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Pratsy's avatar


Some really powerful moments in this film, such as when Mason's stepbrother gets absolutely fucking rekt while playing Halo 2
9 years 12 months ago
The_Comatorium's avatar



I usually hate doing this, but I’m going to talk about what happens in this film a little bit. The film hit me on such an emotional level that I can’t not reference events. I’ll try to keep them as cloudy as I can.

What can be said about this film that hasn’t already been said. As of now it is sitting with a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes and should go down as one of the best reviewed films of all time. The story of a young boy growing up before out very eyes is a a concept that doesn’t seem extraordinary enough on paper, but when you see it with your own eyes is a revelation in film. I was lucky enough to attend a screening at the IFC Center in New York City that had an intro from Linklater and Coltrane. They were humble and only talked briefly but what was the best part about it was seeing Ellar Coltrane as he is today, a 20 year old kid. The film started and all of a sudden he was five years old. It was like watching a home movie except what I didn’t expect was that I, like many, would find the nostalgia and deep seeded memory of my own life almost overbearing, as if somebody had opened a window and let my childhood out to play on the screen. Let’s dive into this thing.

Let me first say that the opening and closing shots of this film are just perfect. We open up on Mason peering into the sky. Right from the beginning, Linklater portrays Mason as an intellectual who is trying to find his place in the world. It’s a theme that will be played out heavily through the course of the nearly three hour run time. Trying to remember the times when your age consisted of a single digit is hard. For most of us, that was almost two decades ago, but for me, here comes this film that almost completely made me remember and almost get emotional about seeing my childhood on a screen. Riding bikes around, exploring the forests, looking at Victoria’s Secret, playing Oregon Trail in school when I’m supposed to be working. It was amazing seeing all these little details about growing up that you just don’t remember right away. You remember the big things of course. You remember when your voice started to change or when you had confrontations with other kids. You remember your first girlfriend and how disgusting the idea of the member of the opposite sex was. You remember moving away from your best friend, or in my case having your best friend move away from you. You remember having sleepovers where you and your buddy stayed up all night and watched all three Star Wars movies but falling asleep halfway through Return of the Jedi. You remember the fights your parents would have as they to grew up with you. I was just thinking this, but in a couple years I’m going to be the same age as my father was when he was born. I haven’t figured anything out in my life yet and this guy was having a kid. It’s something that made this film more than about a boy growing up before your eyes. It was about a family growing up with him.

Mason has an older sister by I believe two years and a mother and father who are divorced. Sam, played by Lorelei Linklater, is a typical older sister, sarcastic but still loving. Her opening scene was hysterical. At first Mason’s father, played perfectly by Ethan Hawke, is never really around. It’s only when he really starts to see his kids growing up that he decides to move back closer to him. He, along with his son Mason, is trying to find his place on this planet. He’s an aspiring musician who occasionally has a job, but I never for a second considered him to be a deadbeat. The love he showed for his children oozed out from him every time he was on screen, He gave advice when he could and tried to teach them lessons, especially Mason. Patricia Arquette plays the mother and in a way, this is also her story. She goes through a wave of good and bad decisions that seem to plague everybody in their lives. She’s raising two kids pretty much on her own and while she has relationships along the way, you never really feel like the three of them fit anywhere other than each other. By the end of the film you see this woman who has made so many choices in her life, good and bad, and she still wanted more. It’s a line in a film I’ll never forget. “I wish there was more”.

I connected with so much in this film. My brother, who is younger, would constantly be the bearer of my torture. I remember those long car rides where the urge to fight one another was so overwhelming that a “barrier” had to be placed in between us so we didn’t kill each other. Mason in high school was almost a direct representation of me. I went through the phase of wearing studded belts, band tee shirts, wristbands and long hair. I was feeling my way through my interests with photography and writing. I would bring my books to school to read when we had free time before the end of class. I was awkward but sociable with girls. There was a scene where Mason and his friends go “camping” at a friends house with his older brother. The conversation they had COMPLETELY nailed the conversations you have about beer and getting laid. Everybody had a girlfriend they slept with in summer camp or the place they used to live in. Everybody. I denied the offer of a beer, not because I’ve never had a beer before and was afraid of making that step in my life and what my parents would think of me, but rather because I didn’t want a beer. Those awkward years of trying to figure out what is wrong and what is right seemed like torture, but I’ll be damned if I would deny the chance to try again. The feeling of self discovery is such a rare thing for me nowadays that having a couple years where it happens every weekend would be amazing and terrifying at the same time.

