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Generally favorable reviews- based on 866 Ratings

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  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. 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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  3. Jul 12, 2014
    10
    For whatever reason, nuanced observations about the particularities of growing up in this generation has never really been captured honestly in modern film. Thankfully, Richard Linklater had been working on an entire film of it for twelve years.

    And although the approach of how this film was meticulously crafted makes for an intriguing initial selling point, it's about the furthest
    For whatever reason, nuanced observations about the particularities of growing up in this generation has never really been captured honestly in modern film. Thankfully, Richard Linklater had been working on an entire film of it for twelve years.

    And although the approach of how this film was meticulously crafted makes for an intriguing initial selling point, it's about the furthest thing from your mind when watching BOYHOOD. What the method actually achieves is a richness of detail and passion that, in any given moment, can evoke melancholy, longing, love, laughter, regret, tears, smiles, and any other of the multitudes of words that come to mind in the experience of youth, and in reflection upon it. One doesn't even need to have grown up in a similar setting or time frame to Mason, our unsuspecting hero here. Regardless of the context of any of these characters' actions, it all feels like it's coming from a place of familiarity. Little looks, lines or cues will trigger your own achingly personal memories of the past — a fleeting time you wish you could do over again but would make the experience less beautiful. This is the most thorough immersion into another life seen in cinema since Satyajit Ray's APU TRILOGY (to me, the finest cinematic achievement in history).

    Through Mason's eyes, you can see plenty happening in the stories of girlhood, motherhood, and fatherhood unfolding around him. Patricia Arquette gives the marquee performance of the film as the young mother who grows away from the father of her children and takes on a string of abusive husbands as she tries to make life better for children. It's a common story for a lot of single mothers in this country in this day and age, but it's rare to see ANY female role of this depth and magnitude. It also bears mentioning that any of the narrative elements throughout the film that seem even perhaps OVERLY familiar — divorce, alcoholic father-figures, conservative stereotypes, peer pressure, whatever — have the effect in this film of only showcasing its sincerity more. There's a reason these elements are seen as cliche, and BOYHOOD does a remarkable job at grounding what are common American experiences in sense of truthfulness.

