Boyhood

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7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1636 Ratings

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User Reviews

  1. 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 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 whatA 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
  2. 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 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
    I 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.
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  3. Jul 28, 2014
    3
    The movie is complete and utter waste of time. I truly feel sorry for the actors that dedicated 12 years of their life filming such a **** and boring movie. However, they should also be commemorated because this movie may be the cure to insomnia,its that slow. Some may argue that slow and steady wins the race,and the only way that could be true for this movie was competing for the ****The movie is complete and utter waste of time. I truly feel sorry for the actors that dedicated 12 years of their life filming such a **** and boring movie. However, they should also be commemorated because this movie may be the cure to insomnia,its that slow. Some may argue that slow and steady wins the race,and the only way that could be true for this movie was competing for the **** movie of all time. The fact that 'boyhood' has such good reviews blows my mind, but i figured out why this is so. Reviewers feel so terrible that this **** movie took 12 whole years to make they all decided to throw a pity party and hand out 10's.n Expand
  4. Aug 8, 2014
    0
    3 hours of inept, masturbatory navel-gazing. A one-trick-pony of a movie so intent on patting its own back over how much critics will be baited into loving its "bold experimentation" that it forgot to be a film ABOUT anything. I never imagined something that took so much time and energy to make could appear so lazy and ill-conceived on screen.

    Ignore the undeserved praise. Just because
    3 hours of inept, masturbatory navel-gazing. A one-trick-pony of a movie so intent on patting its own back over how much critics will be baited into loving its "bold experimentation" that it forgot to be a film ABOUT anything. I never imagined something that took so much time and energy to make could appear so lazy and ill-conceived on screen.

    Ignore the undeserved praise. Just because it took 12 years to make doesn't mean it's any good. Don't encourage these people and give this a pass.
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  5. Jul 13, 2014
    2
    You know what my favourite part of this film was besides some nice shots of Austin, a place I've visited? The beginning of the ending credits!

    Am I the only to have seen this film as overlong and full of repeated after school special scenarios? Two hours and forty-five minutes of shallow small talk mixed with one-liners one would likelier hear out of a pothead's mouth amounts to a
    You know what my favourite part of this film was besides some nice shots of Austin, a place I've visited? The beginning of the ending credits!

    Am I the only to have seen this film as overlong and full of repeated after school special scenarios? Two hours and forty-five minutes of shallow small talk mixed with one-liners one would likelier hear out of a pothead's mouth amounts to a combination of sitting in an Elizabethan torture chamber while watching the "Wonder Years". Except the Wonder Years had more creative plot lines.

    Am I the only one to think how emotionally balanced and level-head those kids were despite having a father who's insufferably loquacious and a mother who's just a plain miserable cow less than apologetically putting her children second? I like Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke. I do not think they make the best sympathetic parents.

    Am I the only one to see the young Mason's lack of backbone and failure to stand up to the horrible adult role models his impressionable life? I'd like to think that a lot of kids would rebel, rather virulently and understandably I should add, at basically being brow-beaten and spiritually abused to death. It's just not real.

    No to Boyhood. No to all the adulation the movie has undeservedly received.
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  6. Jul 12, 2014
    5
    I'm utterly mystified by the unanimous raves for this movie by the professional critics. There are beats and performances to enjoy here, particularly those of the children cast in the roles of Mason Jr and his sister Samantha. And there is an innate fascination with watching a boy's face and body become that of a man that is captivating here. But the minute the adults around Mason Jr startI'm utterly mystified by the unanimous raves for this movie by the professional critics. There are beats and performances to enjoy here, particularly those of the children cast in the roles of Mason Jr and his sister Samantha. And there is an innate fascination with watching a boy's face and body become that of a man that is captivating here. But the minute the adults around Mason Jr start speaking, I just felt like I wanted to leave the room. The parade of inappropriate (or downright terrifying) fathers that march through the story made me wonder at the miracle that young Mason would actually survive into adulthood at all. Had the brilliance of the concept been matched with a more invigorating and cliche-free screenplay, I too would have rewarded the movie with a 10. As is, it's hard to recommend even investing the 2 hours and 45 minutes it takes to wade through this particular boyhood. Expand
  7. Jul 14, 2014
    0
    I am absolutely shocked by all of the great reviews. Maybe my expectations were too high but I mean the critics loved it and praised it like it was the best movie of all time, when it really is a waste of time.
  8. Jan 29, 2015
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This show is terrible, don't be fooled by the super high ratings. It's so bad I created an account here on metacritic just to warn you not to waste 3 hours of your life watching this show about nothing. NOTHING. There is no plot, no character development, no climax, NOTHING. It sucks. How it was filmed in 12 years does nothing for the **** plot Expand
  9. May 9, 2015
    6
    In 2002,Richard Linklater has an idea of a film that became the greatest gimmick in movie history. Journey a long with a six year old boy growing up in an awkward way.The movie is beautiful but nothing interesting.Get ready as this film force you to watch a boy who grows up and that's about it. But the movie.The movie has no plot or even the fun out of it,It's just a gimmick that works IIn 2002,Richard Linklater has an idea of a film that became the greatest gimmick in movie history. Journey a long with a six year old boy growing up in an awkward way.The movie is beautiful but nothing interesting.Get ready as this film force you to watch a boy who grows up and that's about it. But the movie.The movie has no plot or even the fun out of it,It's just a gimmick that works I think whiplash is much better than this.I gave it a mixed review cause it has potential and yes it is a beautiful film but it lacks the magic and the plot(I think). Expand
  10. Feb 12, 2015
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie is completely, utterly, boring. There's literally nothing that happens. It's about a boy living an extremely dull and cliched life. There's virtually no drama that happens throughout the entire movie, and the drama that is presented is still quite listless and unimportant. In other words, this movie is about as plot-less as a movie can get. It took twelve years to film, and yet, those years span by quickly and dully, one event after the other, with no point or order, just chaotic and random. But what makes the movie so dull was the main character.

    In the movie, there is nothing bad happens to the main character, nothing to make you connect with him. There's nothing life changing. In fact, the three biggest "bad" things that happen to him are that his mother can't find "the right guy" (after divorcing his father, she marries her college professor who turns out to become a drunk, and then she marries one of her own college students, who turns out to have mental stability problems due to him serving in the military; both of which she ends up divorcing as well), and his father sells the car that he had thought would be his when he turned sixteen, and his girlfriend cheated on him, which resulted in their relationship ending. Other than this, nothing happens. He literally goes through life showing as little emotion as possible, just floating by, as though he was in a coma, or constantly tired.

    So, finally, after two hours and thirty mintutes, you come towards the end of the movie. The "boy" is now an adult who has graduated high school and who is going to be going to college. Upon him packing his last things, his mother breaks down saying that there's nothing more that is going to happen with her life. That her life has just been a series of events: her having her children, her divorcing her husband, her raising her children, her marrying a man, divorcing him, raising her kids some more, marring her college student just to divorce him as well, and finally, her sending first her daughter to college, and then her son. Then she concludes with saying that what comes next is, "[her] funeral." To this, the boy, replies that she's off by forty years, "or something." Then she says that, "[she] expected there to be more." The movie then cuts to him driving on the road to college.

    When he finally arrives at college, he meets his new roommate, who is friendly and invites him to go hiking with his girlfriend and another friend (who is also a girl). When Mason (the main character) sees that she's pretty, he decides that he'll go. Before he goes, his new roommate hands him a hallucinatory mushroom and says that by the time they reach the mountains, it will have an effect. It then fast forwards to them walking to the mountains and we see that Mason and the new girl are getting along very well. Then it cuts to them sitting and chatting. Across the distance, he sees his roommate yelling into the wind, and he begins to talk to this new girl, named Nicole, about how we need to, "seize the moment." Nicole replies with saying, "I think moments seize us," and it shows Mason thinking for a moment, and then it cuts to the end credits.

    I think what bothered me the most about the film was the fact that, despite it having no order, there was a point, but it wasn't that great of one. Mason, who lived his entire boring life on coasting mode is finally forced to see that if he keeps doing this, he will end up like his mom––just living, but not truly alive in the sense of being satisfied with life. The point is that we need to let the moments seize us, and we need to live. Yet, what made this theme so irrelevant was the fact that there was hardly a moment for him to have ever seized! There was no bad, barely any good, nothing that would have made is life have any significant meaning. By the end of the movie, you ask yourself, "Is my life really this boring?" And do you know what my answer was? "No, there's more drama in mine."

