6.6/10
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30 user 70 critic

Beautiful Boy (2010)

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1:57 | Trailer
A married couple on the verge of separation are leveled by the news their 18-year-old son committed a mass shooting at his college, then took his own life.

Director:

Shawn Ku
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Logan South Logan South ... Young Sammy
Maria Bello ... Kate
Michael Sheen ... Bill
Kyle Gallner ... Sammy
Bruce French ... Harry
Austin Nichols ... Cooper
Gregory H. Alpert ... Baby Shower Carl / Web Reporter Voice
Deidrie Henry ... Bonnie
Kelli Kirkland ... TV News Reporter (as Kelli Kirkland Powers)
David Lipper ... Radio Reporter Voice / Television Ranter
Nigel Gibbs ... Police Detective
Brooke Lyons ... TV Reporter Voice
Michael Call Michael Call ... TV Reporter Voice
Alan Tudyk ... Eric
Moon Bloodgood ... Trish
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Storyline

Bill and Kate are in an emotionless marriage with their only son away at college. They knew he didn't sound happy but then comes the news that he was the mass murderer at his school killing 17 professors, fellow students and himself. They try to move on with their lives but they are held back by their own grief and the fact that the media and everyone around them view them as monsters. The more they fight it, they realize they only have each other. Written by napierslogs

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Everything seemed perfect. Everything would change. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 November 2011 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Beautiful Boy See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,162, 5 June 2011

Gross USA:

$77,247

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$140,123
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Kate exits the taxi after arriving at the cemetery, she shuts the car door and then we hear the sound of it closing. See more »

Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.20 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A unique take with two powerhouse performances.
5 August 2011 | by Rockwell_CronenbergSee all my reviews

It seems that Hollywood, especially lately, has been in the habit of giving us films dealing with parents suffering the loss of a child. We see them scream, we see them cry, we see them go through the same routine. Beautiful Boy takes this theme and puts a unique, much more tragic, spin on it. Michael Sheen and Maria Bello play parents who lose their college-age son, but worse is their son died after shooting up his school. So along with them having to grieve the loss of their boy, they have to suffer the scrutiny of the media attacking their son and them publicly, along with fighting themselves in trying to figure out what led to this awful thing happening. They fight with whether they're responsible, whether they should take time to grieve or try to go back into things and as many other things as you can think of in this struggle for normalcy in understanding when everything else is fighting against them.

Of course anything dealing with themes like this gives way to a lot of opportunity for melodrama. There's a subplot with a novelist that is very silly and expected and a few other scenes that rang false, but for the most part the film was surprisingly honest and from the heart. These characters suffer in real ways and even though the film initially splits the two into stereotypes, Bello having the hysterical screams and disbelief and Sheen with the stunned silence, as it progresses they both go through phases of devastation, denial and just a need to understand and get past it. It doesn't do anything particularly unique in how they grieve, but the two performers make you feel everything these characters go through. They bring a lot of power to their roles and it can definitely hit very hard at times.

Both Sheen and Bello have always been fine actors who rarely get the chance to demonstrate their immense talents. Here they are given full opportunity to let their skills show and neither of them hesitate to do so. Whether they are having a shouting match in a hotel room, consoling one another in tears or just silently trying to deal with this huge tragedy, it's hard to take your eyes off either of them. It definitely goes down the expected path, but these two make it well worth watching with their powerhouse performances and I did admire the slight turn on what had kind of become a tired setup. Making the son this kind of person added a lot of layers to the struggle these two had to go through.


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