The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27

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  1. MichaelF.
    Jun 18, 2002
    6
    It's not a BAD film and nor is it a great one. Jodie was good as usual, but didn't have enough scenes. D'Onfrio had basically a nothing role, which could've been a funny and larger role. Culkin just got me angry, he just over did the role a bit. Hirsch was great. Malone was great, as usual. The movie kept on adding on these new plot points which they introduce and then It's not a BAD film and nor is it a great one. Jodie was good as usual, but didn't have enough scenes. D'Onfrio had basically a nothing role, which could've been a funny and larger role. Culkin just got me angry, he just over did the role a bit. Hirsch was great. Malone was great, as usual. The movie kept on adding on these new plot points which they introduce and then never finish and totally forget about. It seemed like this script needed to have a couple of more drafts. The animated sequences were cool. It was funny, just not funny enough. It's no LIE nor is it a STAND BY ME. I REALLY liked some parts, the sensuality was very very.... sensual and nicely done. So much of the stuff that they had in the movie was just not important and just wasted time. The comic was rarely discussed. And, of course, like in EVERY coming of age film, the kids smoked and drank. In STAND BY ME the smoking and drinking was realistically used because these kids had problems and LIE it was definatley appropriate. These were kids who had SOME trouble but not that much. And if the movie wants us to root against Jodie then you have to make her do unreasonable things, she was TOTALLY reasonable and these kids were little bastards. GREAT SOUNDTRACK! If this movie were around 30mins longer then it might've been better, and if they cut out some totally misplaced scenes then it would come together. Expand
  2. JohnM.
    Jun 12, 2005
    5
    It's not uninteresting, but not very good either. When an ending is this predictable, it fails to deliver it's emotional payload. However I will give the ending credit for not following typical Hollywood patterns.
  3. NedW.
    Nov 11, 2002
    5
    Overwrought, slow, plodding story, weak directing. Decent acting, wasted great talents of D'Onofrio and Foster. Jena Malone a find.
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. It's all way too heavy-handed, though nicely acted by Hirsch, Culkin, and, especially, Jena Malone.
  2. 70
    The British music-video director Peter Care (making his feature debut) 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.
  3. 63
    Like watching somebody else's flashback and wondering what you were doing then instead.