Beautiful Boy is a truly beautiful film that tackles a number of life’s most ugly and challenging issues with grace and tact in a way that few can. With a number of stunningly powerful performances and a surprisingly honest message about love and hope, it’s not what you would expect in any way. Buying a ticket for this film is really buying an experience into these two characters lives and if you’re in the mood for it, will not disappoint…

The Players:

  • Director: Shawn Ku
  • Writers: Michael Armbruster, Shawn Ku
  • Stars: Michael Sheen, Maria Bello and Kyle Gallner

The Plot:

Two parents are married and miserable. They’re on the verge of separation and struggling to keep it together when suddenly they receive the news that their 18-year-old son committed a mass shooting at his college. Suddenly, with their world turned upside down, they have to turn to each other and deal with their own issues as well as their sons.

The Good:

  • Michael Sheen: He gives one of the most fascinating and wonderful performances you’ll see all year. He’s not afraid to come off “un-liked” or “wimpy” in a role which in fact make him all the stronger and more likable as an actor. At first character in this film seems almost invisible, and then suddenly everything blows up (figuratively) and you understand all his decisions and how they added up. It’s truly a full out performance that was well planned, well executed, and truthfully acted. At times, he let himself do absolutely nothing, which added up to so much in the end. This was a truly brave and beautiful performance.
  • Maria Bello: Wonderful as well and gives an equally, though more overtly strong performance in the film. She’s another actor that’s not afraid to be un-liked. In fact, at times the duo are both despicable. BUT, that’s due to amazing performances and she really gives her all in this film and it’s impossible for an audience to not notice her.
  • The Story: For such a seemingly depressing premise the film has, it tells a beautiful story about the realities of a relationship under extreme pressure. It’s not just about a shooting but about a partnership failing under extraordinary stress and then finding it’s way back together in an entirely new way.
  • The Build Up: The film starts out more outwardly shockingly, but somehow manages to build on that with a different, more meaningful and seemingly private film. The ending is built to beautifully by the actors and the screenplay, which make it a strangely satisfying watch.

The Bad:

  • Not An Easy Film: This is not a film for everyone or for everyday. You really have to be in the mood to go on a journey and think beyond the obvious. I for one love that about this film, but it’s obvious that those of you looking for an escape from reality may not find this the easiest film to run away with.


Not this is not the happiest films you’ll see this year, but it may be one of the best and I’m surprised they’re not releasing it closer to award season. Despite it’s darkness there really is an underlying message of hope that makes it brutally sweet.

Rating: 8.5/10