|Page 1 of 8:||       |
|Index||77 reviews in total|
205 out of 233 people found the following review useful:
A master class in the art of film-making, 6 May 2008
Author: larry-411 from United States
Few films wowed audiences at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival as much as
John Crowley's "Boy A." Scipted by Mark O'Rowe from a Jonathan Trigell
novel, "Boy A" is a story-driven mystery which is carried on the
shoulders of newcomer Andrew Garfield, in a tour de force performance
that dominates the film from opening title to closing credits.
Jack Burridge is leaving prison after a 14-year sentence for a crime he committed as a child. His mentor Terry has been working to gain his release and help him transition into the new world in which he'll live and work under a new identity. It's up to Jack to determine who he wants to be, but it's up to those around him to determine whether or not he will be allowed to do so. It's that challenge which is at the heart of "Boy A." Andrew Garfield ("Doctor Who," "Lions for Lambs") is frighteningly brilliant as Jack. It's his movie to make or break, and this role is sure to be singled out as the launching pad for what is destined to be a notable career. The viewer sees a sweet, sensitive, puppy dog of a young man while his secret past indicates something completely different. We wrestle with that concept as he does himself, and it's an emotional, moving piece of work. As his counselor Terry, Peter Mullan ("Trainspotting," "Children of Men") is the father figure who provides a foundation for Terry's wandering existence. His attempts to keep Jack alive and well are both heartening and heartbreaking.
"Boy A" is visually stunning. The interplay of light and shadow through the use of diffusion filters and silhouette gave me chills. The dramatic manipulation of white light is a seemingly simple device but cuts to the bone. Cinematographer Rob Hardy demonstrates true artistry with camera-work that is often a character in itself. A recurring visual theme using tunnels, alleyways, hallways, and bridges stands out even to the untrained eye. Paddy Cunneen's score makes it clear that this is, at its heart, a tale of intrigue.
Told in flashback, the secrets of "Boy A" are revealed in bits and pieces. The reality of who Jack is becomes more powerful and painful as the film progresses. Garfield is so charismatic, and his Jack so incredibly sympathetic, that this film easily rises to the top of those screened at this year's festival. John Crowley's "Boy A" is a master class in the art of film-making.
166 out of 181 people found the following review useful:
An Emotional Roller-coaster, 12 August 2008
Author: aharmas from United States
I've been thinking for a while that after Hollywood stops trying to
reinvent itself or more like cannibalizing itself by going back and
remaking classics, mostly ruining classics, they should just look at
the news, the really news, stop idolizing and picking on their own, and
see what tragic or wonderful world, it can be. "Boy A" is a perfect
example of what happens when the media gets a hold of a spectacular
story, one that might be tragic or devastating, but it still offers
enough drama to cast a spell on us. Write a good book about it ("In
Cold Blood" comes to mind), adapt it into a couple of decent films, and
you can certainly catch fire.
"Boy A" explores an obscure case in America, but apparently a very famous one in England, telling the story of a released convict who might have more than a few problems adapting back to society. It is essential that his identity remain secret because the consequences can be horrendous for all parties involved.
The audience's main concern at first appear to be whether the main character has been rehabilitated and is able to deal with his new freedom. Garfield's performance is so good, it brings to mind the vulnerability shown by Timothy Hutton in "Ordinary People", that of a bruised soul that is very strong but also quite close to an emotional collapse if not nurtured properly. Garfield's character is damaged from his early life to the abuse he suffers at the hand of his childhood friend, the one that eventually gets him in jail. It is not very clear how responsible he is for the crime that eventually incarcerated him, but what is clear is that he needs a lot of support, and any interference will be catastrophic.
In the end, we know there has to be some type of revelation, and it is the degree of the pain that the revelation brings that we want to see and we dread all the time. We grow to like this young man. Maybe because he might not be very different from many in our world, maybe because he is another victim of a cold and fractured society. The film will open wounds in many who have been disappointed and hurt, and it will mostly teach a few people a lesson about what we can do to prevent any more tragedies like these from occurring again.
