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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 427 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , , , , ,
  • Summary: Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater's Boyhood is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason's parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, Boyhood charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before and is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting. [IFC Films] Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 49
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 49
  3. Negative: 0 out of 49
  1. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Jul 9, 2014
    Like Michael Apted in his "Seven Up!" documentary series, Linklater makes you feel as if you're watching a photograph as it develops in the darkroom.
  2. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Jan 26, 2014
    Unshakable, witty and deeply felt, the film will be paying emotional dividends for a long, long time.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Aug 7, 2014
    The greatest movies, the ones that stick with us, are those that hold up a mirror to the human condition and reflect something back at us that we too often manage to overlook. Boyhood is one of those movies, and with it Linklater proves he is among the best practitioners of that art.
  4. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jul 10, 2014
    On rare occasions a movie seems to channel the flow of real life. Boyhood is one of those occasions. In its ambition, which is matched by its execution, Richard Linklater's endearing epic is not only rare but unique.
  5. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jul 17, 2014
    As a film that dares to honor small moments and the life they add up to, Boyhood isn’t just a masterpiece. It’s a miracle.
  6. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jul 30, 2014
    In its own quiet way, it’s a world of marvels.
  7. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Jun 15, 2014
    Richard Linklater's film is an experiment in time, and one that's attentive to the audience's sense of empathy.

See all 49 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 78 out of 110
  2. Negative: 20 out of 110
  1. Sep 8, 2014
    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. Expand
  2. Jul 17, 2014
    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 you will think about it for weeks. Expand
  3. Jul 11, 2014
    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 what lies at the core of Richard Linklater’s unique 12-year-spanning story and makes it relatable for everyone, regardless of sex, age group, descent, social status, or character. Linklater lets his audience live through the fun and the pain, the love and the misery, and the excitement and the disappointment of his protagonist Mason with yet another wonderful screenplay in his repertoire and an unspectacular but still extraordinary way of directing. Leaving the cinema, it’s hard to grasp one has just spent the better part of an evening in front of a screen, but at the same time, there’s also a feeling of having relived your own adolescence along with Mason. Expand
  4. Jul 20, 2014
    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/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
  5. Aug 14, 2014
    great story, but this movie is way too long. i think the same effect could've been the same at two hours. i think this movie is pretty over rated, and the only technical achievement was that it was filmed over time, there really isnt anything mesmerizing here. Expand
  6. Aug 5, 2014
    Okay I may be in the vast minority in this one but I feel Boyhood is tremendously overrated. 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. Expand
  7. Sep 15, 2014
    Synopsis: Basically a left-wing, misandrist propaganda movie about the life of a drug-abusing, alcoholic, womanizing teenage delinquent; his airhead single mother; and all of the bad, disposable father figures the boy had in his life.

    Score Breakdown: Plot 0.2/10, Left-Wing Agenda -100/10, Total Score 0/10

See all 110 User Reviews


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