IFC Films | Release Date: July 11, 2014
7.6
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Generally favorable reviews based on 2347 Ratings
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5
stevespryteJul 12, 2014
I'm utterly mystified by the unanimous raves for this movie by the professional critics. There are beats and performances to enjoy here, particularly those of the children cast in the roles of Mason Jr and his sister Samantha. And there is anI'm utterly mystified by the unanimous raves for this movie by the professional critics. There are beats and performances to enjoy here, particularly those of the children cast in the roles of Mason Jr and his sister Samantha. And there is an innate fascination with watching a boy's face and body become that of a man that is captivating here. But the minute the adults around Mason Jr start speaking, I just felt like I wanted to leave the room. The parade of inappropriate (or downright terrifying) fathers that march through the story made me wonder at the miracle that young Mason would actually survive into adulthood at all. Had the brilliance of the concept been matched with a more invigorating and cliche-free screenplay, I too would have rewarded the movie with a 10. As is, it's hard to recommend even investing the 2 hours and 45 minutes it takes to wade through this particular boyhood. Expand
26 of 53 users found this helpful2627
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5
NikolayGJan 25, 2015
In brief.
Want to see a great film about boyhood? See This Boy's Life.
Want to see Ethan Hawke's best? See Predestination. Want to save 3 hours? Skip Boyhood. I loved Before Sunset, Sunrise, and Midnight. But Boyhood is not good. DO
In brief.
Want to see a great film about boyhood? See This Boy's Life.
Want to see Ethan Hawke's best? See Predestination.
Want to save 3 hours? Skip Boyhood.

I loved Before Sunset, Sunrise, and Midnight. But Boyhood is not good.

DO NOT BELIEVE THE HYPE.

Boyhood gets attention for the gimmick of being filmed sporadically over 12 years, so you get to see the kids in the movie grow up. Big whoop. Not an ounce of Hollywood gloss here. The movie goes for realism in the extreme. Homes are dirty, kind of crappy and depressing. It also passes over obvious places other movies would go; it skips cliches. No the step dad does not try to sexually abuse his step daughter. Which was a breath of fresh air. But it also crosses a line of being too realistic in terms of having no real plot. For awhile there IS kind of a plot as the mother deals with a difficult domestic drama. But after that the film sprawls. Example. The dad (minor spoiler, nothing big; probably you'll read about it in any review) seems not entirely to have reached closure with his ex. Maybe is considering getting back with her? But suddenly the movie cuts; it's years later; the dad is with another woman and has had a baby with her. I don't know about you, but between those cuts there might have been some good drama, but it's just skipped. Despite the title, the film dwells on every family member, so it's not like Ethan Hawke is a minor character. Yet they pass over a giant life event.

Minor spoiler is now over.

Yes stories should flow from character, but there should still be a story. Character reveals itself through the crucible of a crisis. Aside from the drama early on with the mom's domestic issue, there is no crisis here, and no story. When Hitchcock was asked what he thought of slice-of-life stories, he said he preferred to give people a slice of cake. I left this movie hungry for that cake. And besides, so-called slice-of-life stories, the good ones, do have a crisis. It's just that it's subtle. We didn't get that here.

There is no depth of the boy's life plumbed here. Just sketchy skit-like scenes semi-related.

Another point. Aside from Ethan Hawke, no one in this movie seems to have a positive attitude about anything ever. It's one thing not to be Disney, but this movie mistakes chronic maudlin negativity for drama. A story requires conflict. But much of the activity in this film doesn't rise to the level of actual conflict. Instead it's just a manifestation of some kind of low grade depression that never quits and slowly grinds down the teeth on the gears of your spirit.

Even though the movie is too realistic, in other ways it is too unrealistic. There is oddly stilted fake sounding dialog in the first 20 minutes or so. Also, the son (the "boy" of the title) encounters adult men who act exactly the same toward him all the time, step dad, teacher, boss, all of them criticize him in exactly the same way, and that's all they do. You could switch out the dialog for all these guys. They are all the same. Except Ethan Hawke. Another unrealistic thing. When the boy finally lands a girlfriend, she just happens to be one of the most beautiful women you've ever seen in a movie. This pimply pug nosed boy, without athleticism, brilliance, money, or particular promise, gets a girlfriend who probably would have thought herself too good for a young George Clooney. It's ridiculous. And they were going for extreme realism?

In my own life growing up I encountered some real weird sh!t. So did friends. They say 'sh!t happens' for a reason. But if this is supposed to be this kid's life, either they skipped over that type of dramatic stuff or he had one heck of a mundane childhood! Also, these people seem to have no center. If they have values or principles or beliefs, that's skipped over too. There is some banter that might try to be passing for philosophy but it amounts to nothing of substance. Yes as an adult paying bills and just trying to survive, you don't go around espousing basic values every day of your life, but these people seem so empty inside, as if they are animals that just happen to be able to speak. There's something off-putting about them from my perspective. They are not like people I have ever known.

Ethan Hawke does a good job acting in Boyhood, but why did he agree to do it? Predestination, his other new movie, is sci-fi, but it's also a study of character as revealed and developed through a protagonist's response to a crisis. It is stellar, brilliant, the best of the best. I am chalking it up on my list of the very best films (of any genre) that I have seen. It will be right beside Before Sunset on my BLU Ray shelf. Predestination raised Ethan Hawke in my estimation, and even Boyhood, which I saw a short time later, cannot bring him down entirely. So let me divert you dear reader. See Predestination. Skip Boyhood
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1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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4
raylynchFeb 8, 2015
Don't get me wrong. I like indie movies but this is just way over-hyped. A touch of mass hysteria for a movie that is really just a cool version of reality tv. All just too ordinary. Birdman has far more going for it. Boyhood is way too longDon't get me wrong. I like indie movies but this is just way over-hyped. A touch of mass hysteria for a movie that is really just a cool version of reality tv. All just too ordinary. Birdman has far more going for it. Boyhood is way too long and gives us very little to ponder other than we have all been there. There are so many better things to do with 2 hours and 45 minutes. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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4
FolderMathMar 19, 2016
I really have to agree with I Hate Everything on this one. This is a film about a stereotypical boy's life, and his stereotypical dreams and his stereotypical aspirations, and his stereotypical friends and his stereotypical school life. AndI really have to agree with I Hate Everything on this one. This is a film about a stereotypical boy's life, and his stereotypical dreams and his stereotypical aspirations, and his stereotypical friends and his stereotypical school life. And don't forget about his stereotypical family. I do admire and appreciate the actors and the crew for sticking with this movie for 12 years. There was a solid performance or two, but that's about how far the good stuff goes. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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6
night4May 18, 2017
Way, WAY, too long and vastly overrated. Probably the most overrated movie of all time now.

