Box art for Beautiful Boy

Beautiful Boy

drama


Bill (Michael Sheen) and Kate's (Maria Bello) already strained marriage is tested when their college-age son commits a shocking act of violence that reverberates across the country.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    69%
  • Audience Score
    56%

common sense

ON for kids age 16
Sex
3 out of 5
Consumerism
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
Language
3 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
Violence
3 out of 5

Agonizing, moving drama about a family torn by tragedy.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this intense, deeply moving drama deals with a horrific tragedy: the aftermath of a shooting spree at a college campus. A character is shown wielding a gun, and there are plenty of references to the actual shooting, though there's little actual gore. Still, plenty of psychological wounds are on display, and the subject matter can be quite upsetting/disturbing, especially for younger viewers. There's some swearing (including "f--k") and scenes showing a couple making love (a woman's breast is briefly glimpsed) and getting drunk to forget their pain.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how the movie portrays family relationships. Are the characters and their interactions believable? How does the film's central violent act affect them?
  • Parents, talk to your kids about violence in schools: How can they stay safe? Can incidents like the one in the movie be prevented?
  • How do you feel about the way the movie handled the tragic shooting at the center of the plot? Was it depicted sensitively in light of similar real-life events? How does the media typically address this kind of violence?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    69%
    reviews counted: 0
    see all Beautiful Boy reviews
  • Audience

    56%

Audience Reviews

4 stars

This movie is not about a school massacre. Nor, is it about why a person chooses to do such a thing. What it IS about is the struggle of two parents to hold it together, in the midst of not only grieving about the death of their son, but also to come to terms with the fact that he is a mass murderer...all in the middle of a tiresome and bitter marriage. I have to admit, every time there's a shooting like this, I immediately think of the parents. What kind of parents raise a child that can do this? what went wrong? are the parents normal parents? or bad parents? and what now for them? This is a subject rarely dealt with. Well done....

- itsjustme2004, Sunday, August 5, 2012

3 stars

"Beautiful Boy" is a fairly good melodrama about a married couple struggling to comprehend why their son commits a Columbine-style massacre at his college. The subject matter is great, and Michael Sheen and Maria Bello really put their all into their performances. But there's something missing. It doesn't go beyond what you'd expect from a melodrama on a basic-cable channel. The script is just too thin. The direction from Shawn Ku (his first feature film) is sensitive but a bit pedestrian.

- dunmyer, Sunday, November 13, 2011

3 stars

Cast:Michael Sheen, Maria Bello, Alan Tudyk, Moon Bloodgood, Kyle Gallner, Meat Loaf, Darren O'Hare, Deidrie Henry, Bruce French Director:Shawn Ku Summary: This heartrending drama stars Michael Sheen as Bill Carroll, who is contemplating separating from his wife, Kate (Maria Bello), when the unimaginable happens: Their 18-year-old son, Sam (Kyle Gallner), commits mass murder at his university before killing himself. While coping with their grief, Bill and Kate must deal with the insatiable media, other parents furious at them for their son's actions and their own questions about their culpability. My Thoughts: "Such a sad, dark, emotional story. You never really hear about the shooter's parents or family when these unfortunate things happen. I was eager to see this side of the story. The acting is very good by Maria Bello and Michael Sheen. I was more impressed by Sheen's performance. I just believed him more maybe in his character. But together they were fantastic. It's unfortunate that the son's actions left behind a huge mess for his parents. They are in a way paying for the crime he committed. In the beginning Bill is the strong one pushing through trying to move forward as Kate is still in the process of trying to come to grips of what happened. But by the end the roles dramatically change and it's truly heartbreaking to watch."

- LWOODS04, Tuesday, November 8, 2011