The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys

  • 15
  • Peter Care (2001)
  • US
  • 100 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
2 out of 5

Director Peter Care, making his feature debut, reveals his rock video roots at every turn in this sketchy, 1970s-set rites-of-passage tale that mixes live action and comic book-style animation. Based on the novel by Chris Fuhrman, it follows four Catholic schoolboys (including Kieran Culkin and Emile Hirsch) as they rebel against their lives and the strict educational regime of nun Sister Assumpta (co-producer Jodie Foster). With its combined visual styles, the film tries hard to be edgy, but the overall story is too fragmented to support such jarring techniques, while the characters are underdeveloped.

Plot Summary

Coming-of-age drama starring Kieran Culkin, Emile Hirsch and Jodie Foster. In 1970s America, a group of bright but bored Catholic schoolboys rebel against their monotonous lives and the overly strict regime of teacher Sister Assumpta. When they're not baiting Assumpta, they draw their own comic book featuring their superhero alter-egos. But after the nun seizes their artwork, the boys decide to take revenge.

Cast and crew


Tim Sullivan
Kieran Culkin
Margie Flynn
Jena Malone
Francis Doyle
Emile Hirsch
Father Casey
Vincent D'Onofrio
Sister Assumpta
Jodie Foster
Jake Richardson
Tyler Long


Peter Care

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Available on video and DVD
Certificate 15