As sweetly sentimental as a Werther’s Original advert, Secondhand Lions is the story of a fourteen-year-old boy, Walter (Osment), who is left in the care of his two eccentric great-uncles by his mother. The pair – played by gruff old geezers Caine and Duvall – live in a ramshackle middle-of-nowhere Texas farm, but neighbours seem to think the brothers have a secret fortune stashed away, apparently amassed while they were young bank robbers, mafia hitmen or wartime criminals (depending on which neighbour Walter talks to).
Often funny – the uncles fire pot-shots at travelling salesmen who try to relieve them of some of their rumoured cash – and whimsical (the pair tell stories of adventure that Walter can’t be sure are true or figments of their ageing imaginations), this is a warm, nostalgic movie that features three terrific central performances and shows real heart.
Is Secondhand Lions suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
There isn’t anything overtly scary here, but younger viewers (this is aimed at over-12s) may be upset by repeated references to death.