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Boy (2012)

tomatometer

86

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 65
Fresh: 56 | Rotten: 9

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

81

Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 21
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 4

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

audience

86

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 5,328

My Rating

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

Unrated,

Drama, Comedy

Jul 9, 2013

$0.2M

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All Critics (65) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (56) | 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.

July 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop 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.

July 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
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"Boy" finds hope, and love, in the oddest corners.

April 27, 2012 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

April 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop 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.

April 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

April 5, 2012 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop 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.

July 10, 2013 Full Review Source: The Playlist
The Playlist

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

February 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
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.

August 24, 2012 Full Review Source: NECN

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.

April 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
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.

April 5, 2012 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

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

March 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
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?

March 29, 2012 Full Review Source: DustinPutman.com
DustinPutman.com

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

March 29, 2012 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

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

March 28, 2012 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

From its pop culture addicted populace...to 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.

March 28, 2012 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
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.
February 28, 2012
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.
February 28, 2012
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!
July 1, 2012
PantaOz
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.
February 28, 2012
MOVEECRITIC
Movee Critic

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Foreign Titles

  • Boy (DE)
  • Boy (UK)
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