Borstal Boy Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 10 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: An Irish film based on the memoirs of noted author and raconteur Brendan Behan. (Strand Releasing)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 21
  2. Negative: 4 out of 21
  1. But if the film flirts with being sentimental, it never completely gives in: The inherent strength of the material as well as the integrity of the filmmakers gives this coming-of-age story restraint as well as warmth.
  2. A likable rites-of-passage memory piece doused in period nostalgia, including the prominent use of vintage Movietone newsreels to mark the events of World War II.
  3. 70
    Overall Sheridan keeps both "Oirishry" and sentimentality in check. He captures the book's evenhanded sense.
  4. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Given the serious subject matter, this adaptation of Irish writer Brendan Behan's autobiographical novel is surprisingly light and exceedingly good-natured.
  5. It's really a crock: a coming-of-age boys' prison film that has only a fanciful link with Behan's life. The film is a bastard grandchild of Tony Richardson's 1962 "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner."
  6. The film's intimations of bisexual romance have a certain innate drama that no amount of bad acting or cornball rugby matches can completely erase.
  7. Sheridan seems terrified of the book's irreverent energy, and scotches most of its élan, humor, bile, and irony. What's left wouldn't have substantiated a memoir of any reputation, much less a movie.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. TheCritic
    Jun 5, 2006
    While I'm a fan of the author.......I wouldn't have been such a fan if I saw this first. I'm afraid this movie is very very bland.

See all 2 User Reviews