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The Battle of Shaker Heights (2003)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance, Comedy | 22 August 2003 (USA)
1:20 | Trailer

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2 high school guys, reenacting historic battles, use the learned strategy and team for war on a school bully. One falls for the other's sister/A.Smart.


Erica Beeney





Cast overview, first billed only:
Shia LaBeouf ... Kelly Ernswiler (as Shia La Beouf)
Elden Henson ... Bart Bowland
Amy Smart ... Tabby
Billy Kay ... Lance
Kathleen Quinlan ... Eve
Shiri Appleby ... Sarah
William Sadler ... Abe
Ray Wise ... Harrison
Philipp Karner ... Maurice / German Soldier
Anson Mount ... Miner Weber
Dale R. Simonton Dale R. Simonton ... Todd / German Soldier (as Dale Simonton)
Michael McShane ... Mr. Norway
Hattie Winston ... Principal Holmstead
Rick Cramer ... German Officer / Mr. Thomas
France Nuyen ... Xiou-Xiou Ling


A young war reenactor makes a friend on the battlefield who helps him use strategy to take on his high school enemy. Driven by newfound confidence, he seduces the friend's fetching older sister and risks the friendship. Reality intervenes when the illness of his ex-addict father forces the anger his irony masks to the surface and he has to decide if staying in a fantasy world is worth the consequences. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The revolution will not be televised! See more »


Drama | Romance | Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and some drug references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Miramax [United States]




English | German

Release Date:

22 August 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Batalha de Shaker Heights See more »


Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$47,693, 24 August 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$279,282, 14 September 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

LivePlanet, Miramax See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Christopher McDonald was originally cast in the role of Abe, but the role was recast (due to a scheduling conflict) and given to William Sadler the day before Abe's first scene was to be shot. McDonald was shown on Project Greenlight (2001) coming to the set for a wardrobe fitting mere hours before he was replaced. See more »


The position of the lawnmower on the lawn in subsequent shots at the end of the movie. See more »


[first lines]
Maurice: [in German] I have to take a leak.
Kelly: [holding a knife to his neck from behind] Ssh.
See more »


Referenced in Caught on Camera: Viral Videos: Fact or Fiction? (2012) See more »


Written by Matthew Pond
Performed by Matt Pond PA
Courtesy of Polyvinyl Records
See more »

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User Reviews

A losing "Battle"
26 August 2003 | by george.schmidtSee all my reviews

THE BATTLE OF SHAKER HEIGHTS (2003) ** Shia LaBeouf, Amy Smart, Elden Henson, Kathleen Quinlan, William Sadler, Shiri Appleby, Ray Wise, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson. Sophomoric entry (in more ways than one) of the Project Greenlight experiment continues its ill-advised decision to make another predictable coming-of-age dramedy this time with LaBeouf (a combination of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond and Mark Linn-Baker) as a twerpy, sarcastic Ohio teen whose only outlet of creativity inexplicably is as a WWII recreation participant who faces his daily battles in high school by his wits while harboring resentment towards his well-meaning, yet flaky and damaged (i.e. mom's a latent hippie; dad a recovering druggie cum charity worker) folks. When he is befriended by a preppie (a seemingly miscast Henson who eerily resemble a cross between an adolescent JFK and Alan Hale) he meets his sister (the sadly underused hottie Smart) whose impending nuptials further adds insult to injury. The film suffers in many plot holes, a too-cutesy-Aren't-I-Witty main character, strange choices (Wise as the father of Smart and Henson is a collector of odd-ball items to the point he includes a nicknamed nick knack on their answering machine???!!!) and a shockingly short running time that begs to question where is the meat of the so-called 'incredible' script by Erica Beeney that scored the win in the contest and the lugubrious directorial debut by the not-so-dynamic duo of Efram Potelle and Kyle Rankin (where is the drama?!) LaBeouf manages (barely) to make the rather annoying faux intellectualistic Salingeresque protagonist a few moments of humor and his puberty blues underlie some of his bankrupt rebellion. What's lost in translation is clearly a lack of communication by all involved. A real shame for something that apparently had a slim change of being worthwhile (if you can go by the HBO series).

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