Boy Erased (2018)
Critic Consensus: Anchored in empathy by writer-director-star Joel Edgerton, Boy Erased proves the road to complex, powerfully performed drama can also be paved with good intentions.
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as Jared Eamons
as Nancy Eamons
as Marshall Eamons
as Victor Sykes
as Dr. Muldoon
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Critic Reviews for Boy Erased
"Boy Erased" has its heart in the right place in exposing these supposed treatment centers. But where it should light a fire, it barely musters any smoke.
If you know someone who is thinking of putting their kid though one of these programs, buy them a ticket. If not, what's the point?
To its great credit, "Boy Erased" never reduces Jared's parents to monolithic, backwards-thinking caricatures.
Edgerton proves an incisive filmmaker. Every beat has weight. Every close-up registers. He values silence - he trusts you to feel things along with his characters.
Although Boy Erased depicts a series of injustices, its ultimate message is one of the hope and optimism that can accompany acceptance.
The film boasts a range of great performances by fine actors, including the up-and-coming and soon to be ubiquitous Lucas Hedges. It also offers a screenplay penned by Edgerton that treats the subject and its opposing views with care and consideration.
Audience Reviews for Boy Erased
As someone who constantly wrestles with their faith if not necessarily the belief in a higher power, one of the lessons I've personally come to learn in life thus far is that, despite many a country songs telling you to "stand for something or you'll fall for anything," the truth of the matter is that to so deeply steep yourself in one set of beliefs is to ultimately guarantee that you'll eventually (in all likelihood) become a hypocrite. Human beings naturally evolve, we continuously experience new things, and gain greater perspectives on any number of situations all of which inform an ever-developing outlook on the world and the people that populate it. To be so stubborn as to try and categorize these present experiences and interpretations of life through the prism of a single piece of literature written over two thousand years ago only seems counter-intuitive to the abilities and intelligence God has blessed us with, not to mention a rather stressful way to frame ones existence; having to make sure what is inherently felt as right or wrong is supported by doctrine whose composers couldn't have imagined the world or society as it presently stands. There is so much clout given to these rules that outline what our behavior should be that people seem to often lose sight of that inherent voice-your conscious, God himself, whatever you want to label it-that really lets you know when something is right and when something is wrong regardless of what anyone or anything else's stance on the subject might be. That is not to say the Bible isn't helpful, of course it can be and is to millions upon billions of people across the globe, and this is not to imply there aren't certain absolutes of decency that can or should be swayed, but what is being suggested is that to commit so strongly to a single set of ideals is to also make one fear change. To fear change is to stop growing. And to stop growing is to willfully succumb to a limited or narrow view of the world. It is this conflict that Russell Crowe's Marshall Eamons, a Southern Baptist preacher living in Arkansas, faces in director Joel Edgerton's second feature, Boy Erased, when his teenage son is forcibly outed as gay. read the whole review at www.reviewsfromabed.com
Hedges is a great young actor who gets to the core of his character's inner turmoil. Edgerton does a good job delving into the conversion therapy world but never takes the narrative to the place it could have risen to, Crowe and Kidman are convincing as the the highly conflicted parents. (11-23-18)
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