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The year is 1984, and on the rural East Coast of New Zealand "Thriller" is changing kids' lives. Inspired by the Oscar nominated Two Cars, One Night, Boy is the hilarious and heartfelt coming-of-age tale about heroes, magic and Michael Jackson. Boy is a dreamer who loves Michael Jackson. He lives with his brother Rocky, a tribe of deserted cousins and his Nan. Boy's other hero, his father, Alamein, is the subject of Boy's fantasies, and he imagines him as a deep sea diver, war hero and a close relation of Michael Jackson (he can even dance like him). In reality he's… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Even the inevitable flaws of the low-budget production are winning, showcasing as they do the narrative artistry that makes Boy so distinctive amid current factory-written studio productions."
‑ John Barber, Globe and Mail
"Waititi has reached into his past for a story that belongs to him alone."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"The momentum from the opening dissipates early and without a real engine pushing the movie foward, it begins to drag...the film is 87 minutes and feels like it's 2 hours."
‑ Cory Everett, The Playlist
"Rolleston's winning presence doubtless has much to do with the fact that Boy is a record-breaking hit in its home country, but there's some salt mixed in with the film's sugar."
‑ Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper
"This is a good-natured, goofy and often charming little coming-of-age comedy that is bright, light and fun."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"A simple story of coming of age and the bitter failings of hero worship that succeeds thanks to the impressive skills of its young star."
‑ Linda Barnard, Toronto Star
"A film like this would have little chance without the right casting, and James Rolleston is so right as Boy, it's difficult to imagine anyone else."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"This is an upbeat, often hilarious, but never mawkish, celebration of love."
‑ Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film
"A performer and comedian before becoming a filmmaker, Waititi uses his comic sensibilities to keep Boy from becoming mawkish or clichÚd. He has created a coming-of-age tale that is truly original."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"Homegrown though it often feels, the film is hurt by a distinct lack of budget; how else to explain why "Thriller," or any song at all by Michael Jackson, never appears?"
‑ Dustin Putman,
""Boy" finds hope, and love, in the oddest corners."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"Boy is a charmer, a funny and affecting coming-of-age story rendered with heart, and with nuttiness."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"It's one of those flicks that has more resonance than you may at first realize and a level of charm that few films contain."
‑ Erick Weber, NECN
"Waititi does a nice tonal juggling act, balancing eccentric characters, a 1980s setting, child-drawn animation and Maori-inflected restagings of Michael Jackson videos with the painful consequences of parental neglect."
‑ Mike Russell, Oregonian
"Funny and touching at times, but a little bit of Dad goes a long way."
‑ Peter Keough, Boston Phoenix
More reviews for Boy on Rotten Tomatoes