The relationships. Oh man the relationships. It’s hard when you haven’t figured yourself out and yet you’re trying to make it work with another person. I’ve been going through this pretty hardcore recently. I’m 25 but I honestly don’t feel it. I feel like I’ve hit a major crossroad in my life where all those exciting self discovery moments have disappeared and I’m left waiting by the door waiting for them to come. I’ll get visitors to this door. Friends, family, and an amazing girl who seem to want me to come with them, out of the doorway, and into a place of happiness and growth, but I’m still left waiting at the door for a sense of inspiration that just isn’t coming. This film reminded me of who I used to be. I used to be the kid that was into photography and reading. I have read maybe two books in the last two years. I have tried to get back into art. I bought a paint set that has been sitting at the foot of my bed for three weeks now untouched. I’m even having trouble sitting down and watching films all the way through. It’s something I’m having a tough time with. In the end though, I know it’s going to work out. I know that I’m going to find an exit to this state I’m in. I’m going to get out of that doorway and experience my life as it comes to me with the people I love and care about.

THAT is what this film is about.

This film is about stages in your life, the great, the horrible, and maintaining a constant forward motion and coming out ahead. This film is about the people you meet who inspire you to be better. This film is about the people you meet who inspire you to never be like them. It’s about finding your way through this brief time on earth with the people you chose to take with you. You’re going to leave people behind, it’s a fact. Those people will either have left you with a lump of shit or a new way of looking at the world. I’m still trying to figure myself out. I have a lot of regrets. Mason had a lot of regrets. His mother had regrets, His father had regrets. They all figured it out by the end of this film though. Linklater didn’t just throw a happy ending at us. He threw a glimpse into the lives of four people who intertwined themselves with others, the good and the bad, and still came out the other side looking forward. By the end of the film I was thinking the same thing that Mason’s mother was thinking as she watched her son go off to college, “I wish there was more”. I wish there was more.


10 years ago
jmars's avatar


This movie is about the opposite of seizing the moment. It's about the moment seizing you. And the moments just keep on coming, moment after moment. It is like life: it is not about where it's going, or what you learn along the way, though there is meaning there too. It's about each moment as it happens, the here and now, and then it is over.
9 years 5 months ago
devilsadvocado's avatar


I have all the respect in the world for this project, and yet I still feel as if it were a wasted opportunity to do something truly memorable given the timeframe/format. There just wasn't enough there for me to still be talking about Boyhood years or even months from now.
9 years 5 months ago
flaiky's avatar


This is a very special film.
10 years ago
memo1's avatar


So basically, if you had a similar childhood, the movie is great, if not...meh
9 years 8 months ago
Scratch47's avatar


A film that plays the brilliant magic trick of making the extremely ordinary transcendent. Something rendered in broad brush strokes, but in immutable subtlety, something unassuming yet in endless proclamation of the moment. The lines between actor and character, between character and yourself, just blur and crumble. Somewhere between the second and third act, you realise this postcard symphony has swept its way into your psyche and gently worn your defenses down into the ground. Pardon any refusal to cast personal judgement as this requires a rewatch in, say, 15 years. It's just too big a thing to grapple with right now in terms of grading by a single linear qualification or nominalization, and can only possibly emit more existential gravity with time. The experience has a force to it. Suffice to say all of life, in all colour and shade is here, curiosities and unpleasantaries alike, defying anything other than its own presentation. It's an announcement. That said, however, direct yourself to the perfect scores and act accordingly.
9 years 12 months ago
Withnail33's avatar


This movie does a superb job at capturing the various emotions and moments of growing from an innocent boy to a maturing young adult. Linklater skillfully brings the audience along Mason's journey into adulthood through clever, subtle editing and the well-written dialogue. Much of the cast does a stellar performance with this film (Coltrane, Hawke, Arquette, and Lorelei Linklater to name a few) and we truly care for all these characters. The only thing I can think of that might turn people off is that, if you're not familiar with Linklater's structure (dialogue driven, walking-and-talking, etc.) you might find the film to be slighty dragging. However, Linklater does not go too overboard with this and I feel he allots just the right amount of time for each scene.
Highly recommended - this is the one of the best coming-of-age films I have watched and it is a wonderful journey that everyone should participate in.
10 years ago
psdantonio's avatar


To offer a brief comment, 'Boyhood' is a film that will hit close to home for most viewers from one if not several of the perspectives offered by the various characters within the story.

Meanwhile, Linklater's choice to maintain his principals over the course of twelve years creates something unlike anything you've ever seen and helps to create a narrative both realistic and deeply moving.

