Metascore
100

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

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 578 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 49
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 49
  3. Negative: 0 out of 49
  1. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Jul 9, 2014
    100
    Like Michael Apted in his "Seven Up!" documentary series, Linklater makes you feel as if you're watching a photograph as it develops in the darkroom.
  2. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Jan 26, 2014
    100
    Unshakable, witty and deeply felt, the film will be paying emotional dividends for a long, long time.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Aug 7, 2014
    100
    The greatest movies, the ones that stick with us, are those that hold up a mirror to the human condition and reflect something back at us that we too often manage to overlook. Boyhood is one of those movies, and with it Linklater proves he is among the best practitioners of that art.
  4. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jul 10, 2014
    100
    On rare occasions a movie seems to channel the flow of real life. Boyhood is one of those occasions. In its ambition, which is matched by its execution, Richard Linklater's endearing epic is not only rare but unique.
  5. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jul 17, 2014
    100
    As a film that dares to honor small moments and the life they add up to, Boyhood isn’t just a masterpiece. It’s a miracle.
  6. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jul 30, 2014
    100
    In its own quiet way, it’s a world of marvels.
  7. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Jun 15, 2014
    75
    Richard Linklater's film is an experiment in time, and one that's attentive to the audience's sense of empathy.

See all 49 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 96 out of 133
  2. Negative: 24 out of 133
  1. 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 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
  2. 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 you will think about it for weeks. 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 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. Collapse
  4. Jul 24, 2014
    8
    Richard Liknlater's unique experimental film about one boy's evolution into adulthood is a long but engaging coming of age story. Shot over a period of 12 years, and calling on the same cast each time, it is a risky enterprise that could have failed in numerous ways. To Linklater's good fortune his cast are uniformly excellent. As the boy under scrutiny Ellar Coltrane acts naturally and even though the story and his character, Mason, are fictional there is a sense that one is watching the real person evolve. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette (so this is where she's been) are totally convincing as the parents 'winging it'. Arquette's rant 'I thought there would be more!' probably mirrors the reactions of audiences who will not warm to the film's general lack of outlandish drama and sudden time switches. Others, like myself, will find these subtle transitions make the picture feel fluid.

    Despite seeming a long watch I don't know where any cuts could reasonably be made to make it more manageable, even though a lot more time is given over to Mason's later teenage years when he is dating and contemplating college. The screenplay, whilst lacking a lot of dramatic incident, has a lot of social/political points to make and Mason becomes the mouthpiece for many of these. At times one gets the impression that what he is saying really represents another, more mature, person's views. However, the writing is intelligent and people of all ages will be able to recognise situations and identify or empathise with the characters experiencing them.

    After his enduring 'Before' series Richard Linklater has done it again in producing a film that, whilst it may not be the masterpiece exalted by the critics, is never the less a unique and ground breaking evocation of one ordinary boy's journey through childhood.
    Expand
  5. Aug 12, 2014
    7
    The strength of Boyhood is how real it felt, every conversation, every scene and every moment. Ambitious yes, ground-breaking absolutely but far way from being anything close to a masterpiece. Expand
  6. Jul 12, 2014
    5
    I'm utterly mystified by the unanimous raves for this movie by the professional critics. There are beats and performances to enjoy here, particularly those of the children cast in the roles of Mason Jr and his sister Samantha. And there is an innate fascination with watching a boy's face and body become that of a man that is captivating here. But the minute the adults around Mason Jr start speaking, I just felt like I wanted to leave the room. The parade of inappropriate (or downright terrifying) fathers that march through the story made me wonder at the miracle that young Mason would actually survive into adulthood at all. Had the brilliance of the concept been matched with a more invigorating and cliche-free screenplay, I too would have rewarded the movie with a 10. As is, it's hard to recommend even investing the 2 hours and 45 minutes it takes to wade through this particular boyhood. Expand
  7. Sep 15, 2014
    0
    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
    Expand

See all 133 User Reviews

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