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"SECONDHAND LIONS"
(2003) (Robert Duvall, Michael Caine) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Minor Heavy Moderate Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Minor Moderate None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Mild Moderate Moderate *Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Comedy: A teenager hears tales of grand adventure while spending the summer with his two great uncles whose reported riches may have been illegally obtained.
PLOT:
It's 1960s Texas and single mother Mae (KYRA SEDGWICK) is dropping off her 14-year-old son, Walter (HALEY JOEL OSMENT), to live with his great-uncles, Hub (ROBERT DUVALL) and Garth (MICHAEL CAINE), while she attends court-reporting school. Walter isn't happy about the situation as he's never met the cantankerous duo who've only recently returned to the area after a long absence and reportedly have a great deal of money stashed somewhere on their property.

Mae encourages Walter to find that money, but the lack of a phone or TV makes him question the rumor. Even so, his distant family relatives (MICHAEL O'NEILL & DEIRDRE O'CONNELL) and their three kids repeatedly descend upon the farm like vultures, hoping to get in line for their inheritance.

Although Hub and Garth initially want nothing to do with Walter, they eventually warm up to him, with Garth telling what may be tall tales about their past doings that may be the reason behind Hub's nightly sleepwalking sessions.

As the summer wears on, Walter learns that his mom has lied to him about her whereabouts and activities that include having a new boyfriend, Stan (NICKY KATT). He also hears about young Hub (CHRISTIAN KANE) and young Garth's (KEVIN MICHAEL HABERER) days in Europe following WWI and their encounters with an Arabian princess, Jasmine (EMMANUELLE VAUGIER), and the jealous Sheik (ADAM OZTURK) who repeatedly tried to cause them harm.

With various people informing Walter about his great-uncles and how they came into their supposed vast wealth, he tries to figure out whom to believe and discover the real truth.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Some may - particularly if they're fans of Osment or someone else in the cast, but this film seems more enticing to older audiences than kids.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For thematic material, language and action violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ROBERT DUVALL plays Walter's cantankerous great-uncle who may or may not have been a bank robber or great adventurer who initially isn't happy to have the teenager around, but quickly warms up to him. He uses some profanity.
  • MICHAEL CAINE plays his brother who similarly isn't initially welcoming to Walter but eventually takes a liking to him while telling him grand tales of his and Hub's past. He uses some profanity.
  • HALEY JOEL OSMENT plays a 14-year-old who isn't happy to be left and forced to live with his great-uncles, but comes around as he gets to know them.
  • KYRA SEDGWICK plays Walter's single mom who leaves him with his great-uncles for the summer and wants him to find and retrieve their reported hidden stash of money.
  • MICHAEL O'NEILL and DEIRDRE O'CONNELL play Hub and Garth's greedy and mean relatives who want their share of their inheritance.
  • EMMANUELLE VAUGIER plays the Princess who falls for Hub but must contend with the Sheik's jealously.
  • ADAM OZTURK plays an Arabian sheik who's jealous of Hub and tries to have him killed.
  • NICKY KATT plays Mae's new boyfriend who roughs up Walter when trying to get the boy to tell him the location of the hidden money.
  • CHRISTIAN KANE plays Hub as a young man, an adventurous sort who battles the Sheik and his men for the favors of Jasmine.
  • KEVIN MICHAEL HABERER plays young Garth who accompanies him on their various encounters and escapades.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this dramedy that's been rated PG. Profanity consists of various mild expletives, while some colorful phrases and brief, sexually related dialogue are present. Violence consists of various moments of action/adventure style material involving swordfights and war-related footage (people are wounded or killed, but without realism or blood/gore). Some fighting occurs (including an adult hitting a teenager), while a lion non-graphically attacks a man.

