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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 88
    It's funny, moving and true, and it respects the audience's intelligence as much as the characters'. That combination, no matter the movie's label, deserves to be treasured.
  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. 88
    The summer movie season has barely begun, and already we have its first big surprise.
  6. Sophisticated and nuanced, and every character is bursting with emotional contradictions.
  7. 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.
  8. The film is a sharp, funny, touching tale.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    90
    It's irresistible, damn it. Mainstream comedies should all be this funny and tender and deftly performed.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 100
    That rare romantic comedy that dares to choose messiness over closure, prickly independence over fetishized coupledom, and honesty over typical Hollywood endings.
  15. Hilarious, touching and wonderfully dyspeptic.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 98 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 53
  2. Negative: 0 out of 53
  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. Oct 10, 2014
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. About a Boy movie was a good translation of the book but lacked some important details. The movie show perfect images given by the book but main points were not reached. The movie also seemed rushed and just speed across the deep situations that needed more explanation and more focus. Even though the movie left out some parts which helped show the change Marcus went through, it was a great example of the novel and was also very heartwarming. Full Review »
  3. Aug 28, 2014
    6
    There are smart moments of wit and poignance, but it's Hugh Grant's performance that'll stick with you. Grant's sidekick, the newcomerThere are smart moments of wit and poignance, but it's Hugh Grant's performance that'll stick with you. Grant's sidekick, the newcomer Nicholas Hoult, clearly was able to learn a thing or two and give a fine performance himself. Full Review »