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Boy A (2007)

tomatometer

88

Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 59
Fresh: 52 | Rotten: 7

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.

86

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 29
Fresh: 25 | Rotten: 4

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.

audience

88

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 35,555

My Rating

Movie Info

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

R,

Drama

Oct 7, 2008

The Weinstein Co. - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (59) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (52) | Rotten (7)

It makes us feel sympathy for the devil.

September 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Comments (3)
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Director John Crowley, a veteran Irish theater director now working in film, is deliberate with every last element of his film.

September 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

August 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

August 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

August 11, 2008 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Boy A is one of those rare movies that takes the idea of rehabilitation seriously. In the end, it may present a worst-case scenario, but it does so with unusual depth and conviction.

August 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Andrew Garfield nailed an assignment many actors would avoid or, worse, botch in "Boy A" - embody a grown, traumatized man experiencing emotional honesty, transparent kindness, sexual intimacy and genuine appreciation from others for the first time.

September 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Suite101.com
Suite101.com

The material is thought-provoking and features some very good performances.

October 23, 2008 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

The limits of redemption and forgiveness get challenged ruthlessly in this haunting drama...

October 21, 2008 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

Efficiently directed by John Crowley, Boy A avoids exploitation while never soft-selling its thorny subject matter.

October 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

The genius of Garfield's performance is that he fills him with equal amounts of terror and wonder.

September 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

This is a brutally honest story that pulls no punches. It excels at everything from the directing and acting to the editing and photography. A stunning achievement

September 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Sin Magazine
Sin Magazine

Garfield is definitely an actor to watch, but prepare yourself for the disappointing ending.

September 5, 2008 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

It's a sad movie, no question -- but like most great drama, it inspires admiration for its thoughtfulness and its craft.

September 2, 2008 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

Boy A is the kind of movie that falls victim to the new role of multiplex as babysitter of teenagers. Its life in the theatres will be short, but for the few that find it now it will be worth it.

August 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

The new British film 'Boy A' poses a question that is easy to ask but nearly impossible to answer: Can we ever really escape from our own misdeeds?

August 25, 2008 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

His sophomore feature, Boy A explores bleak territory but its insistence on not tying everything up in neat little bows is to be commended.

August 23, 2008 Full Review Source: KPBS.org
KPBS.org

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!
August 23, 2012
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

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.
April 30, 2012
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

Loved it
August 1, 2011
Idrees Khan

Super Reviewer

A very interesting film where the director plays on the sympathy and likeness to character who has the past of a murderer. The idea of giving people a second chance in life is a common theme, and for the most part, the second chance is shown in a positive light. The twist in the movie comes from the question; with time should all crimes or mistakes be forgiven and forgotten no matter the scale? The film does not conclude with solid answers, but rather dwells on it's complex ideas.
March 14, 2011
shawnewing92

Super Reviewer

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