DVD Review: Boyhood

The film 12 years in the making.

We all know what makes Boyhood special. Director Richard Linklater shot this film for a few weeks each summer for over 12 years, using the same actors. So we get to see them grow on screen. That's also where the special runs out.

The story follows Mason (Ellar Coltrane) who starts off the film when he's around 6 or 7. It's about his life with his single mother, (Patricia Arquette) his annoying older sister, Samantha (Lorelei Linklater, nepotism at it's finest because she's nearly unbearable to watch) and their father (Ethan Hawke) who comes in and out of their lives.

Other than the fact that Boyhood was filmed over 12 years, this film is generic. Nothing stands out. The 3 hour movie drags along while people go in and out of their lives without a mention of them later on. Which is true, sometimes that's life, but there's a specific set of people they encounter, then leave who I find it a little funny were never brought up again. The acting borders from "okay" to "terrible." I'm not really sure where all the Oscar buzz is coming from this movie. The gimmick is interesting, but the performances are mediocre, the direction feels uneven, and the editing made me feel like I was watching a slide show at times.  

I wanted to like this movie so badly. It was hyped, and hyped, and I read so many beautiful reviews from people who loved it, to say I'm disappointed is a massive understatement. 

Recommended: No

Grade: C-

Memorable Quote: "What we're watching here is history." - Dad (Ethan Hawke)

*Blogger's note: I wrote this review back on January 4th, and even though I find myself disliking this film more and more by the day, I'm leaving my original grade. In retrospect, C- is very generous. I think it must have been the nostalgia factor for them lining up to get the newest Harry Potter book.*

23 comments:

  1. I love the whole premise of Boyhood, but I just can't bring myself to sit down and actually watch it, and I think your review probably sums up why! I want to like it, but I know I'm setting myself up for a letdown :(
    - Allie

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    1. It's just not good. I know some people say it's authentic because nothing overly interesting happens and that's life. But I don't watch movies to see ordinary. I see that every day anyways

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  2. That part where the step dad shouts "I HATE SQUASH" at the dinner table is everything!!!
    So happy we are on the same page with this film, but really sorry you wasted three hours of your life to be disappointed...

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    1. I just wasn't expecting to be so disappointed when so many others loved it. I'm glad I'm not alone.

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  3. OMG, I love you. When I first saw Boyhood, I was thinking 'overrated but nice' and was leaning towards a C+...and then I thought about it more and more and now it's been like two months since I saw it, and when I finally DO write my review, I'm thinking D...like...this is just bad.

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    1. Some random on Twitter last night told me I was "rude" for making fun of Boyhood. I wanted to change to an F just on principle. Fuck this movie. lol

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    2. Boyhood's fans are so...hilarious. Like, get some cinematic taste before you start throwing around words like 'rude'.

      :-P

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    3. Category 5 butthurticane, apparently.

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  4. Many bloggers seem to be spectacularly underwhelmed by this movie. It's a shame -- I love the concept.

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    1. I feel like the majority of bloggers liked this film. I did see someone accusing people that hated it of being "bandwagoners" and that kind of bothered me a bit. I don't hate on things for anyone else but me. lol

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  5. This actually felt like watching it lasted 12 years,

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    1. Yes, especially after that first hour. That first one wasn't so bad, but the two that followed it..ugh.

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  6. It was relatable, and I didn't quite hate it. I thought Ethan Hawke did a good job. But, Toy Story 3 did a better job of telling this story in its last 15 minutes than Boyhood could in 3 hours.

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    1. lol. That's a good comparison, I've never thought of it that way.

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  7. Confession: I am a Boyhood lover, but I can see why people wouldn't like Boyhood. I think your review is very fair and well-written, and unlike others, you don't bash the film, but just state your opinion.

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    1. Thank you. I was tempted to re-write it and let loose all of my frustrations, but apparently it's a good thing that I didn't do that. lol

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    2. LOL, I'll do that for you.

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  8. Great honest review, Brittani! Well, I liked Boyhood even I gave it a 4/4 'cause you know I've been living in the same period of time as Mason Jr., it's quite nostalgic and contemplative. However, I know why this movie gets a little overrated approaching the end---'cause it's telling a story of a person being an adult. It's no fun to be an adult, right?
    That's what I thought, but I do appreciate your opinion. Cheers!

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  9. Perfect review. Loved the remark on editing. Hope it never wins it, because come on against Whiplash?

    I agree about everything. While the idea may seem very excited, the way it's filmed, Boyhood is deadly boring.

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    1. I'm glad we agree! (and I can't wait to see Whiplash)

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  10. I liked this much less on a second viewing. It *was* my #2 of the year, and now it's not even in my top 25. Can't say I hate it, but it's underwhelming at times after another look.

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    1. I don't even think I could sit through this a second time. That sounds awful. lol

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No seriously, post one. I need attention.