Stolen Summer (2002)

Stolen Summer (2002)



Critic Consensus: Stolen Summer feels like a sugary after-school special stretched out to feature length.

Stolen Summer Photos

Movie Info

Pete (Adi Stein) is an eight-year-old Catholic boy growing up in the suburbs of Chicago in the mid-'70s. Pete attends Catholic school, where as classes let out for the summer, he's admonished by a nun to follow the path of Lord, and not that of the Devil. Perhaps taking this message a bit too seriously, Pete decides it's his goal for the summer to help someone get into heaven; having been told that Catholicism is the only sure path to the kingdom of the Lord, Pete decides to convert a Jew to Catholicism in order to improve their standing in the afterlife. Hoping to find a likely candidate, Pete begins visiting a nearby synagogue, where he gets to know Rabbi Jacobson (Kevin Pollack), who responds to Pete's barrage of questions with good humor. Pete also makes friends with the Rabbi's son, Danny (Michael Weinberg), who is about the same age; when he learns that Danny is seriously ill, he decides Danny would be an excellent choice for conversion. When the priest at Pete's church (Brian Dennehy) informs Pete that all will be tested before they pass the Pearly Gates, he sets up a mini-decathlon and puts Danny in training as he attempts to reshape his spiritual thinking. Pete's parents (Bonnie Hunt and Aidan Quinn) aren't sure just what to make of Pete's new summer project, and as they become aquatinted with Rabbi Jacobson, they share their perspectives on the unexpected trials of parenting. Stolen Summer received more than its share of pre-release publicity; writer/director Pete Jones' script was the winner in a nationwide screenwriting competition sponsored by producers Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, with Miramax Pictures pledging a one-million-dollar budget and a theatrical release to the winning story. As part of the deal, the production of Stolen Summer was documented by a film crew from the premium cable network HBO, who aired a documentary miniseries about the making of the film, Project Greenlight.
PG (for thematic elements and language)
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
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Aidan Quinn
as Joe O'Malley
Bonnie Hunt
as Margaret O'Malley
Adiel Stein
as Pete O'Malley
Kevin Pollak
as Rabbi Jacobsen
Adi Stein
as Pete O'Malley
Brian Dennehy
as Father Kelly
Mike Weinberg
as Danny Jacobsen
Eddie Kaye Thomas
as Patrick o'Malley
Lisa Dodson
as Mrs. Jacobsen
Kristie Kelley
as Mary O'Malley
Ryan Kelley
as Seamus O'Malley
Blake Leverence
as Tommy O'Malley
Lindsay Light
as Katie O'Malley
Will Malnati
as Eddie O'Malley
Peggy Roeder
as Sister Leonora Mary
Etel Billig
as Esther
John Connolly
as Roger O'Malley
Howard Friedland
as Jeffrey Jacobsen
Frank Fowle
as Bobby
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News & Interviews for Stolen Summer

Critic Reviews for Stolen Summer

All Critics (58) | Top Critics (23)

A period story about a Catholic boy who tries to help a Jewish friend get into heaven by sending the audience straight to hell.

Full Review… | September 23, 2002
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Nearly all the fundamentals you take for granted in most films are mishandled here.

Full Review… | June 27, 2002
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

The kids often appear to be reading the lines and are incapable of conveying any emotion.

Full Review… | May 31, 2002
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Even when his technique is amateurish, Jones' belief in the material is refreshing.

May 16, 2002
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

The performances take the movie to a higher level.

May 10, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

The problem, amazingly enough, is the screenplay.

Full Review… | May 3, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Stolen Summer

As a theologian, I had some issues with it. Aside from those, it was a very sweet film, and an impressive debut, both for Pete Jones, and for Project Greenlight.

Taylor Brown
Taylor Brown

This movie demonstrates the innocence I think God intends us all to view Him with but have forgotten how to do. I am Spiritual without being religious and this movie shows it takes that "faith" of doing good more so than following traditions to get to Heaven. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhist or any faith cannot say they have it "right" .... they each just have faith in what they have been taught. It takes eyes like a child sometimes to see through the BS religion has fed us. This movie is not preachy, but should give many (like me) something to think about. Sweet story! Plus I was 9 in 1976, so I loved seeing the kids on banana seat bikes!! I see a lot of me in the character Pete (but I was not raised Catholic)! lol

Thomas Johnston
Thomas Johnston

Super Reviewer


Very sweet and endearing...

Leigh Ryan
Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer

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