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Boy (2012)


Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 66
Fresh: 57
Rotten: 9

Critics Consensus: Boy possesses the offbeat charm associated with New Zealand film but is also fully capable of drawing the viewer in emotionally.

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 22
Fresh: 18
Rotten: 4

Critics Consensus: Boy possesses the offbeat charm associated with New Zealand film but is also fully capable of drawing the viewer in emotionally.


Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 5,598



Movie Info

The year is 1984, and on the rural East Coast of New Zealand "Thriller" is changing kids' lives. Inspired by the Oscar nominated Two Cars, One Night, Boy is the hilarious and heartfelt coming-of-age tale about heroes, magic and Michael Jackson. Boy is a dreamer who loves Michael Jackson. He lives with his brother Rocky, a tribe of deserted cousins and his Nan. Boy's other hero, his father, Alamein, is the subject of Boy's fantasies, and he imagines him as a deep sea diver, war hero and a close … More

Drama , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
Topaz Adizes , Taika Waititi
In Theaters:
Jul 9, 2013
Box Office:
Paladin Films - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Boy

All Critics (66) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (57) | Rotten (9) | DVD (2)

Even the inevitable flaws of the low-budget production are winning, showcasing as they do the narrative artistry that makes Boy so distinctive amid current factory-written studio productions.

Full Review… | July 13, 2012
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

A simple story of coming of age and the bitter failings of hero worship that succeeds thanks to the impressive skills of its young star.

Full Review… | July 12, 2012
Toronto Star
Top Critic

"Boy" finds hope, and love, in the oddest corners.

Full Review… | April 27, 2012
Detroit News
Top Critic

Waititi has reached into his past for a story that belongs to him alone.

Full Review… | April 26, 2012
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A film like this would have little chance without the right casting, and James Rolleston is so right as Boy, it's difficult to imagine anyone else.

Full Review… | April 26, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Boy is a charmer, a funny and affecting coming-of-age story rendered with heart, and with nuttiness.

Full Review… | April 5, 2012
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

The momentum from the opening dissipates early and without a real engine pushing the movie foward, it begins to drag...the film is 87 minutes and feels like it's 2 hours.

Full Review… | July 10, 2013
The Playlist

This is an upbeat, often hilarious, but never mawkish, celebration of love.

Full Review… | February 7, 2013
Eye for Film

It's one of those flicks that has more resonance than you may at first realize and a level of charm that few films contain.

Full Review… | August 24, 2012

Rolleston's winning presence doubtless has much to do with the fact that Boy is a record-breaking hit in its home country, but there's some salt mixed in with the film's sugar.

Full Review… | May 3, 2012
Philadelphia City Paper

A performer and comedian before becoming a filmmaker, Waititi uses his comic sensibilities to keep Boy from becoming mawkish or clichéd. He has created a coming-of-age tale that is truly original.

Full Review… | April 6, 2012
Austin Chronicle

Waititi does a nice tonal juggling act, balancing eccentric characters, a 1980s setting, child-drawn animation and Maori-inflected restagings of Michael Jackson videos with the painful consequences of parental neglect.

Full Review… | April 5, 2012

This is a good-natured, goofy and often charming little coming-of-age comedy that is bright, light and fun.

Full Review… | March 30, 2012
Reeling Reviews

Homegrown though it often feels, the film is hurt by a distinct lack of budget; how else to explain why "Thriller," or any song at all by Michael Jackson, never appears?

Full Review… | March 29, 2012

Funny and touching at times, but a little bit of Dad goes a long way.

Full Review… | March 29, 2012
Boston Phoenix

The storytelling is far from standard, from the endearingly eccentric characterizations and performances to match to the whimsical, sometimes surreal tone.

Full Review… | March 28, 2012

From its pop culture addicted the exploits Boy imagines for his dad (deep sea diver, war hero, friend of Jackson) depicted by animations of Rocky's crayon drawings, "Boy" charms.

Full Review… | March 28, 2012
Reeling Reviews

Audience Reviews for Boy

11/06/2010 (CINEMAS)

I'm not sure if audiences outside New-Zealand will relate to this but for those who grew up in New-Zealand like myself, well, we will get a kick out of this.

Although it is humorous, there are elements that keep the movie in check and remind us that its not always going to be funny, that sometimes we need to be serious about stuff.

The film is based around the 80's, so check out New-Zealand and New-Zealanders before "Lord of the Rings" found us a spot on the map.

EightThirty .

Super Reviewer

Heartfelt, funny, and sweet, BOY is a great film about a child's transformation into a man; a film that takes the familiar story of when a boy finally realizes the unmet expectations of his flawed father who had been firmly idolized and placed upon a pedestal that is now collapsed, and injects it with a narrative that is well-cast, well-acted, and steadily-paced. Never feeling too cheesy, Taika Waititi's film - Waititi both stars and directs - is genuine and natural, filled with subtle moments of humor that are ingeniously placed as well as a particular New Zealand accent that is simply fun to listen to.

Sheldon Chau
Sheldon Chau

Super Reviewer


Taika Waititi will be 37 on 16 August 1975... he is a New Zealand-born film director, writer, painter, comedian and actor named who was named 5 years ago on Variety's "ten new directors to watch"! The guys who named him new what talent he has. His coming-of-age comedy-drama Boy has done very well in New Zealand, reaching several records, and it's starting conquering the globe with its charm.

The events in this adorable movie are happening in 1984, and Michael Jackson is a king - even in Waihau Bay, New Zealand. Boy is an 11-year-old who lives on a farm with his gran, a goat called Leaf, his younger brother who thinks he has super powers, Rocky and several cousins. Gran has to leave for a week to attend a funeral in Wellington and Boy is in charge of the household and caring for other children. Boy's father, Alamein, appears out of the blue (actually he was in jail), and having imagined a heroic version of his father during his absence, Boy comes face to face with the real version... and there is not much to desire there - just an immature hoodlum who has returned to find a bag of money he buried years before after a robbery.

Waititi wanted to shoot the film where he grew up in Waihau Bay and he did it. James Rolleston was never actually intended to play the lead role of "Boy" - he originally turned up on set for a costume fitting as an extra and after short deliberation the teen was offered the role. And he did a perfect job! Actually all three main actors did the best acting possible. And when you have good screenplay, good acting and good directing combined with amazing scenery - there is a winner!

Panta Oz

Super Reviewer


Good script, talented actors, and plenty of laughs. Boy is entertaining and fresh. Great directing and acting from Taika Cohen. The characters are so charismatic, you can't help but be drawn in. Boy is this movie good.

Movee Critic

Super Reviewer

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