhrman and written by Jeff Stockwell and Michael Petroni, the film's strengths in storytelling are in its dynamic duo of troublemaking loners and are punched up with a wise peppering of Todd McFarlane's vivid animation depicting the boys' creative flairs as a Greek chorus to the plotline at hand. (Dir: Peter Care)


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