    I give this film five stars, rather easily, although I don't consider it a film without flaws. I think it was perfectly possible to trim the film a bit more, Mason himself is less likable in his later years and some scenes just worked for me better than others. But the film earns my full heart as all these things are in the service of a greater great. It's the intricate collection of 12 years of memories in carefully curated scenes, good and bad, happy or sad, significant or insignificant, that paint a picture of a life in a way. It's scattered, it's varied, it's precisely how we look at and feel our own lives over time and Richard Linklater has gotten closer to that in this film than any other filmmaker to date.
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  4. Jul 11, 2014
    10
    Brilliant film everything you read or here about this film is true and so much more i am not even going to say anything about it just needed to give it at 10 and to say go and see it you will love it .
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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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  8. 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
  9. 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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  10. Jul 22, 2014
    10
    This is one of those films that isn't just important in the context of filmmaking, but it's also essential in the context of what life is. Life is really memories strung together and woven into a single thread; you don't get anything different from this daring film. Some of the scenes are hard-hitting and when you finally reach the end of the film, you'll realize its importance. AnThis is one of those films that isn't just important in the context of filmmaking, but it's also essential in the context of what life is. Life is really memories strung together and woven into a single thread; you don't get anything different from this daring film. Some of the scenes are hard-hitting and when you finally reach the end of the film, you'll realize its importance. An absolute gem from filmmaker Richard Linklater. Expand
  11. 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
  12. 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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  13. 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
  14. Aug 13, 2014
    10
    You probably know the unique concept: This film blends real time and fiction as it looks in on the maturation of a boy and his family for 12 years, as he literally grows on camera. The time progress seamlessly, as life's everyday interactions take place between his family and friends. There are some landmarks, but more often it's the understated, mundane moments that blend into a quietlyYou probably know the unique concept: This film blends real time and fiction as it looks in on the maturation of a boy and his family for 12 years, as he literally grows on camera. The time progress seamlessly, as life's everyday interactions take place between his family and friends. There are some landmarks, but more often it's the understated, mundane moments that blend into a quietly powerful portrait. Director Richard Linklater mines humor and emotion in the seemingly ordinary dialogue and the passage of minor cultural landmarks. The performances are uniformly natural and completely compelling. Even at 2:45, every minute captivates as only true life can. A modest masterpiece. Expand
  15. Jul 17, 2014
    10
    Boyhood is the best film of the decade. Richard Linkleter has used time the way no director has before. Shooting his script with the same actors over 12 years. . he has made a fim simply about life . the films running time is 164 minutes.After the film was over i could not think of a scene i would have cut. The film editor Sanfra Adair has done a masterful job. do not miss this film youBoyhood is the best film of the decade. Richard Linkleter has used time the way no director has before. Shooting his script with the same actors over 12 years. . he has made a fim simply about life . the films running time is 164 minutes.After the film was over i could not think of a scene i would have cut. The film editor Sanfra Adair has done a masterful job. do not miss this film you will think about it for weeks. Expand
  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. Aug 13, 2014
    10
    It's hard to award this movie less than a perfect score, even though it isn't a perfect movie. It works so well for what it is, and is such a thoroughly enjoyable work of art, that it should be impervious to the judgment you'd pass on a normal film. As it stands, Boyhood is a collection of mostly great scenes which cause you to laugh, tear up, or reflect on your own life. I saw theIt's hard to award this movie less than a perfect score, even though it isn't a perfect movie. It works so well for what it is, and is such a thoroughly enjoyable work of art, that it should be impervious to the judgment you'd pass on a normal film. As it stands, Boyhood is a collection of mostly great scenes which cause you to laugh, tear up, or reflect on your own life. I saw the movie with my my sister and after it was all over she said to me "That was mostly a comedy." And to my surprise I agreed. But all the humor is so organic that it sneaks up on you, and I could say the same for the dramatic bits as well. Expand
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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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  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. 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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  25. Aug 20, 2014
    10
    Absolutely spectacular. The film itself is genius--- same actors over 12 years. You as the viewer are able to experience the same people grow, discover, and learn just as you have and continue to do. This film displays events and characteristics that absolutely anyone of any niche, background, or culture can relate to--- domestic abuse, failed marriages, step-parents, single parenting,Absolutely spectacular. The film itself is genius--- same actors over 12 years. You as the viewer are able to experience the same people grow, discover, and learn just as you have and continue to do. This film displays events and characteristics that absolutely anyone of any niche, background, or culture can relate to--- domestic abuse, failed marriages, step-parents, single parenting, sexual growth, intellectual growth, moral discovery, curiosity, failure, laziness, motivation, and much more. This film is the perfect representation of the modern Western struggle, which differs greatly from that of other cultures. I give this film a well-deserving 10/10. This film was not meant to be action packed with unrealistic events; that is not the point. It is an honest experience that people should watch to relate to. Expand
  26. Aug 12, 2014
    10
    Boyhood has a few problems that are not worth downgrading the film to 9, because Boyhood is simply a classic showpiece that is not to be and won't be forgotten anytime soon.
  27. 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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  28. 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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  29. 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
  30. 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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  31. 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
  32. 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.
  33. 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
  34. 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
  35. 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
  36. Jan 11, 2015
    9
    The strength of Boyhood is how real it felt, every conversation, every scene and every moment. Ambitious, ground-breaking and truly something special.
  37. Aug 24, 2014
    10
    A remarkable project brought superbly to fruition. The auteur, Linklater, could not have known where this twelve year project would take him, and this leads to a film of remarkable spontaneity and urgency. What emerges is a portrait of a young man who has grown up seeing how his parents live and determined not to repeat their mistakes. The actors do their best film work ever. And theA remarkable project brought superbly to fruition. The auteur, Linklater, could not have known where this twelve year project would take him, and this leads to a film of remarkable spontaneity and urgency. What emerges is a portrait of a young man who has grown up seeing how his parents live and determined not to repeat their mistakes. The actors do their best film work ever. And the sense of how things change in a society you grow up in is finely observed. The whole thing has the flavor of French cinema verite at its absolute best. Expand
  38. Sep 19, 2014
    9
    Life is a crazy thing. It's not something that can be properly represented by words, or even a picture. However, 'Boyhood' is the closest we'll ever get to that hopelessly distant reality. We're talking about a film so encapsulated by reality that ,as a member of the audience, we feel as if we're looking over our shoulders into a life that we once had, like a forgotten dream on the tip ofLife is a crazy thing. It's not something that can be properly represented by words, or even a picture. However, 'Boyhood' is the closest we'll ever get to that hopelessly distant reality. We're talking about a film so encapsulated by reality that ,as a member of the audience, we feel as if we're looking over our shoulders into a life that we once had, like a forgotten dream on the tip of our tongues. We follow the subtly changing life of a growing boy as he wrestles with the most fundamental questions in life. For every second we watch of the film, we're rewarded with quiet (yet brilliant) wisdom that looms over every frame of the movie. Ferociously philosophical, reflective and unforgettable, 'Boyhood' is a provocative meditation on the nature of life and reality as we know it. Expand
  39. Aug 5, 2014
    10
    I just saw it tonight, don't quite have the words to summarize how in love I am with it, but I certainly am. It's **** fantastic and the most truly original movie I've seen in quite some time.
  40. Jul 30, 2014
    10
    One of the aspects of the movie that is very interesting: Growing up in a broken family, Mason lives constant stressful interactions with his parents and stepfathers. Many times adults are in their own world and they have little empathy. He doesn't like it. He has to cope.
    On the other hand he has very nice moments with his father who tries hard to be the best parent he can be. The mother
    One of the aspects of the movie that is very interesting: Growing up in a broken family, Mason lives constant stressful interactions with his parents and stepfathers. Many times adults are in their own world and they have little empathy. He doesn't like it. He has to cope.
    On the other hand he has very nice moments with his father who tries hard to be the best parent he can be. The mother tries too but it is a different story. Also we see some nice family gatherings.
    Beautiful movie that makes the audience experience the process of growing up.
    Richard Linklater took twelve years to shoot this film. This is breakthrough, something that has never done before,truly a master piece.
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  41. Aug 1, 2014
    10
    Esta clase de peliculas son las que te hacen profundizar sobre diversos aspectos de tu vida y a la vez son un gran respiro para los amantes del buen cine.

