Beautiful Boy 2010

Critics score:
69 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

James Rocchi, MSN Movies: Beautiful Boy could be about any tragedy... and it is at its best when it is at its toughest. Read more

Stephen Holden, New York Times: "Beautiful Boy" tiptoes into a minefield, where it loses its nerve and remains frozen in its tracks, too timid to find a way back. Read more

David Fear, Time Out: By the tenth round of what feels like drama-school exercises writ large, you wish these talents would simply say "Scene" and scoot into the wings. Read more

Ted Fry, Seattle Times: Most of "Beautiful Boy" is unrelentingly bleak and depressing, but there are smatterings of understatement and grace. Read more

Nathan Rabin, AV Club: A claustrophobic, punishingly intense, beautifully measured exploration of the depths of human despair. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: Ku focuses on the effects the aftermath has on those intimately involved, and they are grim. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: This feels like a movie that won a high school current-events contest: Take a tragedy, make a movie. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: The most daring aspect of the film, fully realized in Bello's grave performance, may be the notion that a parent can invest endless love in a child and one day find him unfathomable. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: If the key performances in "Beautiful Boy" were any less honest, the film's half-formed suppositions would undo it utterly. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: There is, however, despite the intensity of the acting, an obviousness to the scenes as they play out in what often feels like real time. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Michael Sheen and Maria Bello both have wrenching moments in this quiet, oblique drama. Read more

Michael Rechtshaffen, Hollywood Reporter: A spare, unflinching examination of a married couple coping with the tragic death of their 18-year-old son. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: Great drama makes you think you're looking into other people's lives. "Beautiful Boy" makes you think you're merely peeking in their windows. Read more

Jeannette Catsoulis, NPR: Painfully perceptive and relentlessly raw, this intimate observation of a couple in extremis plays out with such subdued intensity that, by the end, audiences will very likely feel as wrung out as its embattled stars. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: Actors are left with too much time to play emotional symphonies, while inevitably having to hit too many required notes. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: The relentlessly grim "Beautiful Boy" ends up being an endurance test. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: Beautiful Boy is a haunting, deeply disturbing but beautifully made film with depth and range about a dark subject... Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: Beautiful Boy is not an entertainment but an experience. And a kind of cinematic sensitivity training. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: I suspect parents will react more strongly to this movie than non-parents. It's hard to imagine anyone, however, leaving the theater without a more thoughtful perspective. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: A film like this can end honestly in only one way, and Ku is true to it. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Out of a premise horrifically familiar from tragedies at Columbine and Virginia Tech director Shawn Ku has crafted a film that will haunt you for a good long time. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: At a certain point lofty objectivity is just a refusal to engage, and no raw camera work can disguise it. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: In Beautiful Boy, the themes are vast but the picture is small, and the ensuing emptiness is what the characters are meant to feel -- not us. Read more

Linda Barnard, Toronto Star: Ku gives us the shooter's parents' view of the tragedy and it is just as devastating as anything we can imagine among victims' families. Read more

Joe Leydon, Variety: Filmmaker Shawn Ku achieves an impressive balance of formal control and emotional spontaneity in debut feature Beautiful Boy. Read more

Mark Holcomb, Village Voice: While Beautiful Boy is potent and even admirable (setting aside the question of why there are no scenes of the victims' parents' grief), it ultimately mistakes prim, emotional monotony for gravity. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: An excruciating drama about a couple caught in the aftermath of a pivotal moment involving their college-age son. Read more