    In conclusion, if you want to see a long movie that drags on and on about a boy just living his life, then you'll love this movie. Even though it had a theme presented at the end, in my opinion, it just wasn't enough to save the movie overall. It is sad really, because it was such an ambitious project. But by creating such a dull life where nothing happens, I feel that they wasted those twelve years, because in all actuality, most people's lives are far more chaotic and show signs of actual character development due to things that happen, both good and bad, in their lives. That's what this movie failed to do: deliver on experiences that are worth watching. What's left instead is dull, listlessness that fails to satisfy someone who wanted to be entertained. I wanted to see sadness, hopelessness, as well as extreme elation and happiness. To see someone grow into a great person despite and because of circumstances. What I got was boy coasting his entire life though a movie that has a run time far too long.
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  11. Feb 22, 2015
    0
    One of the worst movies I have ever seen. Bad acting, terrible script, no plot, too long. Cheesy after-school special scenes with cliche, one-dimensional characters. The loveable loser dad. The single mom who has to pull herself up by the bootstraps. The a-hole abusive 2nd husband. What a joke. And don't get me started about the kid. I don't give a rat's ass about the boring brat. Negative stars.
  12. Jan 10, 2015
    6
    On the one hand, being so eliquently reminded that life is what it is, that our own daily struggles are shared and relevant, is certainly worthwhile. That the film is getting so much acclaim is suprising, given the lack of any crisis and somewhat tedious screen time of nearly 3 hours
  13. Jan 22, 2015
    0
    i realy really dislike this movie , 12 years of making really makes all critics blind, this movie really has no plot, those people suffering from insomnia are suggested to see this movie
  14. Feb 20, 2015
    8
    Ground-breaking movie project but I agree with some other users that this should not be the only reason why the film gets over the top reviews. If you do not take into account the effort made in creating this film, it turns out to be a better-than-average one, but not best a best-of-year film. It is a good luck at the reality of parenting and childhood these days, the struggles that fallGround-breaking movie project but I agree with some other users that this should not be the only reason why the film gets over the top reviews. If you do not take into account the effort made in creating this film, it turns out to be a better-than-average one, but not best a best-of-year film. It is a good luck at the reality of parenting and childhood these days, the struggles that fall on both sides, but there are some parts that don't seem to really go anywhere. Overall, it's a humbling, emotional, empathetic and thoughtful film but may be a bit too long and "pointless" without a plot to appeal to most audiences. It helps to go in with the notion of the effort that this film required, which helps you appreciate it more. Expand
  15. Jan 18, 2015
    8
    While I don't think Boyhood is quite as strong as everyone says it is, it's still a fantastic drama that has achieved something amazing that no movie has ever done- being filmed over the span of twelve years.
  16. Feb 8, 2015
    4
    Don't get me wrong. I like indie movies but this is just way over-hyped. A touch of mass hysteria for a movie that is really just a cool version of reality tv. All just too ordinary. Birdman has far more going for it. Boyhood is way too long and gives us very little to ponder other than we have all been there. There are so many better things to do with 2 hours and 45 minutes.
  17. Feb 25, 2015
    0
    it's a perfect hallmark film but nothing more. i don't know why are there so many good reviews. when the film was started i though that it can develop, but no, it's just boring and pointless. i hated the characters, the whole plot, it's very unrealistic and a bad-king mixture of stereotypes from the american films
  18. Mar 24, 2015
    6
    I really cant understand all the hype surrounding this movie i mean yes it was filmed over 12 years which is original they get points there, its not a bad movie but doesnt really have much else going for it. Ethan and Partricia give good preformances and apart from wanting to punch the first drunken husband and getting a chuckle hear and there it doesn't really make you feel much else justI really cant understand all the hype surrounding this movie i mean yes it was filmed over 12 years which is original they get points there, its not a bad movie but doesnt really have much else going for it. Ethan and Partricia give good preformances and apart from wanting to punch the first drunken husband and getting a chuckle hear and there it doesn't really make you feel much else just drags on for ages with the main character leading a pretty boring life. Expand
  19. Jan 6, 2015
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. You either simply love this movie or loathe it. Personally I loved it. Definitely 2014 movie of the year by far. I agree that sometimes it can be dull and its a little long, but such is life. You're watching a boy grow up and figure out what he wants to do with his life, especially after some of the experiences he's seen/lived through. The first 30 minutes are probably the worst part of the movie, after that it's really good. I suggest sticking with it. Lots of good quotes all throughout the movie and I feel like it's gotten a lot of praise for accuracy. I'm a little older than Mason but growing up, it was similar. I enjoyed some of the things he did/played when I was younger. Kinda the way Forrest Gump did to baby boomers back in the 90's. I feel it's relevant to call Boyhood "This Generation's Forrest Gump." There's a lot to love in the movie. I'd give it more along the lines of an 8.7-8.8 but figured I'd bump the rating a bit. Deserves higher than an 8.1 Expand
  20. Feb 2, 2015
    0
    Linklater has made the movie equivalent of the Emperor's New Suit!. "It is very beautiful" say the critics but there is nothing resplendent to be seen here! in fact, there is nothing of merit to be seen at all because the movie isn't wearing any artistic clothes. Who has the courage to stand up and proclaim that Boyhood is naked?
  21. Jan 15, 2015
    0
    I just spent 5 minutes making this account, just so I could diss the 3 hours I wasted on this awful, boring movie. I think I could've filmed an equally good movie about day to day life
  22. Jan 29, 2015
    0
    If this is what is to grow up in America, it "Really Sucks". This is not a true depiction of life, some really good acting combined with allot of bad acting. allot of irritating scenes, especially in the beginning. It shows how undisciplined children in the U.S. are, and the lack in parenting. I hated this movie, and considering it took 12 years to make, that gave the director ample timeIf this is what is to grow up in America, it "Really Sucks". This is not a true depiction of life, some really good acting combined with allot of bad acting. allot of irritating scenes, especially in the beginning. It shows how undisciplined children in the U.S. are, and the lack in parenting. I hated this movie, and considering it took 12 years to make, that gave the director ample time to edit out the bad parts, which he didn't. This movie doesn't deserve the praise it got, especially not directing wise. Any idiot could picked up a camera and shoot a film like this. Appalling. Expand
  23. Aug 31, 2014
    10
    Filmed over a 12 year period, "Boyhood" is the simple, relatable and extraordinary journey of a boy and his family. The wonderful premise and Richard Linklater's outstanding direction make "Boyhood" the year's best film, as of yet, and a sure contender for best picture. One of the best qualities of "Boyhood" is how well the audience can relate to the characters. I found myself transportedFilmed over a 12 year period, "Boyhood" is the simple, relatable and extraordinary journey of a boy and his family. The wonderful premise and Richard Linklater's outstanding direction make "Boyhood" the year's best film, as of yet, and a sure contender for best picture. One of the best qualities of "Boyhood" is how well the audience can relate to the characters. I found myself transported back to my own childhood while watching Mason grow up before my eyes; whether it was in watching the interactions and typical sibling disputes between Mason and Samantha or just seeing Mason acclimate to the challenges of growing up. Another refreshing aspect is how the film's plot doesn't revolve around a sinister villain, winning a championship game or surmounting impossible odds, but rather is simply about the beautiful and thoroughly entertaining adventure of "Boyhood." Expand
  24. Aug 17, 2014
    5
    An obscenely massively OVER-praised little film. I like Linklater and follow his work, but please.
    This movie is short on plot, narrative arch and drive, and character (thin at that); but long on didactics,
    platitudes and sentiment. These jackass critics should all be fired. They are so shallow they champion a film based purely on its gimmick (which I'm glad he tried it, it will go
    An obscenely massively OVER-praised little film. I like Linklater and follow his work, but please.
    This movie is short on plot, narrative arch and drive, and character (thin at that); but long on didactics,
    platitudes and sentiment. These jackass critics should all be fired. They are so shallow they champion a film based purely on its gimmick (which I'm glad he tried it, it will go down in cinematic history but a gimmick does not make an excellent film) and its wearing of their politics on its sleeve. DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE and DO NOT EVER FOLLOW The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, or Rolling Stone critics to name just a few. They are utterly worthless.
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  25. Aug 10, 2014
    7
    Earth to critics - Boyhood may have been a successful experiment, but it is by no means a masterpiece. A transcendent film should convey some memorable archetypes, and this film, for all its cataloguing of the experiences of growing up as a boy, with a sister, a mother, and several fathers - one biological, and the others there chiefly to display male shortcomings - comes up with few, ifEarth to critics - Boyhood may have been a successful experiment, but it is by no means a masterpiece. A transcendent film should convey some memorable archetypes, and this film, for all its cataloguing of the experiences of growing up as a boy, with a sister, a mother, and several fathers - one biological, and the others there chiefly to display male shortcomings - comes up with few, if any. Despite the protagonist's criticisms of Facebook - valid enough, in my view - the movie resolves into a timeline as much as anything else. It's not that I did not enjoy the movie - it was perfectly entertaining. However, this is a film review site, and as such desperately needs some balance in the assessment of this particular offering. Expand
  26. Jan 15, 2015
    1
    Everyone knows this is a film made over 12 years, with the same cast - shot one week or so every year. Other than that, what's the story? The mom has bad taste in men, the son has the worst hair cuts in history, and that fake, "nobody understands me" angst that should pass for drama. This is what's happening to American film - even the alleged good movies are awful. This is a greatEveryone knows this is a film made over 12 years, with the same cast - shot one week or so every year. Other than that, what's the story? The mom has bad taste in men, the son has the worst hair cuts in history, and that fake, "nobody understands me" angst that should pass for drama. This is what's happening to American film - even the alleged good movies are awful. This is a great film like what - On the Waterfront, To Kill a Mockingbird? Amadeus, Chinatown? It's like every year was written a different writer, or by Linklater trying to figure out what to do. There's no central theme/plot or problem: a story line that challenges, tears them apart, shows a real portrait of a family in the midst of struggle. Nothing. Without the 12 year gimmick, this film has nothing going for it. Four of us, all film fanatics, could not wait for it to end. Expand
  27. Lyn
    Jan 11, 2015
    7
    Totally understand the raves for the groundbreaking technique -- filming over so many years -- but I found this film pretty depressing. One critic says it "hold(s) up a mirror to the human condition," to which I can only lament that I HOPE not all boys are surrounded with adults who are pretty much screwed-up a--holes. The casting also falls short, as the children do not look at all as ifTotally understand the raves for the groundbreaking technique -- filming over so many years -- but I found this film pretty depressing. One critic says it "hold(s) up a mirror to the human condition," to which I can only lament that I HOPE not all boys are surrounded with adults who are pretty much screwed-up a--holes. The casting also falls short, as the children do not look at all as if they were produced by Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette. All that said, it IS really interesting to see the characters age and change, though the profundity (to me) falls short of Linklater's "Before Sunset." Final note: The soundtrack is extremely well done. It doesn't hit you over the head with songs of the different eras, but weaves music together artfully. Expand
  28. Jan 12, 2015
    3
    I am convinced that all the critics are giving this bouquets because they are scared not to. I mean, it's Linklater and it's a 12 year project and it's so frightfully "well observed". But did we observe anything interesting, or insightful...really? Come on, really? The early promise that we'd see the boy grow through the emotional impact of divorce and domestic violence and being slightlyI am convinced that all the critics are giving this bouquets because they are scared not to. I mean, it's Linklater and it's a 12 year project and it's so frightfully "well observed". But did we observe anything interesting, or insightful...really? Come on, really? The early promise that we'd see the boy grow through the emotional impact of divorce and domestic violence and being slightly unconventional, but it never eventuates and ultimately it all just leads to your common or garden teen's self indulgent prattling. There were some terribly clever things going on, especially the editing of the time jumps, and I was always curious to see how the actors had aged, including the next hairstyle choice.
    On the positive Linklater didn't take us down conventional routes, there was no 'coming of age sex scene" for example, or any 'teen makes bad judgement call and gets into trouble' scene. But neither has he built any significant conflict. I wouldn't call this film an utter waste of my time, but I've no idea what people are raving about.
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  29. Aug 10, 2014
    10
    Boyhood embodies greatness. It inspires and exhilarates. It is poignant and uplifting. Boyhood celebrates life like no other and examines its often obscure meaning.

    The film chronicles the fictional life of Mason from age five to eighteen. The plot follows his coming to age and the turmoil it often brings. This film is unique when it comes to story telling because it was filmed over the
    Boyhood embodies greatness. It inspires and exhilarates. It is poignant and uplifting. Boyhood celebrates life like no other and examines its often obscure meaning.

    The film chronicles the fictional life of Mason from age five to eighteen. The plot follows his coming to age and the turmoil it often brings. This film is unique when it comes to story telling because it was filmed over the course of twelve years. This allows the film makers to experiment like no other and exemplifies to its audience the real time that passes in between scenes. You watch as Mason matures and you develop a deep connection with him that is almost universally unrivaled by other films. I became so engrossed in his character that the nearly three hour run time felt like mere minutes.