Cons: All of the other actors outshine the boy in every scene. Almost every scene is disconnected from the rest of the movie. It's way too long.
Way, WAY, too long and vastly overrated. Probably the most overrated movie of all time now.

Cons: All of the other actors outshine the boy in every scene. Almost every scene is disconnected from the rest of the movie. It's way too long.

Pros: Partway through, you realize how much this kid has changed, not just in appearance, but in how he acts too. I saw a lot of myself in him, and sort of felt like I knew him because I watched him grow up.

I do see the appeal, in a way, but the cons are pretty big ones.
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1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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6
JohnKristoferMay 9, 2015
In 2002,Richard Linklater has an idea of a film that became the greatest gimmick in movie history. Journey a long with a six year old boy growing up in an awkward way.The movie is beautiful but nothing interesting.Get ready as this filmIn 2002,Richard Linklater has an idea of a film that became the greatest gimmick in movie history. Journey a long with a six year old boy growing up in an awkward way.The movie is beautiful but nothing interesting.Get ready as this film force you to watch a boy who grows up and that's about it. But the movie.The movie has no plot or even the fun out of it,It's just a gimmick that works I think whiplash is much better than this.I gave it a mixed review cause it has potential and yes it is a beautiful film but it lacks the magic and the plot(I think). Expand
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
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6
gxm143Jan 10, 2015
On the one hand, being so eliquently reminded that life is what it is, that our own daily struggles are shared and relevant, is certainly worthwhile. That the film is getting so much acclaim is suprising, given the lack of any crisis andOn the one hand, being so eliquently reminded that life is what it is, that our own daily struggles are shared and relevant, is certainly worthwhile. That the film is getting so much acclaim is suprising, given the lack of any crisis and somewhat tedious screen time of nearly 3 hours Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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6
FranzHcriticAug 10, 2014
An overrated film, exceedingly so. There are several funny moments that are genuinely human and natural. Yet the film is about half an hour too long and the ending fails to accomplish anything. While the concept of the style of filmmaking isAn overrated film, exceedingly so. There are several funny moments that are genuinely human and natural. Yet the film is about half an hour too long and the ending fails to accomplish anything. While the concept of the style of filmmaking is brilliant, how does it help the movie? The acting was slightly above average. The scenes of alcoholic step-fathers and philosophical conversations is completely unnecessary. Linklater is normally a better director than this. Expand
7 of 11 users found this helpful74
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5
AxeTAug 17, 2014
An obscenely massively OVER-praised little film. I like Linklater and follow his work, but please.
This movie is short on plot, narrative arch and drive, and character (thin at that); but long on didactics,
platitudes and sentiment. These
An obscenely massively OVER-praised little film. I like Linklater and follow his work, but please.
This movie is short on plot, narrative arch and drive, and character (thin at that); but long on didactics,
platitudes and sentiment. These jackass critics should all be fired. They are so shallow they champion a film based purely on its gimmick (which I'm glad he tried it, it will go down in cinematic history but a gimmick does not make an excellent film) and its wearing of their politics on its sleeve. DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE and DO NOT EVER FOLLOW The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, or Rolling Stone critics to name just a few. They are utterly worthless.
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7 of 11 users found this helpful74
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6
Brent_MarchantJul 18, 2014
An ambitious, inventive undertaking that, unfortunately, doesn't live up to its hype. The film's novel approach isn't enough to overcome its episodic nature and its pedestrian performance by a dull, insipid protagonist surrounded by an arrayAn ambitious, inventive undertaking that, unfortunately, doesn't live up to its hype. The film's novel approach isn't enough to overcome its episodic nature and its pedestrian performance by a dull, insipid protagonist surrounded by an array of characters far more interesting than he is. The insights it offers come too few and far between and aren't especially revelatory when they do. All in all, an underwhelming effort that leans a little too heavily on its own self-congratulatory nature. Expand
14 of 24 users found this helpful1410
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6
AndremaxJul 10, 2018
An emotional film, sometimes the viewer can identify itself with the main character, feeling empathy with him. The movies' biggest fail is having a very slow pace, might even putting the watcher to sleep.
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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5
soylinda21Oct 25, 2014
When I heard that this movie was shot for 12 years, I thought it was a brilliant idea. I was ready to be mind blown like the time I watched Gravity.
But when I finally watched it, I thought the film was aimless for the most part. I worried
When I heard that this movie was shot for 12 years, I thought it was a brilliant idea. I was ready to be mind blown like the time I watched Gravity.
But when I finally watched it, I thought the film was aimless for the most part. I worried this might be the case when I learned that the movie didn't have a set story and adapted itself to the lead actor's real-life experiences as it went along. My worry turned out to be true: it's basically just a bunch of unrelated events clumsily put together. I don't think even Linklater himself knew where the movie was going, until maybe the very end. I felt like the movie was wandering a lot. At the end of the day, I believe that the 12-year-long filming thing was mostly a gimmick.
Some people might argue that the very fact that there is no point in this movie is the good thing about it because the movie is life itself. Well, I'd rather watch a movie that has a clear beginning, middle, and end and actually knows where it's headed, because my own life is enough for a lifelike experience so to speak.
And another thing, I thought the movie was trying too hard with its political agenda. Sure, filmmakers can incorporate their politics into their work. But it only works when their political views are carefully interwoven with other things, which isn't the case in this film. And I'm a liberal like Linklater so that's saying something.
That said, I think Patricia Arquette gives an Oscar-worthy performance in the movie. She really saved the film for me.
I wouldn't necessarily call this a bad film, but it certainly doesn't deserve the hype and praise it currently gets.
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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5
LaraRNov 17, 2014
I had high hopes for this film but it just ended up being too drawn-out and anticlimactic. I'll certainly give the director a 10 for his commitment creating this in a period of 12 years, although, I think that was the only unique aspect aboutI had high hopes for this film but it just ended up being too drawn-out and anticlimactic. I'll certainly give the director a 10 for his commitment creating this in a period of 12 years, although, I think that was the only unique aspect about this film. It didn't leave me inspired and I felt like I wasted 165 minutes of my life. But, I processed what I had just seen and I guess, it was alright. This film is way overrated but the director definitely deserves praise for all his work. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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5
OtakutacoJan 2, 2015
I don't understand why this movie had so many awards and praised thrown upon it like it was the most revolutionary movie since Star Wars.The movie was slow and blandly written and long as HELL(unlike interstellar, which was slow, but wellI don't understand why this movie had so many awards and praised thrown upon it like it was the most revolutionary movie since Star Wars.The movie was slow and blandly written and long as HELL(unlike interstellar, which was slow, but well written).Unfortuanetly it doesn't have too much of a plot too back it up,my expectations were also really high because of the awards.It's MASSIVE con is the fact that it is almost 3 hours long,if it were 1 hour and 30 minutes long, it probably could have been better. I also fell asleep during 3/4 of the movie, so I had my mom explain the rest of the almost non existent plot.
Over all, this movie is a bore, and you should instead spen your time watching the godfather, Star Wars, or kill bill (which are great movies by the way) over this movie
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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6
notlawMar 24, 2015
I really cant understand all the hype surrounding this movie i mean yes it was filmed over 12 years which is original they get points there, its not a bad movie but doesnt really have much else going for it. Ethan and Partricia give goodI really cant understand all the hype surrounding this movie i mean yes it was filmed over 12 years which is original they get points there, its not a bad movie but doesnt really have much else going for it. Ethan and Partricia give good preformances and apart from wanting to punch the first drunken husband and getting a chuckle hear and there it doesn't really make you feel much else just drags on for ages with the main character leading a pretty boring life. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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4
vze4y627Jul 28, 2014
The performances are mostly great, to the actors' credit. Particular praise is due to Mason's sister--her performance stole the film. This is, to be sure, and ambitious and respectable venture, but the writer falls short regarding his conThe performances are mostly great, to the actors' credit. Particular praise is due to Mason's sister--her performance stole the film. This is, to be sure, and ambitious and respectable venture, but the writer falls short regarding his con veying the profundity and complexity of real life. The are no real arcs. There is no real conflict. There is no depth. Life is far more strange than this very safe telling. Hawke's character is inconsistent and therefore falls apart regarding credibility over the course of the film. Arquette does the best job of holding a nuanced and flawed character together over the course of the film.

