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Reviews by Saga

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1657 reviews/ratings - 83 pages (20 reviews/ratings per page)

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The Box of Delights (1984)

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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Boy (2010)

A very solid entry in the coming-of-age genre with good acting from James Rolleston and Te Aho Eketone-Whitu. Would make a good companion film to Whale Rider and O Tamaiti.

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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Boy (2011)

Heartbreaking.

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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Boy (2008)

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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A Boy Called Po (2016)

Schmaltzy.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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The Boy from Dead Man's Bayou (1971)

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 5 / 10
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The Boy from Space (1971)

Impressive and eerie!

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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The Boy in the Dress (2014)

Interesting curiosity about a boy named Dennis who loves football, enjoys war films, is best friends with another boy and is attracted to girls and not to boys, but who also, at twelve, discovers a love of getting into fashionable dresses and going out as his female alter ego, Denise. In other words, not a trans child but a burgeoning crossdresser, on kids' TV. Silly humour, a great twist at the end and a nice message of acceptance arguably undercut by David Walliams's (he wrote the book) turn as an effeminate, fluff-headed drama teacher who becomes a useless substitute referee -- still, the film and book may go some way to reducing the world's total of pain around this sort of thing. Not in the same league though as the wonderful 1994 short film Tout le monde est parfait, about a transvestite whose young son lives with his prejudiced ex-wife and is turning out gay.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008)

The film is dramatically powerful and Asa Butterfield is charming but this is a very sugar-coated view of the Holocaust. Children this age would almost always have been gassed immediately upon arrival in the death camps, anyone going near the barbed wire would have been shot, and anyone who managed to touch it would have been electrocuted. I don't think little Bruno's supposed pure-hearted bafflement at what's going on around him is all that true to life, either. In the book he comes across as almost imbecilic in his naivety: he doesn't know what "Heil Hitler" means, for instance. Almost no real-life eight-year-old in Nazi Germany could have been as ignorant as that, let alone the child of a high-ranking SS officer. Nor were many children totally ignorant of the murders going on. It's recorded that schoolchildren living near the Hadamar Euthanasia Centre in Hesse, Germany, where the Nazis murdered disabled people, would say of the arriving vans "Here come the murder boxes" and would taunt one another with "You're not very clever; you will go to Hadamar and into the ovens." Films like these may make us feel better about humanity but do they really help us understand it better?

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 5 / 10
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The Boy Who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan (2004)

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 10 / 10
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The Boy Who Stole the Elephant (1970)

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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The Boy with Green Hair (1948)

Oh who is that young sinner...? It's Dean Stockwell, armed with his Cupid's bow and carrying with an excellent performance this earnest, absorbing parable whose origins in horror at the horrors of the Second World War are stamped all over it.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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The Boy with the Yellow Circle (2013)

Interesting surrealist piece with some very striking shots.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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The Boy (2015)

Despite a very heavy-handed score, this is a good film, carried largely by the remarkable acting talents of Jared Breeze. It's partly a study of a neglected corner of Americana, partly a study of a child with callous-unemotional traits, i.e. pre-sociopathy.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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Boychoir (2014)

Clichéd, and like a lot of choir films subscribes to various silly and inaccurate notions as to what choral music is actually about, but benefits hugely from the singing of the American Boychoir and the charisma of Garrett Wareing.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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Boyhood (2014)

Other films have done what Boyhood does. The 2013 documentary American Promise follows two boys' entire education at a very prestigious school, and the 1994 documentary Hoop Dreams follows two aspiring basketball players over their four years of high school. 52 Tuesdays, a 2013 Australian fictional film, is about the relationship between a teenager and her parent, who is transitioning from female to male, and was shot once a week over the course of a year. And once you take away the supposed uniqueness of how it was made, there just isn't a whole lot to this film. Also, the 2016 short film Boys is much better as an observational slice of all-American boyhood.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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Boys Diving, Honolulu (1901)

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 10 / 10
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The Boys from Brazil (1978)

Very well made hammy thriller with a remarkable turn from Jeremy Black. By way of contrast, there's also a very good realistic fictional film depicting Mengele in Argentina as he really could have been: The German Doctor by Lucía Puenzo, who also directed the likewise very good films XXY and The Fish Child.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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The Boys of St. Vincent (1992)

A very well-made film. The boys' plight is heartbreaking. Should really be seen together with part two, The Boys of St Vincent: 15 Years Later. The films are loosely based on real events. How loosely? It's not clear, and I'm not sure I like the portrayal of Lavin as totally "sick and evil" or the extreme nature of the abuse depicted. Such things have certainly been known to happen but how far is what we're shown really representative of the Roman Catholic Church's abuse scandals? Aaron Rookus's two short films Wednesdays and Balance are the same kind of diptych as these two: the abuse, then its aftermath. But they're considerably better, because they don't over-egg the pudding. The more recent Polish film In the Name of... also deals much better with a somewhat similar subject, while Fox and His Friends, F. est un salaud and the short film Lucas are much better films on the broader theme of exploitative relationships. There's also Allison Anders's good semi-autobiographical film Things Behind the Sun.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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Brainy (2011)

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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