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The Battle of Shaker Heights

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2003 1 Jan
The Battle of Shaker Heights
from Film Forum, 09/04/03

Project Greenlight, an endeavor set in motion by actors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, was created to help give some talented amateur screenwriters a chance to make their movie. The latest project to reach the big screen through this program is titled The Battle of Shaker Heights. It is about a high-school slacker who struggles in love and endures a trying transitional teen experience.

But according to critics, young directors Kyle Rankin and Efram Potelle's film is too unfocused and suffered damages when Miramax studio executives decided to intervene and "improve" it.

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) says, "The pic suffers from [the filmmakers'] inability to channel a profusion of subplots into an emotionally engaging story. The film's overall lack of narrative focus does not, however, preclude a shining performance from its rising star, Shia LaBeouf … [and it] does impart a positive, albeit sketchy, message about family and forgiveness."