Linklater's obvious time marks were obtrusive and annoying (iPods, video games, emailing, etc.). I think Linklaterr had a very one-dimensional boyhood and this comes across in the banality of his existence and then the random spikes of conflict that felt purely manufactured and un-genuine.

This film will be lauded, i'm sure. And often blindly so--because of its daring innovation. But if you have a taste for depth and authenticity, you will feel the holes in this film. I was engaged throughout...though some slack does develop in the final 40 minutes. It is a blend of predictability, boredom and implausibility. I think Linklater lacks imagination of the life experiences necessary to carry out a film of this nature to any degree of verisimilitude. I'm not asking for exploitive and gratuitous seediness, but life is not so flat and neat as this film portrays it to be.

Semi-spoiler: the scene later in the film with the restaurant manager made me groan. What a cheap shot!
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5 of 12 users found this helpful57
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4
LaggravateAug 31, 2014
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie is far too overrated, I get that it's filmed over 12 years and that's pretty cool. The acting is TERRIBLE, the character development was barely a 5. There were multiple plot-holes and the relevance to actual Boyhood and growing up wasn't very much. I know this because I'm a 14 year old boy and I went to watch this film with various other friends who are also my age and gender.

The reason that this movie is rated so highly is because most, if not all, major critics are a lot older than I. They don't experience this movie the same way that my friends and I do. People my age are still experiencing "Boyhood" and are far more informed about movies like this, if you were to ask me I'd say that major companies should hire younger critics. Our opinions are more in sync and much more relevant. Don't praise the young actors for their "talent," I guess they were okay for their age but that shouldn't change how you rate it. Even when the main character's actor was 18 he was still pretty bad.

The thing that annoyed me the most in this film was when they tried to make the characters sound all philosophical. It doesn't fool anyone, it just sounded extremely corny.

I honestly enjoyed watching the actors grow but that was about it. Don't believe the hype, I had more fun making fun of this movie with my friends than actually watching it. It was okay.
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2 of 5 users found this helpful23
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6
GreatMartinAug 1, 2014
What has brought a lot of attention to “Boyhood” is the fact that the director/writer Richard Linklater took 39 days in 12 years to film this picture. He used the same boy, Ellar Coltrane, same girl, Lorelei Link later (yes, the director’sWhat has brought a lot of attention to “Boyhood” is the fact that the director/writer Richard Linklater took 39 days in 12 years to film this picture. He used the same boy, Ellar Coltrane, same girl, Lorelei Link later (yes, the director’s daughter) plus the main adult actors such as Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke as Coltrane’s divorced parents. The film is fiction covering a period of time from when Coltrane was 6-7 and Linklater was a couple of years older until we see the latter off at college and Coltrane, at 18, graduating from high school and he too is going off to college. We watch these two children grow into adults, physically, as they did in real life. Whether the same technique was used with Hawke and Arquette is hard to tell as they were/at the age actors don’t change too much physically.

The story is linear as we see Mason (Coltrane) going through life in Texas much as boys have grown all time. Samantha (Linklater) goes through her rebellious period, pink hair anybody?, and we too watch her grow up but the picture concentrates on her brother. Dad (Hawke) and Mom (Arquette) get divorced when the children are young and Mom keeps choosing wrong men though she is smart enough to go back to school, gets her degree and finds an excellent job as a college teacher. Dad goes though a period of not knowing who he is and what he wants and becomes a weekend Dad who spoils the kids and is the ‘fun’ parent while Mom is the stern, disciplining one. There is no doubt that both parents love their children.