See it!
10 years ago
CinemaDump's avatar


Richard Linklater is no stranger to making crazy movies. The Before trilogy with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy is basically just two people talking for an entire movie. On the surface you'd think that'd be pretty boring but with great and genuine performances, it's really easy to like. Spread out over a period of eighteen years, it's like looking at the lives of two people over that time and it's just an incredible piece of work all put together. Boyhood isn't so different except that it's one film that focuses on the life of one boy over a period of twelve years and filmed over eleven years.

Boyhood is long at close to three hours but it doesn't feel like it. Twelve years seems to go by so fast and the only hint that I got that a lot of time had passed was when I really had to go to the bathroom after drinking my large Coke, which was at around the last quarter of the movie. You think I was going to leave the movie and come back? Not a chance. Every year Richard Linklater got together with his cast and shot what could just be a short film before packing it in until next time. I didn't want to miss a second of Mason Jr.'s life. My bladder could wait.


Mason Jr. (Ellar Coltrane) is a six year-old boy who lives with his single parent mom Olivia (Patricia Arquette) and older sister Samantha (Lorelei Linklater). Mason's biological father Mason Sr. (Ethan Hawke) is currently away in Alaska and hasn't been seen in over a year. Olivia and Mason Sr. had kids very young and neither was exactly ready for parenthood. Olivia decides to move closer to her mother (Libby Villari) and pursue a college degree to get a higher paying job and provide for her kids better. However, Mason Jr. and Samantha are unhappy with the decision to leave behind their friends. We closely follow Mason Jr.'s progression after this pretty much for another decade from teenagehood to adulthood as well as everyone around him in his life.


The unbelievable scope seems to go by in a flash. We are seeing Mason Jr. and everyone in his life grow older and change. They change in physical appearances and they change in what kind of character they are. It's an incredible look into people's lives. spoiler

Obviously the most incredible transformation to watch is Mason Jr.'s. How much of Mason is a character from a film script and how much is Ellar Coltrane I don't know but it's a spectacle to watch. The experiences that he goes through echo a lot of what I went through as a kid born in the 90's. I remember not wanting to do anything else but play video games from morning to night. I still do! But Mason grows up right in front of our eyes. It's still easy to see the six year-old we were first introduced to though.

The best way to describe the performances is impossibly organic. Never does Boyhood feel like watching characters in a movie. You don't see actors following a script. Part of that is probably because the actors contributed to the script and made their performances truly theirs. It's all so natural and so, "uncinematic" I guess. Richard Linklater captures everything very nicely but simply too. Also, never do the scenes filmed in the early 2000's look outdated compared to the more recently filmed portions. Everything flows as naturally as a river despite being filmed in such a disjointed way.

I honestly don't know what to say in terms of criticism. Is there actually anything bad about Boyhood? When has life every been so faithfully captured? The title is Boyhood but you might as well call it Life. This is a movie about the family of the 90's and everything that happens to them. This could've been a documentary of such a family for how believable it is. It's a perfect film and an incredible journey. Boyhood deserves all the attention it's getting and I am sure that it's going to get some major attention comes awards season. It better anyway because it's an instant classic. Everyone should make time to watch the amazing slice of life masterpiece that Richard Linklater has been able to create in Boyhood.


9 years 12 months ago
Tiago Costa's avatar

Tiago Costa

I don’t say this lightly but Boyhood is one of the best films I’ve ever seen. Yet it is not a film filled with great revelatory moments or dazzling technical brilliance. It is distinctly ordinary in almost every department, but this is ultimately what makes it such a special experience that will resonate with any audience whether closer in age to the film’s chief protagonist or the adults struggling with parenthood: It is a film about life.

However, it is not simply a film about a life but rather about every life that orbits Mason, an average Texan boy from the age of six to eighteen. It is a true coming-of-age drama whether focused on the growing pains of a young boy, his carefree father who finally discovers responsibility or his single mother who finds independence and self-worth after a series of failed marriages.

As central as adolescence is to the story, Boyhood is essentially about growth - something that doesn’t simply stop at the magical age of eighteen or affect one character. Each family member experiences great personal, collective and cultural change. It is a film that achieves that rare feat - connecting with an audience on multiple levels whether recalling small moments of your own childhood or sympathising with the difficulties and responsibilities that adulthood also brings.

