"'The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys' digs into the flaming recesses of the adolescent mind with such acuity, compassion and good humor that it will plummet you back to that painfully awkward age when hoarded tidbits of bogus sexual lore had the weight of magic passwords to the kingdom of heaven...The masterstroke of this small, heartfelt directorial debut (by Peter Care, from a screenplay by Jeff Stockwell) is its integration of animated sequences (by Todd McFarlane) in which action-adventure caricatures of the comic book characters parallel or comment on events in the boys' lives." --Stephen Holden, The New York Times

"The gentle comic treatment of adolescent sturm und drang should please fans of Chris Fuhrman's posthumously published cult novel...'The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys' is sweet but not saccharine." --J. Hoberman, The Village Voice

"... the film belongs to a particular strain of American independent cinema in which the parts constitute far more than the whole; a project in which the director found his way in, but couldn't find his way out; where the several good moments hardly justify the film...Interspersed among the very episodic elements of 'Altar Boys' are the animated sequences created by Todd McFarlane, which possess the kind of raw energy and momentum the rest of the movie does not. It's saying something--and something about 'Altar Boys'--when the digressions are worth more than the basic conversation." --John Anderson, Newsday

" of the most inventive, funny and ultimately tragic coming-of-age movies in years....In very difficult roles, Kieran Culkin--the real actor of that family--and Hirsch are perfectly shaded and convincing, and Malone ('My Life as a House') is heartbreaking as a girl regretting her impatience to become a woman." --Jack Mathews, The New York Daily News

"Unfortunately titled for a film released in the middle of a scandal over pedophile priests, this contemplative coming-of-age tale transcends that initial 'oops' factor to reveal itself as a quietly comic little gem...uniformly terrific performances--especially from the limpid-eyed Culkin--and quote-worthy lines like, 'Let's get Peg Leg--I feel like kicking her nasty habit.'" --Megan Turner, The New York Post