It has been two hours since I left this film that is 2 hours and 40 minutes long and I still don’t know whether I like it or not but I am still thinking about it. Hawke and Arquette are as professional and good as you would expect with Hawke giving one of his best performances on film. None of the supporting cast makes a false step. It is watching Coltrane and Linklater as they grow that is spellbinding and the director took a chance not knowing if they could act expressing their changes over 12 years but he certainly can be proud of his daughter’s performance and Coltrane is a natural actor.

I think parents who have had teenagers, and watched them grow, will appreciate this movie more than a childless person but the latter will find this movie different from the run of movies about teenagers and the evolution of Samantha and Mason from children to adults.

This is a work director/screenplay writer Richard Linklater should be proud of and will be very involved with awards time.
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8 of 24 users found this helpful816
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6
atmanSep 2, 2014
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I have to give points for the creative idea behind the film. Filming every year for twelve years is quite the feat, especially when it involves children. And without a doubt, the film was very compelling and it strongly resonated emotionally with me. But there were a few glaring flaws that prevent me from giving it the fawning reviews some other people have given it.

For starters, we never find out what happens to the stepsiblings. Did their dad kill them? Did they kill him? Did they run away from home? Did he lose custody of them? Did the whole family die in a housefire from when the dad fell asleep drunk on his bed smoking a cigarette? Here we spent half an hour getting to know these kids and see their connection with the main children, and yet they're not even mentioned a single time in the second half of the film?

Another thing that REALLY bothered me was how the second stepdad just vanished. In one scene he's telling the boy "I pay for you and your mother to live in my house" and by the next scene he's nowhere to be seen. No mention of a death, divorce or separation. The mom talks about selling the house because "I can't afford it." Seriously, how is there NO mention of her husband after that?

Finally the last thing that bugged me was the scene where the boy is in 8th grade and is hanging out in the house with his friends, his friend's older brother and the brother's friends. Honestly this scene had the worst acting I can recall ever seeing in any movie. It honestly seems like they only did a single take of the scene.
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2 of 6 users found this helpful24
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6
JalemanyJun 16, 2015
Ok, yes, it is quite awesome that the movie is shot during 12 years using the same actors. Since this is film about growing up, that fact is quite important. BUT, since this is not a documentary, just a fiction piece, we couldn't care less ifOk, yes, it is quite awesome that the movie is shot during 12 years using the same actors. Since this is film about growing up, that fact is quite important. BUT, since this is not a documentary, just a fiction piece, we couldn't care less if the kid, teen, young adult, is the same person or not. Who cares. The point is that as narrative story is flat, it lacks depth and character insight ... too much time span, too many broad strokes. It was entertaining, just that. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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6
dyshpoMar 22, 2015
Dyshpo's Law

1. When a film has more than 3 producers it shall suck.

2. When a film has more than 2 writers it will suck.

3. When a film has more than 1 director it will suck . (excluding animation)
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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6
AxgrinderFeb 15, 2015
Boyhood is groundbreaking because it took 12 years to film, but the end result is a movie that is far from satisfying. With a 2 hours 45 minute run time, the film is much too long. I can only surmise that director Richard Linklater becameBoyhood is groundbreaking because it took 12 years to film, but the end result is a movie that is far from satisfying. With a 2 hours 45 minute run time, the film is much too long. I can only surmise that director Richard Linklater became so personally invested in the film that he was unable to leave anything on the cutting room floor.

The film is a story is about the life of an adolescent boy, Mason (Ellar Coltrane) and his slightly older sister, Samantha (Lorelei Linklater). You get to watch them grow up from about age 6 until they leave home for college. Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke play their divorced parents.

Throughout his boyhood, Mason is subdued and reserved. There are no milestones in his life to celebrate, no tragedies to mourn, no joyous moments, no outbursts of anger; just long periods of monotonous existence. His life is like that of a rubber duck on a river. He simply goes where the river of life takes him. The currents and eddies periodically trap him and then take him further downstream. I waited in anticipation for fate to intervene, for tragedy to strike, for something - anything - to happen! Instead, watching Mason evolve into an adult was sort of like watching paint dry.

The lives of Mom, Dad and Sister are equally unsatisfying to watch. Samantha has a bigger, naturally ebullient personality, than her brother but the film focuses almost exclusively on Mason and we end up knowing almost nothing about her life.

Dad cares about his kids but is a late bloomer and, at least initially, is pretty rough around the edges when it comes to parenting. He sees his kids on weekends, tries hard to engage them in conversation, and gives them the kind of talks that you would expect from a Dad in a movie like Sixteen Candles. The speeches come across as odd because Dad lives with a professional musician in a dirty apartment complete with empty beer bottles, cigarette butts and a little drug paraphernalia. Thus, his words are completely incongruent with the life that he lives.

Mom’s life is like a twisted version of Ground Hog Day. She goes back to college, begins dating her professor and ends up marrying him. Over time he becomes an angry alcoholic. Mom leaves him and moves the kids to another part of Texas. Mom then becomes a community college professor, starts dating one of her students, and ends up marrying him. Rinse and repeat. Ultimately, Mom ends up alone and, as Mason leaves for college, wonders if this is all that life has to offer.

