A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Secondhand Lions is a is a heartwarming coming-of-age story about a boy whose unreliable mother leaves him on a ranch with his two great uncles, former globetrotting adventurers who still have wild streaks. Set in rural Texas in the 1960s, these great uncles chew tobacco (and offer some to the boy) and shoot rifles whenever salesmen try and ply their wares. There's also a knife fight between the great uncles and a group of greaser teenagers, and some war scenes and chase scenes that come up in the form of flashbacks. Beyond this, though, Secondhand Lions is a fun and touching story that raises questions about what it means to grow up and to grow old.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In SECONDHAND LIONS, Walter (Haley Joel Osment) is dumped on the unwelcoming front porch of his two great-uncles, Hub (Robert Duvall) and Garth (Michael Caine) by his flighty mother (Kyra Sedgewick) so she can go to school and learn how to be a court reporter. She tells him that they disappeared 40 years earlier and just mysteriously returned. The rumor is that they have money hidden away somewhere, and she tells Walter to see if he can find it. Hub and Garth are not used to taking care of anyone. They tell Walter that if he needs anything he should find it himself or, better yet, do without it. Walter is not used to being taken care of. His mother has had a series of worthless or abusive boyfriends. When he calls the school to try to talk to her, he runs through a whole list of aliases before finding out that she has lied to him again and never even enrolled.
Is it any good?
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about their own best advice for children about growing up and about the importance of having role models.
Families can also talk about Hub's view that sometimes it's important to believe in things whether they are true or not.
What do you think of the portrayal of rural folks? Do you think it's realistic or presents stereotypes?
- In theaters: September 19, 2003
- On DVD or streaming: February 3, 2004
- Cast: Haley Joel Osment, Michael Caine, Robert Duvall
- Director: Tim McCanlies
- Studio: New Line
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Great Boy Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs, Wild Animals
- Run time: 111 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: thematic material, language and action violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.