    No digo que no sean entretenidos los blockbusters para pasar un buen rato con explociones, guerras y guiones sin sentido adornados con muchos efectos especiales que es lo que los grandes estudios de hollywood normalmente nos ofrecen
    Esta clase de peliculas son las que te hacen profundizar sobre diversos aspectos de tu vida y a la vez son un gran respiro para los amantes del buen cine.

    No digo que no sean entretenidos los blockbusters para pasar un buen rato con explociones, guerras y guiones sin sentido adornados con muchos efectos especiales que es lo que los grandes estudios de hollywood normalmente nos ofrecen cada verano.

    Por eso Boyhood me parecio tan fascinante un proyecto genial, lleno de momentos e imagenes de espectacular belleza que te hacen reflexionar, pensar y hasta profundizar por la cadencia que tiene el film y sobre todo porque no cae en formulas sencillas para hacer sobresaltar al espectador, sino más bien una propuesta solida, profunda y a la vez sencilla, en pocas pallabras ¡¡¡me encanto la pelicula!!!
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  42. Aug 14, 2014
    10
    What a profound film. Amazing scope, vision and creativity to do this. I've never seen anything like this before. Even though the story is reasonably normal, the story you see and the characters along the way feel so absolutely real, I had to remind myself it was just a film multiple times. A massive achievement in film, in my opinion.
  43. 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
  44. Aug 1, 2014
    10
    I'd give this film a 96/100. It is a film like no other. There isn't a story or a plot. The feeling this film will give you is so difficult to describe. The best I can do is to say that it's almost the exact same feeling I get when I'm laying down in my bed and reminiscing about my own life. When I first got done watching the film, I didn't think much of it, but it crept up on me, inI'd give this film a 96/100. It is a film like no other. There isn't a story or a plot. The feeling this film will give you is so difficult to describe. The best I can do is to say that it's almost the exact same feeling I get when I'm laying down in my bed and reminiscing about my own life. When I first got done watching the film, I didn't think much of it, but it crept up on me, in much the same way that our memories and nostalgia creep up on us when we are daydreaming. There is no take-away message, no feel-good story, no unrealistic drama -- it is a screenshot of life itself (as boring as that might seem on a surface level), and in this way, it's one of the most unique films, if not the most unique, in tonality, story and character. In short, this is a snapshot of life and I believe that it will leave a mark on cinema for a long time. Expand
  45. 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
  46. Aug 6, 2014
    10
    This movie is an outstanding phenomenon filmed over 12 years with dialogue, acting, and everything you can see is the boy growing up to age 6-18, it's fascinating.
  47. Jul 20, 2014
    9
    The movie is fantastic, needless to say. As a person who grew up during the same time frame, it was like seeing bits of my childhood come to life and leading into college which I am in now. The authenticity is perfect as it was shot during the actual years it's depicting in the film. However the political propaganda could have been excluded from the film for the sake of social/politicalThe movie is fantastic, needless to say. As a person who grew up during the same time frame, it was like seeing bits of my childhood come to life and leading into college which I am in now. The authenticity is perfect as it was shot during the actual years it's depicting in the film. However the political propaganda could have been excluded from the film for the sake of social/political differences. There were a few bits of social propaganda as well such as the depiction of a "confederate flag waving anti-democrat southerner." But all in all the film was fantastic. I felt the depiction of the children was a little stereotypical as well. Not every teenager is a pop-singing, drug taking, beer chugging, soulless, mumbling, whatever-attitude, sex starved, anti-parent child. In fact, most of them don't fit that depiction. I was hoping for a different and more realistic depiction of teenagers from this movie. I only give the film a 9 for those two reasons for which I usually take 3-4 marks off, however this film started with a 12 rating because of its innovation and uniqueness. Will definitely go down as a classic in cinema. Expand
  48. 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
  49. 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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  50. 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.
  51. 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
  52. Aug 10, 2014
    10
    Gorgeous Movie, everything is fantastic. The last 1/2 hour could of used some more time in the editing room, but otherwise, one of the best movies so far of 2014. Nearly every performance was fantastic, and everyone can relate to this film in one way or another.
  53. Aug 25, 2014
    9
    Even though he does succeed in doing so, Linklater's goal is not to impress, but rather tell a story about an average boy's life, and tell a story he sure does.
  54. 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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  55. 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! :-)
  56. Jan 16, 2015
    10
    From start to finish, boyhood touches all the empathy notes. Moving at the same pace as real life, and not relying on cheap action tricks, Linklater managed to produce not only an imitation of life, but a testament of what was being a boy of this generation, breaking cultural, racial and social differences.
