Critics Consensus

Epic in technical scale but breathlessly intimate in narrative scope, Boyhood is a sprawling investigation of the human condition.



Reviews Counted: 304

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Average Rating: 4/5

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Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater's BOYHOOD is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason's parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, BOYHOOD charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before. Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between become transcendent, set to a soundtrack spanning the years from Coldplay's Yellow to Arcade Fire's Deep Blue. BOYHOOD is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting. It's impossible to watch Mason and his family without thinking about our own journey. (c) Sundance Film Fest

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Bonnie Cross
as Teacher
Sydney Orta
as Elementary School Girl
Marco Perella
as Professor Bill Welbrock
Shane Graham
as Neighborhood Friend #1
Tess Allen
as Neighborhood Friend #2
Sharee Fowler
as Book Trivia Judge
Mark Finn
as Book Release Emcee
Holly Moore
as Mason's 4th Grade Teacher
David Blackwell
as Liquor Store Clerk
Jennifer Griffin
as Mrs. Darby
Garry Peters
as No Obama Man
Savannah Welch
as College Girl Singer
Nick Krause
as Charlie
Derek Chase
as Charlie's Friend
Angela Rawna
as Professor Douglas
Megan Devine
as Make Out Girl
Roland Ruiz
as Enrique
Richard Jones
as Grandpa Cliff
Tom McTigue
as Mr. Turlington
Martel Summers
as Beer Pong Guy
David Clark
as High School Band Singer
Zoe Graham
as Sheena
Richard Robichaux
as Mason's Boss
Will Harris
as Sam's College Boyfriend
Bruce Salmon
as Guitar Player
Wayne Sutton
as Beat Box
Joe Sundell
as Band Member 1
Sean Tracey
as Band Member 2
Ben Hodges
as Band Member 3
Daniel Zeh
as Band Member 4
Chris Doubek
as Guy in Diner
Andrea Chen
as Sam's Roommate
Mona Lee
as High School Teacher
Bill Wise
as Uncle Steve
Alina Linklater
as Twin Cousin 1
Charlotte Linklater
as Twin Cousin 2
Genevieve Kinney
as Woman at Party
Elijah Ford
as Jimmy's Bandmate 1
Kyle Crusham
as Jimmy's Bandmate 2
Conrad Choucroun
as Jimmy's Bandmate 3
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News & Interviews for Boyhood

Critic Reviews for Boyhood

All Critics (304) | Top Critics (63)

Audience Reviews for Boyhood

A fascinating and extremely captivating project shot over the course of twelve years to follow a boy from his childhood to his late adolescence, and what is most impressive is how fluid it always is even with a fragmented nature that doesn't rely on a defined plotline.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


A charming drama that amuses and captivates the audience and takes them on a journey of growing up, love and heartbreak. Fantastic cast and beautifully done!

Film Crazy
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer


This movie takes a while to settle in with its grand scale yet tiny scope. There is a beginning, a middle and an end, that's almost the only way to sum up this movie. The acting and directing are good, but I would be lying if I said I didn't get bored at times during the nearly 3 hour runtime. Linklater makes very uneventful but thought provoking movies, and this is no exception. In the end however, I feel like there are better ways to spend 12 years of a directorial career.

Sanjay Rema
Sanjay Rema

Super Reviewer

After his parents divorce, a boy grows up in Texas. I really wanted to love this film; going into it, I was prepared to call it the best film of the year and maybe even the best film of the decade. After all, Richard Linklater accomplished a technical feat - making a major motion picture over twelve years - that has never been achieved in American cinema. And this kind of film is right up Linklater's alley, small-scale, human interest drama. However, the film never gets going. I kept wondering what the primary conflict was. Is it just growing up? Could that carry a three-hour film? Not really. And when Mason grows up to become an anti-establishment hipster, we see that Linklater returns to his familiar character types. In Linklater films, there are two characters: the sell-outs and the anti-establishment types, and when Mason starts spouting the normal Linklater speeches about the "over-determinedness" of modern life, I knew that the film was only an achievement of the technical variety, not a real expansion of his artistic palette. And while "anachronistic" is not the right word, there are numerous references to the flavor of the times in which the scenes were shot - Britney Spears songs and Harry Potter book signings - that work as the filmmakers winking at the audience and saying, "Look at what was hot during this time." The best performance in the film belongs to Patricia Arquette whose final moment is chillingly heart-breaking. Overall, if you know the backstory, Boyhood is a heck of a film, but if we just ignored that the film was shot over twelve years, it wouldn't be that much to write home about.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

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