Review: Boyhood (2014)

Directed by conversationalist visionary Richard Linklater (Before Sunset Trilogy) “Boyhood” is a movie like nothing you have ever seen before! It was filmed over the course of twelve years and focuses on the life of Marcus (Ellar Coltrane), a young boy learning and growing and dealing with day to day expectations and events surrounding his family.

The one thing I want to stress about this film is that although the plot is incredibly simple, it is the most touching film I have seen in recent years and was an experience like no other. Watching Marcus, his sister (Lorelei Linklater) and his parents (Ethan Hawke & Patricia Arquette) age before your eyes as the years pass gives a connection to these characters that I have never experienced before, especially the connection with Marcus.

You see all the events of the films only as Marcus sees them, there is no background provided and no scenes take place that he is not a part of. Watching his childhood play out in front of you makes you feel so protective of Marcus, and because you only see what he twists sneak up on you so you feel as shocked and upset and he would.

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There is no “Two Years” later that scrolls across the screen as time progresses just the evolving features of the cast members and pop culture references. The soundtrack changes to match the year that you are in which is a subtle and genius touch as people from my generation (who grew up in the nineties) were around (or just a bit older than) Marcus’ age when these songs were popular or these cultural events took place.

I will warn you that this film is very slow paced, it’s not something to throw on for a casual thrill ride and it does feel quite long when you are watching, but it does cover a kids life from age 5 to 18 so that kind of has to be expected. The actors are GENIUS in this film, Patricia Arquette particularly is outstanding as Marcus’ Mother and she gives one of the realest performances I have seen, Ethan Hawke is also fantastic as the distant father who we are unsure whether to trust or not when Marcus is young.

I can not rave about this movie enough! It’s so touching that I cried over and over again, in on scene Marcus is in Junior High School and there is an imminent threat of bullying where I shouted at the TV “Don’t you dare bully him, YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW HIM” and another scene (which I will not explain in depth for spoilers sake) where I was so angry and upset for Marcus that I had to pause the movie to recover myself. It sounds silly now but wait until you watch it!

I feel like men my age (mid twenties) will especially love this movie, it gives a brutal, realistic and frank depiction of what it means to be and what is expected of you when you are a young man in our society.

Commitment Level: 9 out of 10. If you miss ten minutes you might miss a whole year of his life, stay focused despite the length

Emotional Drain: 9 out of 10. Tears… happy and sad.

Pace: Slow

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