On the picturesque coast of New Zealand in 1984, the 11-year-old Maori kid of the title (James Rolleston) lives the life of Huck Finn, though with more responsibilities. His mother died giving birth to his strange brother Rocky (Te Aho Eketone-Whitu), his father is in jail, and now he must take care of Rocky and a half dozen other children of assorted ages and unknown origins in a dilapidated household complete with a goat, a derelict truck, and many posters of Michael Jackson. Director Taika Waititi maintains a quirky tone ranging from whimsy to heartbreak until he shows up himself as Boy's jailbird dad, Alamein. He seems threatening at first, until it turns out that his motorcycle "gang" has only two members and no motorcycles. Then he gets annoying. As expected, Alamein acts more like a child than his children, which is fine when he plays army with them but less so when he involves them in his harebrained schemes. Funny and touching at times, but a little bit of Dad goes a long way.