Boyhood 2014

Critics score:
98 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Christy Lemire, Linklater and his team have done something incredibly difficult and made it look effortless. The result is easily one of the best films of the year. Read more

Wesley Morris, Grantland: To sit with this movie and witness the concentrated passage of time is to watch, in a true, moving way, your life unspool before your eyes, without fanfare or idealism or romance. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: The film has that deadpan Linklater tone of slacker haphazardness, but you could also say that it's almost Joycean in its appreciation of the scruffy magic of everyday life. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: A heady film experience packed with so many telling details about life in the United States over the past 12 years - and one that makes you care such much about the struggles and foibles of its imperfect characters. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: On rare occasions a movie seems to channel the flow of real life. "Boyhood" is one of those occasions. Read more

John Hartl, Seattle Times: The year's most captivating narrative experiment, and possibly the most engrossing coming-of-age movie in the history of the genre. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Boyhood shimmers with unforced reality. It shows how an ordinary life can be reflected in an extraordinary movie. Read more

Peter Debruge, Variety: There's a rough-edged, organic quality to "Boyhood" that recalls the work of those European helmers Linklater so admires: Fassbinder, Bergman, Bresson. Read more

A.A. Dowd, AV Club: There's never been a movie quite like Boyhood, and it may be years before anyone works up the gumption to match its achievement. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: "Boyhood" is not just a great movie, it's a landmark achievement in film. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: "Boyhood" is a stunt, an epic, a home video, and a benediction. It reminds us of what movies could be and - far more important - what life actually is. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: Linklater's writing is typically warm and insightful, and the cast is uniformly excellent, including Ellar Coltrane as the quiet, down-to-earth hero. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: In completing this simple, beautiful project Linklater took his time. And he rewards ours. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: I have long maintained that Richard Linklater is the most gifted and audacious director of his generation. His new movie, Boyhood, which runs 2 hours and 44 minutes, is a stunning reconfirmation. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: To say Boyhood wouldn't be that special if it were shot in a conventional manner is kind of like saying that elephant in the zoo wouldn't be so big if it weren't so big. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Linklater has crafted what may be the most ingenious film of the century here and given it a tone like no other ... Read more

Cary Darling, Fort Worth Star-Telegram/ So, while it's tempting to say that nothing happens in Boyhood, that would be wrong. What happens is everything. Read more

William Goss, Linklater's third masterpiece in the past decade should only affect anyone who's ever been someone else's sibling, child, parent, lover or friend. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: Perhaps never has the long arc of the journey from childhood to college been portrayed as cohesively and convincingly as Richard Linklater has done in a film that can be plain on a moment-to-moment basis but is something quite special in its entirety. Read more

Jocelyn Noveck, Associated Press: 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. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: An extraordinarily intimate portrait of a life unfolding and an exceptional, unconventional film in which not much else occurs. Never has so little meant more. Read more

Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News: "Boyhood" is a cinematic gift, a compassionate and sometimes amusing drama about growing up that extracts truths out of what appear to be life's most random moments. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: Boyhood understands the tumult of childhood and adolescence as well as it does the hurdles and satisfaction of raising children. Read more

Chloe Schama, The New Republic: The film is lengthy -- almost three hours -- and without much plot, but I sat rapt for every minute. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: Richard Linklater's latest feels more like living a life than watching a movie. It's a one-of-a-kind experience. Read more

Paula Mejia, Newsweek: Boyhood is proof that a strange magic can still bloom amidst the tragedy that buffets human life. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: Any film that takes twelve years to shoot should be commended for its stamina alone; yet no sense of grind, still less of fatigue, attends this Richard Linklater project. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: A marvelous, minimal epic of a movie ... Read more

Bob Mondello, NPR: The film gives every appearance of happening exactly the way life does, And exactly the way life does, it makes you care. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: "Boyhood" is a transporting experience about the simplest of subjects. The movie telescopes artfully - but never pretentiously - the experience of growing up. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: These are people you know, maybe people like you. Read more

Michael Sragow, Orange County Register: Boyhood, at its best, boasts qualities that are usually under-valued in avant-garde work: tingling observations, unforced comedy and quirky, enduring charm. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: Is it dumb to say, "Wow?" I don't care. Wow. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: An exceptionally well-crafted coming-of-age story. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard One of the most remarkable moviegoing experiences I've ever had. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Richard Linklater's coming-of-age tale is the best movie of the year, a four-star game-changer that earns its place in the cultural time capsule. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, There isn't anything else quite like "Boyhood" in the history of cinema, although that wouldn't matter one-fifth as much if it weren't a moving and memorable viewing experience in the end. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: Few filmmakers ever make a great movie. Fewer still ever make a movie that expands what movies can express. Richard Linklater does both with Boyhood. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: I can think of few feature films in the history of the medium that have explored the power, and the melancholy, of film's intimate enmeshment with time in the way Richard Linklater's Boyhood does. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Boyhood fills you with openhearted happiness and awe at its scope and daring. It's a low-key masterpiece, a wistful comedy that never forgets to keep genuine emotions foremost. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The closest thing to a lived life that fictional cinema has yet produced. Read more

Christopher Orr, The Atlantic: I can't help but think there may have been a better movie still lurking in his accumulated footage, one that with a mild shift in emphasis might have been titled, more ambitiously, Adulthood. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: It's like a time-lapse photo of an expanding consciousness. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Boyhood is a narrative drama, but it unfolds like documentary truth. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: As he has throughout his career, Linklater proves himself as a filmmaker unconcerned with flash and dazzle but thoroughly compassionate and empathetic to a wide range of characters. Read more

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out: Unshakable, witty and deeply felt, the film will be paying emotional dividends for a long, long time. Read more

Bruce Kirkland, Toronto Sun: A word about the film's epic length. Boyhood is 166 minutes long. Yet it is so affecting, so much a thing of wonder, that it could run forever and I would still keep watching. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Boyhood is an epic masterpiece that seems wholly unconcerned with trying to be one. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice: A quiet stunner of a movie that yields to time rather than try to bend it to its will. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: 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. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: As a film that dares to honor small moments and the life they add up to, "Boyhood" isn't just a masterpiece. It's a miracle. Read more