Boy A


Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22

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Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    One of the most gripping, thought provoking dramas ever to ponder crime and punishment.
  2. Andrew Garfield's phenomenal performance makes room for the many and various pieces of Jack's personality, whether or not they're securely fastened together.
  3. While the cast is uniformly superb, Garfield ("Lions for Lambs") deserves special mention for his deep, extraordinarily expressive performance.
  4. 90
    It's beautiful. I loved it. And it broke my heart.
  5. 88
    Mullen and Garfield anchor the film. Mullen, that splendid Scottish actor ("My Name Is Joe") and Garfield, 24, with his boyish face and friendly grin.
  6. 83
    That the audience is forced to examine its own assumptions about the situation is the result of an extraordinary, moving performance by Andrew Garfield.
  7. 80
    The film's both smart and devastating as it unthreads interwoven questions about redemption, justice, and the pivotal role of history in shaping an individual and his actions.
  8. Mr. Garfield's performance makes Jack so endearing and vulnerable that as he takes his first wobbly steps, like a baby bird shoved from its nest, your instincts are protective.
  9. 80
    A compelling, compact melodrama that packs an emotional wallop. It's my nominee for sleeper surprise of the summer, at least so far.
  10. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Jack, as played by Andrew Garfield, comes across as agonized, desperately anxious to get things right -- something you might also say about the filmmakers, who have turned Boy A's very particular story into a scary, universal and wrenching social statement.
  11. 80
    The movie is taut with suspense but culminates in wise resignation as the hero comes to understand he's running from a part of himself.
  12. 75
    Director John Crowley and screenwriter Mark O'Rowe's follow-up to their feature film debut "Intermission" may follow an all-too schematic flashback structure, but the film is too brilliantly acted for that to really matter much.
  13. 75
    For all Crowley's reliance on quiet naturalism, Boy A ultimately steals a page from film noir, showing how guilt and constant hounding can turn any ex-con into the desperate animal everyone presumes him to be.
  14. Like "Control," the recent Anton Corbijn treatment of rock star Ian Curtis' short life, the powerful British drama Boy A announces its gravitas with a look--organically achieved, with cinematography, production design and direction working together--you are meant to notice.
  15. Boy A will rivet you while raising issues about forgiveness and just who deserves it.
  16. Even its structurally weaker moments give Garfield an opportunity to expand on Jack's physical and mental dislocation. Given Boy A's final floating reel, it's an anchoring performance in every sense of the word.
  17. 75
    The genius of Garfield's performance is that he fills him with equal amounts of terror and wonder.
  18. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    Picture inspires respect for its first-rate performances, artful construction and meticulous understatement.
  19. 63
    Boy A comes frustratingly close to succeeding as tragedy.
  20. If Hitchcock had done a coming-of-age drama, it might have resembled this haunting, nervous, sad movie about an early twentysomething.
  21. This is another of those dead-kid dramas in which the terrible event is handled like a striptease--tantalizing flashes until the climax.
  22. 50
    Moves in a predictable path that includes some remarkable coincidences.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Apr 12, 2012
    Boy A peut être vu comme un Christopher Nolan indépendant. A savoir, le film nous met aussitôt dans leBoy A peut être vu comme un Christopher Nolan indépendant. A savoir, le film nous met aussitôt dans le bain de son récit, sans aucune explication (qui sont les personnages exactement, leur passé respectif...) et complété par des flashes-back, à première vue inutils et qui peuvent plomber le tout (pour ceux qui ne sont pas habitués). Mais justement, comme un Nolan, il faut suivre le tout pour découvrir le film à se juste valeur : un véritable chef-d'oeuvre! Un scénario d'une puissance phénoménale, un casting de premier ordre, une mise en scène de qualité... Bref, on se laisse bercer par le récit qui se précise petit à petit et dont les flashes-back montrent leur importance à ce dernier. Boy A, un film à voir! Full Review »
  2. Oct 16, 2011
    Boy A is a saddening and gripping drama film with powerful-acted cast. To be honest, this film kept me thinking this was an actual story thatBoy A is a saddening and gripping drama film with powerful-acted cast. To be honest, this film kept me thinking this was an actual story that happened. At the end, it somewhat made yourself think life was so beautiful. Full Review »