  57. Dec 14, 2014
    9
    "Boyhood" is a film I delayed in seeing because of its 242 minute length and revolutionary but, to me, at the time, unappetizing concept of watching a boy grow over a 12 year period. Nevertheless, on a rainy day in the desert with nothing much else to do, I went to see the film. To my pleasant surprise, my flexibility in viewing choices turned out to be one of the best movie decisions I"Boyhood" is a film I delayed in seeing because of its 242 minute length and revolutionary but, to me, at the time, unappetizing concept of watching a boy grow over a 12 year period. Nevertheless, on a rainy day in the desert with nothing much else to do, I went to see the film. To my pleasant surprise, my flexibility in viewing choices turned out to be one of the best movie decisions I ever made. The film, written and directed by Richard Linklater, is a unique exercise in film making where, for over a 12 year filming period, the same actors continue their roles as mother (Patricia Arquette), father (Ethan Hawke), son, Mason (Ellar Coltrane) and daughter, Samantha (Lorelei Linklater) and we literally watch them all grow and age on screen right before our eyes as if some magic time lapse mechanism was employed. True, the idea of watching family members grow over the years is not especially new except that other projects used different actors to play the same people in different stages of their respective lives. Here, we see the aging of the same actors, not only of the children, but of the parents and other adults as well, as they meet and deal with the various problems that befall them.
    An unexpected result of having the same actors throughout is that it gives the film a legitimacy and authenticity even though it is a work of fiction.
    One marvels at the logistical problems that could have occurred had one or more of the four principal cast members passed away or suffered significant life changes during this 12 year filming span (not to mention coordinating the professional availability of all or any of them throughout this over a decade shoot). I give the film a 9.5 and thank the powers that be for making it rain the day I went to see it. Whether or not you enjoy the film as much as I did, it is worth seeing if, for no other reason, in order to experience the unique and innovative technique it employs.
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  58. 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?
  59. 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
  60. 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.
  61. Jan 18, 2015
    10
    For me it doesn't get much better than this. Zero melodrama. No annoying crescendos. Just some poignant moments in people's life. Nothing added. Nothing taken away. Fantastic writing!
  62. 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
  63. Dec 2, 2014
    9
    I can't say more than the opther nearly 600 reviews have not said about this movie. I liked the premise of the movie, which I don't remember seeing/knowing about-same cast for multi years as they grow up in a movie. Also I liked Ethan's role in the movie as well as the mother's changes in the movie. What I didn't like, or expected more of (thus the 9 rating) was better acting. The mainI can't say more than the opther nearly 600 reviews have not said about this movie. I liked the premise of the movie, which I don't remember seeing/knowing about-same cast for multi years as they grow up in a movie. Also I liked Ethan's role in the movie as well as the mother's changes in the movie. What I didn't like, or expected more of (thus the 9 rating) was better acting. The main character/boy, along with others, couldn't seem to pull off any thing-like crying or anger. None the less I will keep this one in my movie collection. Expand
  64. Sep 13, 2014
    10
    This is, right there, a top 5 movie in my opinion. It express from the normal issues to the most delicate of them and it feels good to watch. I just can't believe how ingenious the creator is, I mean this is history of art being made just in front of us. I belive my point is that I want to thank you all who have participated in the creation of this masterpiece, this kind of thing thatThis is, right there, a top 5 movie in my opinion. It express from the normal issues to the most delicate of them and it feels good to watch. I just can't believe how ingenious the creator is, I mean this is history of art being made just in front of us. I belive my point is that I want to thank you all who have participated in the creation of this masterpiece, this kind of thing that keeps me believing in humankind. Expand
  65. 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
  66. 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
  67. 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
  68. 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
  69. 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.
  70. 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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  71. 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.
  72. Aug 15, 2014
    10
    I was really proud of Richard Linklater works. It's really a biggest, sad, great, and the best-of-the-best movies, i ever watched! I cry alot like watching "The Fault in Our Stars" (too late for doing that review, but whatever...). If there is 1000/1000, I will give this good movie a 1000 score, but man, i think thats too much.....
  73. 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
  74. 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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  75. 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.
  76. Sep 5, 2014
    10
    Smart, moving, and profoundly realistic, Boyhood is not just the best picture of the year, but the defining film of a generation.

