The Butcher Boy Reviews

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David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews
January 26, 2014
...clumsily lurches from one irrelevant, uninteresting episode to the next...
Full Review | Original Score: 0/4
Ken Fox
TV Guide's Movie Guide
March 11, 2008
Owens' remarkable, high-pitched performance and Jordan's lush, visionary style are perfectly suited to the material.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 11, 2008
Intensely colourful, but somehow soulless.
Top Critic
Lisa Alspector
Chicago Reader
March 11, 2008
Director Neil Jordan and Patrick McCabe adapted McCabe's novel for this bland 1998 shocker that fails miserably as satire, character study, and anything else it might have aspired to.
Chris Barsanti
February 28, 2007
A horrific tale of madness and abuse told with pop-eyed color and giddy humor.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
June 24, 2006
Though the movie sometimes looks as if the authentic Irish wit, colour and blarney has been filtered through the sensibility of a Bu˝uel or Polanski, Jordan never allows the surreal/expressionist aspects to dominate.
Brandon Judell
Entertainment Asylum
January 19, 2006
The film almost immediately loses the major asset of the novel: its language. Possibly a quarter of the movie is incomprehensible to the American ear.
Top Critic
Emanuel Levy
December 24, 2005
Neil Jordan's most accomplished and brilliant film to date, Butcher Boy is satisfying as faithful literary adaptation and inense cinematic experience that brings to mind in theme Kubrick's equally brilliant Cloakwork Orange.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Merle Bertrand
Film Threat
December 6, 2005
The film's horrific conclusion is as uncompromising as it is inevitable and, unfortunately, ever-more topical.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Laura Clifford
Reeling Reviews
April 9, 2005
The Butcher Boy manages to present scenes of violence and despair within a carnival atmosphere, yet still touches us, largely due to Jordan's assured hand in directing this complex tale.
Jeffrey Overstreet
Looking Closer
January 15, 2005
The Butcher Boy reveals how a soul's future, in the early stages of development, is highly influenced by love, or the lack of it.
| Original Score: A
Top Critic
David Denby
New York Magazine/Vulture
August 7, 2004
I find myself in an embarrassing position: I think this is a great movie, but I'm not sure.
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
August 27, 2003
What makes the film so disturbing is that it charts much of what happens in the normal course of growing up -- filtered through the main character's warped sense of reality.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Eugene Novikov
Film Blather
May 22, 2003
So interesting, so compelling and so devastating, that the old idea is fresh and new again.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Shannon J. Harvey
Sunday Times (Australia)
February 4, 2003
Absolutely frightening. Makes Dennis the Menace look like a little angel.
| Original Score: 4/5
Nick Davis
Nick's Flick Picks
January 10, 2003
The Butcher Boy winds up to be a fairly lean and under-done cut of movie-making meat, but there's enough savory spicing to make the dish appealing.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Margaret A. McGurk
Cincinnati Enquirer
October 15, 2002
A gripping portrait of an unforgettable character.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
August 16, 2002
As disturbing as it is brilliant, The Butcher Boy reaffirms director Neil Jordan is most gifted when working with less money.
| Original Score: 4/4
James Sanford
James Sanford on Film
June 23, 2002
The filmmakers chronicle Francie's journey in a stream of colorful, dreamy visuals, and too often ``Butcher Boy'' engages the eye rather than the heart.
Top Critic
Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle
June 18, 2002
Instead of bathing his story in the warm, lyrical glow of an Irish lament, Jordan mixes domestic tragedy with fierce gallows humor and the stark horror of a Goya painting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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