2014, Movies

Boyhood (2014, Richard Linklater)

Like most people who have seen this film, I have never seen anything like this before. Making a film over 12 years is impressive in and of itself, but it would be nothing if the film that Linklater made wasn’t worth watching. But is it ever worth watching.

I am not from Texas. I grew up full decades before Mason did. And yet nothing has ever approximated my childhood like this film. My parents divorced too, and I had a far easier time than this character, but everything about this film resonates with me. Though this isn’t about divorce, this is the finest film about divorce I’ve seen since The Squid and the Whale. It’s the finest film I’ve ever seen about childhood as well. People will tell you to see The 400 Blows. Don’t. Watch this instead.

I realize I’m being a little incoherent and I’m just saying “It’s great. Watch it.” But it’s hard to put into a words a film that captures so much of life like this film does. Though I had a childhood entirely different from Mason’s, I cannot imagine another film that could so encapsulate my own personal experience of growing up. I had a less interesting – and, fortunately, kinder – childhood than this character, but I can mark my life-changing experiences like this character can. And this film accomplishes the amazing feat of feeling almost like my own memories. I cannot think of another way to describe it. It is an experience I have only ever received from books before, I think.

An astounding accomplishment. Believe the hype. Linklater’s best film since Slacker. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment. (Though Slacker is pretty amazing.)


  • Directed by Richard Linklater
  • Produced by Richard Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland, Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss
  • Written by Richard Linklater
  • Starring:
    • Ellar Coltrane as Mason Evans Jr.
    • Patricia Arquette as Olivia
    • Ethan Hawke as Mason Evans Sr.
    • Lorelei Linklater as Samantha Evans
    • Libby Villari as Catherine
    • Marco Perella as Bill Welbrock
    • Brad Hawkins as Jim
    • Jamie Howard as Mindy Welbrock
    • Andrew Villarreal as Randy Welbrock
    • Jenni Tooley as Annie
    • Richard Andrew Jones as Annie’s father
    • Karen Jones as Annie’s mother
    • Bill Wise as Steve Evans
    • Zoe Graham as Sheena
    • Charlie Sexton as Jimmy
    • Barbara Chisholm as Carol
    • Cassidy Johnson as Abby
    • Richard Robichaux as Mason’s boss
    • Steven Chester Prince as Ted
    • Tom McTigue as Mr. Turlington
    • Will Harris as Sam’s boyfriend at college
    • Andrea Chen as Sam’s college roommate
    • Maximillian McNamara as Dalton
    • Taylor Weaver as Barb
    • Jessi Mechler as Nicole
  • Music by Theodore Shapiro
  • Cinematography: Lee Daniel, Shane Kelly
  • Edited by Sandra Adair
  • Production companies: IFC Productions, Detour Filmproduction, Cinetic Media
  • Distributed by IFC Films, Universal Pictures
  • Release date: January 19, 2014
  • Running time: 165 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • Budget: $4 million
  • Box office: $57.3 million

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