    When someone tells me "words cannot express..." I typically laugh at the absurdity. As a writer, I conceitedly believe that there are always words for everything. However, I must bow to this cliché. Words cannot express what I think of Richard Linklater's
    Smart, moving, and profoundly realistic, Boyhood is not just the best picture of the year, but the defining film of a generation.

    When someone tells me "words cannot express..." I typically laugh at the absurdity. As a writer, I conceitedly believe that there are always words for everything. However, I must bow to this cliché. Words cannot express what I think of Richard Linklater's Boyhood. Given that it's been a little over 12 hours since I saw the film and I'm still speechless, I ask you to bear with me in this review. I WILL MONOLOGUE! To state that Boyhood is the best film of a year that's not but ¾ of the way through is a stretch, but I find myself limber in this instance. Boyhood is the best film of the year. Now time to stretch some more... Boyhood is the best film of the decade. Still limber. No stretching needed. This movie is THAT incredible.

    It all began with an innovative idea from the already innovative Richard Linklater. What if we see a family grow and age through the eyes of a child? And what if we shot it in real-time? From there a spark was ignited and eventually came to a glorious flame. We do see a family age, for 12 years! This idea is already a selling point for the film, but then throw in Mr. Linklater's usual touch of heart and authenticity and you'll have something undeniably special. You'll have an intimate epic. A film that is so large in a technical scale, and equally large in emotional sale is something hardly seen. Especially in the past 12 years. So when Boyhood premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, there was a lot hype. And this excitement hasn't expired after several months. Instead it has grown. It has travelled through America crafting an astute reputation for the film to follow. So for film-goers like myself, who live in small, un-artistic towns, find ourselves overwhelmed with praise for a film we must wait for. And we did. I personally waited a full month-and-a-half for this film to hit El Paso. But 6 weeks is nothing compared to 12 years, so I shall cease my complaining. Instead I shall say this, Boyhood's reputation precedes itself.