    Some of those scenes could be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers (mainly younger ones), while some of the behavior might be enticing for some kids to imitate. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while a few characters drink or smoke and some tense family material is also present.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • In the past, Hub and Garth drink in a bar where others also drink. Garth comments (in the present) that the drinks were strong and that when they woke up the next morning, they had been shanghaied into the French Foreign Legion.
  • Hub and Garth have beer in a place where some young punks come in to buy some.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A punk has a little bit of blood on his face after Hub beats him up.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Mae drops off Walter with his great-uncles (whom he's never met) and lies to him about where she's going.
  • Mae wants Walter to find out where his great uncles have stashed their money.
  • Hub initially doesn't treat Walter nicely, like Garth, isn't happy to have him staying with them, and isn't very inviting.
  • Other family members show up and they're only interested in Hub and Garth's money and aren't nice to Walter.
  • A family member refers to Mae as that "loose widow woman."
  • Walter gets a letter from his mom that he knows contains lies about where she is and what she's doing.
  • The guys learn that a salesman snookered them into thinking they were buying different seeds when all they got was corn.
  • A sheik in the past has a bad attitude for locking up Jasmine and then putting out an assassination order on Hub.
  • Some punks are disrespectful of Hub and then try to attack him (he easily fends them off and teaches them a lesson).
  • Mae and her new boyfriend try to pressure Walter into disclosing where the uncles have hidden their money, and that new boyfriend then physically gets rough with Walter.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • It's possible that some scenes listed under "Violence" might be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers (particularly younger ones) but most are played for action-adventure rather than realism.
  • For those scared of dogs, various breeds jump at Walter as he sits in a car and looks nervous.
  • Garth and Hub prepare to shoot a lion that's in a crate (in a lazy form of big game "hunting") but when they realize it's tame, they don't do so.
  • After lifting and moving many heavy bags, Hub suddenly collapses and we next see Garth and Walter waiting in the hospital (Hub is fine).
  • Some boys open a crate only to discover that Walter's lion is inside. They then rush off and the lion escapes. Later, Hub nearly shoots the lion when he thinks it's attacking Walter (it's not, it's just playing with him) and others then approach a cornfield with guns, ready to shoot it (but no one does once they learn it's just playing).
  • A lion dies (from old age) after saving Walter (could be upsetting to some viewers, especially younger kids).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Rifles/Shotguns/Pistols/Swords/Knives/Explosives: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or presumably kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • We see Hub and Garth shooting at fish in a pond with shotguns.
  • Hub and Garth repeatedly fire warning shots at salesmen who stop by their house (played for laughs and seen in a montage).
  • Hub and Garth shoot skeet using a new machine they just purchased.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Working my tail off," "Nut house," "Sissy boy," "Damn weenie," "The hell with that," "Who the hell are you?" "Pisses off," "What the hell for/does that mean?" "Get the hell off this land," "Wait one damn minute," "Hell no," "Bastards," "Greedy, no good scum," "Whoop my ass," "Snot-nosed" and "Losers."
  • The fighting and related stunts could be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • We see Hub and Garth shooting at fish in a pond with shotguns.
  • Walter jumps from his mom's car as she drives down the road.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A lion's paw suddenly comes out of a hole in a crate at Walter.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful and action-oriented music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 slang term for breasts ("t*t"), 19 damns, 10 hells, 1 ass, 1 crap, 2 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "By God" and "God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • When Hub spots Mae (and doesn't know who she is), he asks Garth if he sent off for a hooker.
  • A family member refers to Mae as that "loose widow woman."
  • Garth tells Walter a story about two twins that he and Hub met back in 1914 and starts to say something presumably sexual about them, but stops.
  • Mae's new boyfriend playing whacks her on her clothed butt.
  • SMOKING
  • Mae smokes once, while a distant family relative smokes several times.
  • The uncles share some chewing tobacco and then give some to Walter who doesn't know what it is but ends up choking and spitting it out after he puts some in his mouth.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • An adult Walter hears bad news about some family members (at the beginning and end of the film).
  • Mae drops off Walter with his great-uncles (whom he's never met and doesn't want to stay with) and lies to him about where she's going.
  • Walter states that he's been to an orphanage before and doesn't want to go back.
  • We hear that a man's wife and baby died during childbirth (in the past).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The comment that Mae tells Walter about trusting people or he'll grow up bitter.
  • Sleepwalking.
  • Hub says that their days of adventure are over, and so are they.
  • Growing old physically, but still having a young spirit.
  • Walter states that he's been to an orphanage before and doesn't want to go back.
  • WWI.
  • Love at first sight.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Due to the quantity rather than the quality of the violence (most is played in an action/adventure fashion rather than realism), the category receives a rating of "heavy."
  • We see Hub and Garth shooting at fish in a pond with shotguns.
  • Hub and Garth repeatedly fire warning shots at salesmen who stop by their house (played for laughs and seen in a montage).
  • A distant family member grabs Walter who proceeds to kick him in the shin or foot before running away.
  • We see some brief war footage (played in an action rather than realistic fashion) where a man jumps on another man, while another man hits someone else with his rifle while explosions go off around them. A person is shot and Hub gets into a swordfight with others where he slices, punches and kicks his opponents (with no blood and nothing graphic).
  • We see a bedpan and other hospital objects flying into a wall (from Hub throwing them in anger).
  • In the past, a masked rider races on horseback against Hub. The two horses then collide, sending the riders into the surf where Hub pulls a knife only to discover that his opponent is a princess.
  • Hub rescues Jasmine and fights various bad guys, slicing, flipping and hitting others (with no blood or graphic realism).
  • After a punk is menacing and disrespectful toward him, Hub grabs the young man by the throat, tells him a thing or two and then throws him over to his buddies. They all pull switchblades, but Garth then holds a shotgun on them so that just the first punk and Hub will fight. Hub easily avoids the punk trying to get him with his blade and twice bends the guy's arm to cause him pain. He then proceeds to fight the rest of the punks, hitting, punching, bending some of their arms and throwing them across the room (and one out into their convertible). All of this is done in a lighthearted, action-adventure fashion.
  • We see a montage of Hub fighting off various assailants in the past (hitting, punching and slicing them with his sword, but with no blood).
  • More action-adventure style fighting and sword fighting occurs.
  • In the past, Hub twice holds his sword to a mean sheik's throat, but lets him live.
  • Hub again "fishes" by shooting at a fish in the pond.
  • Mae and her new boyfriend try to pressure Walter into disclosing where the uncles have hidden their money, and that new boyfriend then physically gets rough with Walter. He drags him along to a barn where he hits the boy in the gut. Walter then kicks that man in the crotch and runs off, only to have that man tackle and pin him to the ground where he then hits him on the face. Walter's pet lion then attacks that man, severely injuring him (we don't see the injuries, but later see the man covered in bandages and casts).
  • Hub squeezes Mae's boyfriend's nose (the only part of him not covered in bandages or casts) as a threat to be nice to Walter.
  • Walter jumps from his mom's car as she drives down the road. She slams on the breaks, causing her boyfriend (in many casts) to slam into the windshield (played for laughs).
  • We hear that two men were killed in a plane crash.



  • Reviewed September 4, 2003 / Posted September 19, 2003

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