    Boyhood is brimming in high quality. Richard Linklater directed this film flawlessly. His direction highlights the emotion of the film and projects life into it’s characters. Linklater’s screenplay also perplexes the characters and is filled with memorable dialog and subtle wisdom. The combination of these elements defines the film and its soul. The assembled cast is also top notch. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette star, and newcomer Ellar Coltrane plays the title role of Mason. The chemistry between the actors is unmatched and it only continues to evolve as the film progresses.

    Boyhood is a celebration of life, from its triumphs to it’s heartbreak. It inspires us to live and as the film so eloquently put it “let the moment size you”. Boyhood instills its soul into every frame. It teaches us that life worth living. It shows us that beauty is all around us and we simply just have to let go to experience it. Boyhood is unlike anything that has proceeded it and likely unlike anything that will follow. It is revolutionizing in every sense of the word and is undeniably the best film (thus far) this year and possibly of this decade. I can not urge you enough to experience this monumental piece of art.
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  30. Dec 26, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Easily the best movie I have watched in a long time. It's deep, thoughtful, realistic, but not heavy-handed. I like how there's really no moral to the story. As someone who had a somewhat disjointed childhood (like Mason), this is what actually happens. When you grow up, things are generally fine. You bear some scars from the experience but overall you just move on. Expand
  31. Oct 9, 2014
    10
    More of an experience than a movie. It was brilliant to see the cast grow and develop over twelve years. Last year the winner of best picture was 12 Years A Slave seems funny that Boyhood the front runner to this years race had its cast and crew be slaves to the film for 12 years.
  32. Jan 13, 2015
    10
    Richard Linklater has proven himself to be our primary guide to cinematic time travel. Whether it’s in his Before Trilogy which captures the arc of a relationship over a decade or his lighter fare like Dazed and Confused which looks back on our teenage years through the lens of nostalgia, he has shown an uncanny ability to demonstrate on screen the subtleties of how time affects us all.Richard Linklater has proven himself to be our primary guide to cinematic time travel. Whether it’s in his Before Trilogy which captures the arc of a relationship over a decade or his lighter fare like Dazed and Confused which looks back on our teenage years through the lens of nostalgia, he has shown an uncanny ability to demonstrate on screen the subtleties of how time affects us all. Boyhood, which was shot over twelve years, following characters as the actors that play them literally age, is Linklater’s magnum opus. The persistence and determination of the all involved in the production is admirable and they deserve the attention they are receiving, however what is more remarkable is the film itself. A film so modest, light, and carefree and yet so powerful, Boyhood is the antithesis of the modern Hollywood blockbuster (Interstellar) characterized by their pomposity and heavy handedness. Here is a film that never claims it is telling us anything and yet in the end tells us everything. Expand
  33. Dec 26, 2014
    10
    Watching a boy grow from six-year-old to a young adult, witnessing a family's 12 years in 165 minutes is nothing more than watching life itself.Richard Linkater delivers a film of a lifetime, the most realistic depiction of life and one of the most unique films in the history of cinema.The part I love the most is the final scene, at Big Bend, Mason talking with a girl he just met about theWatching a boy grow from six-year-old to a young adult, witnessing a family's 12 years in 165 minutes is nothing more than watching life itself.Richard Linkater delivers a film of a lifetime, the most realistic depiction of life and one of the most unique films in the history of cinema.The part I love the most is the final scene, at Big Bend, Mason talking with a girl he just met about the moment seizing us, he says ''It’s constant, the moments, it’s just - it’s like it’s always right now, you know?'', really great, a masterpiece Expand
  34. Nov 29, 2014
    10
    One of the most revolutionary movies of the cinema history. . As you watch and see how people change you progressively fall in a more deep enchantment. Boyhood is simply a masterpiece that you will remember for ever and that will become a classic cult movie as time goes by. 10/10
  35. Jan 4, 2015
    10
    The perfect movie, that's all I can say. The story, the actors, the music, every scene... The feeling it makes me feel is awesome, immersive. Watch it, buy it... doesn't matter the person you are or your taste; you won't feel regretful.
  36. Dec 25, 2014
    10
    This is the first Richard Linklater film that i have watched, he's got a lot of noteworthy films like Dazed and Confused, School Of Rock and Before Sunrise. Boyhood is such an inspirational take on life in general and it gets standout performances out of Ellar Coltrane, Patrica Arquette and Ethan Hawke.
  37. Jan 16, 2015
    10
    An impeccable movie you'll never regret watching twice.
    A real pearl inside the oyster of the world cinema.
    Undoubtedly, that is the best picture of the real flow of life ever made.
  38. Nov 4, 2014
    10
    At the end of the movie, as the main character Mason Jr. (Ellar Coltrane) is sitting with an attractive young girl named Nicole. Nicole suggests that instead of people seizing the moment, the moment seizes the people. Mason smiles, and agrees. This is Boyhood. That one little dialogue summarizes the entire movie, and if used applicable, life itself.
    When one watches this film, you don't
    At the end of the movie, as the main character Mason Jr. (Ellar Coltrane) is sitting with an attractive young girl named Nicole. Nicole suggests that instead of people seizing the moment, the moment seizes the people. Mason smiles, and agrees. This is Boyhood. That one little dialogue summarizes the entire movie, and if used applicable, life itself.
    When one watches this film, you don't think towards what's going to happen next, you are completely enraptured in whatever scene is going on. You are fully and totally devoted to the movie and the characters in it. As you watch the movie, you begin to get attached to Mason and by then end of the movie, you start rooting for him unlike any other character. You not only want him to succeed, you want to make sure that he's taken care of, and that he finds his way down the right path in life. This movie captures you like no film has, or ever will
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  39. Dec 10, 2014
    10
    Boyhood made me want to enjoy life, to get off the couch and really find what I want to do with my life. It made me want to get out of my house and meet new people. Thanks to this film I´m now really scared of dying knowing that there´s a lot for me to experience.
    I have never been able to relate to a story and its protagonists as much as I did with Boyhood and while some people may find
    Boyhood made me want to enjoy life, to get off the couch and really find what I want to do with my life. It made me want to get out of my house and meet new people. Thanks to this film I´m now really scared of dying knowing that there´s a lot for me to experience.
    I have never been able to relate to a story and its protagonists as much as I did with Boyhood and while some people may find it "boring" or "too long" but for me it was perfect. And the fact that they used the same actors for all the film just adds more to the awesome this film is.
    So thank you everyone who contributed for this. Thank you
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  40. Dec 27, 2014
    10
    This film is an absolute masterpiece. Being about the same age as Mason, I found that this film and his story reflects my entire generation. It has its dull moments and its exciting moments throughout this story, but that is what life is; it's subtle at times and game-changing at other times. And if you had to pick one film that showcases life, it's "Boyhood." No matter what age you are,This film is an absolute masterpiece. Being about the same age as Mason, I found that this film and his story reflects my entire generation. It has its dull moments and its exciting moments throughout this story, but that is what life is; it's subtle at times and game-changing at other times. And if you had to pick one film that showcases life, it's "Boyhood." No matter what age you are, you can't help but seeing aspects of your own life in the lives of this family.

    These actors put TWELVE years of their lives into the portrayal of these original characters. And if that isn't the performance of a lifetime, I don't know what is. Patricia Arquette deserves the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Olivia, Mason's mother; her acting has a perfect combination of subtlety, realism, and emotional depth.

    It was so difficult to put my feelings about this film into words, because it is just that remarkable and revolutionary. Richard Linklater has the right to call this film his "Mona Lisa."
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  41. Jan 8, 2015
    10
    Boyhood is a true treat. The audience is taken on a journey as we follow the growth of a boy who becomes a man. As someone who is the same age that Mason would've been, I couldn't believe the realism of the film. Everything about the film is perfect including even a soundtrack that includes hit songs from the different years of Mason's life. Boyhood is a passion project of RichardBoyhood is a true treat. The audience is taken on a journey as we follow the growth of a boy who becomes a man. As someone who is the same age that Mason would've been, I couldn't believe the realism of the film. Everything about the film is perfect including even a soundtrack that includes hit songs from the different years of Mason's life. Boyhood is a passion project of Richard Linklater and it shows in its thorough attention to detail throughout. When I read about Boyhood and its development process I am even more impressed by this film as a whole. The true highlights of the film come from supporting turns of Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette who play their parts of mom and dad to perfection. They both hold the movie together at different points, especially in the earlier parts of the film as they had to work with children that weren't even really acting but just behaving. As the film progresses and Ellar Coltrane adds his own spin to the character of Mason the movie becomes even more of a treat. Linklater gives the audience a great depiction of what it's like to grow up and it works against all odds. Boyhood is a movie that everyone should see. Expand
  42. Jan 12, 2015
    7
    I can’t deny that this is a film one of a kind. I’ve never seen a movie that has so much character development as this one has. It’s just amazing watching how the kid actually grows up and gets older in front of your eyes, and all the acting is pretty great. I can’t imagine all the commitment that everyone had to put in this movie during all those eleven years of shooting. That’s more thanI can’t deny that this is a film one of a kind. I’ve never seen a movie that has so much character development as this one has. It’s just amazing watching how the kid actually grows up and gets older in front of your eyes, and all the acting is pretty great. I can’t imagine all the commitment that everyone had to put in this movie during all those eleven years of shooting. That’s more than enough to go watch this movie one time. Sadly, besides that, the movie is a little boring. Yes, it’s very cool to see the kid get old, but the film itself is not breathtaking. It’s just about a normal kid’s life in the USA, since he is in school, until he goes to college. I’m very happy because I watched this film a first time, but I wouldn’t watch it again. Expand
  43. Jan 20, 2015
    3
    It's fun to see how the character played by the same actor develops in the film. But in my opinion the experiment did not produced positive outcomes, what you are left with is with a movie without any feeling with mediocre acting and even worse writing. It is unbelievable that this much effort and time was invested so we could compare a movie with looking at a family's photo album.

    I
    It's fun to see how the character played by the same actor develops in the film. But in my opinion the experiment did not produced positive outcomes, what you are left with is with a movie without any feeling with mediocre acting and even worse writing. It is unbelievable that this much effort and time was invested so we could compare a movie with looking at a family's photo album.

