Let's Hear It for The Boy

by LoDHom | created - 05 Jun 2013 | updated - 2 months ago | Public

Oscar voters don't really seem to appreciate boys. None has EVER won a competitive Oscar. Only four boys (under the age of 15) have been nominated: Haley Joel Osment ("The Sixth Sense," 1999), Justin Henry ("Kramer vs. Kramer," 1979), Brandon de Wilde ("Shane," 1953) and Jackie Cooper ("Skippy," 1931).

Compare that to three girls who have won, and at least eight more that have been nominated.

So, let's hear it for the boy! In no particular order after the first dozen or so.

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1. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

PG | 115 min | Family, Sci-Fi

91 Metascore

A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote, Dee Wallace

Votes: 316,957 | Gross: $435.11M

My all-time favorite.

2. The Champ (1979)

PG | 121 min | Drama, Sport

A former boxer discovers that his biggest battle of all is going to be with his ex-wife, Annie, who returns after abandoning their young son seven years prior.

Director: Franco Zeffirelli | Stars: Jon Voight, Faye Dunaway, Ricky Schroder, Jack Warden

Votes: 6,836 | Gross: $30.44M

Arguably the best performance by a young boy in a movie, ever. If your eyes stayed dry you have no soul.

3. The Kid (1921)

Not Rated | 68 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

The Tramp cares for an abandoned child, but events put that relationship in jeopardy.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Jackie Coogan, Carl Miller

Votes: 86,800 | Gross: $5.45M

Jackie Coogan, the first 'child star' in cinema, gives one of the best performances I've ever seen, and that in a silent movie. Watching him being taken away is absolutely heartbreaking.

In the Ken Burns documentary, "Baseball: Fourth Inning", I was surprised to see a 5 second clip from 1921 of Babe Ruth meeting Jackie Coogan at a Yankee's game. Curious, I googled their names together and found this quote that Jackie gave years later: "Other boys went to see Babe Ruth. But Babe Ruth came to see me."

4. The Black Stallion (1979)

G | 118 min | Adventure, Family, Sport

84 Metascore

While traveling with his father, young Alec becomes fascinated by a mysterious Arabian stallion who is brought on board and stabled in the ship he is sailing on. When it tragically sinks ... See full summary »

Director: Carroll Ballard | Stars: Kelly Reno, Mickey Rooney, Teri Garr, Clarence Muse

Votes: 9,967

Kelly Reno did a wonderful job acting, and was also an accomplished rider. He had to ride bareback and on a racing saddle, take falls from a galloping horse, and swim. The only scenes where a stunt double was used was for the full-gallop racetrack sequences.

The scene with him galloping bareback down the beach with his arms flung wide is one of the most beautiful ever filmed.

5. Stand by Me (1986)

R | 89 min | Adventure, Drama

75 Metascore

After the death of a friend, a writer recounts a boyhood journey to find the body of a missing boy.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell

Votes: 314,027 | Gross: $52.29M

The best 'coming of age' movie ever.

6. Boyhood (I) (2014)

R | 165 min | Drama

100 Metascore

The life of Mason, from early childhood to his arrival at college.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Elijah Smith

Votes: 302,216 | Gross: $25.38M

An absolutely incredible film.

7. My Dog Skip (2000)

PG | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

61 Metascore

A shy boy grows up in 1940s Mississippi with the help of his beloved dog, Skip.

Director: Jay Russell | Stars: Frankie Muniz, Kevin Bacon, Diane Lane, Luke Wilson

Votes: 17,762 | Gross: $34.10M

The best 'boy and his dog' movie ever. Although Old Yeller is a close second.

8. Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)

PG | 109 min | Biography, Drama

89 Metascore

A prepubescent chess prodigy refuses to harden himself in order to become a champion like the famous but unlikable Bobby Fischer.

Director: Steven Zaillian | Stars: Joe Mantegna, Ben Kingsley, Max Pomeranc, Joan Allen

Votes: 25,901 | Gross: $7.27M

9. Finding Neverland (2004)

PG | 106 min | Biography, Drama, Family

67 Metascore

The story of J.M. Barrie's friendship with a family who inspired him to create Peter Pan.

Director: Marc Forster | Stars: Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Julie Christie, Radha Mitchell

Votes: 185,421 | Gross: $51.68M

Johnny Depp was nominated for Best Actor. Freddie Highmore deserved a nomination for supporting role, but at least he won the Critics Choice Award for Best Young Actor.

10. The Sixth Sense (1999)

PG-13 | 107 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

64 Metascore

A boy who communicates with spirits seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan | Stars: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams

Votes: 795,604 | Gross: $293.51M

Terrific performance by Haley Joel Osment, nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar. I read where he actually threw himself against a wall a few times to get himself "worked up".