Twelve years in the making, director Richard Linklater has crafted a truly epic film. Its scope and ambition is greater than a multi-million dollar blockbuster yet it is a humble family drama that eschews heightened drama for smaller, almost incidental, moments. Shooting piecemeal over the twelve years Linklater has created a rich tapestry of life, focusing on the formative years of an ordinary young boy but also broadening the canvas to create a cultural time capsule for the new century.

Much has been made about its experimental and unorthodox production but its hook - filming the same actors each year for over a decade - is not simply an attention-grabbing gimmick. Linklater isn’t even the first director to attempt such a feat (most recently Michael Winterbottom shot Everyday over a five-year period) but he is arguably the first to truly explore its potential.

Watching characters physically and emotionally grow on screen over such a lengthy period is a revelatory experience but the film is as much about the drama occurring off screen as it is about the drama captured by the camera. The characters do not merely exist within the bubble of the camera lens, they exist outside it too experiencing joys and sorrows that the audience never see. It seems such a trivial and inconsequential detail but it creates a wholly unique experience. Where film is normally a condensed and hermetically-sealed environment, the world of Boyhood continues to spin and grow beyond the control of the director or gaze of the audience.

Linklater wisely and surprisingly focuses on the moments between the milestones in life. It is not a film concerned with documenting the cliches of adolescence - first kiss, first drink, prom etc. - but rather those transient in-between moments that prove just as transformative in their own quiet ways. Conflict is drama, as the saying goes, but Boyhood seriously challenges this assumption. There are few moments of conventional drama in the film yet it remains a riveting, witty and heartfelt experience throughout its lengthy but never unwelcome run time.

In fact, the only time the film falters is when it attempts those moments of heightened drama (most focused on the mother’s abusive second marriage). Where the rest of the film feels organic these rare scenes scream of directorial control and manufactured drama. Thankfully, any such moments are rare and fleeting. Instead, the film is dominated by the ebb and flow of life as lives and stories unfold in an episodic manner.

Linklater’s approach is aimless and ambling, yet so is life. This is not a film concerned with character arcs, even though each family member has one, or neat resolutions. It is merely documenting a period of time and where lives will continue when the cameras stop rolling. The weight of time and its nostalgic pull is a constant presence yet it is a film that always exists within the moment. References that may now seem knowing or cute were not made with foresight but rather responding to the time and place of the moment.

It’s hard to imagine the difficulties of casting a child actor with such a great responsibility for the success of a movie. Yet Ellar Coltrane as Mason Jr. is a natural, growing from an inquisitive six-year old through the awkward early teenage years to becoming a young man filled with questions but few answers. Boyhood does not just document the growth of Mason but of Ellar too. Similarly, the rest of the cast, led by the ever-reliable Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, deliver natural and unaffected performances. It is only Lorelei Linklater as Mason’s elder sister who struggles in some of the earlier scenes yet as she plays such a precocious youngster even her affected performance seems strangely fitting.

Poignant, tender, funny and reflective - Boyhood is one of the most significant films of the twenty-first century.
9 years 6 months ago
Zolex's avatar


This is one of a kind. It's one of those movies where I get so drawn into the story that when someone comes along and leave again, I wan't to know eveything that happened to them as well. One of those movies that could go on and on for hours without being bored.

The acting was superb for most of the movie. Ellar Coltrane had a period where he was so bad at acting I don't know how to explain it, but that just made it so much more real.

I don't know how a movie without a clear storyline managed to get me so drawn into it, but I think the fact that it's just life as it is made it interesting. We follow this one guy, and we get to know him, his family, their problems and everything around them, and it's just what it is.

9 years 7 months ago
Liv Ullmann's avatar

Liv Ullmann

All positive comments and most favorite top list? Well, I don't quite understand. As most of people flatter this movie, I had great expectations on it, which vanished quickly. Case you like the steotypical stories about American ordinary life, you will love this. For the same reason, I didn't like it. I expected something bigger, but for me this was mediocre, and I didn't enjoy it at all. I found it predictable and conventional, nothing new (even have to say that I almost fall asleep). Though the first part of the story wasn't bad, when the boy's about 12 the film had not interest for me. I'm not saying this is a bad movie (obviously, I lack criterion to judge properly) but from my point of view the plot was slighly boring, because of the charachers mainly, which didn't work for me.

This is simply the way I see it. I tried so hard to enjoy this, but I just couldn't.
9 years 10 months ago
JackBurtonNasGarrasDoMandarim's avatar


9 years 5 months ago
jhhayes's avatar


Tremendous film! Probably one of - if not the - best coming-of-age films I've ever seen. Not to mention the extraordinary technical undertaking that was achieved. Loved it!
9 years 6 months ago

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