About a Boy

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 120 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 96 out of 120
  2. Negative: 2 out of 120

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User Reviews

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. JoshA.
    Jan 30, 2005
    5
    Would have been better without some of the cheesy scenes.
  9. 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.
  10. SamD.
    Jul 31, 2006
    6
    Good acting, decent plot, somewhat funny, but it could get tedious and slow at times.
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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
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.