Metascore
100

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

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1197 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 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 andFilmed over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater's Boyhood is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason's parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, Boyhood charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before and is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting. [IFC Films] Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 50
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 50
  3. Negative: 0 out of 50
  1. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Jul 9, 2014
    100
    Like Michael Apted in his "Seven Up!" documentary series, Linklater makes you feel as if you're watching a photograph as it develops in the darkroom.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Jan 26, 2014
    100
    It's the selective but cumulative use of seemingly arbitrary but significant experiences that gives Boyhood its distinctive character and impressive weight.
  3. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Feb 7, 2015
    100
    There’s not a great theme, a great performance or even a great scene in Boyhood. But I think it might be a great picture.
  4. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jul 10, 2014
    100
    On rare occasions a movie seems to channel the flow of real life. Boyhood is one of those occasions. In its ambition, which is matched by its execution, Richard Linklater's endearing epic is not only rare but unique.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Jul 17, 2014
    100
    Once in a great while I see a movie I know I’ll be listing as one of my all-time favorites for the rest of my days. So it is with this remarkable, unforgettable, elegant epic that is about one family — and millions of families. It’s a pinpoint-specific and yet universal story.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jul 30, 2014
    100
    This bold movie may sound like a stunt, but it’s so much more than that. Linklater is an effortless, genial auteur, and his passions are woven through “Dazed and Confused,” “School of Rock” and the “Before Sunrise” trilogy. Here, his mellow groove becomes an everyday rhythm.
  7. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Jun 15, 2014
    75
    Richard Linklater's film is an experiment in time, and one that's attentive to the audience's sense of empathy.

See all 50 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 79 out of 280
  1. 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 inherentWith 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
  2. 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 theA 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
  3. Jul 11, 2014
    10
    A boy enjoying pictures of women in swimwear with his friends. A boy being devastated after having his mane cut off. A boy debating theA boy enjoying pictures of women in swimwear with his friends. A boy being devastated after having his mane cut off. A boy debating the necessity of Facebook with his high school girlfriend. In all honesty, Boyhood is a rather apt title for this film. But it could just as well hold the name of another picture currently running in cinemas: Life Itself. That simple yet profound thing is what lies at the core of Richard Linklater’s unique 12-year-spanning story and makes it relatable for everyone, regardless of sex, age group, descent, social status, or character. Linklater lets his audience live through the fun and the pain, the love and the misery, and the excitement and the disappointment of his protagonist Mason with yet another wonderful screenplay in his repertoire and an unspectacular but still extraordinary way of directing. Leaving the cinema, it’s hard to grasp one has just spent the better part of an evening in front of a screen, but at the same time, there’s also a feeling of having relived your own adolescence along with Mason. Expand
  4. Jan 27, 2015
    8
    This definitely is film history and one people should watch. It may not be the most exciting film to watch, or the most interesting, but as iThis definitely is film history and one people should watch. It may not be the most exciting film to watch, or the most interesting, but as i found with the film Inside Llyewn Davis it is a nice and pleasant viewing experience. And that's what this film is: an experience. The 12 years of filming works meticulously well and really helps develop the characters as real people. The film is about growing up, and the reason the message and work comes across so well is because that's literally what happens: they grow up. Other films that try this with different actors don't really work and you find them a little too boring or sentimental, but this film works with the growing up mechanic so well that you can really relate to the film even if you don't follow a life like the one portrayed in the film. I must say the acting is pretty solid pretty much from the get go, but the character Sam i found a little bit obvious as not being a real person. However, all the other actora felt genuine, and that's why i felt i connected with this film. A must watch. Expand
  5. Feb 20, 2015
    6
    I can see some appeal it this movie, but I think it depends on how you are going to relate to it or if you are even in the right mood toI can see some appeal it this movie, but I think it depends on how you are going to relate to it or if you are even in the right mood to observe+relate rather than just being entertained. I don't care much about the 12 years of real time either, because it only added so much in the overall experience. I would prefer more focused and interesting story-line instead.
    That being said, it is hard to predict how every other spectator would precept it and from what angle. But one thing, I am quite certain of, is that it dragged too much for what could be much shorted and more eventful tale. The ending was kind of charming though.
    Expand
  6. Feb 8, 2015
    3
    Dull disjointed disparate nonsense that has none of the revelatory joy of a film like stand by me.it's overrated tripe that is memorable onlyDull disjointed disparate nonsense that has none of the revelatory joy of a film like stand by me.it's overrated tripe that is memorable only for the method of its making. Aside of the domestic at dinner scene which is genuinely horrifying it's turgid lack lustre and banal . I remember watching the movie les 40 years ago and being terrified and stunned . Even Clint eastwards American sniper ( also overrated) left me in stunned silence at the end and left me thinking about it for days . Boyhood left me thinking I must be dum to have not appreciated this ghastly waste of celluloid. Expand
  7. Feb 22, 2015
    0
    This was an ambitious project, but it turned out a very dull cliché. Nothing in the film felt genuine, except for Arquette's performance. TheThis was an ambitious project, but it turned out a very dull cliché. Nothing in the film felt genuine, except for Arquette's performance. The guy in the main role shouldn't have been forced to return to filming since he so obviously lacks talent. The result was very bland and a stereotypical American coming of age story. The writing and the acting the whole result was terribly bland. Those claiming that this is not for mainstream audiences, because it is an artistic concept film overestimate the film. And possibly underestimate the audience. Expand

