Parents' Guide to

Beautiful Boy

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Agonizing, moving drama about a family torn by tragedy.

Movie R 2011 100 minutes
Beautiful Boy Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

BEAUTIFUL BOY takes viewers to the heart of darkness with its memorable portrait of a couple in crisis. Rather than creating a cinematic car wreck at which audiences would be ashamed to gawk, it's sensitive, wise, and painful beyond most measures. The account it offers -- what happens to the parents of the people who commit such tragic crimes? -- is valuable, challenging us to question the sometimes-paint-by-numbers view we get in the news of the people who hurt others in such spectacularly harrowing ways. The film especially works because of the leads, Bello and Sheen, who commit to the anguish completely.

Is Beautiful Boy a perfect movie? Not at all. Sometimes it explains too much and works too hard to conjure tears. (We are left spent.) It also tries too hard to arrive at a semi-neat explanation behind what may have moved Sam to commit such an act. But is it affecting? In a despondent, melancholic way, yes.

Movie Details

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