    I don´t recommend watching this movie, a complete waste of my time.
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  44. Jan 28, 2015
    0
    Really wanted to like this film based on all the praise and liking some of Linklater's earlier films, but the unanimous critical praise should be the first clue that the reviews are a herd-like following of other reviewers rather than looking at the movie apart from the name branding and previous praise heaped upon it. If you like wasting 2 hours and 45 minutes of your life watchingReally wanted to like this film based on all the praise and liking some of Linklater's earlier films, but the unanimous critical praise should be the first clue that the reviews are a herd-like following of other reviewers rather than looking at the movie apart from the name branding and previous praise heaped upon it. If you like wasting 2 hours and 45 minutes of your life watching contrived, cliched and poorly written scenes and actors then this is your movie. If you want to see people age over 12 years, looking through your own family albums would be a much better use of time than suffering through this mess. Universal acclaim = critic/review failure. Expand
  45. Jul 28, 2014
    10
    There are some movies that are excellent and then there are some that are ground-breaking. Boyhood is in that rarefied air of the latter. It is important to define what Boyhood is as much as what it isn't. This is not your typical movie of cliff hangers and shocking revelations. This is not a movie of searing performances and of acting the part of some highly unusual character ala Rain ManThere are some movies that are excellent and then there are some that are ground-breaking. Boyhood is in that rarefied air of the latter. It is important to define what Boyhood is as much as what it isn't. This is not your typical movie of cliff hangers and shocking revelations. This is not a movie of searing performances and of acting the part of some highly unusual character ala Rain Man or Raging Bull. This is clearly not a movie of escapism and triumph of good over evil.

    This is the movie that Terrence Malik was trying to make when he made his artsy inscrutable Tree of Life. This is an easily accessible story of life in all of its reality without a single bit of artifice used to tell the story. This is also a movie trying to be shown and told through a boy;s eyes. Scenes that are shown and are memorable because that is what would register in the child's eyes at that time and place in their life. The authenticity documented by taking 12 years to film it and accept the changes in the world that would have to fit the storyline can not be replicated in a traditional movie. This gives it the gravitas of a true story and makes it all that much more believable.

    The other revelation of this movie is that it should be on some level the story of your life. There has to be some empathy and connection to what you see on screen that is relatable to one's own experiences. This movie is more then a passive watching experience, this is a mirror into ourselves and what the passage of life means to us. The beauty of this movie is that it doesn't have to be the son who you relate to, even though he is the focus. You can be any of the immediate family or none at all and still connect in a visceral way to the characters.

    Linklater didn't tell the story of just a boy, he told the story of us all and what can be more engrossing then watch a filmmaker take the time to take snippets of our lives and put it on screen in his own imitable style. We are all much more enriched by having this truly wonderful movie made.
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  46. Aug 10, 2014
    6
    An overrated film, exceedingly so. There are several funny moments that are genuinely human and natural. Yet the film is about half an hour too long and the ending fails to accomplish anything. While the concept of the style of filmmaking is brilliant, how does it help the movie? The acting was slightly above average. The scenes of alcoholic step-fathers and philosophical conversations isAn overrated film, exceedingly so. There are several funny moments that are genuinely human and natural. Yet the film is about half an hour too long and the ending fails to accomplish anything. While the concept of the style of filmmaking is brilliant, how does it help the movie? The acting was slightly above average. The scenes of alcoholic step-fathers and philosophical conversations is completely unnecessary. Linklater is normally a better director than this. Expand
  47. Oct 3, 2014
    3
    Boyhood should never have been a feature film.

    Feeling wholly episodic, Boyhood fails to resonate as a story--its thematic through-line is unclear and each episode lacks the transitions necessary in drawing any sense of a story together. There are certain scenes that make me believe Boyhood would have worked really well as a 12-part miniseries, wherein every episode delves deeper into
    Boyhood should never have been a feature film.

    Feeling wholly episodic, Boyhood fails to resonate as a story--its thematic through-line is unclear and each episode lacks the transitions necessary in drawing any sense of a story together. There are certain scenes that make me believe Boyhood would have worked really well as a 12-part miniseries, wherein every episode delves deeper into each year of the 12 years it took to film. Provided it contained more depth, better chemistry between the actors and a clearer focus to the tale being told (that a longer series could have afforded), this would have been a remarkable achievement.

    Instead, Boyhood succeeds as a gimmick. I fail to see how any positive review of this film isn't relying on exactly what the film relies on--the wonder that an entire cast & crew had the patience to take 12 years to film a "passion project."

    And just a project it surely is.
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  48. Aug 28, 2014
    10
    Richard Linklater created the most realistic representation of high school on film in Dazed & Confused nearly twenty years ago. Now he trumps that with a film that can't even claim to be a facsimile of what it means to grow up, because it actually is documenting over 12 years the same actor as he changes from a child into a man. Years from now people will look back at this movie as aRichard Linklater created the most realistic representation of high school on film in Dazed & Confused nearly twenty years ago. Now he trumps that with a film that can't even claim to be a facsimile of what it means to grow up, because it actually is documenting over 12 years the same actor as he changes from a child into a man. Years from now people will look back at this movie as a record of what it was like to be a child in this new century.
    A perfect time capsule of a film.
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  49. Aug 12, 2014
    8
    All in all it was a very interesting movie that provided a unique experience. The length is not necessary. At some point you have to know when the end a movie. Over-hyped.
  50. Aug 15, 2014
    10
    As someone who's around the same age as Mason (21) I really related to his character and the US he was growing up in at the time. The acting across the board is flawless (Patricia Arquette better get some award attention), Linklater's direction is so detailed I kept getting nostalgia whiplashes from the music to the events (summer 2005 HP: Half Blood Prince book release, anyone?), and theAs someone who's around the same age as Mason (21) I really related to his character and the US he was growing up in at the time. The acting across the board is flawless (Patricia Arquette better get some award attention), Linklater's direction is so detailed I kept getting nostalgia whiplashes from the music to the events (summer 2005 HP: Half Blood Prince book release, anyone?), and the dialogue makes all these characters seem fleshed out and real. If anyone's going to have a problem with this film it's the ones who NEED a strong plot (or any plot, really) which the movie doesn't really supply. You're watching a kid grow into a young man through the coarse of a 3 hour movie. Basic drama. It's both about nothing and about everything.
    I feel like Boyhood, much like other films like Avatar and Cloud Atlas, is going to be remembered more for its technical scope and ambition rather than it's narrative. Which is fine for me because I love those films and I feel like this is going to go down as one of my favorite films. It's definitely going to be my favorite of 2014, that I can guarantee!
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  51. Aug 9, 2014
    8
    Boyhood is not worthy of a 100 metacritic score, but that doesn't mean that this movie is a mediocre film, because it is absolutely not mediocre. This film is still fantastic. The beginning of the film was easily the best. From the age of 6-14, the movie was a work of art. Powerful, funny, and touching, giving you a sense of great emotion and feeling for Mason Jr. The movie felt worthy ofBoyhood is not worthy of a 100 metacritic score, but that doesn't mean that this movie is a mediocre film, because it is absolutely not mediocre. This film is still fantastic. The beginning of the film was easily the best. From the age of 6-14, the movie was a work of art. Powerful, funny, and touching, giving you a sense of great emotion and feeling for Mason Jr. The movie felt worthy of a 100. However, the second half felt unrealistic, not as emotionally powerful, and less entertaining than the first 1/2 of the film. It felt like a bit of a drag to get through the 15-18 years of Mason Jr.'s life. Linklater should have focused more on the childhood rather than the teenage life. Also, I feel like the length of the film could have been cut about 20 minutes. However, the film was still worth seeing and was very entertaining (at least the first half). Expand
  52. Oct 15, 2014
    1
    I saw this movie with my girlfriend on the account that the concept of it was very intriguing, but I spent over 3/4 of the movie curled up in a ball groaning, yelling, hyperventilating, and biting my arm hair because it was overwhelmingly painful to watch. (I do that at bad movies.) THE CONCEPT IS GREAT! Good job! That's it! Like others have said about it, if I wanted to watch a movieI saw this movie with my girlfriend on the account that the concept of it was very intriguing, but I spent over 3/4 of the movie curled up in a ball groaning, yelling, hyperventilating, and biting my arm hair because it was overwhelmingly painful to watch. (I do that at bad movies.) THE CONCEPT IS GREAT! Good job! That's it! Like others have said about it, if I wanted to watch a movie about life I'd strap a cardboard box to my body and view things through it like it was a TV set. We all enjoy reliving experiences outside of our own life, like in driving games when you decide you want to actually drive the speed limit and use your turn signal, BUT IT GETS BORING REAL QUICK! This movie is not only extremely boring, but inconceivably pointless. "Oh but they had abusive step dads!! That's dramatic!" The first step dad spent 5 minutes in one scene talking about chores and overacting his drunkenness. In another scene, the main character talked about why he didn't like Facebook for ten minutes. The acting is atrocious across the board, except for when Ethan Hawk plays a more respectable middle aged dad towards the end. Every line was forced and seemingly read off of a cue card written from a script that I feel like one of my old depressed Navy friends never finished.

    There is literally only one scene worth mentioning that can be considered well written: The first time the main character comes home late as a teen, he arrives at a small party that his mom and new (second) step dad are having. The step dad says "Do you know what time it is?" At this point the viewer believes that there's going to be a fight, but when the main character says that it's sometime after midnight, the step dad says "Happy birthday." OF 3+ HOURS of horrible writing, THAT ONE SCENE is the only thing remotely well written and heartfelt!

    People, I'm doing this as a public service because I spent 20 minutes of the movie googling on my phone why this film got good reviews. Don't be roped in by this nonsense. They did a great job taking 12 years to film something with all the same actors, I'll give them that. Unfortunately, they couldn't time travel forward to see how horrible those actors would become.

    Do yourself a favor and spend twelve years with an actual human instead of Boyhood. It will probably be way more interesting and will seem a lot less shorter than this movie.

    Rating: Garbage
    Favorite line: "I'll email these to everyone!"
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  53. Jan 12, 2015
    1
    Well, no matter how much work you put into it, if it's not good, it's not good... and doesn't deserve accolades for effort...

    I've seen some of Linklaters and Malicks films and I'm not a fan... not to say I have to be, but if you're going up for an award some things should be paramount... (Tree of Life is still the worst award nominated film I've ever subjected myself to)... A plot
    Well, no matter how much work you put into it, if it's not good, it's not good... and doesn't deserve accolades for effort...

    I've seen some of Linklaters and Malicks films and I'm not a fan... not to say I have to be, but if you're going up for an award some things should be paramount... (Tree of Life is still the worst award nominated film I've ever subjected myself to)...

    A plot would be nice... a story... a payoff... consistency... competent acting... believable dialogue... character development... motivation are just a few things I'd expect in an award nominated film... It didn't take me on a journey... It showed me a series of pointless scenes to show a passage of time... Seemed like a lot of it was written (or ad-libbed) as they went (later confirmed to a degree by his daughter)...

