User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 110 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 98 out of 110
  2. Negative: 2 out of 110
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  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 and charismatic. Everything was great. Hey, what about the movie "About a Boy"? Fabulous, and even better than the book.
  2. MikeG.
    Dec 7, 2005
    4
    Movie had a lot of potential, but just fell apart at the end, as it veered too far away from Hugh Grant's character and started meandering all over the place. It felt more manipulative and cheap than heartfelt, and never really made me believe that Hugh Grant had suddenly turned some sort of magical corner. The problem with the movie is the problem with nearly all of Hornby's Movie had a lot of potential, but just fell apart at the end, as it veered too far away from Hugh Grant's character and started meandering all over the place. It felt more manipulative and cheap than heartfelt, and never really made me believe that Hugh Grant had suddenly turned some sort of magical corner. The problem with the movie is the problem with nearly all of Hornby's books - we're supposed to believe that the characters turn a corner but don't completely come around the bend. This works much better in his novels than in the three movie adaptations there have been of his novels thus far. On the screen the "he's sort of a good guy, but not quite" just doesn't leave you feeling complete when you leave the theater. Expand
  3. SusanL.
    Mar 1, 2008
    9
    A self-absorbed metrosexual becomes human. A wonderful exploration of masculinity in a post-feminist age.
  4. SamB.
    Mar 1, 2003
    8
    I loved the book before i saw the movie.the movie wasnt half bad either.see it.its good.
  5. B.Smith
    Jun 11, 2002
    10
    This film was a pleasure to watch. I loved the fresh tone of a not so perfect ending and an emphasis on real people and real problems, rather than ideals. Hugh Grant was spectacular, the rest of the cast was spectacular, and both the design and direction were so slick. So good.
  6. JeremyK
    Jul 1, 2009
    6
    A light, fun "feel good" movie and that's the extent of it. Hugh Grant carries the film as he is an interesting likable fellow to watch writhe and simultaneously ham it up on screen. Will appeal to those looking for light not-too-dumb fare with a bit of crowd pleasing charm and humor. But that's the extent of it. It is not bad, nor is it very good.
  7. Buddhamind
    Aug 1, 2009
    6
    It's nice enough to sit through all the way. I found myself faintly smiling now and then, but it never makes you laugh out loud. Nor does it really hit the heart in any way. Strange, because the story has the potential. The main character who lives all his life superficially, suddenly finding himself having a real, loving connection with some people. Shouldn't that be story It's nice enough to sit through all the way. I found myself faintly smiling now and then, but it never makes you laugh out loud. Nor does it really hit the heart in any way. Strange, because the story has the potential. The main character who lives all his life superficially, suddenly finding himself having a real, loving connection with some people. Shouldn't that be story enough for a tissue or two? Expand
  8. TomS.
    Oct 31, 2002
    6
    If you haven't read the novel, this film plays very well. It has some heft to it, besides being very entertaining. But if you have read the novel, the film is seriously annoying. It deletes the core event, which its mental and verbal, and inserts instead a visual event. For the mentally-verbally impaired, I guess. The core event in the novel is when the hero understands from the If you haven't read the novel, this film plays very well. It has some heft to it, besides being very entertaining. But if you have read the novel, the film is seriously annoying. It deletes the core event, which its mental and verbal, and inserts instead a visual event. For the mentally-verbally impaired, I guess. The core event in the novel is when the hero understands from the lad's mother that he doesn't have to be anything, or even say anything, to her. She just wants him to LISTEN. The glorious moment in the novel is when the hero UNDERSTANDS, from this episode, how to deal with the woman he loves. The film episode that replaces it, the hero risking humiliation by playing the guitar and singing, and saving Marcus's naieve ass, plays very well. It is visual and dramatic, in showing how the hero wins back the admiration of Rachel, who of course in in the audience. But it is a weak substitute for the the very meaningul and funny event that it replaces. One more novel sacrificed to market worship. Expand
  9. BeauF.
    May 28, 2002
    9
    Very solid film. Rachel Weisz is extremely hot, as usual, and Toni Collette proves again that she is one of the most underrated actresses in film.
