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Secondhand Lions (2003)



Average Rating: 5.2/10
Critic Reviews: 34
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 22

A wholesome but schmaltzy movie.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 64,901

My Rating

Movie Info

In this family-friendly comedy drama, Walter (Haley Joel Osment) is a shy and bookish boy just short of his teens whose mother impulsively decides to leave him for the summer with his eccentric grand-uncles, Hub (Robert Duvall) and Garth (Michael Caine). Walter isn't especially happy about being left in the middle of Texas with two old men, while Hub and Garth aren't too pleased to be stuck minding a boy, especially one who isn't accustomed to hunting, fishing, or firearms. When Walter starts


Drama, Kids & Family, Comedy

Tim McCanlies

Feb 3, 2004


New Line Cinema - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (143) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (79) | Rotten (54) | DVD (26)

... Michael Caine is badly miscast in this movie. I didn't believe him for one second in that role.

September 22, 2003 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Of little interest to anyone except those who thought Air Bud was too smutty.

September 19, 2003
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's pretty appalling, and it's boring.

September 19, 2003 | Comment (1)
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Secondhand Lions manages to squander the services of seasoned vets Michael Caine and Robert Duvall, and promising newcomer Haley Joel Osment, with a tale that is dramatically false and disturbingly vicious.

September 19, 2003 Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Comment (1)
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Secondhand Lions is a movie you want to believe in -- original ideas, acclaimed actors -- but McCanlies uses too many broad strokes when subtlety and finesse would have had greater impact.

September 19, 2003
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[A] schmaltz fest.

September 19, 2003 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Charming family movie for tweens and up.

December 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

...may wander near and far, mixing down-home hokum with gushy sentiment, yet it generally succeeds in winning us over.

November 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Duval and Caine make the film watchable, but there's too much gunplay for the movie to truly be the child-friendly entertainment that it pretends.

June 13, 2009 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

Lions will appeal to a more mature audience because of the solid acting duo of Caine and Duvall. It will also appeal to children because of its almost mythological feel.

October 11, 2006
Christianity Today

[Most family films] aim too low, so perhaps there should be hearty applause for one that tries to do too much good in its small space of time.

December 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Looking Closer
Looking Closer

My only reservation about Caine is his less than credible Texas accent, especially since his brother's is so pronounced.

October 15, 2004 Full Review
Kansas City Kansan

To see Osment react to a door closing is akin to watching someone get defibrillated.

March 26, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central | Comments (2)
Film Freak Central

An unpretentiously sweet home-is-where-the-heart-is fantasy.

February 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

[T]he real lesson here may be for Haley Joel Osment, who could well have Dickie Roberts II in his future.

January 1, 2004 Full Review

This film may be all over the map, but at least it takes viewers to some interesting places.

November 10, 2003
Creative Loafing

Schmaltzed up, dumbed down, bombastically-scored family drama of touchy-feely life lessons.

October 28, 2003 Full Review Source:

'There is something to be said for reminding audiences of simple truths found amidst complex circumstances. But here, the film becomes a series of hokey contrivances and the simple truth it illustrates is so reductive it is almost insulting.'

October 22, 2003 Full Review
Star Newspapers (Chicago, IL)

With Caine and Duvall two kings of the acting jungle in top form; more proof why good casting directors are worth their weight in black gold.

October 12, 2003 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

This is what family films are supposed to be like.

October 5, 2003

Effectively proves that senior citizens are not dull--provided that they'd spent time in the French Foreign Legion and rescued princesses.

October 5, 2003 Full Review Source: Compuserve

Warm and a little syrupy like old school films.

October 3, 2003 Full Review Source: Hollywood Report Card
Hollywood Report Card

There is no shortage of ham-fisted metaphors, no paucity of windy speeches, no lack of moments that tug at the heart like a newborn clumsily grabbing for its mother.

October 2, 2003 Full Review Source: Dallas Observer
Dallas Observer

A wholly unique family film that can moisten your eyes even while it quickens your pulse.

October 1, 2003 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Because it never quite reaches its enormous potential, Secondhand Lions feels like a disappointment even though there's much to praise.

September 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Nitrate Online
Nitrate Online

Filled with so many moments of eccentricity that I wasn't sure whether I was supposed to take it all seriously or just laugh. Is the movie a heartwarming coming-of-age film or a parody of one?

September 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat
Aisle Seat

Audience Reviews for Secondhand Lions

The starting looked like it was going to be hella boring but surprisingly, it wasn't. It was one of those movies that gets interesting in every minute. Really good movie. Recommend everyone to watch.
August 28, 2011
Dead Angel

Super Reviewer

Secondhand Lions tries too hard to appeal to a family friendly crowd, and because of it it loses much of its bite. But when it lets go of its reins it can really turn into something magical.
April 28, 2011

Super Reviewer

Although it might strike some viewers as bland, it is actually a beautiful, clever movie with a strong story line.
April 22, 2010
Jason Lalljee
Jason Lalljee

Super Reviewer

Better than expected. Haley Joel Osment is a little goofy at times, but some of the moments with Michael Caine and Robert Duvall are pretty funny.
April 3, 2010

Super Reviewer

    1. Hub McCaan: If you need somethin', you'd best find it yourself, or even better, learn to do without.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (15 months ago)
    1. Hub McCaan: If you need something, you'd best find it yourself, or even better, learn to do without.
    – Submitted by Peter G (19 months ago)
    1. Hub McCaan: Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! No, wait, that was The Apostle.
    – Submitted by Jesse K (23 months ago)
    1. Walter: I'm going to go inside and watch television.
    2. Garth McCaan: Ain't got one.
    3. Walter: No television?
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (2 years ago)
View all quotes (4)

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