Minutes after Mason arrives at college he meet a girl, takes a mind altering drug, goes on a hike, watches the sun set, and realizes that he is happy. The ending is a lot like nouvelle cuisine at a highly popular restaurant: The wait is too long and what arrives on the plate is too little to be truly enjoyable.
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5
PsychefanAug 22, 2014
"Boyhood" is certainly a remarkable film. However, I do not consider it a great one. There is no perceivable plot. We see a very realistic portrayal of children growing up in abusive situations and the effects on them. However, it is not"Boyhood" is certainly a remarkable film. However, I do not consider it a great one. There is no perceivable plot. We see a very realistic portrayal of children growing up in abusive situations and the effects on them. However, it is not a story per se. The is no beginning, middle and end other than the gaining of independence. There is not overt growth of character, just methods of coping. I would highly recommend this film for psychology students, parents who are abusive and perhaps victims of abuse who may have their feelings validated. People seeking entertainment or escapism from film should not go see this film. Expand
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5
wowtahAug 16, 2014
Great concept, not so great execution. Yes, it is cool that they took 12 years to film the same group of actors, but as far as plot goes, it wasn't very impressive. Lots of stuff about not really anything, just how life goes. If you go aroundGreat concept, not so great execution. Yes, it is cool that they took 12 years to film the same group of actors, but as far as plot goes, it wasn't very impressive. Lots of stuff about not really anything, just how life goes. If you go around and follow people for 12 years, make a documentary, and show the world what really happens in 12 years. Since -in this case- they wanted to create a work of fiction, i'm a little disappointing about what they came up with. Felt also a little cheap how they put in all kinds of references to 'how the world was at that time', like talking about cellphones, text messages, Facebook profiles etc. Again, if this was a documentary, that would be fine. But as a work of fiction, i'm disappointed. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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6
hugoactiviaFeb 23, 2015
Interesting project, great directing and editing, characters interacted very naturally, however, It seemed more like a 12-year long home video. Very dull at some times.
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6
TheDude-Jul 19, 2015
Boyhood was a stellar film for the first half the main character was likable and had some good dialogue but the second half is a whole different story the dialogue is stale, the main character becomes an unlikable hipster conspiracy theoristBoyhood was a stellar film for the first half the main character was likable and had some good dialogue but the second half is a whole different story the dialogue is stale, the main character becomes an unlikable hipster conspiracy theorist douchebag and just loses everything it had built up. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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4
DrBlahBlahMay 2, 2017
One of the most overrated films in recent memory. The 12-year gimmick is amusing, but the writing is tedious and cliched, and the run time is an hour too long.
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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6
gen387Feb 11, 2019
Definitely overhyped but good nevertheless. Nice to watch, but forgettable.
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5
theoverhumanJul 29, 2014
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. "Boyhood" comes with an interesting idea behind it, but never uses this gimmick for anything more than a tool to enhance the bildungsroman style of the story. We start off with a young Mason going through a very normal life and end with him graduating high school still a very normal, if slightly anti-establishment, attitude.

Although you might expect ~160 minutes and literally 12 years to create an interesting character, Mason never really comes into his own. We are shown many different stages of life and clichéd moments--but at a certain point seeing another youth look at lingerie magazines loses its humor and originality. None of the characters are especially memorable or go through any kind of arc. Sure, Mason changes over the years but not through what we see; what we see are only the most typical and forgettable scenes of Mason's life. Why do we need to see how cool a person Mason's dad can be (portrayed in the conventional method of 'divorced dad is more fun while divorced mom cares more about schoolwork') yet we never get to see his interests grow and develop? Why does Mason stop loving video games and move onto loving cameras?

The film subsists solely on the gimmick of aging. As mentioned before no character arc is fleshed out, even the mother continues to date men who end up being alcoholics. There is no real sustenance to this film, only ever becoming captivating in its nostalgic reminders about video games, TV shows, or technology changing over the years. While this does give moments of entertainment, the whole film sags around these sequences.

The cinematography, praised for "loving Texas" in various reviews, does little to enhance the banal change from place to place. Not once was there a shot even close to the immensely superior *Paris, Texas* which, in a much shorter amount of time, showed us more unique and memorable locations than anything present here in Boyhood.

In conclusion, Boyhood is all hype. If the idea interests you, at least try to spend little money watching it. For real character development you could go to almost any other movie, even for a film with character development but little explanation you could at least watch some Maurice Pialat. Nothing in this film is special except for a dedication that only really comes across in the two child actors, and even then is never used for little more than visual continuity. Please, watch something else and save your time.
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2 of 7 users found this helpful25
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6
thurley45Aug 7, 2014
100 rating on this movie is a joke. The one stunt of using the same actor over a 12 to 15 year period is interesting but it doesn't make a good movie a great movie. At 2 hours and 40 minutes it requires a lot of patience. I found myself100 rating on this movie is a joke. The one stunt of using the same actor over a 12 to 15 year period is interesting but it doesn't make a good movie a great movie. At 2 hours and 40 minutes it requires a lot of patience. I found myself asking again and again "When does the shooting start?" Well it never did. It's a serious movie, about teenage angst and family problem, but more depressing than uplifting. I think it is worth seeing, but don't pass up American Hustle or Wolf of Wall Street to see this. Expand
2 of 7 users found this helpful25
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5
danachitAug 23, 2014
In the book Brain Rules, the author states that in order for our attention to be in full engagement, we need a re-set every 9-10 minutes. Anything works - a laugh, a cry, a shock, fear. Some sort of emotional shakeup to re-grab our attention.In the book Brain Rules, the author states that in order for our attention to be in full engagement, we need a re-set every 9-10 minutes. Anything works - a laugh, a cry, a shock, fear. Some sort of emotional shakeup to re-grab our attention. After the initial novelty of the aging actors wore off, say...at about 30 minutes into this film, I fell into a numbing state of boredom that lasted until the end of this very. long. movie.

I began to wonder about dinner, my plans for the following day, just what was that weird smell in the theater... But most of all, I wondered, "For the love of gawd, when would this movie ever end??" I kept glancing at my watch, shifting in my seat, wondering if my companion was feigning interest (she was). The story was just boring. A boy, his mom, his sister, school, family matters, driving, girl issues...sure the acting was good, it was interesting to note the various facial changes as the younger actors aged, but that just wasn't enough to carry the movie. This movie has cured..totally cured me of following the advice of the professional movie reviewers.