  10. CarolAnnC.
    Jun 14, 2002
    5
    Just a so-so film that I wanted to like so much. I just was unable to as Hugh Grant was not believable in his role. It certainly was not his fault as he was simply too good looking for the part. I guess if you could overlook this one quirk one would enjoy the movie.
  11. SheriA.
    Jun 1, 2002
    8
    I found this a sweet, funny and charming film; equally important, it was touching without being weepy (something so rare in Hollywood). My only criticism would be that characters other than Grant and Hoult (the boy) end up with no time to be fleshed out or to understand what drives them.
  12. RobertH.
    Jun 8, 2002
    4
    Wanted so much to like it. Unfortuantely, found it a middle of the road prosaic affair. The casting Of Hugh Grant was a mistake. Not that his acting is bad, but because his good looks makes the storyline impossible to believe. I left the theater with a ho-hum feeling.
  13. DavidF.
    Jul 13, 2002
    10
    Best movie of the year so far!
  14. JackD.
    Jan 18, 2003
    7
    Funny and touching, and for once Hugh Grant is even likable!
  15. JinC.
    May 19, 2002
    8
    Wow. these are the same guys that did american pie? whereas AP was hacked together boilerplate that got by on the virtues of extreme raunchiness, About a Boy is spit polished to within an inch of its life and so masterfully done that it makes it look absurdly easy. deft, with a light touch, effortless and charming. and in the end, good hearted and sweet. countless moments where a lesserWow. these are the same guys that did american pie? whereas AP was hacked together boilerplate that got by on the virtues of extreme raunchiness, About a Boy is spit polished to within an inch of its life and so masterfully done that it makes it look absurdly easy. deft, with a light touch, effortless and charming. and in the end, good hearted and sweet. countless moments where a lesser film would have degraded into melodrama or cliche. this film keeps it all fresh, keeps all the balls in the air, and the laughs just keep coming one after another. and man, hugh grant is spot on dead perfect in this role. tremendous performance from him and his child costar. in fact, the entire cast is excellent without exception. and yes, the final message of the film is indeed a platitude that everyone will see coming a mile away. and yet, because the film is so smart about staying away from such easy answers in the whole rest of the movie, we get the sense that in the end, perhaps we get the adage that we do simply because, when all is said and done, it's true. if the box office were a strict meritocracy, i get the feeling Attack of the Clones would have been in big trouble this weekend. Expand
  16. ChadH.
    May 28, 2002
    9
    One of the rare movies that has has characters you can either identify with or relate to someone you know -- and still manages to remain interesting. The picture makes the most of its witty dialog without seeming to try to hard. I clever movie; if you enjoyed Four Weddings and a Funeral you'll love this one.
  17. DesiB.
    Jun 22, 2002
    7
    A very enjoyable movie...it does have a story, a simple comedy about a single guy...I like such movies ...as compared to the typical high decibel hollywood fantasy movie.
  18. MarcK.
    Jun 6, 2002
    4
    I very much wanted to like this film, but I found it cliched and not at all believable. I'm guessing the book was better.
  19. MichaelF.
    Jun 7, 2002
    9
    It was great. SO FUNNY. Hugh Grant was great. It was probably the best of all of the Hugh Grant movies. Really charming.
  20. Richard
    Jul 16, 2002
    8
    Edgy enough for most of its running time to forgive the somewhat sappy ending. Excellent cast, esp. Grant, Hoult & Collette, and confidently directed.
