Metascore
100

Universal acclaim - based on 49 Critics What's this?

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7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 891 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: 49 out of 49
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 49
  3. Negative: 0 out of 49
  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: Joshua Rothkopf
    Jan 26, 2014
    100
    Unshakable, witty and deeply felt, the film will be paying emotional dividends for a long, long time.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Aug 7, 2014
    100
    The greatest movies, the ones that stick with us, are those that hold up a mirror to the human condition and reflect something back at us that we too often manage to overlook. Boyhood is one of those movies, and with it Linklater proves he is among the best practitioners of that art.
  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: Ann Hornaday
    Jul 17, 2014
    100
    As a film that dares to honor small moments and the life they add up to, Boyhood isn’t just a masterpiece. It’s a miracle.
  6. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jul 30, 2014
    100
    In its own quiet way, it’s a world of marvels.
  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 49 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 52 out of 210
  1. Jan 18, 2015
    10
    I didn't know what to expect from this story about growing up, life and humanity in general shot over the period of 12 years with the sameI didn't know what to expect from this story about growing up, life and humanity in general shot over the period of 12 years with the same cast and has been garnering rave reviews.
    With that premise and clocking in at around 2 hours & 45 mins, I reckoned it would be boring to say the least. It was anything but that. I neither felt the time fly away nor did I wanted this to end.
    My favorite movie genres pretty much reflect that I watch movies to experience fiction - be a part of something that just won't happen in real life (at least not according to what we know as of now).
    But this movie proved that our 'ordinary' lives are far more interesting than we give credit for.

    It is one of those movies every time you watch it after awhile, your perception of it will change and you will probably reflect your own life in it. I was pleasantly surprised about how hard it hit home at some parts.

    This 'Technical Masterpiece' wouldn't be complete without top notch acting all round and its narrative prowess. It is not just some movie that took twelve years to shoot, it is much more than that. I'm sure it will be a Classic in the future.
    Expand
  2. Aug 20, 2014
    10
    Absolutely spectacular. The film itself is genius--- same actors over 12 years. You as the viewer are able to experience the same people grow,Absolutely spectacular. The film itself is genius--- same actors over 12 years. You as the viewer are able to experience the same people grow, discover, and learn just as you have and continue to do. This film displays events and characteristics that absolutely anyone of any niche, background, or culture can relate to--- domestic abuse, failed marriages, step-parents, single parenting, sexual growth, intellectual growth, moral discovery, curiosity, failure, laziness, motivation, and much more. This film is the perfect representation of the modern Western struggle, which differs greatly from that of other cultures. I give this film a well-deserving 10/10. This film was not meant to be action packed with unrealistic events; that is not the point. It is an honest experience that people should watch to relate to. 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. Oct 12, 2014
    8
    You're watching a life develop inside of that screen and everything it carries and accompanies along its development is what you get to learn from it.
  5. Sep 25, 2014
    7
    The name 'boyhood' is kind of misleading although the movie's shown
    only about the boyhood of Mason until he goes for his graduation to some
    The name 'boyhood' is kind of misleading although the movie's shown
    only about the boyhood of Mason until he goes for his graduation to some college and get interested in photography.
    Critics really liked more than people do! Because the project had
    enough risks for a successful execution but Richard Linklater did it,
    its really something that have never seen before something unique and
    risky. From 2002 to 2013 total of 45 days of shooting until the boy
    grew up from his age 7 to 18. Such a long contract with the crew and if
    Richard dies then who'd manage the such long project! Of course Ethan
    Hawke, one of Richard's favorites but Linklatet did it. It shows what
    happens to our life with every passing time and according to him
    nothing. You grow up, you struggle, you baffled, you are taken care of
    then fall in love, get married, have kids..and what happens? Life goes
    on...but nothing really happens. To illustrate this he took the life of
    a 7 years kid, Coltrane and changed his name to Mason in the movie. I
    like Ethan Hawke, he's the first choice of Richard's movies especially
    for his before sunrise series, most of Richard's movies which are
    usually dramatic so Ethane was perfect to be a jobless dad who tries to
    direct the right path for his son and every year with Coltrane he shot
    the movie.

    I really like the father-son scenes in which they talk about everything
    and Mason gets advices from his father. They talked about movies like
    star wars if there's a possibility of it to another one and that
    happened too, what they predicted in 2008 that came true!!, brilliant.
    Excellent achievement of the director and how realistic the movie
    is,what a potential remains in the movie! 12 year project doesn't or
    couldn't contain some top rated actors especially the theme
    character,Mason. Coltrane was a risky, unpredictable one. I can't say
    he did that great as the movie deserves but It was such a great risk if
    the main character would have failed! But he did well not like the
    growing characters of harry potter movies but OK for the slow soothing
    unpredictable 12 years project. Various changes in a decade can happen!
    That altered number of changes to Mason, in her character, attitude.
    Except him even in our life cool electronics stuffs like no one uses
    the old phones or old vintage saloon cars new smartphones and beautiful
    cars are everywhere. His dad finally sells his Pontiac GTO although he
    loves that! There's something called emotional attachment, kids are
    like that! Especially kids are attached, so Mason stared a horrible
    perplexed look at his dad's most loved car when he sold that so he
    could by a new car for his son when he turns to 16. Again, a baffled
    look while her mother meets the professor, Bill and talks like she's
    getting attached to him Why does that happen? Doesn't dad love his mom,
    but its the responsibility the capability that control's you and like
    every creatures on the earth human too get attached to those who can
    give them a better environment and then what happens? Nothing! Life
    goes on. This is the most important essence the movie stands upon.
    Nothing really happens in the movie. His mom then gets married to
    another guy till she stands upon her own feet becomes what she wanted
    to be and then in the ends she asks what shall happen to her, she
    sacrificed most of his life for her kids and in the end what happens to
    her? Of course, the answer is nothing. But 2hr 45min can be really boring if you're not that into drama movies or even if you are you can still feel it because of this boring but true factor 'nothing'. There isn't anything in the storyline to be entertained or inspiring but the direction and the labour in the movie, the time it took the pain isn't that possible for every directors. Its a new style a unique and significant one of movie direction. That's what everyone loves about. The story isn't epic rather boring, the actors aren't that great rather unknown, the movie is what that everyone's life is about, nothing but the project is fascinating yet magnificent by Richard Linklater.
    Expand
  6. Aug 31, 2014
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I will be very disappointed if this film wins the best picture academy award... it was a real downer for me... o.k.... but, not at all what I was hoping for... in fact, I was rooting for the girl who dumped he main character when she did.... and hated the mescaline induced ending... Expand
  7. Jan 23, 2015
    0
    Boyhood is a coming of age film directed by Richard Linklater which is over two hours long and let me tell you, it was 12 years for absolutelyBoyhood is a coming of age film directed by Richard Linklater which is over two hours long and let me tell you, it was 12 years for absolutely nothing. all the young actors are more or less incredibly lifeless and Ellar Coltrane goes from being a innocent kid to a miserable and pathetic young man who looks like a druggie Justin Bieber. it was super duper **** and the only good thing was the actress who played mason's mother who was really acting and showing some emotion. Boyhood is a film for poor butt sucking critics who lives are terrible and can relate with a film that gives a dark view on how life is really terrible. I can't believe that rotten tomatoes and metacritic gave this film high scores, either because they don't know what real films or they just have their heads up their prideful asses. Boyhood is a disgrace to modern day cinema and is the absolute worst and I mean worst film of 2014. Expand

See all 210 User Reviews

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