Parents' Guide to

Beautiful Boy

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Lots of anguish in heavy, repetitive drug-addiction drama.

Movie R 2018 120 minutes
Beautiful Boy Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 9 parent reviews

age 17+

Very good

Such a good movie with really heavy themes. It talks about this guy who’s dealing with drugs and his father trying to save him. There’s obviously drugs, lots of swearing, some sex and depression. Very good but for mature people only.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 16+

Extremely heavy with good messages

Based off of a true story, Beautiful boy is a very heavy and dramatic movie with extreme drug/substance abuse, some sex, plenty language, and overall intense themes. Although the movie is heavy it teaches very impactful and valuable lessons showing truthfully how dangerous drugs can be and how much they can mess you up. The parents in the movie and great role models trying to remain strong and help their son in the best ways they can. Beautiful boy is a difficult and heavy movie to watch but a movie that should be watched so people understand the danger of drugs in our world.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (9):
Kids say (38):

Expertly acted to be sure, this drug-addiction drama is also grueling and repetitive; it wobbles between making drug use look sexy and being an after-school special. Director Felix Van Groeningen previously made Belgium's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee The Broken Circle Breakdown, and he uses the same techniques on Beautiful Boy as he did for that film: heavy-handed soap opera and scenes assembled out of chronological order for no discernible reason. Some scenes have no particular point of view -- or many points of view. And some seem mainly designed to break up the misery with happier memories from the past, although this ploy fails, since the return to the wretched present is inevitable.

Oscar nominee Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name) brings his trademark James Dean-like rebel swagger to his role, which is a young actor's dream: He gets to scream and cry and confess things from the depths of his soul, all while being the most attractive screen drug addict in some time. Carell gives a sturdier, quieter performance, although most of what he does is stare at computer screens, talk on the phone, or drive a car. Van Groeningen includes lots and lots of alt-rock songs on the soundtrack to illustrate the beauty or anguish of any given moment, but as the movie drags on toward the two-hour mark -- and viewers realize they've seen the same kind of relapse-argument-recovery sequences over and over -- it all starts to feel achingly tiresome.

Movie Details

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