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Movie Info

Stuck in an unhappy but comfortable marriage, businessman Bill (Michael Sheen) and his wife, Kate (Maria Bello), are shocked when they learn that their son, Sammy (Kyle Gallner), has gone on a deadly shooting spree on his college campus before committing suicide. Struggling to avoid the media, the couple flees to the house of Kate's brother, Eric (Alan Tudyk). While the two try to remember what they might have done to drive Sammy to his desperate act, their mutual resentment builds.

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Critic Reviews for Beautiful Boy

All Critics (67) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (47) | Rotten (20)

Audience Reviews for Beautiful Boy

  • Nov 10, 2012
    Despite their ever fracturing marriage, Kate(Maria Bello), a proofreader, and Bill(Michael Sheen) still plan to go on vacation together with their college age son Sammy(Kyle Gallner, of "Veronica Mars"). But then they receive news of a shooting at his campus that gets increasingly worse to the point of his not only having died but also being the shooter himself. Not wanting to deal with the massive influx of journalists on their front lawn, Kate and Bill decide to hole up with her brother Eric(Alan Tudyk) and sister-in-law Trish(Moon Bloodgood). For the record, there are few actors I would rather watch go through the five stages of grief(or read from the phone book for that matter) than Maria Bello. But once "Beautiful Boy" gets quickly into bunker mode, it leaves her little emotional wiggle room and nothing left for anybody else to do except to scream at each other in German.(By contrast, the outside world seems rather subdued.) Well, that's not exactly true, as Kate and Bill become obsessed with wondering if any of what their son might have done been their fault, as they are watched over by the camera in a voyeuristic style. Sadly, the movie does all the work for them and the audience by establishing in its opening moments that their disintegrating marriage is in fact the root of all evil.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 02, 2012
    Hard to watch, well written and acted, Beautiful Boy is an uncomfortable, but yet compelling drama. A film that explores the aftermath of such a tragedy from the "other" side was well overdue, and Beautiful Boy does a generally good job of capturing the shock, shame, and confusion such family members suffer. At the same time, the circumstances of the shooting, and particularly the boy itself, do feel a little to cliche and too "ripped from the headlines". There's very little nuance to the kid, and the parents relationship starts off too ambiguous. This weakness is outweighed, however, but the direction which doesn't opt for easy answers for forced drama, but lets it build organically and authentically. 3.5/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 23, 2012
    I was hoping for much more. I was expecting to be moved and touched emotionally, but I really didn't connect to the story or any of the characters like I should have.
    Erin C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 13, 2011
    "Beautiful Boy" is a fairly good melodrama about a married couple struggling to comprehend why their son commits a Columbine-style massacre at his college. The subject matter is great, and Michael Sheen and Maria Bello really put their all into their performances. But there's something missing. It doesn't go beyond what you'd expect from a melodrama on a basic-cable channel. The script is just too thin. The direction from Shawn Ku (his first feature film) is sensitive but a bit pedestrian.
    William D Super Reviewer

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