Boy A (2007)
Critic Consensus: Small in scale but large in impact, Boy A's career making performances (particularly that by star Andrew Garfield) and carefully crafted characters defy judgment and aggressively provoke debate.
A man looking to shed his former identity in order to move beyond his traumatic past discovers that the past and the future are inexorably linked in director John Crowley's feature adaptation of a novel by author Jonathan Trigell. Terry (Peter Mullan) is a caseworker whose job it is to help people create new lives. His latest charge is a young man with a troubled past who eventually decides on the new name Jack (Andrew Garfield). Jack has decided to start a new life in Manchester, where no one is aware of his sordid history. As Jack begins his new job in a new town, he quickly catches the attention of beautiful co-worker Michelle (Katie Lyons). While Michelle's advances are unmistakable, Jack remains somewhat awkward in his new skin and the initial encounters between the pair are somewhat clumsy. Later, as the two new lovers begin experiencing the thrill of connecting with a kindred soul, Jack performs a heroic feat that finds him celebrated as a local hero, and it begins to look like he has successfully made the transition into his new life. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Boy A
Director John Crowley, a veteran Irish theater director now working in film, is deliberate with every last element of his film.
Even its structurally weaker moments give Garfield an opportunity to expand on Jack's physical and mental dislocation. Given Boy A's final floating reel, it's an anchoring performance in every sense of the word.
The movie is taut with suspense but culminates in wise resignation as the hero comes to understand he's running from a part of himself.
Crowley gets a remarkable performance from Andrew Garfield: his Jack is a person who carries guilt with him even when he is trying to override it.
Audience Reviews for Boy A
This film does everything that you wish a film would do. It takes the dark past of a murderer, turns him into a likeable character and makes you feel for him more than any other character. Andrew Garfield is astonishing in this film, in which sparked his career as an actor. In his first starring role, his performance feels very real and true. By the end of the film, you will have been captivated by every scene that there will be no possible way to dislike this movie. Not only do I love every second of "Boy A," but I it kept my thinking after the movie ended and I cannot wrap my mind around the brilliant conclusion, if you can even call it that. This film, in my eyes, is a masterpiece!
At first a thought-provoking film about guilt, atonement and the right to start over as a new person. It relies on an excellent performance by Andrew Garfield, but sadly after two intriguing acts everything culminates in a disappointing ending that is contrived and insubstantial.
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