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

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Movie Info

The joys and pitfalls of growing up are seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (Ellar Coltrane), his parents (Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke) and his sister (Lorelei Linklater). Vignettes, filmed with the same cast over the course of 12 years, capture family meals, road trips, birthday parties, graduations and other important milestones. Songs from Coldplay, Arcade Fire and other artists capture the time period. Directed by Richard Linklater.

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Critic Reviews for Boyhood

All Critics (325) | Top Critics (93) | Fresh (315) | Rotten (10)

  • Like Michael Apted in his Seven Up! documentary series, Linklater makes you feel as if you're watching a photograph as it develops in the darkroom.

    October 11, 2018 | Rating: A | Full Review…
  • An audacious effort from a filmmaker whose ability to embed the audience in his stories is unmatched.

    September 2, 2017 | Rating: A+ | Full Review…
  • Calling it a sum of its parts can be a backhanded compliment, but it feels like especially worthy praise for Boyhood, considering how much went into making it feel whole.

    September 22, 2016 | Full Review…
  • 'Boyhood' reveals itself as something deeper, more noteworthy and ambitious than even its remarkable production would suggest, for Linklater has given us nothing less than a cinematic approximation of human memory.

    June 18, 2016 | Full Review…
  • We can quibble with small stuff in Boyhood. Supporting performances are variable, the sister drops out as a dramatic character ... I could go on. But the cumulative power is tremendous.

    January 2, 2015 | Full Review…
  • While everything about Boyhood is done with extraordinary care, the master stroke was clearly the casting, 13 years ago, of a little Texas boy named Ellar Coltrane.

    January 2, 2015 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Boyhood

  • Feb 22, 2017
    Many thought this movie was boring. I don't watch movies just to be entertained. I don't need car chase scenes or guns or superheroes. I also watch movies to learn something, or to get insight into another life or another culture, so I enjoyed this movie. What held my interest was the dysfunctional family, and seeing how the mother handled abuse. I did not see warning signs of these evil men when the mother was dating them, so she didn't seem to be one of those idiot-women who let themselves be shoved around by some ogre-of-a-man. I experienced an emotionally abusive husband (he was never physically abusive), so I'm so very curious to see how other women handle this. I had wonderful parents, so it was hard for me to understand what the kids were going through. I tried to put myself in the kids' shoes, and wondered how I would handle such a bully of a father. I'd like to think I'd say, "Go away, you slob!" and report him, but easier said than done. A good film won't depict a character as all good or all bad, so as a kid, you're confused when they are kind. Abusers apologize a lot and give flowers. At first, I wondered if the the father was just disciplining the kids, making them do their homework and chores. You do have to get on kids. Then it went too far. I was glad when the mother took her kids out of the abusive home. I wanted to shake the daughter who whined because she now didn't have her own room and had to go to a different school. Teens can be so very self-absorbed. It made me wonder if I was this selfish when I was a teen. Ethan Hawk's character was interesting. He seemed hyper, always "on" with his inner pistons going full throttle. While he was a screw-up when he was young, he had a kind heart and matured throughout the movie. His latest wife calmed him. It was interesting to me to see the aging process all in one movie. I was surprised the boy was solid and light-haired as a young boy, then extremely skinny and black-haired as an older teen. He went from 'average kid' to 'super cool dude.' All in all, this movie did what it sought out to accomplish - showing an ordinary life of a boy.
    Amy A Super Reviewer
  • Mar 29, 2016
    This movie was always predicted to be a masterpiece. With a filming schedule that expanded over 12 years, how could this movie not be the most interesting thing ever. Well, the movie is good, but is it the best movie of 2014? No. Not at all. Many things in this movie are great for example the performances by Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette are flawless. Ellar Coltrane who plays the young Mason takes his time to find the right perspective of the character, but that was only to be expected as he, literally, grew during production of the film. The movie, however, have some really sloppy moments. At many points, the script doesn't seem like it was thought through and you get the feeling that Richard Linklater just wrote the script without knowing what direction he wanted to go. His directing, however, is almost flawless, as he really gets the emotion in this young boy and his parents and captures the perfect escence of what makes this family what it is.
    Lasse G Super Reviewer
  • Dec 05, 2015
    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 C Super Reviewer
  • Oct 25, 2015
    Excellent. This was a fantastic film, and honestly I would have been happy if this had won Best Picture. It definitely would have deserved it. Boyhood is a far superior film to Birdman.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer

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