11. Peter Pan (2003)

PG | 113 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

64 Metascore

The Darling family children receive a visit from Peter Pan, who takes them to Never Never Land where an ongoing war with the evil Pirate Captain Hook is taking place.

Director: P.J. Hogan | Stars: Jeremy Sumpter, Jason Isaacs, Olivia Williams, Lynn Redgrave

Votes: 58,736 | Gross: $48.46M

12. Oliver! (1968)

G | 153 min | Drama, Family, Musical

After being sold to a mortician, young orphan Oliver Twist runs away and meets a group of boys trained to be pickpockets by an elderly mentor.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Mark Lester, Ron Moody, Shani Wallis, Oliver Reed

Votes: 29,238 | Gross: $16.80M

13. The Road (I) (2009)

R | 111 min | Adventure, Drama

64 Metascore

In a dangerous post-apocalyptic world, an ailing father defends his son as they slowly travel to the sea.

Director: John Hillcoat | Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Robert Duvall

Votes: 196,945 | Gross: $0.06M

14. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)

PG-13 | 94 min | Drama, War

55 Metascore

Set during WWII, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a German concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.

Director: Mark Herman | Stars: Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend, Zac Mattoon O'Brien

Votes: 156,520 | Gross: $9.03M

15. Duma (2005)

PG | 100 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

82 Metascore

An orphaned cheetah becomes the best friend and pet of a young boy living in South Africa.

Director: Carroll Ballard | Stars: Alex Michaeletos, Campbell Scott, Hope Davis, Mary Makhatho

Votes: 6,964 | Gross: $0.86M

Another beautiful film by Carroll Ballard (Black Stallion). Alex Michaeletos was chosen when he went right up to the cheetahs during his interview and began petting them, while all the other hopeful boys were rather reluctant. He grew up with them on his family's farm in Africa, and it shows. He even manages to get the cheetah to follow him onto a raft, something even the handlers weren't sure could be done.

16. Avatar: The Last Airbender (2003–2008)

TV-Y7-FV | 23 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

In a war-torn world of elemental magic, a young boy reawakens to undertake a dangerous mystic quest to fulfill his destiny as the Avatar, and bring peace to the world.

Stars: Dee Bradley Baker, Zach Tyler, Mae Whitman, Jack De Sena

Votes: 165,781

Honorable mention, since this isn't a movie. It's the best cartoon series I've ever seen, and Zach Tyler Eisen is great as the voice of Aang.

17. Empire of the Sun (1987)

PG | 153 min | Drama, History, War

62 Metascore

A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Havers

Votes: 100,090 | Gross: $22.24M

18. Romulus, My Father (2007)

R | 104 min | Biography, Drama

57 Metascore

It tells the story of Romulus, his beautiful wife, Christina, and their struggle in the face of great adversity to bring up their son, Raimond. It is a story of impossible love that ultimately celebrates the unbreakable bond between father and son.

Director: Richard Roxburgh | Stars: Eric Bana, Franka Potente, Marton Csokas, Kodi Smit-McPhee

Votes: 3,868 | Gross: $0.00M

19. Mud (2012)

PG-13 | 130 min | Drama

76 Metascore

Two young boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the vigilantes that are on his trail and to reunite him with his true love.

Director: Jeff Nichols | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Sam Shepard

Votes: 149,886 | Gross: $21.59M

Two superb performances by Ty Sheridan and Jacob Lofland in a movie that reminded me a lot of the boys in "Stand By Me". I can give no higher compliment or recommendation than that.

20. The Chorus (2004)

PG-13 | 97 min | Drama, Music

56 Metascore

The new teacher at a severely administered boys' boarding school works to positively affect the students' lives through music.

Director: Christophe Barratier | Stars: Gérard Jugnot, François Berléand, Jean-Baptiste Maunier, Kad Merad

Votes: 49,500 | Gross: $3.64M

21. Last Ride (2009)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama

68 Metascore

A young boy travels across Australia with his father, who's wanted by the law for committing a violent crime.

Director: Glendyn Ivin | Stars: Hugo Weaving, Tom Russell, Anita Hegh, John Brumpton

Votes: 2,061 | Gross: $0.01M

22. The Impossible (2012)

PG-13 | 114 min | Drama, Thriller

73 Metascore

The story of a tourist family in Thailand caught in the destruction and chaotic aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Director: J.A. Bayona | Stars: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland, Oaklee Pendergast

Votes: 166,075 | Gross: $19.02M

23. Millions (2004)

PG-13 | 98 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

74 Metascore

Ethics, being human and the soul come to the fore when a 7-year old finds a bag of Pounds just days before the currency is switched to Euros and learns what we are really made of.

Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: Alex Etel, James Nesbitt, Daisy Donovan, Lewis McGibbon

Votes: 23,086 | Gross: $6.58M

24. The Perfect Game (2009)

PG | 118 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

42 Metascore

Based on a true story, a group of boys from Monterrey, Mexico who became the first non-U.S. team to win the Little League World Series.

Director: William Dear | Stars: Clifton Collins Jr., Cheech Marin, Moises Arias, Jake T. Austin

Votes: 2,883 | Gross: $1.09M

Based on a true story, the perfect game still stands as the only one in Little League history.

25. Dear Frankie (2004)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama, Romance

63 Metascore

After having responded to her son's numerous letters in the guise of his father, a woman hires a stranger to pose as his dad when meeting him.

Director: Shona Auerbach | Stars: Emily Mortimer, Jack McElhone, Gerard Butler, Mary Riggans

Votes: 19,871 | Gross: $1.34M

26. Real Steel (2011)

PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Drama, Family

56 Metascore

In the near future, robot boxing is a top sport. A struggling promoter feels he's found a champion in a discarded robot.

Director: Shawn Levy | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly, Dakota Goyo, Anthony Mackie

Votes: 274,185 | Gross: $85.47M

27. Son of Rambow (2007)

PG-13 | 96 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

66 Metascore

During a long English summer in the early 1980s, two schoolboys from differing backgrounds set out to make a film inspired by First Blood (1982).

Director: Garth Jennings | Stars: Bill Milner, Will Poulter, Jessica Hynes, Anna Wing

Votes: 28,755 | Gross: $1.78M

28. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011)

PG-13 | 129 min | Adventure, Drama, Mystery

46 Metascore

A nine-year-old amateur inventor, Francophile, and pacifist searches New York City for the lock that matches a mysterious key left behind by his father, who died in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Director: Stephen Daldry | Stars: Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Max von Sydow

Votes: 89,696 | Gross: $31.85M

29. The Iron Giant (1999)

PG | 86 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

85 Metascore

A young boy befriends a giant robot from outer space that a paranoid government agent wants to destroy.

Director: Brad Bird | Stars: Eli Marienthal, Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Aniston, Vin Diesel

Votes: 146,524 | Gross: $23.16M

30. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

PG-13 | 146 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

65 Metascore

A highly advanced robotic boy longs to become "real" so that he can regain the love of his human mother.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor, Sam Robards

Votes: 263,275 | Gross: $78.62M

Another good job by Haley Joel Osment. He doesn't blink in the entire movie (his own idea).

31. Super 8 (2011)

PG-13 | 112 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

72 Metascore

During the summer of 1979, a group of friends witness a train crash and investigate subsequent unexplained events in their small town.

Director: J.J. Abrams | Stars: Elle Fanning, AJ Michalka, Kyle Chandler, Joel Courtney

Votes: 309,499 | Gross: $127.00M

32. Alabama Moon (2009)

PG | 99 min | Drama, Family

After the unexpected death of his survivalist father, an eleven-year-old boy raised in the Alabama wilderness must learn how to make a home in the modern world.

Director: Tim McCanlies | Stars: Jimmy Bennett, Gabriel Basso, Uriah Shelton, Clint Howard

Votes: 1,186

33. Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

PG | 101 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

71 Metascore

Yearning for escape and adventure, a young boy runs away from home and sails to an island filled with creatures that take him in as their king.

Director: Spike Jonze | Stars: Max Records, Catherine O'Hara, Forest Whitaker, Pepita Emmerichs

Votes: 93,583 | Gross: $77.23M

34. The Goonies (1985)

PG | 114 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

60 Metascore

In order to save their home from foreclosure, a group of misfits set out to find a pirate's ancient valuable treasure.

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman

Votes: 201,837 | Gross: $61.50M

35. The Sandlot (1993)

PG | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

In the summer of 1962, a new kid in town is taken under the wing of a young baseball prodigy and his rowdy team, resulting in many adventures.

Director: David Mickey Evans | Stars: Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar, Art LaFleur, Patrick Renna

Votes: 66,002 | Gross: $32.42M

36. Hearts in Atlantis (2001)

PG-13 | 101 min | Drama, Mystery

55 Metascore

A widowed mother and her son change when a mysterious stranger enters their lives.

Director: Scott Hicks | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Anton Yelchin, Hope Davis, Mika Boorem

Votes: 32,834 | Gross: $24.19M

Anton Yelchin before he became Chekov in the latest Star Trek movies. An amazing performance and he more than holds his own with Anthony Hopkins.

