Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Diego Costa
    Nov 14, 2011
    100
    Tomboy is one of those little big films whose simplicity and concision suggest the excess of meaning that language (cinematic or otherwise) could never account for.
  2. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Nov 16, 2011
    91
    The startling power of Tomboy, a beautiful, matter-of-fact French drama about a young girl who wants to be a boy - and for one singular summer around her 10th birthday passes as one - begins with the one-of-a-kind natural performance by Zoé Héran as Laure.
  3. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jan 25, 2012
    88
    Tomboy is tender and affectionate. It shows us Laure/Mikael in an adventure that may be forgotten in adulthood or may form her adulthood.
  4. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Nov 16, 2011
    83
    It's so much fun that as Tomboy moves toward its conclusion, the inevitable end of Héran's days as Mikael feels like watching someone die.
  5. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Jan 26, 2012
    80
    Writer-director Celine Sciamma breaks little ground here, but her story is nicely scaled to the gender-rigid world of childhood, where boys playing soccer together take as much pride in their spitting skills as any scored goal.
  6. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Dec 1, 2011
    80
    Tomboy stands out as an especially affecting delicacy about the thrills and pitfalls of exploring who one is.
  7. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Nov 16, 2011
    80
    Laure is pleasingly uncute, with a gruff demeanor that gives way to affecting glimpses of vulnerability.
  8. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    Nov 15, 2011
    80
    Tomboy astutely explores the freedom, however brief, of being untethered to the highly rule-bound world of gender codes.
  9. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Nov 15, 2011
    80
    Tomboy may add little to conversations about gender or sexuality. It has everything to say, however, about that period of childhood when identity is at its most malleable.
  10. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jan 27, 2012
    75
    Although Tomboy is as tightly constructed as a short story and as seemingly straightforward as a documentary, the parable about a small fib that grows out of control is so rooted in the rich soil of sexual identity that it entangles us.
  11. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Dec 8, 2011
    75
    Beautifully photographed by Crystel Fournier, Sciamma's film has a floaty weightlessness (as opposed to the heavyosity of "Boys Don't Cry") that neither judges nor pathologizes Laure.
  12. 75
    It may be a slim story, but its gentle humour, natural rhythm and above all authentic performances make Tomboy beautiful, intimate cinema.
  13. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Dec 1, 2011
    75
    Tomboy is as visually beautiful as its 10-year-old heroine is defiantly plain.
  14. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Nov 22, 2011
    75
    Less subtle than its predecessor, Tomboy is like a pint-size "Boys Don't Cry," and as such, it's practically unique.
  15. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Nov 16, 2011
    75
    A pre-pubescent "Boys Don't Cry" with a much sweeter tone, this thoughtful French comic drama follows Laure (Zoé Héran), a 10-year-old girl who yearns to be a boy.
  16. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Nov 15, 2011
    70
    The story that emerges is programmatic and largely unsurprising, but these children give it messiness, joy and life.
  17. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Dec 7, 2011
    67
    This French import is as casual as the summer afternoons of childhood that it depicts.
  18. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Dec 3, 2011
    67
    Once summer ends and the kids enroll in school, the jig will be up. The film ends with that eventuality. It would have been richer if it had opened with it.
  19. Reviewed by: Anna Smith
    Nov 13, 2011
    60
    A tender, sensitive French drama rich in hazy atmosphere.
  20. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Nov 18, 2011
    40
    Its young heroine is proud to be herself; there's just not much for her to do beyond that.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Dec 1, 2011
    8
    A classic example of a good French movie. Deep, thoughtful, intense without too much action.
    I do not remember a movie where children would
    A classic example of a good French movie. Deep, thoughtful, intense without too much action.
    I do not remember a movie where children would act so naturally. My only complain: a bit slow at times.
    Full Review »
  2. May 3, 2014
    9
    Great little slice-of-life movie showing how gender affects almost all points of life, especially for a child. The little looks, silences, andGreat little slice-of-life movie showing how gender affects almost all points of life, especially for a child. The little looks, silences, and subtle body language between the main character (who is a tomboy or a transgender child treated as "just a tomboy") and everyone else is spot on. Heartbreaking at times, but also tender and kind. Full Review »
  3. Mar 9, 2012
    7
    I really enjoyed it, but I feel like it could've been much more. It's very visceral, and the casting was outstanding, even the sister wasI really enjoyed it, but I feel like it could've been much more. It's very visceral, and the casting was outstanding, even the sister was quite incredible. But the script, the plot, was a bit shallow. Ultimately it had one point, one message and it covered it quite extensively, but I really wish it was more substantial.

    I'm quite the fan of coming of age films, but this was the most shallow one I've seen yet. If you compare this to to something like Ã
    Full Review »