The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys

2002 R 1h 45m DVD

The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys

2002 R 1h 45m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
When a bunch of eighth-grade Catholic school students get caught drawing an obscene comic book, they seek revenge for their punishment -- and a reputation as school legends -- by planning a prank on the mean, one-legged nun who nabbed them.
Emile Hirsch, Kieran Culkin, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jena Malone, Jake Richardson, Tyler Long, Jodie Foster, Arthur Bridgers
Peter Care
Widescreen 1.85:1
Spanish (Neutral)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 17+
Common Sense rating Not for kids
age 17+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this film is not for kids. The protagonists are surrounded by difficult situations (one has alcoholic parents and is humiliated in school, another is a victim of an older brother's sexual abuse, a girl is suicidal and scars on her wrists are shown), and lack of parental involvement leads to substance abuse of all types, as well as copious amounts of swearing. Young teens pull dangerous pranks (such as cutting down telephone poles with chainsaws), break into wildlife parks and abandoned houses, and blatantly flout authority figures. These characters are rarely punished, and expulsion is treated lightly. Although characters draw obscene pictures and speak graphically about sex, their real-world experience is very limited, and little more than making out and touching above the waist is depicted onscreen. Animated sequences include a lot of comic book violence, and there is a deadly mauling by a mountain lion. There are also several conversations about masturbation.

Sexual Content

Very frank sexual discussion, innuendo, and some obscene drawings. Characters engage in little more than making out and touching above the waist. One character deals with sexual abuse by an older brother.


Lots of animated violence, two fist fights, and one character is mauled to death by a mountain lion.


Lots of swearing, sexual innuendo, etc.

Social Behavior

These characters are not to be taken as role models by anyone, but they're not necessarily bad people.


Not applicable.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Young boys (14) drink without consequences, smoke, and do drugs.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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