    The liberal agenda (which I mostly agree with) was stuck in there too obviously and made it feel even more like a really bad LIfetime movie...

    Reading the reviews, it comes across as people pretending to like or understand the film to fit in, be in the know or appear smart... I prefer to take a serious look at this and be truthful...

    I was looking forward to the film... I read the hype, was excited about the premise and am fan of new exciting film ideas... but they have to be well executed... (that's the thing)...I'd like to know what about this film was done well?

    Linklater had 12 years to plan out a script, story, plot... to direct the actors to better performances... he had a $4 million budget (with no stunts, SFX, costumes, sets, etc)... He made the most basic of films types: I dialogue-driven drama with no costly name actors... There is no excuse...

    If I come across harsh, it's because this film received so much unwarranted or deserving hype and rave reviews... Had this won at a film festival and went to DVD, great.... good for them... For this to be beating out other great films for awards (and for acting and directing too?!?!?!), it deserves some questioning into what the hell are people liking about it?

    Is Linklater blackmailing everyone? Were all the critics bribed? Is he best friends with Kim Jong Un?

    This film fails to exceed in any of the categories set forth by the awards shows... I'm so glad the SAG Awards are coming soon, so I can gauge how it'll do up against some other greats films... I don't think I can stomach the Oscars if Boyhood is a frontrunner...

    Does this film have any rewatchablilty for anyone not involved with the production? Were they any "positive" stand-out performances? Powerful moments? Surprises/twists? Engaging story? Characters to care about?

    One last question I'd like to pose...Taking out the fact that all the main actors were available to work at various points within a 12 year period; that is, no one died or decided to quit (though Linklater's daughter wanted her character killed off because she didn't want to do it anymore, to which he said 'no, it would be too powerful for the film' - so instead, nothing happens)... What exactly about his movie was done well or successful?
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  54. Jan 17, 2015
    10
    The film's greatest strength arguably lies in how real it feels as you watch it. It takes a simple, but intriguing concept, and utilizes it in the best possible way.
  55. Jan 19, 2015
    0
    Unbearably boring, I can't believe I wasted 3 hours of my life watching someone growing up as everyone else did, no story, no action, no drama, no nothing, it would have been a lot better if it was documentary movie with the character acting normal
  56. Jul 18, 2014
    6
    An ambitious, inventive undertaking that, unfortunately, doesn't live up to its hype. The film's novel approach isn't enough to overcome its episodic nature and its pedestrian performance by a dull, insipid protagonist surrounded by an array of characters far more interesting than he is. The insights it offers come too few and far between and aren't especially revelatory when they do. AllAn ambitious, inventive undertaking that, unfortunately, doesn't live up to its hype. The film's novel approach isn't enough to overcome its episodic nature and its pedestrian performance by a dull, insipid protagonist surrounded by an array of characters far more interesting than he is. The insights it offers come too few and far between and aren't especially revelatory when they do. All in all, an underwhelming effort that leans a little too heavily on its own self-congratulatory nature. Expand
  57. Jul 23, 2014
    10
    12 years in the making sounds like a long time, especially for a movie. Boyhood is a simple movie, but on the grand scheme of things, it has more to it. In the run time of 2 hrs & 45 mins, you get to witness these characters grow up in front of our very eyes. What this movie has is realistic dialogue, great acting, a great score, and the brilliant directing by Richard Linklater. Some may12 years in the making sounds like a long time, especially for a movie. Boyhood is a simple movie, but on the grand scheme of things, it has more to it. In the run time of 2 hrs & 45 mins, you get to witness these characters grow up in front of our very eyes. What this movie has is realistic dialogue, great acting, a great score, and the brilliant directing by Richard Linklater. Some may say this movie could be the best of the year, and it very well could be. GO SEE THIS MOVIE. Expand
  58. Jan 3, 2015
    0
    A really "cool" idea about shooting the film using the same characters over 12 years. But its pointless! The movie is boring, slow and just drags on and on.
  59. Jul 29, 2014
    10
    A unique offering from one of America's most original directors. This is not the sort of film imagined by neophyte filmmakers, stuck on the three act structure with predictable conflicts, crisis points and final resolution. Linklater explores influences that contribute to lives built. It is not merely children who grow and change; the adults central to Boyhood are as different after 12A unique offering from one of America's most original directors. This is not the sort of film imagined by neophyte filmmakers, stuck on the three act structure with predictable conflicts, crisis points and final resolution. Linklater explores influences that contribute to lives built. It is not merely children who grow and change; the adults central to Boyhood are as different after 12 years as their offspring. Linklater allows time to roll by without hitting us with title cards or other obvious signposts. The transitions tend to be subtle, involving, haircuts, music, technology. It's a lengthy film but I found it captivating and fulfilling. Kudos to Linklater but also to IFC Films. Founded in 1999 means that Boyhood has been a work in progress throughout most of its existence. A brave company that does not take the roads most followed. Expand
  60. Jul 31, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. What a beautiful film..wow.

    I am so connected to these characters, almost as if they were real people I grew up with. I am not insane either; I can differentiate reality from a movie. I also relate to the simple fact that Mason is pretty much the same age as me so I grew up in the same, almost exact, time period he did. There were so many Easter eggs, if I can call them that, that I saw in this movie. I was smiling through a lot of this movie. It flashed me back to so many memories of mine.

    It is funny how much I relate to this movie because everyone is unique, even if they only have eight categories for selecting roommates, and Mason went down a different road than I did growing up, but we still saw the same signs and hit similar bumps along the way.

    This movie is long, and nothing monumental happens. I loved that about this movie. It did not force drama down your throat like a lot of the not-so-good melodramatic T.V. Shows. There are people who want more and more drama in these shows, and sometimes movies, but it just is not real life. Yes, there were some dramatic and big things that happened in Mason’s life, in his perspective we cared for him and sympathized, but these characters were not over-dramatized with romances and other problems like many shows are. That goes back to what I said about these characters feeling so real they pretty much are real people.

    The conversations were so smart and eye-opening. There are so many things in this movie that I could talk about; it is so good. I wish I could remember everything it has to say; that is a lot. I immediately want to see it again. There are so many brilliant and clever scenes ranging from being a kid to intellectual conversations.

    One thing in particular that I found funny was how they portrayed high school relationships in this movie at first glance. The director showed Mason with his girlfriend as a junior and they were all lovey-dovey, and he made it look like they were meant for each other and what not with conversations, but than he fast-forwarded a year in Mason’s life, and Mason and his girlfriend have broken up and are pretty much done with each other. I thought it was funny how ridiculous can be. No one came right out and said it either they just showed it through time. Well, I mean Mason and his dad talked about it later.

    I loved this movie. I provoke you all to see it. Don’t expect a high-octane thriller because obviously it is not. Just relax as you watch this movie. Enjoy what it is trying to say, and I feel like anyone who watches this movie will take something different out of it. There is so much great material in this movie. What a lovely movie. This is an instant classic.
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  61. Aug 6, 2014
    10
    What an absolutely beautiful film. I was worried that at 2h 40m and a couple of glasses of wine I'd fall asleep, but the movie was utterly engrossing. There has never been a film that evoked in me such strong memories of growing up, the hopelessness of a childhood depending on parents who constantly get it wrong and the subsequent explosion of feelings as you enter adolescence. With theWhat an absolutely beautiful film. I was worried that at 2h 40m and a couple of glasses of wine I'd fall asleep, but the movie was utterly engrossing. There has never been a film that evoked in me such strong memories of growing up, the hopelessness of a childhood depending on parents who constantly get it wrong and the subsequent explosion of feelings as you enter adolescence. With the exception of Mason's first stepdad, the stereotypical alcoholic husband, every character in the film was very well developed and loveable despite their endless flaws. Indeed, this was this rare breed of film that can increase one's understanding and ability to forgive family members, old lovers and friends who have inevitably caused hurt by being human. The performances from Ellar Coltrane (the boy of the title) and Lorelei Linklater (his sister and also the director's daughter) were faultless, helped by being given two brilliant characters to develop. Definitely going back for another view! Expand
  62. Aug 9, 2014
    10
    This is the type of film that warrants highly individualized reactions. It's clear that the film was made very well and the acting was incredible, but in many cases the viewers will not be able to relate to the content. It was a monumental undertaking and it was pulled off very well. I'm really looking forward to the behind the scenes / director's cut to come out.
  63. Aug 15, 2014
    10
    Richard Linklater weaves magical elements to create a film so silent yet so powerful. A dozen years in the making, the final product is nothing short of sophistication and joy, teaching the viewer to notice and appreciate the little things in life as well as all the people who help you through the difficult times. With Arquette in the lead as the mother who seems to be guiding her childrenRichard Linklater weaves magical elements to create a film so silent yet so powerful. A dozen years in the making, the final product is nothing short of sophistication and joy, teaching the viewer to notice and appreciate the little things in life as well as all the people who help you through the difficult times. With Arquette in the lead as the mother who seems to be guiding her children in the right the path through life as her's spirals in different directions altogether, to Hawke, as the runaway father who learns the responsibility of fatherhood from family (the old and new), one of the greatest strengths of this film lies in the acting talents of its superb cast. The narration and direction fall into the "awards worthy" category, and I truly hope this film gets all the accolades coming its way,as the film truly meets and surpasses all the hype and hoopla surrounding it. Expand
  64. Aug 20, 2014
    10
    There are times when you watch a movie where you feel privileged to experience these characters. Boyhood immerses you fully in the lives of its characters as you see them grow up before your eyes, experiencing real and relatable events. They quickly become like your next door neighbors and you are curious and care what happens to them. It's a testament that life itself doesn't have toThere are times when you watch a movie where you feel privileged to experience these characters. Boyhood immerses you fully in the lives of its characters as you see them grow up before your eyes, experiencing real and relatable events. They quickly become like your next door neighbors and you are curious and care what happens to them. It's a testament that life itself doesn't have to have big moments to be memorable and impactful. Expand
  65. Jan 11, 2015
    1
    Booooooooring!
    It was like watching three hours of your nephew's life slide show.
    No plot, no script, no great acting... Nothing!
    I gave it a 1 cause it takes a lot of guts to film something so forgetable for 12 years!!!
  66. Jul 18, 2014
    10
    Linklater took a huge risk with this film; and it payed dividends; to me one question plagued my mind throughout the last half of the film : How can a this film with almost no plot apart from life itself be so engrossing and emotionally grasping and how can it possibly have an ending ? I don't know if the ending was the greatest , but god damn I loved that it did what it did.

