: A case of the coots

Movie: Secondhand Lions

Our Rating: 3.00

Male bonding gets all warm and fuzzy as Texas brothers Robert Duvall and Michael Caine gift their grand-nephew (Haley Joel Osment) with life lessons learned via years of global adventuring. The movie is better early on, when the duo's edges are still comically rough: They collect dogs like lint, yet have to be coaxed into meeting the basic needs of children. As their personal histories unfold (Warning: flashbacks!), their crustiness melts away accordingly, ultimately causing the movie to flunk a crucial test: "If I saw this on TV, would it involve the word 'Hallmark' in any way?" Meanwhile, poor, pubescent Osment now sounds as if he has Peter Brady lodged in his throat.

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