• R, 1 hr. 45 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Peter Care
    In Theaters:
    Jun 14, 2002 Wide
    On DVD:
    Nov 5, 2002
  • ThinkFilm

Opening

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The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys Reviews

Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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August 9, 2002
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
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Although McFarlane's sequences are inventive, the rest of the film moves languidly.

June 28, 2002
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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I thought the young actors were strong, but the material is too thin and too cliched, even with Todd McFarlane's animated sequences to stretch the story to feature length.

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

June 25, 2002
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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It's not serious enough to be profound, and not ribald enough to be giddy.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

June 25, 2002
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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While there are times when the film's reach exceeds its grasp, the production works more often than it doesn't.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

June 24, 2002

Houston Chronicle
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June 22, 2002
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
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Steers refreshingly clear of the usual cliches.

| Original Score: 4.5/5

June 21, 2002
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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Sharp, lively, funny and ultimately sobering film.

| Original Score: 4/5

June 21, 2002
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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A charming reminder of the combustible mix of puberty and authority in the lives of 14-year-olds.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/5

June 21, 2002
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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If Dangerous Lives errs, it's in trying to do too much in 105 minutes.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

June 21, 2002
Carla Meyer
San Francisco Chronicle
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Foster and newcomer Hirsch are the best things in Dangerous Lives, a touching but odd mix of live action and animation.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

June 21, 2002
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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A fine, inventive '70s period piece about friendship, first love, and growing up to face the hard lessons of life.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

June 21, 2002
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
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Although fairly involving as far as it goes, the film doesn't end up having much that is fresh to say about growing up Catholic or, really, anything.

| Original Score: 3/5

June 21, 2002
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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A soggy coming-of-age drama, one loaded with a single fresh conceit and plenty of tired, wheezing ones.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 2/4

June 21, 2002
Susan Stark
Detroit News
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A flawed but fascinating piece.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: 2/4

June 21, 2002
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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[An] engrossing and imaginative coming-of-age film.

| Original Score: 3/4

June 21, 2002
Steven Rosen
Denver Post
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Recalls The Virgin Suicides, Ghost World and Waking Life. If it's not as good as those, it isn't for lack of heart or ambition.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3/4

June 21, 2002
Paul Tatara
CNN.com
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For a movie that's so full of anger and confusion, there sure aren't many memorable clashes, aside from the ones that take place in the kids' imaginations.

Full Review Source: CNN.com

June 21, 2002
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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Built for nothing but the laziest Saturday afternoons, Altar Boys is zipless enough to seem to receive its narrative rhythms and emotional energy intravenously.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2.5/4

June 21, 2002
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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No, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys does not exist in a state of perfect grace. However, its sins are forgivably venial, because its virtues are palpably human.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2.5/4

June 21, 2002
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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It tries too hard, and overreaches the logic of its own world.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

June 21, 2002
Jane Sumner
Dallas Morning News
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A depiction of the growing-up trip, this is an original, no-bull effort.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B-

June 20, 2002
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
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The film takes us into the secret world of teenage boys as if first-time director Peter Care had been issued a special password.

Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News | Original Score: 3/4

June 20, 2002
Robert K. Elder
Chicago Tribune
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Care deftly captures the wonder and menace of growing up, but he never really embraces the joy of Fuhrman's destructive escapism or the grace-in-rebellion found by his characters.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

June 20, 2002
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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A sensitive and originally executed film.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3/4

June 14, 2002
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
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Undone by simply trying too hard.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

June 14, 2002
Chuck Wilson
L.A. Weekly
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Director Peter Care and screenwriters Jeff Stockwell and Michael Petroni have retained much of the wry, teen-wise dialogue from the late Chris Fuhrman's cult-hit novel, while giving his story arc a fuller, more rounded shape.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

June 14, 2002
Megan Turner
New York Post
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A quietly comic little gem.

| Original Score: 3/4

June 14, 2002
Stephen Holden
New York Times
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This bracingly truthful antidote to Hollywood teenage movies that slather Clearasil over the blemishes of youth captures the combustible mixture of a chafing inner loneliness and desperate grandiosity that tend to characterize puberty.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 4/5

June 13, 2002
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
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There's a streak of prankishness in the boys that goes pretty far, yet so rich and engaging is this film and its people that we never lose sympathy for them.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

June 13, 2002
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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An overstuffed compendium of teen-Catholic-movie dogma.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: C+

June 13, 2002
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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The gentle comic treatment of adolescent sturm und drang should please fans of Chris Fuhrman's posthumously published cult novel.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

June 11, 2002
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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First-time director Peter Care crafts something darkly funny and touching.

| Original Score: 4/5

June 5, 2002
Duane Byrge
Hollywood Reporter
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An uneven mix of dark satire and childhood awakening.

April 8, 2002
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