About a Boy Reviews

Top Critic
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
February 10, 2014
Even people who don't usually like Hugh Grant will be charmed by him in the scrappy, slightly scandalous comedy About a Boy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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David Denby
New Yorker
February 10, 2014
The directors Paul and Chris Weitz -- the American Pie brothers -- have tried hard not to make a tearjerker, and at its best the movie is knowing and tart.
Top Critic
February 10, 2014
Mainstream comedies should all be this funny and tender and deftly performed.
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
February 10, 2014
Will is a flintier, more sarcastic and impatient character than we've seen Grant play, yet there's a core of decency about him.
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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
February 10, 2014
Hugh Grant hilariously redefines the word "playboy" in the first half of this film, then gets human, without losing his comic edge, under the influence of the title waif.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
February 10, 2014
About a Boy is better than a feelgood movie, it's a feelgreat movie -- genuinely clever, affecting when you least expect it to be and funny from start to finish.
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
February 10, 2014
Compared to High Fidelity, the book and the movie, About A Boy seems resolutely uncool.... But part of growing up may be admitting that such familiar comforts can also be immensely satisfying.
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Derek Elley
Variety
February 3, 2009
Pleasant and engaging, rather than laugh-out-loud funny or emotionally involving.
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
February 3, 2009
Few movies have made better use of Hugh Grant's shallow charm and amused befuddlement than this funny and well-paced adaptation of Nick Hornby's best-selling second novel.
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David Ansen
Newsweek
November 1, 2007
The first big studio movie of 2002 I didn't want to end.
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Geoff Andrew
Time Out
February 9, 2006
Hornby's crises and characters can be so facile, schematic and smugly moralistic that emotional substance can get overshadowed by fluff.
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Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune
July 20, 2002
The movie occasionally strains for crowd-pleasing moments as it pumps up the drama toward the end, but it more than earns our indulgence.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Manohla Dargis
L.A. Weekly
June 1, 2002
There's not much more to this adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel than charm -- effortless, pleasurable, featherweight charm.
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
May 30, 2002
In the end, the film comes over as a messy delight, thanks to the skill, generosity and good-sport, punching-bag panache of Mr. Grant's performance.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
May 22, 2002
I loved the novel and I love what they did with it.
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Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
May 19, 2002
About a Boy is sophisticated and nuanced, and every character is bursting with emotional contradictions.
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
May 17, 2002
About a Boy is not only hilarious, touching and wonderfully dyspeptic, it's grounds for Hugh Grant's canonization as the patron saint of all cads.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
May 17, 2002
In this winning, tic-free performance, Grant lends the shoals layer upon layer of desire, terror, ambivalence and self-awareness.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
May 17, 2002
Most of us have uttered this familiar refrain: The movie is never as good as the book. About a Boy flies in the face of that maxim.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
May 17, 2002
About A Boy measures out its redemption, but it's keenly felt all the same, and very much enjoyed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
May 17, 2002
Miss this movie at your peril.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
May 17, 2002
An honest movie about childhood that avoids sappiness and sentiment and goes in unexpected directions.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
May 17, 2002
A shrewd (if uneven) hybrid of American savvy and British savoir-faire.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Jonathan Foreman
New York Post
May 17, 2002
Given the trajectory of the plot of About a Boy, it's almost a miracle that this smart, painfully funny adaptation of the best-selling Nick Hornby novel never gives way to sentimentality.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
May 17, 2002
The summer movie season has barely begun, and already we have its first big surprise.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
May 17, 2002
A flick about our infantilized culture that isn't entirely infantile.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Susan Stark
Detroit News
May 17, 2002
A truly winning comedy about romance.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rosen
Denver Post
May 17, 2002
Although the plot devices that bring Will and Marcus together are complicated, they never seem strained or artificial.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
May 17, 2002
Hugh Grant, who has a good line in charm, has never been more charming than in About a Boy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Renee Graham
Boston Globe
May 17, 2002
A timid, soggy near miss.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
May 16, 2002
Rascally Hugh Grant, a beyond-awkward little boy and the makers of American Pie team up for a near-perfect comic delight.
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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
May 16, 2002
A lot of the credit for the film's winning tone must go to Grant, who hasn't lost a bit of the dry humor that first made audiences on both sides of the Atlantic love him.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
May 16, 2002
Less inventive than the one Stephen Frears put forward in High Fidelity two years ago, but also more satisfying.
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
May 16, 2002
It's no use pretending About a Boy doesn't have warmth and charm, because it does. But... there's a potential for something better still that never manages to get realized.
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
May 16, 2002
Some credit for that deservedly goes to Grant. To his credit, he doesn't stoop to his puppy-dog pander.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
May 16, 2002
Hoult is one of those amazing child actors whose faces serve as sheer membrane to their hearts.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
May 16, 2002
About a Boy pulls off the savvy trick of teaching life lessons without making you gag on them.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 16, 2002
Fans of the Hornby book should be pleased by the Weitzes' smart, faithful translation.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
May 15, 2002
The movie sticks much closer to Hornby's drop-dead confessional tone than the film version of High Fidelity did.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
May 15, 2002
As Hugh Grant says repeatedly throughout the movie, 'Lovely! Brilliant!'
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Jessica Winter
Village Voice
May 14, 2002
Since the central odd couple have no rapport, their bond never seems to progress past mutual usury.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
May 13, 2002
Using a stock plot, About a Boy injects just enough freshness into the proceedings to provide an enjoyable 100 minutes in a movie theater.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
May 9, 2002
That rare gem that tugs at the heartstrings with no manipulative sentimentality.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
May 8, 2002
The acid comedy of Grant's performance carries the film.
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Mark Adams
Hollywood Reporter
March 27, 2002
Beautifully written and directed and packed with excellent performances.