Metascore
100

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

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 495 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: 90 out of 127
  2. Negative: 25 out of 127
  1. 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 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
  2. 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 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.
    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. Expand
  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. Aug 5, 2014
    5
    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. Oct 5, 2014
    0
    I download this movie from some pirate site, just because i don't want to pay for garbage. I thought maybe someday i watch the movie so beautiful, that i can go and seriously buy a BR disk. But this... OMG, people! Why critics adore it? Why here perfect score? What's wrong with them? I can't understand. This movie is EXTREMELY BORING and it lasts 3 HOURS! What is this? Is this a story about life of a human being? Okay, maybe it is. But why we need to sit through all this? I don't think that movie about life is even interesting. If i want life i can go outside and live the hell outta it. When i watch a movie i don't want simulation of life. I want entertainment. And here is none of it. Every minute is dull, every moment is tiresome, every character is annoying. I tried to watch this twelve times and on thirteen i succeed at last. And it's suck a waste of time, mind and life. Linklater create a most dull movie in existence and critics loved it. Maybe because their writings about this film is also boring as Tijuana. Expand

See all 127 User Reviews

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