    See this film.
  67. Aug 20, 2014
    7
    It was an okay movie, I enjoyed watching it. But it isnt that great by any stretch. If you've seen any of the Before Sunrise Trilogy you should know what to expect. The implications of the subject matter are preachy, even if I happen to agree with most of what's been said. I'm sure it will win a ton of awards but in my opinion its nothing special.
  68. Aug 14, 2014
    10
    Great movie, it's been a while since a movie stuck with me a few hours after watching. Really taken by the way you felt as if you were watching a family grow apart, back together, and deal with some really tricky issues. Felt as if the actors were actually growing up while watching the movie. I felt like it was what Tree of Life should have been (that one was too strung out and too outGreat movie, it's been a while since a movie stuck with me a few hours after watching. Really taken by the way you felt as if you were watching a family grow apart, back together, and deal with some really tricky issues. Felt as if the actors were actually growing up while watching the movie. I felt like it was what Tree of Life should have been (that one was too strung out and too out there). Boyhood strikes a nice balance between getting deep in feelings and staying in the moment as well.
    [Spoilers ahead]The high-school senior Mason has the most profound realizations, but when he gets to freshman year of college the real relate-able conversations happen: son wanting to get away, mom scared of moving on, and everyone genuinely taking everything in once the last kid leaves the nest.

    In summary, will probably buy this movie to experience the feelings over again, almost like recalling them like they happened to me. That's how close it comes to a real human experience.
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  69. Aug 14, 2014
    7
    great story, but this movie is way too long. i think the same effect could've been the same at two hours. i think this movie is pretty over rated, and the only technical achievement was that it was filmed over time, there really isnt anything mesmerizing here.
  70. Aug 9, 2014
    2
    A more apt title is: Boy, Hoodwinked. Once again I fell victim to universal critical praise for a movie that's only redeeming merit is that Ethan Hawke isn't overly smarmy for a change. The acting is pretty bad overall, but maybe that's because the characters are such stereotypes -- the scene on the camping trip with the five boys might have just shown the cue cards being raised for eachA more apt title is: Boy, Hoodwinked. Once again I fell victim to universal critical praise for a movie that's only redeeming merit is that Ethan Hawke isn't overly smarmy for a change. The acting is pretty bad overall, but maybe that's because the characters are such stereotypes -- the scene on the camping trip with the five boys might have just shown the cue cards being raised for each kid to read off of. The story is endless and tedious and uneventful. Save your money. Expand
  71. Jan 19, 2015
    9
    Okay I may be in the vast minority in this one but I feel Boyhood is tremendously overpraised. It's not, by any means, a bad film, just not nearly as good as most critics claim it is. The problem I have with this film is its glaring lack of substance. There is not a single character in this film that goes through some kind of character arc. The minor changes they undergo are left obscureOkay I may be in the vast minority in this one but I feel Boyhood is tremendously overpraised. It's not, by any means, a bad film, just not nearly as good as most critics claim it is. The problem I have with this film is its glaring lack of substance. There is not a single character in this film that goes through some kind of character arc. The minor changes they undergo are left obscure and there are no hints as to what brought about those changes. None of the characters are likable. The entire film almost is a passive observation of this family's uneventful progression through the years. Although that worked very well in the first half of the movie the second half seemed superfluous. It brings back some of the most overused cliches (honestly if I had a nickel for every time a movie showed the divorced dad as cool and buff and the divorced mother as the complete opposite). The kid actors are great but as they age they seem less and less convincing. The dialogue as well suffers from cranky and mawkish moments. And on top of all that it lacks lacks a narrative structure. If you look at the Tree of Life, which is just as unstructured, Malick took advantage of that and turned it into a meditation on human behavior. Boyhood didn't even attempt to achieve anything of the sort. Tree of Life was poetry; Boyhood is just product. All the reviews I've read so far seem to be obsessed with the concept of the film rather than the final result. To me, Boyhood is yet another film that didn't come close to justifying its overblown hype.

    Re:Edit: But now that the hype has settled, I do agree that it's a great film. It explores the notion of growing up, our ethical definitions about what is right and wrong and the truth behind the social "code" for well-being. Mason (Ellar Coltrane) starts of as a young boy who enjoyed spraying paint in the corner of streets and collecting arrow heads. As the film continues he grows into a deep and thought-provoking teenager who's obsessed with understanding human behaviour, the significance of our actions and the value of life itself. He's able to express his emotions though art. Ethan Hawke's character grows responsible and matures as the film progresses. His conversations with Mason transcend from talking about the next Star Wars movie to understanding the purpose of life and living. Patricia Arquette is very very good as the mother obsessed with the idea of "fixing" her family through marriage (and she does marry men of all sorts). She grows up to realise that chasing the conventionality of society is a pipe dream and does not lead to a better life. On the contrary it's a burden to her and her children for the most part.
    Life doesn't have to be perfect. It just needs to be lived.
    The true genius of Boyhood is how it's able to juggle all these characters, in one go and still provide them depth, clarity and most importantly an identity.
    At the end of the movie. Nicole asks Mason if he believes in the expression "seize the moment". Mason replies, "It's the moment that seizes you" and he's absolutely right.
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  72. Aug 10, 2014
    1
    This is not the perfection you think it is. Its a long and boring story, not so much original. Well, these 12 years of recordings make everybody think "oh lord, what amazing". Ok, but this its not enough to make this a great thing. Sorry.
  73. Jul 19, 2014
    10
    I have a high tolerance of films where 'not much happens' (for example 'Lost in Translation' or 'The Class') and I like the previous Linklater films 'Before Sunrise' and particularly 'Before Sunset', so if those films leave you cold then perhaps this isn't for you, and possibly this film will most appeal to parents whose children are now adults. That said: 'Boyhood' is now my new favouriteI have a high tolerance of films where 'not much happens' (for example 'Lost in Translation' or 'The Class') and I like the previous Linklater films 'Before Sunrise' and particularly 'Before Sunset', so if those films leave you cold then perhaps this isn't for you, and possibly this film will most appeal to parents whose children are now adults. That said: 'Boyhood' is now my new favourite film. This film allows you to see your own efforts at parenting through the eyes of the children Mason and Samantha who are virtually powerless as their parents make mistake after mistake and force changes upon them - moving state, moving school, moving adults in and out of their lives - the children just gamely get on with the changes in their lives as best they can. One of the film's many strengths is that the four central family members are all depicted as good decent people who are 'Just winging it' as Ethan Hawke says. This film is perhaps a work of art in that an entire fictitious childhood has been created and filmed for us to witness. And just like in a real life, a slight occurrence can be surprisingly moving: seeing your child in his graduation robes, or being acknowledged for 'just being there' and seeing the project of parenthood through. All of life is here, and all coming of age dramas will now struggle to shine in comparison. Expand
  74. Jul 31, 2014
    10
    Saw it for the second time last night. The theater was packed. Though the film is 3 hours long, when the end credits came up, people applauded and sat till the end of the credits.

    The first time I saw it, I thought how moving it was. The second time I saw it, I realized how funny it is, full of great lines. I also appreciated even more the performances: Ellar Coltrane is incredible,
    Saw it for the second time last night. The theater was packed. Though the film is 3 hours long, when the end credits came up, people applauded and sat till the end of the credits.

    The first time I saw it, I thought how moving it was. The second time I saw it, I realized how funny it is, full of great lines. I also appreciated even more the performances: Ellar Coltrane is incredible, Patricia Arquette is that rarity: a beautiful and earthy American actress. Ethan Hawke does the best work of his career and Lorelei Linklater has to be one of the funniest kids ever born. She steals every scene she's in.

    This movie won't be liked by people who love plot contrivances, OTT acting, explosions, gang warfare, superheroes, monsters, Megan Fox, the list goes on... It will never be forgotten by people who love cinema in its purest form. It will never be forgotten by people who fought with their siblings in the backseats of cars, single mothers who fought like crazy but could never pull off a miracle, deadbeat dads who wish they weren't and by any kid who grew up - ever.

    Here's to Richard Linklater, the Texan Truffaut!
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  75. Jul 27, 2014
    10
    A great film that evokes the pathos and beauty of life. Even today, this radical, artful, yet simple film moves the viewer as no other film in my memory has had the power to do. Its additive power quietly mounts into a work of 21st century art in a way that far surpasses the typically formulaic or ironic exemplars we normally experience today in movie houses or museums. Betsey Sharkey ofA great film that evokes the pathos and beauty of life. Even today, this radical, artful, yet simple film moves the viewer as no other film in my memory has had the power to do. Its additive power quietly mounts into a work of 21st century art in a way that far surpasses the typically formulaic or ironic exemplars we normally experience today in movie houses or museums. Betsey Sharkey of the LA Times has the most useful analysis and appreciation of the major critics here. Expand
  76. Jul 15, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. -spoiler alert-
    I saw the movie without ever even heard of it during one of my 'Amongst Frieds' evenings (Ketelhuis, Amsterdam, Holland) where they just show you a movie they want you to see for whatever reason. (saw great movies that normaly are not topprio to me, like Enemy and All is lost.)
    Everything is being said about this movie. It's so epic in all it's smallness.
    I only want to ad a few scenes that hit me hard, amongst others:
    The soldier sitting on the porch drinking his beer, after the heroic stories he told the crowd a few years earlier. Normally it's "And then they live happily ever after." Now you see what really happens to a guy.

    The moment where mom leaves her teacher/husband with both her kids, but have to leave the other (his) 2 kids behind. That is about the most cruel thing to whitness. Living night and day with the other kids as if they are your own. Ghosh.

