Is Boyhood worth the hype?

People have said it’s the greatest movie ever made, even comparing it to Gone With The wind and Citizen Kane in its scope … is it really that epic?

This is really more appropriate to Cafe Society than to Great Debates.

Off it goes.

In my experience, people who ask if something is worth the hype that it gets are people who are going to be disappointed by whatever it is being hyped.
Hype is hype. It is entirely independent of whatever work it is meant to promote. If Boyhood seems interesting to you, watch it with the attitude of “Hmmm, I know x, y, and z about this film. Seems interesting. I’ll give it a try.”

Once you approach any work of art and/or entertainment with the attitude “Harumph! Let’s just see if this measures up to all the praise it has gotten”, you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment.

No matter how much praise anything has gotten, you don’t have to like it. I loved Boyhood. I think it was deserving praise and if it interests you I strongly recommend it …but I can’t guarantee that you’ll like it nor should you feel that you’re supposed to like it.

Neither are you compelled to like Gone With the Wind or Citizen Kane.

Very wise advice.

After hearing about what a badass movie Easy Rider was my whole life, I finally got around to watching it sometime in my 30’s.

So I popped the video into the VCR, hit play, sat down and prepared myself to be amazed.

Boy, was I disappointed! What a crapfest that movie was. Did they even write a script for that movie? Because it seemed to me like they were just winging it the whole way through. It reminded me of a Cheech and Chong movie sans the comedy.

As far as I can tell, no.

It took twelve years to make? So? Duke Nukem Forever took fifteen years to make, that doesn’t make it good.

It’s been done before. They’re called soap operas.

For me, Boyhood was an interesting concept in filmography by filming a cast over a 12-year period. However, the ever-important scenario of the movie is non-existent and the individual vignettes are nothing but fluff pieces that are mostly forgettable. It’s not a bad movie, but if it wasn’t for the “gimmick”, I don’t believe people would be praising it as they have, nor would it have been picked up by the media as it has. This movie truly is Much Ado About Nothing.

I didn’t think much of the movie when I watched it, but had more respect for the project when I read there wasn’t a script per se. The director just sat down with the Boy once a year and talked about what was happening in his real life and incorporated that into the movie.

What does live up to its hype? In my life, very little. The Lord of the Rings are one of the only sets of movies that I feel lived up to expectations and hype.

Boyhood is pretty good, but not even close to a Citizen Kane kind of movie. Certainly not the greatest of all time. May I ask where you heard it compared to the all time greats?

I would give it a solid “B” grade.

I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve heard the critical commentary on it, and if it is not literally compared with the all time greats (and I don’t think most critics will do so), it’s certainly elevated to a stature where the comparison is implied. I mean, it’s a perfect 100 on Metacritic, and 98 on Rotten Tomatoes. And if you read through the reviews, they are quite gushing, like with AO Scott saying no movie in his 15 year reviewing career has affected him like “Boyhood” did; Richard Roeper saying that he knows the film will be one of his all time favorites forever; Rolling Stone compares it to being “a new American classic.” Etc.

I’m curious to see it, although I don’t have the patience for movies like I used to. But I’m kind of the opposite as usually movies do live up to the critical hype for me.

Well, if you’re curious, a 48-hour rental (HD or SD) on amazon.com in the United States is currently just 99 cents. Price may change at any time.

if you’re the type of person who looks back on your childhood with fondness, you’ll like the film. If you’re like me and are the type of person who is damn glad childhood is far in the past, you won’t like it.

to me, most of the accolades seem to be because the film was made in a way that hadn’t really been done before.

Perhaps, but a point to its credit is that it is also with out Cheech and Chong.

Red Letter Media’s video on it pretty much sums it up. It also makes the phrase “twelve years” not sound like real words anymore.

Who exactly has said this?

I mean, I don’t doubt that you can find someone somewhere willing to say just about anything, but I read a lot of movie reviews and don’t recall any professional film critics saying that Boyhood was the greatest movie ever made. It got good reviews from most of the critics, but that’s not the same as being the all-time greatest.

In what sense did Boyhood get a lot of hype? I think of hype as being all the advertisements that the movie production company runs when releasing their most expensive films. They feel that they have to do that in order to recoup their investment. Boyhood was a very cheap film by those standards. It cost four million dollars to make. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides cost 378.5 million to make (and was released just three years before Boyhood) and was the most expensive film ever either by the standard of dollars that year or by dollars adjusted for inflation. Boyhood did not get a lot of hype from the production company because there would have been no point in doing so, since it made them a very good profit without having to advertise it that much.

What you’re asking about is critical recognition. Yes, it got extremely good critical reviews. It got some of the best average critical reviews of anything in years. Look at the Metacritic list of 2014 films according to the top ten lists of critics. Boyhood wiped out every other film last year:

Will you like it? Who knows? The only way that you can tell in advance whether you’ll like a film is to see a lot of movies. Read a lot of reviews. Ask a lot of friends what they liked. Look at the list of each week’s opening box office. Then when a film comes out, compare the various reviews. Don’t look just at whether the critic liked the film but what kind of film they say it is. Listen to your friends’ comments. Look at who wrote and directed and starred in the film. Look at how much money the film made. From all this information you should be able to get a reasonably good idea of how good the film is. There will still be cases where all the information will lead you wrong. A movie that looks like it will be good turns out to be so-so. A movie that looks like it’s going to be mediocre turns out to be great. There’s no way to be perfectly sure whether you’ll like a film before you see it. Undoubtedly this will be a long thread with a lot of views about Boyhood, but there’s no way to tell whether you’ll like it.

I didn’t like it. Without the gimmick the plot was pretty thin. Acting from the boy got worse as he aged. IMO.

It’s a tiny little indie movie that got some big, unexpected attention. It’s a small, heartfelt movie about an average family, and the main point is just being around them as the years go by, which is why I found it to get even better on multiple viewings (though I loved it the first time). They become old friends, comfortable to be around, and I liked them a lot.

Will you like it? Who knows? It’s not for everybody, no movie is. However, if you start the movie sitting there with your arms folded, a scowl on your face and mentally screaming “AMAZE ME, MOTHERFUCKER!! LET’S SEE HOW GREAT YOU ARE!!!” you probably won’t.

People said that about “Jerry Maguire” too. :dubious: :rolleyes: It was good, but not THAT good, and definitely had some cultural references in it that dated itself.

FWIW, I haven’t seen “Boyhood” yet but it’s coming up soon in my Netflix queue.

Have you seen the Before Sunrise series? Same kind of thing. Endless yammering about nothing. The interesting occurrences in the kid’s life happen in between the viewer’s visits with the family, so we’re left to just hear them talking about them instead of witnessing them. The boy seems to sleepwalk through his own unfortunate life with a very uncinematic stoicism. The mom is the only compelling character, but is compelled to make bad decisions for the sake of “plot” (we’re stretching the definition of plot here).

All in all, they squeezed 12 years* into a single movie, but at almost three hours, it feels rushed and insufferably slow at the same time. Borehood is more like it.

*: OMG, did you know they filmed this movie over 12 years!?

I watched it last night, thanks to Alley Dweller’s great deal. It was worth the 99 cents! :slight_smile:

I agree with others tho that it turns out the movie was boring. But the concept behind it was interesting to me.

I was most interested in how they found a 9-year-old who would eventually grow up to look like Ethan Hawke - who happened to be the actor playing his dad! Did they do casting with a bunch of Hawke’s childhood photos?

Also Ethan Hawke never ages.

For some reason I felt that the sister (Linklater’s daughter) was the most compelling actor in the movie.