    To scrutinize the plot would be to write an 11-15 page review. There is so much going on within each year of the film that the 12 year story is impossible to break down into a simple synopsis. After the first 12-15 minutes of the movie, the film cuts to a new year, 2003, and we find the characters have moved on from the last. This process is continued t

    There is something so psychologically groundbreaking about this film. Never before has a film been so relatable, so memorable, and so poignant. As each year appears on the screen, we the audience subconsciously immerse ourselves into the same time period. We recall what we thought and did in that year, and find ourselves nostalgic. This feeling is especially effective for members of Mason's generation, like myself. We recall the same thought patters and experiences Mason goes through as we went through them. With this intimacy, we find ourselves reliving our childhood. This beautiful feeling is something no other film has caused. This is why Boyhood is so groundbreaking, because it is able to captivate its audience and allow us to have a relationship with it. What Mr. Linklater has done is not only craft a work of art, but allow the audience to view the crafting of the work of art. Brick by brick, line by line, side by side, for anybody involved in this film, whether it be the filmmakers or the audience members, there is an intimate, one-on-one feeling that transcends both time and reality. And for that, we are indebted to the filmmakers. Being Mason's age myself, I find Boyhood to be a very special film that is incredibly close to my heart. As I sat in the theater, watching Mason head off to college, I suddenly realized that that was me. I too had just transitioned into adulthood, and started a new chapter in my life.

    Epic in both a technical and an emotional scope, Boyhood defines a generation by allowing the audience to go on their own intimate journey with the characters. Though the film is a rough 3 hours long, you feel as if it lasts the whole 12 years, simply because you are reliving the period yourself. And when it ends, you feel that the whole 12 years was a simple 3 hours, because life's that fast. Boyhood is the type of movie you don't want to end because there is something so deep in the connection it made with you. To stretch again... Boyhood is the best film of the year. Boyhood is the best film of the decade. Boyhood is one the greatest films in the history of cinema. This I can say with no reservation. Boyhood is one of the most unique, personal, and authentic films I have ever encountered. A true classic.
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  77. Sep 18, 2014
    9
    First thing to know about this movie is that it is different. And I'm not talking about being filmed over 12 years with the same actors. More importantly, this movie is extremely understated and there is no discernible plot besides 12 years in the life of a boy and his family. Thus, there are no arcs and climaxes - this movies IS plodding, as some have described it. This movie is first andFirst thing to know about this movie is that it is different. And I'm not talking about being filmed over 12 years with the same actors. More importantly, this movie is extremely understated and there is no discernible plot besides 12 years in the life of a boy and his family. Thus, there are no arcs and climaxes - this movies IS plodding, as some have described it. This movie is first and foremost about life and in being so moves at the pace of life - not the pace of a hollywood blockbuster.

    That's not to say there is no rhyme or reason to this movie. There is no defined plot but the scenes are not random. The movie is a collection of vignettes which build on each other and important aspects of life are all there but none of them are so overwhelming to replace the central theme which is simply life. In this sense, Boyhood is a profound achievement.

