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Best of Boston 2009

Boy A

Culpability cop-out in child-murder story
By PETER KEOUGH  |  August 5, 2008
2.0 2.0 Stars

080808_boyIN

When even Barack Obama takes exception to the Supreme Court ruling against the execution of child rapists, you know that getting general audiences to root for the title miscreant in Boy A will pose a challenge. Andrew Garfield’s performance as the ex-con of the title, his name changed to “Jack Burridge” to protect him from vigilantes as he begins a new, post-incarceration life, doesn’t help; he’s squirmy, grimacing, and about as cuddly as Norman Bates. As shown piecemeal in flashbacks, Jack’s crime was to have insensitive parents, suffer bullying in school, and make friends with another outsider who turns out to be a psychopath. Both are convicted, as juveniles, of murdering a 10-year-old girl, but Jack’s culpability is left ambiguous — a cop-out given the issues at stake. In his adaptation of Jonathan Trigell’s novel, John Crowley excels at creating a world of barriers and empty spaces, but his appeal to all points of view would do credit to any politician. 100 minutes | Kendall Square

Related: Review: Is Anybody There?, Throttling Throat, Primary concerns, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Barack Obama, John Crowley, Norman Bates
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