7.4/10
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Honey Boy (2019)

R | | Drama | 27 November 2019 (USA)
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A young actor's stormy childhood and early adult years as he struggles to reconcile with his father and deal with his mental health.

Director:

Alma Har'el

Writer:

Shia LaBeouf
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Popularity
59 ( 42)
3 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shia LaBeouf ... James Lort
Lucas Hedges ... Otis (22)
Noah Jupe ... Otis (12)
Byron Bowers ... Percy
Laura San Giacomo ... Dr. Moreno
FKA Twigs ... Shy Girl
Natasha Lyonne ... Mom
Maika Monroe ... Sandra
Clifton Collins Jr. ... Tom
Mario Ponce ... Tiny
Martin Starr ... Alec
Haylee Sanchez ... Working Girl 1
Giovanni Lopes ... Rehab Nurse
Dorian Brown Pham ... Pam (as Dorian Pham)
Greta Jung ... AD
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Storyline

From a screenplay by Shia LaBeouf, based on his own experiences, award-winning filmmaker Alma Har'el brings to life a young actor's stormy childhood and early adult years as he struggles to reconcile with his father through cinema and dreams. Fictionalizing his childhood's ascent to stardom, and subsequent adult crash-landing into rehab and recovery, Har'el casts Noah Jupe and Lucas Hedges as Otis Lort, navigating different stages in a frenetic career. LaBeouf takes on the daring and therapeutic challenge of playing a version of his own father, an ex-rodeo clown and a felon. Artist and musician FKA Twigs makes her feature-film debut, playing neighbor and kindred spirit to the younger Otis in their garden-court motel home. Har'el's feature narrative debut is a one-of-a-kind collaboration between filmmaker and subject, exploring art as medicine and imagination as hope.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual material and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 November 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Honey Boy See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$301,065, 10 November 2019

Gross USA:

$2,389,944

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,442,759
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shia and Martin Starr worked together on Freaks and Geeks See more »

Quotes

James: Think it through. What your mother got a job for?
Otis (12): Just in case.
James: In case what?
Otis (12): I don't know.
James: In case you fail! In case it don't work out.
Otis (12): No.
James: Yes. She's filling your head full of fear, I pump you up full of strength. Cause we're a team and I know you got what it takes. You're a fucking star and I know it, that's why I'm here. I'm your cheerleader Honey Boy.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the Most Necessary Movies of the Year
13 September 2019 | by kjproulxSee all my reviews

From Even Stevens to Transformers, I've watched Shia Labeouf's career rapidly evolve and slowly wind down to how people view him today. Recognized as someone who may have let the fame get to his head, Honey Boy is a film that will show you why he was the way he was throughout certain moments in his life. Recently premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival and hitting theatres this Fall, here's why I believe Honey Boy is one of the best and most necessary movies of the year.

Written by Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy tells the true story of his own childhood, with name changes to make it not quite so obvious. LaBeouf plays his own father, who is really the central focus of the movie in a way. Noah Jupe and Lucas Hedges portray Otis (the name used for his character in this story) from two different time periods in his life, and both of them deliver award-worthy performances. Those two great performances aside, Shia LaBeouf is the main reason to see this movie.

Celebrities are viewed by people in the way they create an image for themselves or by the roles they choose to take in films or television shows. While those things may reflect certain personalities, there will always be certain celebrities that are not allowing their true selves in the public spotlight. For this reason alone, I believe this movie is a necessary watch for those who have negative thoughts toward LaBeouf, especially over the last few years. This movie showcases one of the most incredible performances of his career and it's truly heartbreaking to see behind the curtains.

This is the first film that I've seen by director Alma Har'el, but her work here is crazy good. I can't wait to see what her next project will be. The combination of terrific dialogue, great direction, and performances that felt so natural just had me completely immersed in this 93-minute, quaint, emotional roller coaster. Although it's kept simple, there is a lot of reading between the lines for audiences to see when they watch this movie. I love when a film can be effective with even more to say as you look deeper.

In the end, Honey Boy is one of the greatest true stories that have been disguised as fiction that I've seen in quite some time. If you know Shia LaBeouf in terms of how he has been behaving lately, I think this movie will be quite the eye-opener for you. This is a great story from start to finish and it even becomes slightly meta at times, which surprisingly worked very well. Using pseudonyms really helped this movie and it can be viewed as a story about any young actor with a hard lifestyle. In my opinion, this is a brilliant little film that I fear will not be noticed by many viewers. Please seek this one out when it hits theatres or streaming. I think you'll be glad that you did.


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