    I finished watching this movie with a lingering and deep sense of emotion and reflection. I don't really know how to describe it but I feel like every other movie I've watched before this one was relatively contrived or overproduced. I think this is the power of this movie.
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  78. Jan 15, 2015
    9
    Wonderful and full of life. Boyhood is a movie that explores perfectly a life of a child through his adolescence, the problems that arise and virtues in his life. It's also perfect for exploring the lifestyle of the middle class people of America. As I said, very good movie, perfectly made and worthy of recognition and many awards. (91 - 100)
  79. 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.
  80. Oct 23, 2014
    10
    From the opening scene this film emphasizes all of the minute intricacies of everyday contemporary adolescence upbringing through a lens incorporating the last decade and, ultimately, of the nostalgia-esque feelings that associate themselves with a millennial generation. This film, at face value, seems to inherently alienate every other subsequent generation (perhaps the most importantFrom the opening scene this film emphasizes all of the minute intricacies of everyday contemporary adolescence upbringing through a lens incorporating the last decade and, ultimately, of the nostalgia-esque feelings that associate themselves with a millennial generation. This film, at face value, seems to inherently alienate every other subsequent generation (perhaps the most important generation to appeal to in order to receive cinematic praise today). Being a millennial myself, yes, there were contextual aspects of the film that other generations would need a good long while to explain to (and even then it wouldn't do justice to the feelings of nostalgia and life-support meaning). The most important aspects (namely, parenthood, sibling-hood, alcohol abuse in a domestic setting through an adolescent's eyes, divorce, etc,) tersely bridges every single generation together- and the ending meditation on living life as memento (very reminiscent of Whitman's meta-analysis in "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry") "Closer yet I approach you; What thought you have of me, I had as much of you I laid in my stores in advance; You furnish your parts toward the soul." No cliches to be found in this film whatsoever. Expand
  81. 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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  82. Dec 17, 2014
    10
    Maravillosa, impresionante y excelente, Boyhood es una película que sin duda quedará en la historia, es una increíble inspección al crecimiento de la mayoría de los niños hoy en día. Además también cuenta con un muy talentoso elenco que ofrecen actuaciones de primera.
  83. 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
  84. 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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  85. Jan 19, 2015
    9
    Probably the most realistic family movie ever made. You literally grow up with the actors as the movie took 12 years to make and you can see a huge transition in the actor's ages. Boyhood is an instant and heartwarming classic that tells a grand story about a boy's life. 9/10 (Awesome)
  86. 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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  87. 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
  88. 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
  89. Jan 14, 2015
    10
    Amazing. The arc of a boy's childhood from ages 6 through 18 is portrayed in real-life-feeling events. They are dramatic in the way signposts and experiences in our own lives are, and not in the way movies generally create drama (violence, disasters, etc). I love director Richard Linklater's 'Before Trilogy' and I waited for this movie with great anticipation. It did not disappoint.Amazing. The arc of a boy's childhood from ages 6 through 18 is portrayed in real-life-feeling events. They are dramatic in the way signposts and experiences in our own lives are, and not in the way movies generally create drama (violence, disasters, etc). I love director Richard Linklater's 'Before Trilogy' and I waited for this movie with great anticipation. It did not disappoint. The acting was top-notch across the board. If you want a unique and satisfying movie, this is it. Expand
  90. 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.
  91. Jan 19, 2015
    10
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  92. Jan 23, 2015
    9
    Its nice to see that movies can still be critically acclaimed by the media and still be enjoyed by the general public. Boyhood is a movie that can be enjoyed by the whole family. It had to believe that a project like this could be pulled off over 12 years. Ellar Coltrane was great throughout this movie. It would be neat if this movie is the only thing he does. He really shows what its likeIts nice to see that movies can still be critically acclaimed by the media and still be enjoyed by the general public. Boyhood is a movie that can be enjoyed by the whole family. It had to believe that a project like this could be pulled off over 12 years. Ellar Coltrane was great throughout this movie. It would be neat if this movie is the only thing he does. He really shows what its like to be a growing male. I found many aspects of his life that we similar to events in my own life. Ethan Hawke was great also as the father. I'm going to say that this is the best thing he's ever done. Ethan Hawke is a bad that you wish everyone had. Richard Linklater has pulled off a movie that has captured a point in time and although it may not be relevant forever it will be one of the most significant movies of this period of time. Linklater even did so while casting his own daughter with little experience in one of the lead roles. I would be 100% happy with Boyhood winning best picture this year and I wouldn't be shocked if it does. Expand
  93. Jan 22, 2015
    10
    Truly amazing movie. It really reflects my life and the more you think about it the deeper the movie gets. Definitely a masterpiece by Linklater. If you think this movie is boring then you really don't know how to enjoy one.
Metascore
100

Universal acclaim - based on 49 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 49
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 49
  3. Negative: 0 out of 49
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jul 31, 2014
    100
    The film would be incalculably different if the lead role had been divided between two or three young actors for a conventional shoot. But Linklater’s patience allows us to see a thoughtful personality being formed both on and off the screen.