It is an admirable achievement.
105 out of 128 people found the following review useful:
Go and see it, you won't regret, 21 September 2008
Author: Danko Rozic from Croatia
This is a real gift. It's a gift in the times when Hollywood bombing us
with an enormous amount of bad movies,and it's a gift of acting,
specially the acting of Andrew Garfield. IMHO,the movie absolutely
deserved every award and nomination. So,I give nine stars,not because
we have another classic, but because it shows to Hollywood how to make
a good movie.
It is not necessary to write a bible about this movie. To much talking about a plot will make it less interesting for the spectator and that no one wants.
73 out of 82 people found the following review useful:
beautiful and bleak, 23 October 2008
Author: jim-314 from Lubbock, TX
This movie hearkens back to the great working class British film dramas of the 1960s. Inspired, I believe, by an actual crime of about a decade ago, in which one child killed another child, the movie provocatively imagines the life of the killer many years afterward. At one point the protagonist is called a monster by a character who has never met him. I was reminded of the cover of a major news magazine at the time of the Columbine massacre, which featured a picture of the adolescent killers with the caption "monsters." I thought to myself that, however disturbed, these are still human beings more like than unlike the rest of us, and what does it say about the rest of us if we deny their humanity and refuse to look at the source of their disturbance? This is the very starting point of "Boy A" and the conclusions it reaches about "the rest of us" are bleak. This is a deeply, disturbingly sad movie. I found it intensely involving, and intensely moving. However, if you watch it, be prepared for a vision of humanity so dark that the most humane character in the story is a murderer.
43 out of 47 people found the following review useful:
Made me cry like no other film, 27 November 2007
Author: Mis Behavin from United Kingdom
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I watched this last night on Channel 4 and I honestly cannot believe
just how much it has challenged my opinions on this highly emotive
subject. I cried very hard for about 20 minutes after the end credits
and I still cannot stop thinking about it. I almost wished I hadn't
watched it as it has just challenged my way of thinking so much -
although I suppose that is what films are supposed to do.
The story revolves around Jack - formerly known as Eric - a child murderer released at the age of 24 after serving 14 years in prison for a crime he committed with his accomplice Philip at the age of 10. It follows his re-entry into the world, making friends and finding his way.
Suffice to say Eric and Philip were two very neglected souls. Philip, we discover through a series of flashbacks, is suffering very severe sexual abuse at the hands of his older brother (and I just have to say that Taylor Doherty who played him is hopefully set for a very bright future - what an understated and convincing performance). Eric is neglected by his family, friendless, bullied and he clings onto his only friend in Philip - which I believe is probably why he goes along with the crime - for fear of letting down his one and only companion in the world.
This has reinforced my opinion that children, including child murderers, are not born evil - they are shaped by their surroundings and their upbringing. It has changed my opinion of how they should be handled - they SHOULD be given a second chance. Jack was a lost soul who had played a part in the most heinous crime but he was desperately trying to turn his life around. It is hammered home that he is not evil when he saves the little girl from the car accident. He is living a haunted half life - 24 with the naivety of someone half his age. I so wanted him to build up a good life which I think was why the ending upset me so much. The whole film leads up to it and Andrew Garfield's superb performance just haunted me afterwards.
To be honest - I don't think I will watch this film again as I just find it too upsetting - and that really is not like me (although I am pregnant and a bit hormonal at the moment) - but I think there are some future stars in this film, namely Andrew Garfield who played Jack and Taylor Doherty who played young Philip Craig.
You really should watch this film
45 out of 51 people found the following review useful:
A hard film to watch that rewards those that do, 11 October 2008
Author: scotchegg78 from United Kingdom
We have all came across the stories and events of young children
committing terrible crimes. They must be evil and need to be locked
away as they are clearly not the same as you and me are they? Well what
if they were the same, only they had a moment of madness, a moment that
they did without thinking when they were young enough to know it was
wrong but not too fully realise the full extent of their actions? This
film does what all great films do, it educates and opens your eyes and
mind to new on suggestions, in a sense it widens your experiences. If
you really let it this film will get into your head and cause you to
fight with your preconceived ideas on punishment for people or whether
they deserve forgiveness.