Movies are suppose to entertain. If I walk out thinking I would never, ever want to endure a film again, then in my opinion, it didn't accomplish what it set out to do. King's Speech or Hundred Foot journey...those were two great films where the story carried the plot along at a nice clip and kept me engaged. Boyhood contains good acting but plan to be bored after the first hour.
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1 of 5 users found this helpful14
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6
zerox720Mar 6, 2016
I mean, the movie certainly isn't bad, but it for sure doesn't deserve all of this critical acclaim. I mean its just not that good of a movie. I think other people may really enjoy this movie because it does have a lot of the elements of aI mean, the movie certainly isn't bad, but it for sure doesn't deserve all of this critical acclaim. I mean its just not that good of a movie. I think other people may really enjoy this movie because it does have a lot of the elements of a movie that would get critical acclaim, but it's just not good enough to get all of it. Expand
1 of 5 users found this helpful14
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6
PfenderStrat621Mar 15, 2015
As a movie i enjoy it, but as a Richard Linklater movie it was really disappointing and i think it doesn't live up for the praise the critics has given to it (although i think they were paid off). I still thought it was a good movie thatAs a movie i enjoy it, but as a Richard Linklater movie it was really disappointing and i think it doesn't live up for the praise the critics has given to it (although i think they were paid off). I still thought it was a good movie that require some effort and i appreciate that. I like it as a journey of growing up with some relatable things and nostalgic events, but other than that it was EXTREMELY FLAWED. A lot of things that happened through the first half and second half were really underdeveloped and If you think about it, it doesn't make sense and you end up seeing it as a mess. The screenplay was good but some parts of it were really forced and written in a poor and unfocused way just to give sense to the scenes. I was expecting the script to be as amazing as the one in the "Before trilogy" (directed by Linklater), but it wasn't that good. If the screenplay was like "Before Sunset" the movie would be an epic masterpiece, but sadly it wasn't. It is really sad, because in both movies (Boyhood and Before Sunset) there is a huge dependence on the script and that's because it doesn't happen that much on the story of both films. Before Sunset worked really great but Boyhood not so much. I was entertained by it and it's concept was interesting, but it is difficult for me to see it as one of the best movies of 2014. Expand
1 of 6 users found this helpful15
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6
AffableParadoxSep 2, 2014
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. There were some really beautiful and insightful moments in Boyhood...very brief moments...book ended by hours of mind-numbing nothingness. Unfortunately, overall, it feels like Linklater turned out the equivalent of breaking out some dusty photo albums and showing them to strangers who don't have much in the way of contextual background. The characters are generally have no depth and aren't particularly like-able.

It was a neat project. I applaud the effort and the idea. It really just doesn't work as far as making a great film. It was good...or it was better than OK, and the novelty added a bit more spice to the otherwise bland movie. The critics are going to LOVE this movie!

I love the idea of the movie. I even love the moments that took me back to relive some of my own childhood. It just felt like it belonged in an extended (and probably very boring) Lifetime Network television series instead of crammed into a movie that was more than just a little disjointed.

I read somewhere (I wish I could quote where) that Linklater really avoided cliches with this movie. He was either lying to the author of the article or himself. His main character, Mason, Jr., ended up becoming the Indie movie darling stereotype...Brooding, disaffected, artist, loner, philosopher...who somehow scored a Photography scholarship to college after giving every indication he might fail out of school due to apathy...poof...movie magic...Ugh.

The fact that this is fiction and not a documentary following a real family for 12 years makes it even more frustrating...Where is the story? Where is the character development?
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1 of 10 users found this helpful19
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6
RewriteJan 9, 2015
Wow -- what a major disappointment!
I knew going in that this movie would have a hard time living up to it's reputation (universal acclaim), but it didn't even come close.
The idea is fantastic, but the execution wasn't. Some of the acting
Wow -- what a major disappointment!
I knew going in that this movie would have a hard time living up to it's reputation (universal acclaim), but it didn't even come close.
The idea is fantastic, but the execution wasn't. Some of the acting was mediocre at best, especially the sister (who it turns out is the director's daughter). [Note to directors: Ad-lib dialogue is really challenging, and if is not done right it's pretty terrible].
The story line left a lot to be desired - it didn't feel natural.
This was a great idea that could have been so much more, but one cool concept can't carry a movie.
It's still worth seeing, just don't expect the movie of the year or anything close.
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0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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5
rodsAug 31, 2014
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I will be very disappointed if this film wins the best picture academy award... it was a real downer for me... o.k.... but, not at all what I was hoping for... in fact, I was rooting for the girl who dumped he main character when she did.... and hated the mescaline induced ending... Expand
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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6
AtariBabyNov 16, 2014
It's an interesting movie with a clever gimmick that I won't give away, but that wasn't enough for me. The movie has fascinating characters and performances, but it lacks too many key elements I want in a film, including pacing. It plays likeIt's an interesting movie with a clever gimmick that I won't give away, but that wasn't enough for me. The movie has fascinating characters and performances, but it lacks too many key elements I want in a film, including pacing. It plays like it was heavily improvised and the best bits were kept in. And it's LONNNNG. I don't share the obvious love that most people felt with this film. Expand
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5
RipperskiteJan 5, 2015
Coincido con muchas de las otras criticas, me parece muy bien que se rodara en 12 años, pero la película en si es lenta y aburrida. Es interesante ver a los mismos personajes creciendo, pero no tiene sentido. Simplemente una vida. UnCoincido con muchas de las otras criticas, me parece muy bien que se rodara en 12 años, pero la película en si es lenta y aburrida. Es interesante ver a los mismos personajes creciendo, pero no tiene sentido. Simplemente una vida. Un principio, y no nos cuentan el final. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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6
downwithdragonsSep 10, 2014
Eh. That's really all I can say. There was nothing offensive or particularly wrong with this movie and there were many things to admire (not the least of which is the dedication of everyone involved for 12 years!), but I left underwhelmed. IEh. That's really all I can say. There was nothing offensive or particularly wrong with this movie and there were many things to admire (not the least of which is the dedication of everyone involved for 12 years!), but I left underwhelmed. I thought Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette were outstanding. The "boy" was actually pretty uninteresting. I certainly wouldn't recommend people not see it if they're intrigued, but I might temper their expectations. My expectations were so high and perhaps that was the issue. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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4
MrSaturn21Sep 15, 2014
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The movie is definitely different than any other movie that you've seen. Does that mean it's good? Not for me. I love Richard Linklater and Ethan Hawke too. Before Sunrise, and the sequels were great. A Scanner Darkly, School of Rock, are great. This movie falls short, in my appraisal.