37. Delivering Milo (2001)

PG | 94 min | Comedy, Fantasy

A guardian angel has 24 hours to convince a soul that life on Earth is worth the effort.

Director: Nick Castle | Stars: Anton Yelchin, Albert Finney, Bridget Fonda, Campbell Scott

Votes: 1,013

Another "Anton before he became Chekov".

38. Canvas (2006)

PG-13 | 101 min | Drama

67 Metascore

A woman's schizophrenia affects her relationships with her husband and son.

Director: Joseph Greco | Stars: Griffin Miner, Marcia Gay Harden, Devon Gearhart, Julie Upton

Votes: 922 | Gross: $0.03M

A very moving film about how a family deals with the mother's mental illness. Marcia Gay Harden seems to have a knack for playing crazed women (see The Mist), but the surprise is Joe Pantoliano as the father in a very credible job of acting. Devon Gearhart is great as their son, torn between a mentally ill mother and a father who seems to be going crazy as well.

39. The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012)

PG | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

47 Metascore

A childless couple bury a box in their backyard, containing all of their wishes for an infant. Soon, a child is born, though Timothy Green is not all that he appears.

Director: Peter Hedges | Stars: Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, CJ Adams, Odeya Rush

Votes: 40,969 | Gross: $51.85M

The parents are a bit over the top at times, but CJ Adams is excellent.

40. The Champ (I) (1931)

Passed | 86 min | Drama, Sport

Alcoholic ex-boxer struggles to provide a good living for his son.

Director: King Vidor | Stars: Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper, Irene Rich, Roscoe Ates

Votes: 2,259

41. The Princess Bride (1987)

PG | 98 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

77 Metascore

While home sick in bed, a young boy's grandfather reads him a story called The Princess Bride.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright, Chris Sarandon

Votes: 335,790 | Gross: $30.86M

Rob Reiner directing, Mark Knopfler on music, and an amazing cast that includes Fred Savage. It has, and I quote 'Grandpa', "Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles..." The best fairy tale movie of all time.

42. Dark Skies (2013)

PG-13 | 97 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

50 Metascore

As the Barrett family's peaceful suburban life is rocked by an escalating series of disturbing events, they come to learn that a terrifying and deadly force is after them, one which may have arrived from beyond the stars.

Director: Scott Stewart | Stars: Keri Russell, Jake Brennan, Josh Hamilton, Dakota Goyo

Votes: 63,311 | Gross: $17.41M

43. The Client (1994)

PG-13 | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

65 Metascore

A young boy who witnessed the suicide of a mafia lawyer hires an attorney to protect him when the District Attorney tries to use him to take down a mob family.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Renfro, Mary-Louise Parker

Votes: 51,338 | Gross: $92.12M

A rare film that is as good as the book it was based on.

44. Insidious (I) (2010)

PG-13 | 103 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

52 Metascore

A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further.

Director: James Wan | Stars: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins, Lin Shaye

Votes: 235,956 | Gross: $54.01M

45. Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)

PG-13 | 106 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

40 Metascore

The Lamberts believe that they have defeated the spirits that have haunted their family, but they soon discover that evil is not beaten so easily.

Director: James Wan | Stars: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, Lin Shaye

Votes: 129,926 | Gross: $83.59M

46. The Karate Kid (2010)

PG | 140 min | Action, Drama, Family

61 Metascore

Work causes a single mother to move to China with her young son; in his new home, the boy embraces kung fu, taught to him by a master.

Director: Harald Zwart | Stars: Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith, Taraji P. Henson, Wenwen Han

Votes: 137,092 | Gross: $176.59M

47. Lucas (1986)

PG-13 | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

A socially inept fourteen year old experiences heartbreak for the first time when his two best friends -- Cappie, an older-brother figure, and Maggie, the new girl with whom he is in love -- fall for each other.

Director: David Seltzer | Stars: Corey Haim, Kerri Green, Charlie Sheen, Courtney Thorne-Smith

Votes: 12,730 | Gross: $8.20M

48. Hugo (2011)

PG | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

83 Metascore

In Paris in 1931, an orphan named Hugo Cabret who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee, Ben Kingsley

Votes: 271,818 | Gross: $73.86M

49. Little Big League (1994)

PG | 119 min | Comedy, Family, Sport

A young boy is bequeathed the ownership of a professional baseball team.

Director: Andrew Scheinman | Stars: Luke Edwards, Timothy Busfield, John Ashton, Ashley Crow

Votes: 8,450 | Gross: $12.21M

50. Skippy (1931)

Approved | 85 min | Family, Drama, Comedy