This is a great film, I really liked it but I felt uncomfortable during most of it because I knew deep down it was just asking me a question. I know what the lead character did is wrong, I know he was a child when he did it, but now you see him in a new life, touching other people's lives. The film does have an ending for you but this is not the point of the film. The really ending is in your head and it stays with you, "are you are willing to forgive someone like Jack?"
55 out of 76 people found the following review useful:
Keep Away, 28 December 2008
Author: Maccy Dee from United Kingdom
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I would not recommend this movie to anyone. Since I've watched it I've
been madly depressed and I can't stop thinking about it. I wouldn't
want this feeling on anyone, not even an enemy. Sign of a wonderful
movie yes, that's because every single actor and actress played their
part to perfection and that doesn't come knocking on your door
This movie points out a few significant things about jack and his family. Alcohol abuse, family issues, bad influence and the worst friend or enemy in the world.
I for one believed the two boys who committed the murder of the toddler (in reality) deserved to spend the rest of their lives behind bars, but this movie is an eye opener. You get to see the other side of the story, it teaches you not to judge so harshly and react in moments of pain.
I've seen many movies, real sad stories. I almost become the character when I'm watching particular movies like Boy A to understand them better, I feel every emotion and I've got to say this is one of the best movies of all time, but the feeling doesn't just go away, think it will stay with me for the rest of my life.
34 out of 36 people found the following review useful:
Powerfully gripping, 18 January 2009
Author: Howard Schumann from Vancouver, B.C.
The Christian author Lewis B. Smedes once said that, "to forgive is to
set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you." John
Crowley's Boy A is a powerfully gripping film about what happens when
we fail to forgive ourselves for wrongdoing and give society the
opening to move in and assuage our guilt. Jack Burridge (Andrew
Garfield) has been released from prison after serving fourteen years
for a murder that he helped commit when he was ten years old, but the
struggle to recover his life has just begun.
Adapted by Mark O'Rowe from the novel by Jonathan Trigell, the story is a reminder of the notorious 1993 Jamie Bulger case when two ten-year-olds were convicted of murdering Jamie Bulger, aged two, although Trigell says that his inspiration for the book was a friend of his who served prison time as a juvenile and turned into "a lovely lad." In the Bulger case, the British media portrayed the two boys as evil savages, ignoring circumstances that might have compelled them to commit the act. Sadly, Jack's release is also trumpeted in the media with a scare headline about "evil coming of age" and a drawing of how he might look today.
Known at their trial only as Boy A and Boy B, both Jack (whose given name was Eric Wilson) and his friend Phillip (Taylor Doherty) were incarcerated for the brutal murder of a young female classmate, yet the full details of the crime including what may or may not have been Jack's role are never fully explained and the surrounding circumstances revealed only in sporadic flashbacks. We learn that both boys had a childhood of poverty and neglect. Eric had an alcoholic father and a mother stricken with cancer and Philip was sexually abused by an older brother, yet Crowley never uses their circumstances to justify their crime.
The film opens with Jack being assisted by his counselor, his uncle Terry (Peter Mullan), on his release from prison. Terry gives him a present of a pair of "Escape" brand sneakers and helps him to find a new job at a delivery service and obtain living accommodations with Kelly (Siobhan Finneran), a kindly woman who agrees to house him temporarily. As a cover, he tells his new boss and co-worker Chris (Shaun Evans) that he did three stints in prison for stealing cars when he was much younger. Jack makes a positive adjustment at work and falls for office secretary Michelle (Katie Lyons), known affectionately by her mates as 'The White Whale". Their relationship at first is awkward, especially when Jack is given Ecstasy at an office party and lets loose in a wild, spasmodic dance, and later, engages in a violent brawl while coming to the aid of a friend.