The movie chronicles the adolescence of a young boy named Mason. He faces a lot of things. His parents are divorced, and they argue a lot. There is a countless array of bad step-fathers that are abusive. He falls in love and deals with a breakup.

My problem with the movie is that Mason doesn't evolve. Throughout the movie he seems to stay his lazy slacker self, regardless of how many people tell him he's got to shape up. The movie ends with Mason walking through Texas with a group of new friends, including an attractive young college student who gives him flirty eyes and conversation when she onscreen. They sit on the site of a mountain and the girl tells him her ideas about how time (the day) isn't something to be seized, but something that seizes you.

While that message may be something that is quite profound, it tastes sour when told by someone so young with so little experience. Mason quickly agrees with her (of course he does) and they just sit there. I don't know why it bothers me so much. Maybe it's Mason's scruffy demeanor. I'm just sort of tired of teenagers who like to wax intellectually about time and the human condition as if they are Nietzsche. I'm of the Louis C.K. way of thinking when it comes to acclimation of wisdom. Wisdom is gained through experiences, through decades of observation and thought. Mason hasn't really transformed as a character at all. He hasn't really gone through anything that changes him, he hasn't come to any sort of realization about him or his life. He's kinda just floating through his life.

Maybe this movie wasn't made for me. Maybe it was made for people Mason's age who can relate to him. Maybe the movie was made for people who are a product of divorce. Maybe it was meant for parents who wonder what it might be like to grow up at the turn of the century who want to compare it to their own childhoods.

I didn't really get anything out of the movie. It wasn't for me. I still look forward to Richard Linklater's work. Maybe next time he'll catch my inspiration.
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0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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6
pesho_oneFeb 20, 2015
I can see some appeal it this movie, but I think it depends on how you are going to relate to it or if you are even in the right mood to observe+relate rather than just being entertained. I don't care much about the 12 years of real timeI can see some appeal it this movie, but I think it depends on how you are going to relate to it or if you are even in the right mood to observe+relate rather than just being entertained. I don't care much about the 12 years of real time either, because it only added so much in the overall experience. I would prefer more focused and interesting story-line instead.
That being said, it is hard to predict how every other spectator would precept it and from what angle. But one thing, I am quite certain of, is that it dragged too much for what could be much shorted and more eventful tale. The ending was kind of charming though.
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5
dfelesinaMar 2, 2015
Just because something took 12 years to film doesn't mean it will be good or original. Put the same story in film that was made in about a month, and it would be average. That doesn't make it terrible, but it is decent to say the least.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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6
SmileATTJan 26, 2015
Im not sure what to say about that movie Richard Linklater did a good jobe but im can't say the same thing about the acors .I think they didn't introduced us well in an environment of film and thats why maybe i miss understand the point ofIm not sure what to say about that movie Richard Linklater did a good jobe but im can't say the same thing about the acors .I think they didn't introduced us well in an environment of film and thats why maybe i miss understand the point of the movie . Maybe i din't like the end too because it was flat and simple to me but thats only my opionion. Expand
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5
FelicityFenwickAug 19, 2018
Simply an overrate film that seems to have gotten a TON of love from the critics simply because of how long it took to make it. Stunt cinema. For the most part, I was non-plused.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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6
Matticuss77Jun 19, 2019
Boyhood is basically a good movie, and it was made in a way that, miraculously, ended up working. But ultimately, I have to pose the question of whether or not the story presented here will hold up next to timeless classics like TheBoyhood is basically a good movie, and it was made in a way that, miraculously, ended up working. But ultimately, I have to pose the question of whether or not the story presented here will hold up next to timeless classics like The Godfather, and I don't think it will. Great on a technical level and definitely worth one watch, at least, the film ultimately succumbs to pretentious posturing. Not for me. Expand
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4
zurnzurnFeb 21, 2015
Incredibly overrated. Dull. Pointless. Long. What is going on with movie critics? The earlier parts are a little more interesting, but it loses any potential steam it had about a third of the way in, and then goes on for two more hours.Incredibly overrated. Dull. Pointless. Long. What is going on with movie critics? The earlier parts are a little more interesting, but it loses any potential steam it had about a third of the way in, and then goes on for two more hours. There's one dramatic scene, which doesn't even tie into any kind of overarching plot or theme or development, and one decent performance (Hawke). The technical accomplishment of filming the same actors over 12 years has proved irrelevant, at least in this instance, so really the movie has nothing to offer at all. Expand
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6
beycauseFeb 5, 2015
A coisa realmente legal é ver os atores mudando com o passar dos anos. O personagem principal é chato, sem atrativo algum, a história da família não tem nada de interessante. É um filme sem clímax e o final.. nem preciso dizer.
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5
DCEdmondsJan 21, 2015
"Boyhood" 10 Scale Rating: 5.0 (Mediocre) ...

The Good: I have to admire the ambition. It takes a lot of guts and vision create a film piece by piece over a 12 year span and I have to give Linklater credit there. Overall, the film is well
"Boyhood" 10 Scale Rating: 5.0 (Mediocre) ...

The Good: I have to admire the ambition. It takes a lot of guts and vision create a film piece by piece over a 12 year span and I have to give Linklater credit there. Overall, the film is well acted and the characters are at least somewhat interesting. Ethan Hawke turns in the best performance of the film and newcomer Ellar Coltrane improves drastically as the film progresses. At times, "Boyhood" starts to head down a very entertaining path and you can briefly (albeit very briefly) see why it was nominated for Best Picture.

The Bad: But then, once it heads down that path, it does an about face. Time suddenly passes in the film and the previous storyline is an afterthought. At 2:45 the film is also extremely long and it feels it. There are far too many gaps where nothing happens and you feel like you're just watching the life of a regular every day family. Maybe that is the point, but it doesn't make for a very compelling film. Slow moving and with a highly unsatisfactory ending, "Boyhood" might be among the most overrated films of all time.
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5
StophJSFeb 8, 2015
This movies was particularly weird for me. We all have friends growing up who we drift apart from. Over the course of this movie, I went from really enjoying spending time with young Mason, to cringing while watching an older Mason who IThis movies was particularly weird for me. We all have friends growing up who we drift apart from. Over the course of this movie, I went from really enjoying spending time with young Mason, to cringing while watching an older Mason who I could never even stand to be in a room with.