    And last but not least of course the monologue of mom sitting in her kitchen at the near end. Keeps me thinking...
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  77. Jul 31, 2014
    10
    You either get the beauty of this simplistic yet masterpiece which has greater deep meaning layered within the 2 hr and 40 min movie or you don't. Sadly those who don't get this gem of a film are the movie goers who fuel the 80 million dollar opening weekend grosses of "popcorn" mainstream films made for the masses. While there is nothing wrong with supporting those big budget summer typeYou either get the beauty of this simplistic yet masterpiece which has greater deep meaning layered within the 2 hr and 40 min movie or you don't. Sadly those who don't get this gem of a film are the movie goers who fuel the 80 million dollar opening weekend grosses of "popcorn" mainstream films made for the masses. While there is nothing wrong with supporting those big budget summer type flicks, I gotta applaud folks who see and appreciate a movie like Boyhood. I only wish more independent films that make you think we're more commonly made by Hollywood studios. Regardless I thought this movie was absolutely incredible and had a lot to say, a film that has stayed with me now weeks after seeing it. Expand
  78. Aug 2, 2014
    10
    Boyhood, simply put, is a grand cinematic achievement. It chronicles a boy's life over a 12 year period, and the actor is the same the whole movie (they filmed a couple of scenes every year). This is Linklater's best film, as well as his most ambitious. But, it's not a perfect movie; it doesn't tie up every loose end, it doesn't resolve the same way average Hollywood fare usually does.Boyhood, simply put, is a grand cinematic achievement. It chronicles a boy's life over a 12 year period, and the actor is the same the whole movie (they filmed a couple of scenes every year). This is Linklater's best film, as well as his most ambitious. But, it's not a perfect movie; it doesn't tie up every loose end, it doesn't resolve the same way average Hollywood fare usually does. However, that's not how life works: sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, it twists and turns, and not everything comes out the way you wanted it to be. If the movie didn't have flaws, it wouldn't have been as realistic. The movie us touching, and has a hefty emotional payoff. Experience it for yourself; it's well worth it. Expand
  79. Jan 16, 2015
    1
    This moving is nothing. All the rave reviews are another instance of those who are afraid to say the emperor has no clothes. The gimmick of following a boy over 10 years is squandered on a BORING storyline, and 2 hollywood actors trying to bring some life to it. NOTHING HAPPENS. People change physically and emotionally, but rarely is this worthy alone in the making of a motion picture.
  80. Sep 8, 2014
    10
    Boyhood sticks with you, and for those who found this dull, boring and about nothing, need to check themselves because this movie is about our everyday lives. This is the most humane movie of the year if I've ever seen one, I feel sorry for you're childhood if you didn't connect with this movie.
  81. Aug 23, 2014
    10
    An instant classic. This groundbreaking film brought to us by Richard Linklater is an emotional story of a dysfunctional family, all revolving around the boy. Filmed over 12 years, the transitions from year to year in the film are recognized by the different looks of the actors and the music that plays from each year. Best of the year so far. Truly amazing.
  82. Aug 25, 2014
    10
    Incomparable. this film is by no means "perfect" in terms of 'enjoyment from watching', but I think that's the point, it's like a documentary of normal life. It takes on an epic task of recounting childhood linearly with honesty. It may not be as eventful as you wanted, a little dry in places, flat in the ending but if you want an honest portrayal of Westernized coming-of-age then that toIncomparable. this film is by no means "perfect" in terms of 'enjoyment from watching', but I think that's the point, it's like a documentary of normal life. It takes on an epic task of recounting childhood linearly with honesty. It may not be as eventful as you wanted, a little dry in places, flat in the ending but if you want an honest portrayal of Westernized coming-of-age then that to me is pretty close to how it would look. For me, not as emotionally moving as Linklater's other works but leaves you reflective and slightly nostalgic. Expand
  83. 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', 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, therebyA 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
  84. Aug 27, 2014
    10
    Once in a while a film comes along that not only makes you step back and look at the way movies are made, but forces you to reflect on how your own life is unfolding; Boyhood is one such film. Boyhood took 12 years to create, and the unique storytelling style is a refreshing break from many recently released movies.

    Boyhood tells the story of a family going through a string of
    Once in a while a film comes along that not only makes you step back and look at the way movies are made, but forces you to reflect on how your own life is unfolding; Boyhood is one such film. Boyhood took 12 years to create, and the unique storytelling style is a refreshing break from many recently released movies.

    Boyhood tells the story of a family going through a string of milestones. The film is easy to relate to because many of us are currently experiencing, or have already reached, each of these phases.

    As time goes on, the film grows with the characters, further captivating the audience. Scenes mature along with the cast, gradually becoming more intimate and open. The vision, dedication and follow-through it took to create such an epic project is clearly evident on screen. We’ve had some great films come out in 2014, but nothing even remotely close to Boyhood. The film-making technique that is showcased in this piece of art is truly something special.

    As for Boyhood’s near three hour runtime, I would change nothing. The few minor complaints I had during the movie were washed away after seeing the perfection in this touching story.

    Boyhood is easily the best film of the year, a masterpiece I wish every person could experience. It’s a life-impacting creation, and when people ask me, “What’s one of your favorite movies?” I will reply Boyhood, for years to come.
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  85. Aug 11, 2014
    10
    Not recommended for short attention spans, adrenaline addicts, lovers of gratuitous sex or violence, car chase scenes, or cheap, sleazy humor. This will painfully bore such people because this film has none of that. In fact, this film doesn't have a story or plot in the traditional film sense. It's simply three hours about a boy, his sister, his mother, his estranged father, and the otherNot recommended for short attention spans, adrenaline addicts, lovers of gratuitous sex or violence, car chase scenes, or cheap, sleazy humor. This will painfully bore such people because this film has none of that. In fact, this film doesn't have a story or plot in the traditional film sense. It's simply three hours about a boy, his sister, his mother, his estranged father, and the other people they encounter in their lives over 12 years, all filmed in real time. Potentially boring to some viewers? Certainly. But I didn't want it to end, and I'll be seeing it for the fifth time tomorrow night. A masterpiece, a miracle, a gorgeous work of art which accomplishes nothing less than transcending the medium of film. I hope Richard Linklater makes a sequel that runs at least through the main character's first divorce... Expand
  86. Jul 14, 2014
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The couple of folks that don't "get" this movie, such as Mancunian2014, more than likely aren't familiar with Linklater or simply don't like his other films. Linklater's movies are rarely "plot-driven" with emotional highs and lows. Rather, he explores the significance of everyday moments, and how transcendence and wonder can be found in seemingly mundane incidents. As for the boy, Mason, I found it fascinating that for much of the movie he was introverted and rather hard to "read" while the characters around him (such as his older sister) were much more "out there" and demonstrative. Mason is by nature an observer, which is why it makes sense that he takes up photography. But later in the movie he starts to open up and express his thoughts and feelings, while the other characters became more contained. This was one of the many beauties of the film: documenting not only of the actors' physical changes, but the changes in their characters and personalities over time. And I've known plenty of kids like Mason who on the surface seem shy and inarticulate, but who possess inner depth and imagination.

    Simply put, this is simply not a conventional movie, and can't be experienced or viewed in the same way that one would view a typical Hollywood film. I thought "Boyhood" sounded like not much more than a stunt when I first read about it, but the experience of seeing it was for me, overwhelmingly beautiful and moving. It evokes so many memories and reflections of one's own life (as a child, as a parent, as a wife or husband), even as it stays within a very specific, personal world.

    So from my perspective, all the professional critics' plaudits are well earned. Linklater has achieved something entirely unique in cinema (Michael Apted's "Up" series notwithstanding), a meditation on the passage of time that points toward the beauty and importance of life's everyday moments.

    Then again, I know the vast majority of filmgoers found Malick's "Tree of Life" transcendently beautiful and meaningful, while I thought it was the biggest piece of pretentious crap ever brought to the screen. So it goes with cinema.

    I would add that the only reason I didn't give the film a "10" was the reappearance late in the movie of a character that had been influenced by Patricia Arquette's character. This seemed a bit contrived to me, one of the only false notes in the film. But it's a minor quibble about a major, risk-taking work of movie art.
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  87. Dec 31, 2014
    10
    Great film. Ambitious project with actors committed for 12 years. One of the most interesting movie projects every made. Without question the best movie this year. Great direction and editing. It's interesting how many people ostensibly disliked this movie. I wonder how many of them really saw it or if they did, whether they even graduated high school?
  88. Sep 18, 2014
    10
    Absolutely staggering achievement. How this movie exists is beyond me. Consider for a moment all of the elements that have to fall into place in order to walk away with a finished product. Then consider that Richard Linklater directed 8 other films during the process of making this movie. That's right. 8 OTHER MOVIES over the last 12 years, including Before Sunset, Before Midnight, SchoolAbsolutely staggering achievement. How this movie exists is beyond me. Consider for a moment all of the elements that have to fall into place in order to walk away with a finished product. Then consider that Richard Linklater directed 8 other films during the process of making this movie. That's right. 8 OTHER MOVIES over the last 12 years, including Before Sunset, Before Midnight, School of Rock, A Scanner Darkly and Bernie. The man is a film god. Expand
  89. Aug 7, 2014
    9
    A very near perfect film! Watching this film made me flashback to my childhood years all over again! I related to a lot of things in this film, since I also grew up during the 12-year time frame that it took place. I highly commend Richard Linklater for coming up with such a simple, yet daring idea of a boy and his family growing older over the course of 12 years. While the film doesn'tA very near perfect film! Watching this film made me flashback to my childhood years all over again! I related to a lot of things in this film, since I also grew up during the 12-year time frame that it took place. I highly commend Richard Linklater for coming up with such a simple, yet daring idea of a boy and his family growing older over the course of 12 years. While the film doesn't necessarily have any Oscar-worthy performances, everyone does so well with how long it took to make the film. Ellar Coltrane is fun to watch as he grows older and the many different events that unfold around him throughout his life. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette give great and honest performances as his parents. The only weak performance was from Linklater's own daughter Lorelei. Overall, there were a few things in the film that I wish would've been done a little bit differently. For the most part however, it's easily the most heartfelt, honest, and genuine-feeling film I've seen all year so far. As far as I'm concerned, it might as well be considered the quintessential coming-of-age film! Expand
  90. Dec 11, 2014
    10
    With every viewing I become more certain that Boyhood is one of the greatest films ever made. Both an affirmation of the inherent meaningfulness of life and the capacity for film to add to enrich its meaning. A true masterpiece and a subtle emotional roller coaster that cements Linklater as one of the great artists of his generation. Somehow, at almost three hours, it doesn't seem longWith every viewing I become more certain that Boyhood is one of the greatest films ever made. Both an affirmation of the inherent meaningfulness of life and the capacity for film to add to enrich its meaning. A true masterpiece and a subtle emotional roller coaster that cements Linklater as one of the great artists of his generation. Somehow, at almost three hours, it doesn't seem long enough, as not even a lifetime could hold the power and resonance of its participants. Expand
  91. 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 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
    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 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.
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  92. Dec 3, 2014
    10
    When I first heard that there is a movie that took 12 years to shoot, I was amazed as an aspiring filmmaker but I remain a bit worried that the movie is more of a gimmick. When I saw the trailer, I was wrong. And when I saw the movie, I was totally wrong as well. This movie is not a gimmick at all.

    Even though this movie felt like a cinematic experience because of the way it was made,
    When I first heard that there is a movie that took 12 years to shoot, I was amazed as an aspiring filmmaker but I remain a bit worried that the movie is more of a gimmick. When I saw the trailer, I was wrong. And when I saw the movie, I was totally wrong as well. This movie is not a gimmick at all.

    Even though this movie felt like a cinematic experience because of the way it was made, this movie felt real. Like this is the realistic film I have ever seen.

