Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 38
  2. Negative: 2 out of 38
  1. 88
    We have all the action heroes and Method script-chewers we need right now, but the Cary Grant department is understaffed, and Hugh Grant shows here that he is more than a star, he is a resource.
  2. 75
    Not a daring film, but it is immensely likable. Every once in a while, a movie comes along that, despite traversing familiar terrain, is made with enough all-around skill that it overcomes its clichéd origins. About a Boy is such a movie.
  3. 70
    The acid comedy of Grant's performance carries the film. It helps also that newcomer Hoult is that rare child actor who mercifully underplays the pathos of his role.
  4. Hugh Grant has grown up, holding on to his lightness and witty cynicism but losing the stuttering sherry-club mannerisms that were once his signature. In doing so, he has blossomed into the rare actor who can play a silver-tongued sleaze with a hidden inner decency.
  5. In addition to being a smart comedy and an excellent showcase for Grant, it's an honest movie about childhood that avoids sappiness and sentiment and goes in unexpected directions.
  6. Sophisticated and nuanced, and every character is bursting with emotional contradictions.
  7. Was this spiritless stuff really directed by Paul and Chris Weitz of "American Pie" fame? How the rebels have mellowed!
  8. Better than a feelgood movie, it's a feelgreat movie -- genuinely clever, affecting when you least expect it to be and funny from start to finish.
  9. Because a gradually thawing Will plays more to Grant's strengths, the second part of the film, helped as well by Rachel Weisz as a love interest, is much more fun. But it is still hard not to feel that this film is pushing us too hard, slickly trying to seem more honest than it actually is.
  10. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    88
    About a Boy is a rarity in many ways. It's a well-written, witty film whose memorable characters grapple with the nature of family, love, friendship and despair. Even its soundtrack, by Badly Drawn Boy, is perfectly pitched.
  11. The film is a sharp, funny, touching tale.
  12. 89
    About a Boy knows exactly what it wants to do: It wants to make you smile, and grin, and then laugh with recognition, and it manages all three, again and again.
  13. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    90
    It's irresistible, damn it. Mainstream comedies should all be this funny and tender and deftly performed.
  14. 88
    The summer movie season has barely begun, and already we have its first big surprise.
  15. Hilarious, touching and wonderfully dyspeptic.
  16. 50
    There's not much more to this adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel than charm -- effortless, pleasurable, featherweight charm.
  17. 80
    Few scenarios are more cliched than the curmudgeonly father-figure who takes in the precocious imp -- irritation in the first two acts, love in the third -- but Hornby infuses it with warmth and honesty, not to mention his obvious gift for wry observation.
  18. 90
    As close to mainstream perfection as I've seen all year. It gives us everything we want, need and deserve without batting an eye.
  19. 80
    Illuminating with their energy and wit.
  20. If the brothers Weitzes) don't yet have a defined style, they do seem at ease with this more sophisticated material.
  21. 100
    That rare romantic comedy that dares to choose messiness over closure, prickly independence over fetishized coupledom, and honesty over typical Hollywood endings.
  22. The love that blooms is essentially between the boys. They both have some considerable growing up to do, but theirs is a true romance and it's awfully sweet. Funny, too.
  23. 100
    The timing and cutting of the film are terrific, the build-up to an absurdly hilarious climax is just right, and the performances are near perfect.
  24. Hugh Grant is one of the true phenomena of new millennium moviemaking. In an era in which the broadest and most scatological comedy imaginable rules, he's built a career for himself as a sophisticated light comedian very much in the style of his hero, David Niven.
  25. The Weitz brothers -- notorious as the authors of the "American Pie" series -- handle the sentimentality of the story with a light, sweet touch.
  26. 63
    It's hard to stomp on a movie that pulls together a rich lay-about, hippies, a punk girl and an Amnesty International worker in a sort of Peaceable Kingdom, but About a Boy shows the limits of affability.
  27. A comedy hit, but its secret is that it delves deeper than the usual summer fare.
  28. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    Movie purists will tell you that a heavy reliance on voice-over is a sin (“show, don’t tell”), but when the words are this funny, to hell with purity.
  29. 60
    The other Grant, the irresistible but slippery Cary, was called to account by such strenuous and willful mates as Irene Dunne, Katharine Hepburn, and Ingrid Bergman. But Hugh Grant has never been matched with a woman who directly challenged his oddly recessive charm. [3 June 2002, p. 100]
  30. Hilarious, acidic Brit comedy.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 107 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 58
  2. Negative: 0 out of 58
  1. Dec 10, 2011
    8
    The original book was witty, ingenious, smart, and cheerful. It had life and power in every page. The characters were humorous andThe original book was witty, ingenious, smart, and cheerful. It had life and power in every page. The characters were humorous and charismatic. Everything was great. Hey, what about the movie "About a Boy"? Fabulous, and even better than the book. Full Review »
  2. Mar 24, 2015
    8
    Its about a strange boy name Marcus who meets a womanizer who goes out with single parents name Will played by Hugh Grant. Marcus in need ofIts about a strange boy name Marcus who meets a womanizer who goes out with single parents name Will played by Hugh Grant. Marcus in need of friends and a father figure turns to Grant who wasn't keen on spending time with anybody but himself. Eventually Marcus and Will become friends helping each other grow throughout the movie whether it was being a normal kid or actually learn how to love and not be alone. Full Review »
  3. Mar 24, 2015
    8
    Overall, the movie was very similar to the book. The movie was very moving and a comedy at the same time. The storyline was great and veryOverall, the movie was very similar to the book. The movie was very moving and a comedy at the same time. The storyline was great and very interesting. Definitely a must-see! Full Review »