Slowly Jack and Michelle find much in common and one of the loveliest scenes in the film is when they snap photos of each others while taking a bath together. As Jack begins to get his life together, he remains fully aware of the need to guard his secret and his anxiety that others will discover it is always evident. All the while, Jack is supported by Terry, and when the boy rescues the victim of a car accident to become a local hero, Terry calls him his "most successful achievement." Things get complicated, however, when Terry's estranged son (James Young) comes to live with him and begins to show resentment about his father's closeness to Jack. Eventually this entanglement will be the trigger for the realization of Jack's (and our) deepest fears.
Boy A is a compassionate and disturbing film that won numerous BAFTA awards for acting, directing, editing, and cinematography, though it started out as a made for TV movie. As Jack, Andrew Garfield turns in a superb performance, allowing his face to reveal his vulnerability and his changing moods to reveal the tightrope on which he is walking. Though the film has moments of pathos, it is not without grace. We cling tenaciously to those moments of transcendence, sensing that they might be fleeting, but knowing that they will never be forgotten.
35 out of 39 people found the following review useful:
Challenging and provocative, 8 November 2007
Author: iain-103 from United Kingdom
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
With its controversial subject matter, Boy A, is likely to be
restricted to an art-house release, which is a shame, as it is one of
the more challenging and provocative independent British productions of
With his role as the eponymous 'Boy A' now known as Jack - Andrew Garfield establishes himself as a star for the future (and as 'Lions for Lambs' is likely to be released before 'Boy A', he may already be by the time it comes out). His subtle and moving role as the child murderer released after a youth spent in institutions, captures both the wide-eyed innocence and the dark and guilty conscience that Jack carries with him.
When Jack is released from prison, with a necessary new identity, his counsellor Terry (Peter Mullan as a convincingly flawed mentor), believes so fully in his right to redemption, you can see Jack wanting and willing to believe him. But as the movie unfolds, Jack's doubts continue to arise, as through a series of episodes (drug use, a fight, trespassing) he finds it impossible to escape from his criminal past, despite a heroic rescue of a young girl trapped in a crashed car.
This particular contradiction (saving a life, where he once took one) seems to offer salvation, and a relationship with a co-worker Michelle (Katie Lyons in her first film role) teaches him that the world can offer a life of love. But the jealousy of Terry's son for his father's attention eventually pulls Jack's world apart, and as he tried to flee the chasing hounds of the tabloid press, he has to make a choice about his new life.
Never judgemental, John Crowley's direction delicately retells the original crime in the form of flashbacks, slowly unveiling how Jack reached this point. Ultimately, this is a film that questions our accepted beliefs about what is good or bad, about crime and punishment, innocence and guilt. 'Boy A' is a fine film that deserves a larger audience than it will probably ever receive.
38 out of 46 people found the following review useful:
A Must See, 4 January 2009
Author: vladanalilic from Serbia
Lately there have been a lot of movies about real life situations.And most of them were good.But this one definitely jumps out from all the others. First of all,The story is unique.I truly don't think that this kind of story has been used before.It grab your attention from its beginning ti its end.Secondly,while watching this movie I have seen some of the greatest performances lately.Actors aren't well known but I am sure they will become soon if they keep it up like this.At moments I felt as if I were a part of this amazing story,and that is one of the greatest qualities a movie can have. All in all,this is a must see movie.At times it pictures joy,at times it pictures reality,at time it pictures pain but most of the time it pictures human behavior towards someone unusual,someone we aren't used to meeting every day.And finally it shows the great strength from the main character to overcome all the obstacles in his life,he accepts his reality and he learns to deal with it.It pictures human nature. So if you like touching movies,filled with lots of emotions,showing the life as it is,than this is a must see.And trust me - you won't regret it...
|Page 1 of 8:||       |
|Plot summary||Plot synopsis||Ratings|
|Awards||Newsgroup reviews||External reviews|
|Parents Guide||Official site||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|