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Movie Info

Traveling from one Japanese urban center to the next, a family of grifters has developed a scheme to swindle gullible drivers out of their money. The father (Fumio Watanabe) convinces his young son (Tetsuo Abe) to run into the sides of cars on the street, tricking the drivers into thinking they've just hit a child. By threatening police involvement, the father gets his marks to pay him off, but the boy is increasingly resentful of his line of work.

Cast & Crew

Akiko Koyama
The stepmother
Tsuyoshi Kinoshita
The little brother
Masataka Hara
Writer
Takuji Yamaguchi
Producer
Hikaru Hayashi
Original Music
Seizô Sengen
Cinematographer
Yasuhiro Yoshioka
Cinematographer
Sueko Shiraishi
Film Editor
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Critic Reviews for Boy

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (6)

  • Oshima, the Japanese filmmaker most often compared with Godard, treats the material in a matter-of-fact manner that serves to heighten the dramatic impact and to create one of the most interesting films about children ever made.

    October 16, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Nagisa Oshima and screenwriter Tsutomu Tamura encourage empathy without requiring emotionalism.

    January 15, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Happiness and contentment are not in the cards for Toshio, and shima never sentimentalizes his existence nor lets him off the hook for his crimes. But still we feel, deeply and profoundly, for this lost soul.

    January 14, 2014 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • This is what contemporary Japan looks like, it says: Not pillow shots and sword fights, just a country populated largely by predators and prey.

    January 14, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Nagisa Oshima offers a quietly bilious vision of mercenary corruption and postwar trauma.

    January 13, 2014 | Full Review…
  • An acerbic coming-of-age tale about a family of con artists faking car accidents and blackmailing the drivers to pay them off.

    June 28, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Boy

  • Dec 18, 2009
    "Shonen" disappointed me. A con-artist family -- father, mother and two young sons (only one of whom is the woman's) -- struggles to survive across a variety of Japanese cities. The father dubiously claims to be a war-wounded invalid unable to hold a normal job, so the mother and older, titular son solicit funds by artfully throwing themselves into the sides of passing cars and feigning injury. The drivers inevitably offer the family money, to hush up the accident and avoid police involvement. But tensions persist within the family, due to fears about being captured and the father's brutish nature. The film just wanders on, repeating this same scenario. The cast lacks charisma, and the boy isn't much of an actor (his "crying" is particularly suspect). Very little story development occurs until the final 15 minutes or so. This was not the heart-tugging tragedy which I anticipated.
    Eric B Super Reviewer

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