Not everyone will have this reaction, but this guy's personality when he gets older is insufferable to the point that I wish I could slap him. As a boy, his experiences are some that any boy/man could relate to. As a young adult, he becomes smug and whiney and almost regressed to a teenage state.

That being said, this was a very ambitious project by Linklater with a lot of really great material early on, and a couple of great performances by Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke. During the actual "Boyhood" segment of the movie, I felt like I could watch it all day. From high school on I continued watching because I felt I had to having invested so much time in it.
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4
dorightMar 3, 2015
For the life of me, I can't fathom why the critics love this so much. Yes; it's uniquely filmed over 12 years. Other than that, it doesn't have much to recommend it unless you enjoy teenage angst. I have male children; I know what theyFor the life of me, I can't fathom why the critics love this so much. Yes; it's uniquely filmed over 12 years. Other than that, it doesn't have much to recommend it unless you enjoy teenage angst. I have male children; I know what they think and do during pre-adolescence, adolescence and post-adolescence. Let's face it, men aren't complicated creatures whether they're children or adults. Watching 2 hours and 46 minutes of it was pure torture. I'm only giving it a 4 because Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke are great. Although, I've seen Patricia do better in "Medium". Don't waste your money on this film. Expand
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4
castlechick87May 16, 2015
This movie got good reviews, obviously, but because of that, I expected more. I admit, this movie was unique because of the time it captured and it was different to see the actual progression of this boy and character. The quality of a goodThis movie got good reviews, obviously, but because of that, I expected more. I admit, this movie was unique because of the time it captured and it was different to see the actual progression of this boy and character. The quality of a good movie makes the viewer feel something, whether it's sadness, shock, fear, when it leaves you wanting more. This movie didn't do that for me. The sister annoyed me in some of her younger scenes and I didn't feel as if there was enough emotion or conflict. Perhaps I missed something others saw, but it's not a movie I would choose to watch again. Expand
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5
Sceptic90May 1, 2016
I know this is not a bad film. However, is it worth this score? I do not think so. There are tons of movie that can give impression to this degree with much shorter running time.
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5
mehdieliassJul 23, 2016
So According to Metacritic this film is better than Goodfellas , Inception , Forrest Gump , Shawnshank Redemption ? i think this film is boring , there is allot of boring talk between scenes , the cast was not remarkable
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5
JP32Jun 17, 2017
For a third or so of the film, its execution is equal to its ambition. It's when the story drifts from the interesting family dynamics to the pointless moping about of a pretentious and unlikeable teenager that the wheels fall off.
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4
TargayreanJan 4, 2017
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I really have no idea why everyone loves this movie. Don't get me wrong it's not awful but there's nothing that really comes in to full bloom- there's no theme, the writing is conversational, realistic but nothing earth shatteringly deep, visually it meanders, the actors only garner a couple of points because they did it for so long, but there was no outstanding performance. It seems more like a documentation of an average young kid in America- far from a audience enchanting story. Claps for Mason for his aggressive averageness. The one redeeming quality comes from Linklater's direction and overall vision for the story and how it sort of lives in this area of downright rejection of cliche and stories that are familiar and relatable. Anyway not bad, but I don't understand how anyone could watch it more than once. Expand
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4
MilesEdwardsSep 8, 2016
Films with such critical praise are usually fantastic. But that isn't the case with Boyhood.

Richard Linklater delivers a boring, gimmick of a movie with next to no redeeming qualities. There's a lot of ham fisted scenes: such as the
Films with such critical praise are usually fantastic. But that isn't the case with Boyhood.

Richard Linklater delivers a boring, gimmick of a movie with next to no redeeming qualities.

There's a lot of ham fisted scenes: such as the domestic abuse scene, which felt rushed and on the nose. As someone who's experienced this I can tell you that it's the most generic domestic violence ever put to film.

Another thing wrong with this film is how long and boring it is. The film has nothing that makes you keep watching. The main character, I did not like- I thought he was a bit of an ass and I didn't care about the supporting characters (except Ethan Hawk).

Speaking of Ethan Hawk, he's by far the best part of the film next to the cinematography and shot composition. It's a technically well made film, but it's boring as hell.

If you'd have took about 30 minutes off of the run time, it might have been digestible. But no, it's long, drawn out and pretentious.

Linklaters director is noting to get hype about its fine. Nothing worse nothing more.

The script was okay but could feel a bit cheesy at times.

Overall this is a boring, unmemorable and unrewarding experience that doesn't deserve most of the praise it's getting.
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4
KarlisKoolAug 8, 2017
Personally i don't think that this deserves a full 100/100 % it wasn't the worst but wasn't great. The idea is great but I don't think that it successfully succeeded. It definitely was good just not great.
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6
nielsnableJan 5, 2018
There's nothing really special about Boyhood aside from Patricia Arquette's spectacular performance as a struggling middle-class parent, the fact that it was filmed for more than a decade, and being 30 minutes too long. You may find yourselfThere's nothing really special about Boyhood aside from Patricia Arquette's spectacular performance as a struggling middle-class parent, the fact that it was filmed for more than a decade, and being 30 minutes too long. You may find yourself dozing off at random times throughout the movie. Expand
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6
KingCrasherJan 10, 2018
A very interesting movie concept that works beautifully to create a pleasurable watch. The characters are enchanting and the progression and general feeling of the film is very cute. An excellent cast and a highly respectable piece of film making.
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4
PierceMNov 21, 2019
I was so excited to see this film! I wanted to give this movie a good review, but it just really falls flat. I remember sitting down and watching it all the way through with high hopes and I came out with nothing but disappointment. TheI was so excited to see this film! I wanted to give this movie a good review, but it just really falls flat. I remember sitting down and watching it all the way through with high hopes and I came out with nothing but disappointment. The protagonist is an ass-hat, his mother is naive and allows herself to enter abusive relationships, and the film just drags on endlessly. It is filled to the brim with horrible dialogue and very mediocre acting! The critics must have been payed off because this film is so far from a 100! **** Boyhood! It really is not a good film! Expand
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