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January 9, 2015 8:03 AM

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Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is probably the best-reviewed film of 2014, and it made it onto many critics’ end-of-the-year Top 10 lists. It is a long and meandering epic that attempts and often achieves the impressionistic feel of remembered life. It was filmed over 12 years, allowing all the actors (especially those who began the project as adults) to age in real time. It tells an affecting story in a quietly empathetic way. It’s an honorable and obviously artistically successful project.

Boyhood doesn’t capture the emotional sense of what it feels like to be a child as well as Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life; it’s too explicit and literal. It’s more interesting to think about than actually watch.

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