See all 280 User Reviews

Trailers

Related Articles

  1. The Best Movies of the 21st Century (So Far)

    The Best Movies of the 21st Century (So Far) Image
    Published: March 26, 2015
    Check out our lists of the best (and worst) movies of the century so far, ranked by Metascore overall and in a variety of genres.
  2. Final 2015 Oscar Predictions from Experts and Users

    Final 2015 Oscar Predictions from Experts and Users Image
    Published: February 19, 2015
    The Academy Awards will be handed out this Sunday. Find out the favorites in all 24 categories as we survey over 50 industry experts (and 3,000+ Metacritic users).
  3. How to Predict the Oscars: 2015 Edition

    How to Predict the Oscars: 2015 Edition Image
    Published: February 12, 2015
    Need help filling out your Oscar pool? We look for patterns in recent races in a variety of Academy Awards categories.
  4. Oscar Best Picture Race: Critics vs. The Academy

    Oscar Best Picture Race: Critics vs. The Academy Image
    Published: February 10, 2015
    How often does the best film win the Academy Award for best picture? We look back at the last 20 years of best picture nominees to find out just how often Oscar voters agree with critics.
  5. 2015 Oscar Nominations

    2015 Oscar Nominations Image
    Published: January 15, 2015
    Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and The Imitation Game are among the most-nominated films at the 87th Annual Academy Awards. Find a full list of nominations in all 24 categories inside.
  6. Metacritic Users Pick the Best of 2014

    Metacritic Users Pick the Best of 2014 Image
    Published: January 7, 2015
    The results are in! Find out which video games, movies, TV shows, albums, and songs were the favorites among Metacritic users in 2014.
  7. The Best and Worst Movies of 2014

    The Best and Worst Movies of 2014 Image
    Published: January 6, 2015
    2014 saw the release of the highest-scoring new movie in Metacritic's history, among a number of great films. Browse our official lists of the year's best movies in a variety of categories, as well as our collection of 2014's worst films.
  8. Best of 2014: Film Critic Top Ten Lists

    Best of 2014: Film Critic Top Ten Lists Image
    Published: December 6, 2014
    Over the next month, we'll be collecting year-end top ten lists from dozens of movie critics and publications. Browse the individual lists and view our composite rankings inside.
  9. Best of 2014: Film Awards & Nominations Scorecard

    Best of 2014: Film Awards & Nominations Scorecard Image
    Published: December 1, 2014
    Find a complete list of 2014's major film awards and nominations from dozens of professional organizations and critic associations, as well as a running scorecard of the year's biggest winners. Check daily for updates throughout December and January.
  10. Summer Movie Recap: Best Films, Prediction Results, and Box Office Stats

    Summer Movie Recap: Best Films, Prediction Results, and Box Office Stats Image
    Published: September 2, 2014
    We look back at the best-reviewed and highest-grossing films of the just-concluded summer movie season. Plus, find out how our users' Metascore predictions compared to the actual scores for 30 of summer's biggest films.
  11. Best of July 2014: Top Albums, Games, Movies & TV

    Best of July 2014: Top Albums, Games, Movies & TV Image
    Published: July 31, 2014
    Our quick guide to the best entertainment of the past month features the highest-scoring video games, TV shows, albums, and films released during July.