August 21st, 2014



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The life of a young man, Mason, from age 5 to age 18.

Release Year: 2014

Rating: 8.9/10 (2,940 voted)

Critic's Score: 99/100

Director: Richard Linklater

Stars: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke

Filmed over 12 years with the same cast,

Ellar Coltrane - Mason
Patricia Arquette - Mom
Ethan Hawke - Dad
Elijah Smith - Tommy
Lorelei Linklater - Samantha
Steven Chester Prince - Ted (as Steven Prince)
Bonnie Cross - Teacher
Libby Villari - Grandma
Marco Perella - Professor Bill Welbrock
Jamie Howard - Mindy
Andrew Villarreal - Randy
Shane Graham - Neighborhood Friend #1
Tess Allen - Neighborhood Friend #2
Ryan Power - Paul
Sharee Fowler - Book Trivia Judge

Taglines: 12 years in the making


Official Website: Official Facebook | Official site

Country: USA

Language: English, Spanish

Release Date: 18 July 2014

Filming Locations: Texas, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $2,400,000 (estimated)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Richard Linklater cast his daughter Lorelei Linklater as Samantha because she was always singing and dancing around the house and wanted to be in his movies. At about the third or fourth year of filming, she lost interest and asked for her character to be killed off. Linklater refused, saying it was too violent for what he was planning (Lorelei eventually regained her enthusiasm and continued with the project). See more »

User Review


Rating: 10/10

It's true: Linklater took 12 years to develop his family of characters. While I was intimidated by the 3 hour run time, I have to admit, there was not a moment of this film I could have done without.

This is more than a coming of age story; the title "Family" or "Motherhood" would be just as appropriate. Set in Texas, the screenplay is natural and reminiscent of plenty of Linklater's other work: a film that begins with dialog unlike any other Linklater films evolves into thoughtful, poignant discourse not unlike that from the "Before" series. One character in a late-night nacho scene was perhaps a callback to the heady "Waking Life." With that said, this absolutely is not a mere think piece. What makes this film truly fantastic is how accessible the material is, given its scope. Without giving any narrative away, I'll say that the story itself is absolutely engaging and not without surprises. I watched many films at Sundance 2014 (including comedies), and this was the first that had the audience reacting throughout: we laughed, gasped, covered our eyes, and I am sure more than a few of us wept.

The characters are well developed. Don't be fooled by the title --- the spirit of Boyhood is alive here, but the female characters are thoroughly developed, distinct, and alive. Unfortunately, though it's 2014, this is a rarity in cinema.

Like in "Waking Life" and "A Scanner Darkly", Linklater has again delivered true visual innovation. This time, however, his set-up is simple: shooting on film, Linklater replaced rotoscoping with time lapse. Has a single film ever intentionally traced a character over such a span of time? Linklater wisely chose to reveal the main character to us subtly. Despite this, the effect is riveting.

I am not exaggerating when I say that after I watched this film I sold all of my other tickets to Sundance films. Viewing Boyhood for the first time was such a joyful experience that I didn't want to tarnish the experience by any comparison. Everyone in the Eccles theater shared a special few hours together. Though this only premiered a few days ago, I am confident that this will go down as one of the most ambitious and rewarding film projects of our time.


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