Metascore
100

Universal acclaim - based on 50 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1135 Ratings

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  • Summary: Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater's Boyhood is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason's parents andFilmed over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater's Boyhood is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason's parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, Boyhood charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before and is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting. [IFC Films] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 50
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 50
  3. Negative: 0 out of 50
  1. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Jul 9, 2014
    100
    Like Michael Apted in his "Seven Up!" documentary series, Linklater makes you feel as if you're watching a photograph as it develops in the darkroom.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Jan 26, 2014
    100
    It's the selective but cumulative use of seemingly arbitrary but significant experiences that gives Boyhood its distinctive character and impressive weight.
  3. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Feb 7, 2015
    100
    There’s not a great theme, a great performance or even a great scene in Boyhood. But I think it might be a great picture.
  4. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jul 10, 2014
    100
    On rare occasions a movie seems to channel the flow of real life. Boyhood is one of those occasions. In its ambition, which is matched by its execution, Richard Linklater's endearing epic is not only rare but unique.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Jul 17, 2014
    100
    Once in a great while I see a movie I know I’ll be listing as one of my all-time favorites for the rest of my days. So it is with this remarkable, unforgettable, elegant epic that is about one family — and millions of families. It’s a pinpoint-specific and yet universal story.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jul 30, 2014
    100
    This bold movie may sound like a stunt, but it’s so much more than that. Linklater is an effortless, genial auteur, and his passions are woven through “Dazed and Confused,” “School of Rock” and the “Before Sunrise” trilogy. Here, his mellow groove becomes an everyday rhythm.
  7. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Jun 15, 2014
    75
    Richard Linklater's film is an experiment in time, and one that's attentive to the audience's sense of empathy.

See all 50 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 75 out of 271
  1. Dec 17, 2014
    10
    Maravillosa, impresionante y excelente, Boyhood es una película que sin duda quedará en la historia, es una increíble inspección alMaravillosa, impresionante y excelente, Boyhood es una película que sin duda quedará en la historia, es una increíble inspección al crecimiento de la mayoría de los niños hoy en día. Además también cuenta con un muy talentoso elenco que ofrecen actuaciones de primera. Expand
  2. Jul 26, 2014
    10
    A brilliantly observed slice of Americana about rites of passage, examining what it means to grow up. As much as I adore 'Before Sunrise',A brilliantly observed slice of Americana about rites of passage, examining what it means to grow up. As much as I adore 'Before Sunrise', this unique, ambitious work about being a child and becoming an adult might top even that gem. Linklater's auteur traits are authenticity, recognizability and an ability to be moving and resonant in unforced ways. 'Boyhood' triggers our memory, thereby (like madeleine cakes and a portion of ratatouille before it) bending time and space, and makes us reflect. Expand
  3. Jul 11, 2014
    10
    A boy enjoying pictures of women in swimwear with his friends. A boy being devastated after having his mane cut off. A boy debating theA boy enjoying pictures of women in swimwear with his friends. A boy being devastated after having his mane cut off. A boy debating the necessity of Facebook with his high school girlfriend. In all honesty, Boyhood is a rather apt title for this film. But it could just as well hold the name of another picture currently running in cinemas: Life Itself. That simple yet profound thing is what lies at the core of Richard Linklater’s unique 12-year-spanning story and makes it relatable for everyone, regardless of sex, age group, descent, social status, or character. Linklater lets his audience live through the fun and the pain, the love and the misery, and the excitement and the disappointment of his protagonist Mason with yet another wonderful screenplay in his repertoire and an unspectacular but still extraordinary way of directing. Leaving the cinema, it’s hard to grasp one has just spent the better part of an evening in front of a screen, but at the same time, there’s also a feeling of having relived your own adolescence along with Mason. Expand
  4. Jul 13, 2014
    7
    I was expecting a sort of emotional roller coaster with moments of empathy, sadness, joy, etc. -- having gone through real-life boyhood myselfI was expecting a sort of emotional roller coaster with moments of empathy, sadness, joy, etc. -- having gone through real-life boyhood myself -- but rarely did this film evoke that kind of personal attachment and investment for me.
    Esquire has a Q&A with Linklater and Hawk in their latest issue, and in it they claim to have made a conscious effort to avoid cliches, but somehow they landed on a bunch of them anyway.
    There are a few great moments, and generally very few missteps, but ultimately this film does not reach the upper echelons of movie lore. It's good, not great.
    In short, I was expecting to cry. I had the box of tissues ready. Never came close.
    Expand
  5. Feb 23, 2015
    6
    Interesting project, great directing and editing, characters interacted very naturally, however, It seemed more like a 12-year long homeInteresting project, great directing and editing, characters interacted very naturally, however, It seemed more like a 12-year long home video. Very dull at some times. Expand
  6. psv
    Jul 18, 2014
    3
    I have just been witness of real life boy being stripped from his manliness as he grows old. The movie starts incredibly well, featuring theI have just been witness of real life boy being stripped from his manliness as he grows old. The movie starts incredibly well, featuring the early stages of both a boy and a girl and all the subtle details that makes the difference between genders. The parents going through real relationship problems. The mother being amorous and caring and the father taking them out of their comfort zones and being active.
    Everything is awesome until the boy turns 15. His 15th birthday is one of the most amazing birthdays any man could have. He is given a shotgun for god sakes! From there the movie takes a 360 degree turn and becomes more of a series of propaganda scenes. The acting performance of the boy suddenly felt ungenuine. The boy is not the only one taken his manhood from. Suddenly every single male character becomes a confused wuss and is starts being reflected in the women around their lives. I just could not take it any more when I saw his sweet mother in tears of desperation. People around me laugh as the poor woman screamed for something to hold on to life.
    Expand
  7. Feb 22, 2015
    0
    This was an ambitious project, but it turned out a very dull cliché. Nothing in the film felt genuine, except for Arquette's performance. TheThis was an ambitious project, but it turned out a very dull cliché. Nothing in the film felt genuine, except for Arquette's performance. The guy in the main role shouldn't have been forced to return to filming since he so obviously lacks talent. The result was very bland and a stereotypical American coming of age story. The writing and the acting the whole result was terribly bland. Those claiming that this is not for mainstream audiences, because it is an artistic concept film overestimate the film. And possibly underestimate the audience. Expand

See all 271 User Reviews

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