  21. SusanS.
    Jul 20, 2002
    8
    Great escapism with a lightness that is refreshing. Hugh Grant is irresistably uncharming--he plays the part perfectly. The boy is wonderfully peculiar and tenacious, and the two create a strange but enjoyable chemistry. I was afraid for the narration, but having two characters narrating just helped the development more, without being a burden; and what they were saying was witty and Great escapism with a lightness that is refreshing. Hugh Grant is irresistably uncharming--he plays the part perfectly. The boy is wonderfully peculiar and tenacious, and the two create a strange but enjoyable chemistry. I was afraid for the narration, but having two characters narrating just helped the development more, without being a burden; and what they were saying was witty and concise enough to forget about the show-don't-tell rule. Well written, well cast--overall a delightful comedy; take a break from all the heavy action and drama and have fun for a little while. Expand
  22. FayeP.
    Jul 24, 2002
    7
    Excellent film- but why spoil it by taken huge chunks out of it that were in the book, i mean changing the whole Nirvana thing and making them like rap music?? It defeated the object.
  23. EmmaA.
    Aug 20, 2002
    9
    One of the funniest movies I've seen in years. Hugh Grant is absolutely brilliant, and the writing is first rate.
  24. DanielleD.
    Aug 7, 2002
    10
    I thought the move was the best move I ever saw, hugh grant is the best actor ever he gets 100 percent for his acting and good looks.
  25. AllanT.
    Jan 17, 2003
    8
    I enjoyed this film despite the critics magnificent scores it was actually half decent.
  26. LouisP.
    Jan 19, 2003
    10
    Simply put, this movie rocks! Rent it, love it.
  27. MakoK.
    Dec 14, 2003
    9
    Very funny and touching. A kind of movie hard to find these days..... And Hugh Grant is soooo yummy!
  28. TammyB.
    Feb 27, 2003
    10
    I luvvvvvvv this movie!! it was so touching and funny. Its one of those movies where u get so involved and hope everything works out. hugh Grant is sexy and that boy is sooo cute and real.
  29. SebastianK.
    Jun 14, 2003
    10
    Barely saw it on video and wished I had seen it earlier. One of the best comedies and feel good movies I have seen in a very long time. This was by far Hugh Grant's greatest role.
  30. YoonC.
    Sep 13, 2003
    8
    An intelligent and probing movie about what it means to be a well-to-do bachelor in the advanced Western World. The hero of the movie lives with distractions--tv, music, movies--and avoids the responsibilities of life until an odd boy falls onto his lap. The plot may be a bit contrived, but the sensitive performances, the movie's candid portrayal of self-deceptive personalities, and An intelligent and probing movie about what it means to be a well-to-do bachelor in the advanced Western World. The hero of the movie lives with distractions--tv, music, movies--and avoids the responsibilities of life until an odd boy falls onto his lap. The plot may be a bit contrived, but the sensitive performances, the movie's candid portrayal of self-deceptive personalities, and the generally insightful and honest depiction of the glib middle class milieu of its main character all make for a refreshing movie about our world. Expand
  31. JeremyM.
    Sep 29, 2003
    8
    Hugh Grant has never been better. The real find, though, is Nicholas Hoult, who finds the perfect balance to play a character who could have been all wrong.
  32. JoshA.
    Jan 30, 2005
    5
    Would have been better without some of the cheesy scenes.
  33. SusanM.
    Feb 3, 2005
    9
    This movie is so great, a nice story with humour and sadness, and is Hugh Grant not the cutest thing ever? I've seen it 3 times now!!
  34. KonradR.
    Dec 12, 2002
    9
    A moving, touching and witty script, superb direction, beautiful soundtrack, top notch performances by Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult, Toni Collette and Rachel Weisz make this the film of the year.
  35. SusanO.
    May 18, 2002
    10
    Superb adaptation of Hornby's novel.
  36. [Anonymous]
    May 31, 2002
    10
    I died laughing through the whole movie. It's great!
  37. JeffreyM.
    Jun 11, 2002
    9
    This Movie is wonderful. I wouldn't call it a romantic comedy at all. It's subtlety shines from the beginning. All of the acting is superb, and I found myself laughing uncontrollably in several sequences. The best Hugh Grant has done!
