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.
| Original Score: 3/4
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.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
"Boy" finds hope, and love, in the oddest corners.
| Original Score: B+
Waititi has reached into his past for a story that belongs to him alone.
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.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Boy is a charmer, a funny and affecting coming-of-age story rendered with heart, and with nuttiness.
"Boy" is a delightful discovery, a charming little film about fathers, sons, New Zealand and Michael Jackson.
| Original Score: 4/5
It's serious stuff, but with a veneer of cheeky comedy.
"Boy'' rollicks along with bright, sunny style and, for the most part, balances its sadness with invention.
"Boy," from New Zealand, has its charms, most of them to do with Boy, an 11-year-old pop-culture enthusiast who's obsessed with Michael Jackson and moonwalking.
It's ... super-exuberant and super-affecting, thanks to the pairing of James Rolleston as the boy of the title and the filmmaker as his father.
It's a lovely oddity, and one that will probably hit home for preteen audiences all over the world.
| Original Score: B
Writer-director and co-star Taika Waititi ("Eagle vs Shark") never builds much momentum for his largely uneventful if sometimes inventive story.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Boy could have been a twee mush of cuteness and bathos but it's not, in large part because of the outstanding cast of unself-conscious Maori kids.
A cross between The 400 Blows and Slumdog Millionaire.
Somehow manages both to drag on and feel too short at the same time.
Joy juxtaposed with humiliation, silliness with sadness, fantasy with reality, and none of it formulaic. The editing feels fresh, as does the film.
Taika Waititi has found a way to balance his offbeat sensibility with a maturing humanity.
| Original Score: 3/5
While its airy slightness and brisk running time at times betrays its origins, its modesty also constitutes much of its homemade charm.
Boy needn't be pop-culturally fluent to be relatable; believable human characterizations would have sufficed.
| Original Score: 2/5
E.T., Musical Youth, and Shogun also turn up, but these pop-culture signifiers aren't enough to make up for the lack of a plot (or even a purpose).
The material is clearly quite personal for the helmer, though it doesn't feel particularly original.