Indie Gems: The Dangerous Lives of Alter Boys

Serious trouble beats serious bordem.

Francis Doyle (Emile Hirsch) and Tim Sullivan (Kieran Culkin) are two 14 year old boys going to Catholic school in the mid 70's. They have a talent for drawing, and create comic books to pass the time. When a nun (Jodie Foster) comes across one of their drawings she immediately disciplines the boys. Fed up with their teacher, they come up with a seemingly over the top plan to take her out.

Hirsch and Culkin have a lot of talent, and even at their young ages it shows in this film. They play their conflicted characters with ease as they deal with first love, consequences, life and death. I spent the entire film thinking their plan was way to over the top to work. Just a simple fantasy in the mind of a child, but when they actually begin to pull it off I was surprised.  The film switches back and forth between our actors and the comic book characters they have created. It's a very cool effect seeing their comics come to life in animation while still using the respected actor's voices.

I liked the film so much I'm going to check out the book it was based off of. My only gripe with the DVD was that the animated sequences were much louder than the other scenes and I found myself messing with the volume constantly.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A-

Memorable Quote: "Don't tell me to get real. I know what fucking real is." - Tim (Kieran Culkin)

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