  38. JohnD.
    Jun 24, 2002
    10
    I cried.
  39. NaomiR.
    Jun 25, 2002
    8
    I think this movie is believable... Especially the part that the mom tries to leaves this world and the boy is standing there, if nothing is happening.... And then goes to Hugh's place to avoid to be confronted with it ever again!!!
  40. T.J.
    Jul 11, 2002
    8
    Very clever, unique and a great overall comedy.
  41. EricS.
    Aug 12, 2002
    9
    A gleefully quirky treat. Rich with human characters that seem to jump off the screen and into our hearts, with situations and emotions all too familiar. A jewel.
  42. AndrewP.
    Feb 16, 2003
    10
    This is the best comedy of 2002! Both funny and touching, I smiled throughout the whole movie. Rent it and you'll definitely like this movie.
  43. Stephanie
    Jan 25, 2004
    10
    One of the cutest, funniest, and most touching films ever. as always, hugh grant's amazing, and who else thinks nicholos hoult (marcus) is absolutely adorable? About A Boy is a spectacular film. I've seen it more than 5 times and still cant get enough of it.
  44. Dee
    Mar 23, 2004
    4
    The only reason I can see to watch this film is the fact that you get to look at Hugh Grant for the whole film and it is reasonably funny. The humour is dry and sarcastic, with Will's quirky one liners. Over all the story is so predictable i could have written the book within the first 5 minutes of watching the film.
  45. MichaelM.
    Mar 22, 2005
    9
    Quality film throughout!
  46. SamD.
    Jul 31, 2006
    6
    Good acting, decent plot, somewhat funny, but it could get tedious and slow at times.
  47. May 8, 2011
    7
    Hugh Grant at his best as a self absorbed man who gets drawn into the world of a geeky boy where an unusual relationship develops. As the friendship progresses he learns from the kid what life is actually about. While it doesn't have many side splitting moments it does entertain and is definitely worth checking out.
  48. Aug 26, 2011
    7
    Hugh Grant has finally found his calling; playing a literal grown-up who has yet to grow up. He and Nicholas Hoult work together with more charm, humor, and sincerity than Andie MacDowell ever came close to.
  49. Jan 20, 2013
    8
    It's eccentric, often crude, and seamlessly silly, but About A Boy finds its stride at the forefront of most non-commital men, children.
    Hugh Grant has left his stammering,stuttering baby-face like persona back home and s extremely confident and funny as the free-wheeling and hedonistic bachelor Will, a man living off his fathers one hit wonder Christmas song, and this film picks up
    It's eccentric, often crude, and seamlessly silly, but About A Boy finds its stride at the forefront of most non-commital men, children.
    Hugh Grant has left his stammering,stuttering baby-face like persona back home and s extremely confident and funny as the free-wheeling and hedonistic bachelor Will, a man living off his fathers one hit wonder Christmas song, and this film picks up through the central character trying to pick up women at SPAT (Single Parents Alone Together). Through this, he runs into the weird and wonderfully blank Marcus, (the debut of Nicholas Hoult). What follows is a simply hilarious chain events where Marcus appears to be the only person privy to Wills plans and so begins to visit him everyday after school to just socialise (and watch Countdown) and even discuss girl problems, a 12 year old versus a 38 year old. The story is told through a double narration from both Marcus and Will, attempting to clarify and explain their friendship with each other, from Marcus continuing struggles with his suicidal mother (the excellent Toni Collette) and Will's attempt to start a relationship with Rachel (Rachel Weisz).
    This film deals with all the typical problems seen in a dysfunctional lifestyle, which in turn shows to be quite a frequent theme in most peoples lives, troublesome children, marriage, sex, single parents, it all appears in a light-hearted attempt to show the trial and error ways of dealing with children, mid-life crisis etc.
