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December Boys (2007)

tomatometer

41

Average Rating: 5/10
Reviews Counted: 69
Fresh: 28 | Rotten: 41

December Boys' location and settings are invitingly gorgeous, but the coming-of-age drama that takes place on them is uneventful and far too sentimental.

50

Average Rating: 5.3/10
Critic Reviews: 20
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 10

December Boys' location and settings are invitingly gorgeous, but the coming-of-age drama that takes place on them is uneventful and far too sentimental.

audience

52

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 22,627

My Rating

Movie Info

Prolific television and film director Rod Hardy helms this tale of four young orphans coming of age in 1960s-era Australia. Soon after the quartet leaves the orphanage behind for a seaside holiday, rumors that one of them is about to be adopted lead to steadily rising tensions among the tightly knit group. Adapted from Michael Noonan's popular novel by screenwriter Marc Rosenberg, December Boys is headlined by Harry Potter film series star Daniel Radcliffe. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

PG-13,

Drama, Kids & Family

Marc Rosenberg

Dec 11, 2007

Warner Independent Pictures - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now

Cast

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All Critics (73) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (28) | Rotten (41) | DVD (7)

Radcliffe is good at showing vulnerability but without the skills to give it gradation. The magic doesn't work for him this time.

November 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I was not charmed. I was not moved.

October 8, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Particularly for Radcliffe fans, it's an agreeable journey.

September 28, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There seem to be two movies going on here at the same time, and December Boys would have been better off going all the way with one of them.

September 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though familiar as an old shoe, this is straightforward and well told.

September 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The two halves of December Boys -- the pre-adolescent getting of wisdom and the adolescent getting of action -- never mesh.

September 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mildly involving tale of four orphan boys in the Outback

August 11, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

The coast of Australia is an apt setting for Rod Hardy's precious drama: It's Beaches for men.

February 22, 2008 Full Review Source: I.E. Weekly
I.E. Weekly

Fans and industry watchers who wonder whether Radcliffe has what it takes to turn his increasingly sophisticated performances in [Harry Potter] into a full-blown adult career as an actor... can see for themselves: the kid's got talent...

December 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

Director Rod Hardy adds some whimsical touches to an otherwise cliche-filled story, but the young orphans never emerge as full-blooded characters.

October 12, 2007
Salt Lake Tribune

Conflicted but well-acted.

October 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Pleasant but pedestrian.

October 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

No reason to see it. No reason not to see it, either. Shrug.

October 2, 2007 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

A story line involving a crusty fisherman and a giant, fabled fish plays as unintentionally comic. Other moments are visually excessive.

September 28, 2007
Sacramento Bee

...it's hard to argue with the movie's general good spirits.

September 28, 2007 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

Sometimes the hardest movies to review are the ones that are middle-of-the-road, bland and completely uninspiring, movies like December Boys.

September 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Sweet--indeed, cloying--coming-of-age tale...the barrage of messages it carries ultimately proves too heavy a cargo.

September 24, 2007 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

There is nothing on display in the coming-of-age drama December Boys that you haven‚(TM)t already seen dozens of times before.

September 24, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

"December Boys" is a minor ensemble melodrama that succeeds for the heartfelt efforts of its ensemble.

September 23, 2007 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

Audience Reviews for December Boys

I liked it! But it's pretty lacky with the plot!
January 25, 2010
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Kinda sweet, but ultimately forgettable. Dan is okay in the angry climax, doofy in the love scene, and really uncoordinated when he's running.
September 8, 2009
aliceinpunderland

Super Reviewer

Okay, I know what you're thinking 'What the hell is Harry Potter doing in the outback??" But seriously, you guys should give this a chance...I know not everyone would prefer such a film...but I really really really liked it.

Yip, JBitBop...another aussie film that gets a shining gold start from moi. ;]

Some background, perhaps?

This is the story of Maps, Spit, Spark and Misty...four orphans who all happen to have been born in December. Because of this very fact is the basis of their friendship, all of them living in a catholic convent in the outback in about the 60s.

They watch as other little boys get happily adopted into families, and silent seethe with jealousy...knowing deep within themselves that it'll never be them smiling with two new parents. Since it is their birthday, and the convent seemed to have set aside some money to take the boys on a holiday to LadyStar Cove.

After a long road across the arid scenery, they finally get to the sea where they are welcomed by an older couple named Bandy and Skipper. While there, they swim, splash about, climb over the rocks and simply have a good time.

When passing by towards the cove they come across a fair where the 'Fearless Forte' jumps his motorcycle through hoops of fire and death-defying stunts. Being in total awe of this, he discovers that this fearless biker lives just next door to the place they're staying. And meet the couple who are unable to have children, learning that they are looking into adopting one of the four as their own when their holiday draws to a close.

Maps, being the oldest, doesn't seem to worry much about being adopted and instead sets his eyes upon a girl named Lucy.

While the other three compete to show who would be the most likely candidate for adoption. Things happen that test their friendships and then the feelings of rejection seem to drive a bit of a rift between them.

Eventually, these ties become stronger what with the various events that happen in the cove...where they learn what being a December Boy is really about.

The scenery in this simply stunned me, it was vibrant and lively...drawing one further into this endearing story of a bamd of orphans. The acting in here was quite decent, as each Boy portrayed what their names meant behind their titles.

To be honest, the story sort of reminded me of Les Choristes...so therefore anyone who enjoyed that type of story...would enjoy this as well.

Good news avid bookfiends! It's a novel by Michael Noonan...which I have already added to my list as well.
:]
July 26, 2008
I usually like coming-of-age stories, and this one is OK too. This one focuses on four orphans who happen into a month-long holiday at the other end of Australia. Of course living at the sea-side with real people around is different than their lives at the orphanage.
July 19, 2008
Redlats

Super Reviewer

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