    The plot of the movie was realistic and well-paced from start to finish. They used the really long 2 hour and 45 minutes length really well. Despite how long it was, when the movie ended I got sad that I won’t see these people ever again because seeing them grow up is like a journey with them.

    As this movie’s plot heavily rely on character development, the movie had the most realistic character development ever. It’s like I am watching these people grow up and loving them no matter how much they change.

    The script feels amazing in this movie. The dialogues in this movie is also really realistic. They felt like real people talking to each other realistically.

    The acting in this movie makes the actors don’t look like they’re actors playing their characters but rather they’re playing themselves and that’s the main factor why the movie felt realistic to me.

    The emotional appeal in this movie do not feel manipulative to me. It made me care for the characters without trying too hard to do so. It feels like the actors have real emotions in this movie.

    Lastly, the direction from Richard Linklater is amazing in this film. He manages to keep the movie’s quality consistent for each scene for 12 freaking years! I give props to his experimentation value in this movie.

    2014 has not ended yet but I think it’s safe to say that Boyhood (for now at least) is the best 2014 film I have ever seen and it’s also the most realistic movie I have ever seen thanks to it’s cinematic experience, well-paced plot, brilliant character development that makes you care about the characters, realistic acting and an amazing direction experimental value from Richard Linklater.
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  93. Jul 30, 2014
    10
    I saw this two days ago, so wanted to review and respond to some of the reviews here. I too had a response to the mom's poor choices, but the response was that this story rang so true. Why do people make such bad choices? It was sad that the mother kept choosing the wrong guys and exposing her children to them. It was especially sad because she finally got an education and we thinkI saw this two days ago, so wanted to review and respond to some of the reviews here. I too had a response to the mom's poor choices, but the response was that this story rang so true. Why do people make such bad choices? It was sad that the mother kept choosing the wrong guys and exposing her children to them. It was especially sad because she finally got an education and we think should have known better.

    I have a family member that does this so often, you just watch in horror and this is someone who is incredibly talented, smart, and really beautiful. This is the reason this is so good, is that it is so truthful. And I agree that Arquette is fascinating in this. Her acting at the end just doesn't seem to be acting. Great movie, but I would love to watch it at home due to the length.
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  94. Aug 3, 2014
    10
    Made me feel nostalgic. Made me laugh. Made me emotional. Made me happy that it felt authentic and not forced. Made me yearn for more; on screen and in my own life. Top notch movie.
  95. Aug 5, 2014
    10
    This movie is spectacular! From the cast to the simplicity of the plot, everything goes in harmony in a way that you just feel like its real. It’s certainly the best movie I’ve ever saw in my 17 years old life (and I’ve seen a lot of them). It made me look at childhood from a different perspective because, before, I was sure my childhood had been a big chunk of my life where I did nothingThis movie is spectacular! From the cast to the simplicity of the plot, everything goes in harmony in a way that you just feel like its real. It’s certainly the best movie I’ve ever saw in my 17 years old life (and I’ve seen a lot of them). It made me look at childhood from a different perspective because, before, I was sure my childhood had been a big chunk of my life where I did nothing incredible but I realized that everything I did was exceptional. From going to a water park to watching a movie with my parents, I realized that, even if I didn’t become a child actor or invent something, my childhood was awesome in all the little things I did. I think that’s what I like the most about ‘’Boyhood’’, It made me think and see childhood from a different perspective. Expand
  96. Sep 22, 2014
    10
    The films greatest strength lies in how ordinary, yet at the same time, unique it is. The dialogue feels very natural, nothing about the film drags on for too long, and it doesn't resort to the usual Hollywood cliches. It's definitely one of the more touching experiences I've had at the cinema.
  97. Sep 16, 2014
    9
    Sometimes movies are bland, boring, rushed and nonsensical. They are made to turn an investment into profit. Other times a story is so rich that is carves a small place in your heart, nudged fondly beside the classics.

    And in truth, with no exaggeration, Boyhood is a modern classic. Three months have passed since my first screening as part of NovaStream’s coverage of the Sydney Film
    Sometimes movies are bland, boring, rushed and nonsensical. They are made to turn an investment into profit. Other times a story is so rich that is carves a small place in your heart, nudged fondly beside the classics.

    And in truth, with no exaggeration, Boyhood is a modern classic.

    Three months have passed since my first screening as part of NovaStream’s coverage of the Sydney Film Festival. Before the film a scruffy teen walked in front of a theatre of thousands and waved awkwardly. The star of the film, Ellar Coltrane, was on another leg of his world tour after widespread acclaim at the Sundance International Film Festival. He didn’t appear to be a rockstar or a bigwig actor. He just seemed like an extremely genuine and humble person. The lights dimmed and he shuffled offstage and did not return.

    The acclaim is universal. Rotten Tomatoes awards Boyhood 99%, the same rate as the Wizard of Oz and one step down from Citizen Kane and Toy Story 2 and one above Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. It has won multiple awards at Sundance, SXSW, Berlin, Seattle and San Francisco International Film Festivals. A previous cover photo on the film’s Facebook page lists reviewers quotes beginning with “the best film of the…”. USA Today said the summer, Rolling Stone gave it a year, The Guardian believed a decade and The New York Times stated the century. At the end of the century they may be correct.

    Filming occurred usually four days a year over twelve years, with Ellar Coltrane originally portraying a six year old child and gradually growing into an adult on screen. This allows the scope of the film to be far greater and the narrative to flow more authentically, save casting a different actor for the schoolyard scenes and the college scenes. The aesthetic of the film also shifts almost glacially, from fashion to furniture to language to politics. One thing that stood out for me was the technology, progressing from a Gameboy to a PlayStation 3 to an XBOX One seamlessly. Not even the set designers of Downton Abbey could replicate this level of detail.

    Many elements of Coltrane’s real-life slipped into the film too, including his first car, his piercings and a bad string of acne he chose not to cover up. Director Richard Linklater (School of Rock) stated he never asked Coltrane to do something he knew the actor hadn’t previously experienced.

    The four primary characters are Mason Jr (Ellar Coltrane), his mother Olivia (Medium’s Patricia Arquette), his sister Samantha (Lorelei Linklater, daughter of director Richard Linklater) and Mason Sr (Ethan Hawke, Predestination). Their plot is simple – make it through as best you can with the hand you’ve been dealt.

    For Olivia in particular this is heartbreaking as a string of unhealthy and outright dangerous relationships culminates in a confronting scene between herself and Mason. The film is not a depressant though. There are comedy bites here and there and the tone is generally upward, especially in scenes with Mason Sr. Ethan Hawke is a fiercely talented actor and his secondary plot gives his a nice avenue, transforming the musician father with a muscle car into a worker with a minivan. At the beginning of Boyhood the adults are only slightly older than the children at the film’s conclusion. There is definitely a full circle trope going on.

    There is an intangible warmth to the film that cannot be assigned to the everyday blockbuster. Each shot looks like a painting and there is an obtuse or inventive shot to enhance the story. The edit is smoother and kinder. A great deal of care went into every detail of this film.

    Due to the original filming method the financiers were limited and contracts were zilch. It was the cast’s prerogative each and every year to return and each of the primary cast have called this their ‘cool summer camp’ despite having other films and television shows in progress.

    While I would easily rank this inside by top five films of all time, there is one beat that struck me foul. A conversation between Mason and a high school photographer teacher about the difference between potential and actuality was immensely irritating. It felt redundant and shoehorned.

    Aside from that, the scope, commitment of all involved, acting talent and direction all make for a compelling adventure. The international releases are still rolling out with Paramount International acquiring the rights to a hopefully broader home release.

    Boyhood is screening in limited release now.
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  98. Nov 8, 2014
    10
    A magnificent film all together! Experimental and different, Boyhood director Richard Linklater knows how to make a documentary topic into an amazing film, not to mention the excellent screenplay and acting! :-)
  99. Nov 28, 2014
    10
    If you can't already tell by the overwhelming praise this film has received, Richard Linklater has sculpted a masterpiece. Every single second of this movie tells the story of what shaped the main character Mason with suck striking fluidity that has never been achieved in the realm of cinema. I can proudly say I witnessed this masterpiece in theaters and since then have seen it 7 differentIf you can't already tell by the overwhelming praise this film has received, Richard Linklater has sculpted a masterpiece. Every single second of this movie tells the story of what shaped the main character Mason with suck striking fluidity that has never been achieved in the realm of cinema. I can proudly say I witnessed this masterpiece in theaters and since then have seen it 7 different times. Although this movie captures the essence of the American childhood, anybody anywhere can relate to the life of Mason Junior. There is a part in near the beginning of the film where Mason finds a dead bird in his backyard, you can tell just by looking at his face that exactly what the child realized, that nothing anywhere can live forever, no matter how high you can fly. Every performance in the movie is spot-on, Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette seem to learn just as much from Mason Jr. as Mason has learned from them. Speaking personally, I can relate to every seen in this film having grown up with divorced parents and viewing life from a perspective similar to Mason's. Linklater speaks to an entire generation of dreamers and children everywhere. I could take up the entire 5000 character max limit just by talking about the cinematography of the film but I won't bore anyone who actually stuck around this long to read my personal opinion, but I will say this; every child about to graduate high school deserves to sit down with both of their parents (or guardians) and let Linklater take you on a reflective journey of what it really means to grow up. Oh and before I close, 69 people on this website that posted negative reviews and the 22 people that wrote mixed reviews all need TO GET THEIR HEADS OUT OF THEIR ASSES and truly appreciate this work of art for what it really is, LIFE ITSELF. Expand
  100. Jan 4, 2015
    10
    People who call this movie boring need to learn that not all movies are supposed to appeal to the viewer through action, sex, or second rate space travel with love and emotions. This is one of the realist movies since Shawshank Redemption that I can deem perfect. It captures the life and world around Mason along with him, as he grows he is constantly changing, adapting, molding into thePeople who call this movie boring need to learn that not all movies are supposed to appeal to the viewer through action, sex, or second rate space travel with love and emotions. This is one of the realist movies since Shawshank Redemption that I can deem perfect. It captures the life and world around Mason along with him, as he grows he is constantly changing, adapting, molding into the person he thinks and might finally believe he wants to be. Not to mention being accepted, before the final act hurting him deeply and causing him to question what he really is, before realizing that in life, you not only seize a perfect moment, but it seizes you. Expand
Metascore
100

Universal acclaim - based on 50 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 50
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 50
  3. Negative: 0 out of 50
  1. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Aug 9, 2014
    88
    When it's over, the sense is one of deep satisfaction - of having gotten to know a family in a way few motion pictures allow.
  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.