    With a wonderfully ridiculous climax, this film will indeed play on the heartstrings in mild-mannered fashion that only a British comedy can deliver, it has all the great performances, particularly the two leads, a stepping out of the comfort zone Hugh Grant is especially convincing as the care-free bachelor but it was young Nicholas Hoult, whose career undoubtedly went from strength to strength after this role, stole the show as the young, confused, but not so naive Marcus, who takes no bull from anyone, typically as most children are, but a lot of nerve would have had to go into accepting that role and he embraced it with every fibre. Another excellently delivered British flick that will not fail to amuse a wider variety of audiences, whether its coming-of-age or simple twists on a rom-com, definitely worth watching.
    Expand
  50. Jan 21, 2012
    6
    I have to admit that when any adaptation manages to stand side by side as an equal with the novel, it surprises me. â
  51. 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 newcomer Nicholas Hoult, clearly was able to learn a thing or two and give a fine performance himself.
  52. Aug 30, 2013
    8
    hugh grant dan little nicholas hoult memegang kendali penuh di film ini dengat awesome di samping saya juga suka karakter dari toni collette, film yang sangat menghibur dan manis
  53. Oct 10, 2014
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand 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. Expand
  54. Mar 18, 2015
    7
    Compared to the book, the movie was spot on with the most of the dialogue. The movie did not show how Marcus changed as much as he did in the book. In the end everyone's relationship with each other turned out pleasant in the movie but, they missed a big scene between Elli and Marcus. The ending of the book showed more of the point of "about a boy".
  55. mwl
    Mar 19, 2015
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I wouldn’t say About a Boy is a masterpiece, but it’s quite a funny and touching story that’s better than the book. The casting was great; I particularly liked Hugh Grant and Nicholas Holt (who, fun fact, is one of the stars in the X-Men film franchise as young Hank McCoy, aka Beast) as Will and Marcus. One of the reasons why I thought the movie was better than the book was because the movie’s ending was better than the novel’s ending because it had a lighter side. The only thing that was my least favorite difference was when Will told Rachel the truth about him and Marcus. In the novel, she seemed a little confused at first, but then didn’t seem to mind. In the movie, their relationship ended, but became a couple again after she saw Will helping Marcus out with his music performance at school. Overall, it’s a very good movie. The only thing that concerns me, however, is the rating. Usually, some PG-13 movies have one or more use of the f word. But in this movie, it’s more than a couple, which should’ve given the movie an R rating Expand
  56. Mar 24, 2015
    8
    This is a fun, moving and nice comedy. A story of an immature, cynical man, Will, who is taught how to act like a grown-up by a little boy, Marcus. Will is a rich, lonely man who lies about having a son and an ex-girlfriend, to seek out single mothers, where he meets Marcus, a 12 year-old misfit boy, who has depressive mom. Will has a closed-off personality, but then Will realizes that heThis is a fun, moving and nice comedy. A story of an immature, cynical man, Will, who is taught how to act like a grown-up by a little boy, Marcus. Will is a rich, lonely man who lies about having a son and an ex-girlfriend, to seek out single mothers, where he meets Marcus, a 12 year-old misfit boy, who has depressive mom. Will has a closed-off personality, but then Will realizes that he cares about Marcus. Will and Marcus meet new people, and they learn to share good moments with others. Expand
  57. 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 very interesting. Definitely a must-see!
  58. 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 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 toIts 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. Expand
  59. May 19, 2015
    8
    This movie is an excellent movie to watch with your whole family, regardless of personal tastes. The movie is well written, the characters are humane and you care and feel everytime for every character. The drama part lasts enough for you to care and is short enough for not becoming on eof the movies "that makes you laugh and punches you in the face". Hugh Grant is great, i really enjoyedThis movie is an excellent movie to watch with your whole family, regardless of personal tastes. The movie is well written, the characters are humane and you care and feel everytime for every character. The drama part lasts enough for you to care and is short enough for not becoming on eof the movies "that makes you laugh and punches you in the face". Hugh Grant is great, i really enjoyed this piece. Expand
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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Sophisticated and nuanced, and every character is bursting with emotional contradictions.