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Secondhand Lions

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Secondhand Lions

Starring: Michael Caine, Robert Duvall
Director: Tim Mccanlies
Rated: PG
RunTime: 111 Minutes
Release Date: September 2003
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family

*Also starring: Haley Joel Osment, Kyra Sedgwick, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Nicky Katt, Jennifer Stone, Mitchell Musso, Marc Musso, Dameon Clarke, Elizabeth Bertrand, Elizabeth Gast

Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4

A couple of ornery old codgers like Garth (Michael Caine) and Hub (Robert Duvall) wouldn't have any need for a do-not-call list. Not only do they not have a telephone -- or a television for that matter -- they use their pump-action rifles to blast away at the traveling salesmen who are foolish enough to stop by their rundown farm.

In SECONDHAND LIONS, their great-nephew Walter (Haley Joel Osment) has come to live with them for the summer, since his flighty mother, Mae (Kyra Sedgwick), is off to court-reporter school, or so she claims. Walter is a taciturn kid who doesn't know how to smile. Osment is three or four years too old for his part but does the best he can in the wrong role.

Walter's summer with his uncles ignites his faith in mankind, thanks to a long whopper of a story that Garth tells about Hub's exploits decades ago in Africa. The two of them, Garth explains, were shanghaied into the French Foreign Legion. Meanwhile, back on the farm, everyone in town believes the uncles have a large stash of loot buried somewhere.

The very broadly written comedy by Tim McCanlies, who also directs, is full of outlandish adventures. The uncles like to fish with rifles and fly biplanes under overpasses. The movie is just silly and sappy enough that it might appeal to preteens, but I can't see many outside of that age group embracing it. Still, if you're a fan of tearjerker endings, you could end up roaring for SECONDHAND LIONS.

SECONDHAND LIONS runs 1:41. It is rated PG for "thematic material, language and action violence" and would be acceptable for kids around 8 and up.

Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes

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