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Overall Rating
4.49

Awesome72.44%
Worth A Look: 13.46%
Average: 6.41%
Pretty Bad: 5.77%
Total Crap: 1.92%

12 reviews, 84 user ratings



Boys Don't Cry
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by Dust For Eyes

"Brutal Cinema"
5 stars

Boys Donít Cry deals with such a brutal and tragic subject that it is impossible to say that it is enjoyable. Yet this film is a great, towering achievement of film. This is primarily due to the absolutely extraordinary and riveting performance of Hilary Swank as Brandon.

What do you do when there is something that is fundamental to you that is so at odds with the rest of society that people will kill you because of it?

You get mixed up thatís what.

There is little, if any, chance of normality and so trouble will be coming on its way. The entirely blameless outcast will suffer.

Teena Brandon / Brandon Teena had to go through this suffering and - although the producers stress that it's not a biopic - Boyís Donít Cry tells of her fate.

In Lincoln, Nebraska, (read: Nowheresville, USA) Brandon, born a girl, but wanting to be male, forms a reputation of being quite the charmer with women when she cuts her hair, acts like a boy and dates women. Despite protestations, she continues the faÁade which ends up involving trouble with the law.

One night he meets up in a bar with Candace (Goranson - better known as Roseanneís Becky) who in turn introduces Brandon to her friends including Lana (Sevigny). They are from Falls City - a seventy-mile journey away. The impulsive Brandon is happy to accept an invitation to a party in Falls City. Partly because it sounds fun, but mostly because the enamored Brandon has her eyes on being with Lana.

The doomed relationship between Lana and Brandon provides the romance that is at the heart of this tragedy-romance story.

This overwhelming film drives you to tears. Not gentle tears down the cheek - Meg-Ryan-movie style - but angry, howling tears as you see this story unfold and get shocked and very angry. I was literally shaking during some parts of this film.

This reaction of course has something to do with the story, but mostly it is because of the intense and brilliantly convincing performance of Swank. She is totally detached from past notable performances like the original movie version of Buffy, The Next Karate Kid and (believe it) Beverly Hills 90210. She completely emersed herself in the character and is very convincing as a boy - the voice, the mannerisms, the walk - itís all there.

Her performance in the second half of the film? Well thatís when the shaking starts.

Swankís performance is truly amazing, is thoroughly worthy of her Golden Globe award, and is fully deserving of an Oscar.

Pierce has directed this film as a grim and despondent story of a tragic life. Although Pierce could have found some uplifting moments in how Brandon pursues what she wants against overwhelming odds. Instead we have this gritty realist film pulling no punches in portraying these dreadful events. The film looks dark, the characters have no sheen to brighten them up, and the music is slow and sad.

Doesnít sound much fun does it?

Well it isnít. It is not a fun story, but if you are interested in great acting of the highest order and if you like to be emotionally moved by a film then Boyís Donít Cry is worth seeing. It is a worthy film - for Swankís performance if nothing else. Boys Donít Cry is film of the highest order.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=2233&reviewer=166
originally posted: 04/04/00 17:12:39
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell strong but 2 brutal 3 stars
10/04/13 Trisha Wirt Very powerful movie! Hit home! 5 stars
3/01/11 Captain Slog Such a sad, sad movie 5 stars
1/23/11 PAUL SHORTT WELL MADE, DARING DRAMA WITH SOME GREAT PERFORMANCES 4 stars
12/18/08 Clara Absolutely jarring. Stunningly made. 5 stars
12/06/08 Shaun Wallner Well made. 5 stars
7/08/08 art BRILLANT,SUPERB A MIDWEST VERISON OF MYRA BRECKINRIDGE 5 stars
2/05/07 glitter girl what a powerful and sad movie... you may know someone like this and not even know it.. 5 stars
8/18/06 Lauren Absolutely fabulous. Swank and Sevigny offer stellar performances. 5 stars
4/24/06 imran reveals the issues of society Good movie 3 stars
8/24/05 Ron Patterson Absolutely Fantastic 5 stars
8/12/05 ES Couldn't care less about the characters, no redeeming qualities = blah 1 stars
3/24/05 katie wright i think lana was the master mind behind the crimes 5 stars
12/23/04 Nick Boyd Very well acted, moving story 5 stars
9/26/04 Brigitte Sad, but powerful story.Very realistic. 5 stars
9/26/04 NJ Cup Winner 95-00-03 In its own category, which, coming from me, is the highest compliment 5 stars
8/27/04 ELI ARG!!!!! It's so DEPRESSING!!!!!!!!! Good movie! 5 stars
8/04/04 Alexia Absolutely the most touching movie I've ever seen 5 stars
8/02/04 Denisia de Castro Macedo Excellent movie 5 stars
6/26/04 Eric One of the dumbest movies I have ever seen, seriously 1 stars
2/29/04 Liz The movie is very good and i like it. 5 stars
1/25/04 Elena I wish bad critics weren't allowed to post reviews! :P 5 stars
1/17/04 linda wang it's the best moving movie i've ever seen!!! 5 stars
11/24/03 Shams Huque Swank was incredible. 5 stars
11/12/03 alia i absolutly loved that film it was amasing 5 stars
6/11/03 Jareth I just can't find fault with it, one of the most powerful films I've ever seen. 5 stars
6/05/03 Charles Tatum Don't let the sleaze fool you 2 stars
3/26/03 Marcia Lartz C'mon Chris Parry, just call it awesome. Don't do it a disservice with your caustic review. 5 stars
3/19/03 Jack Sommersby Uninsightful and a bit exploitive. ChloŽ Sevigny, though, is outstanding. 2 stars
2/18/03 Pyli Amazing... i loved it, it's one of those movies that changes the way u look some things. 5 stars
12/18/02 mylen cee exeptional 5 stars
12/02/02 Bobi its cool 5 stars
11/16/02 Big Ted Swank delivers an Oscar performance that will be remembered like Streep's Sophie's Choice. 5 stars
8/19/02 willy a moving, harrowing film... cried and cried and cried 5 stars
6/02/02 sdjfsdkjf that was some fucken rape scene. Good film but never wanna see it again. 5 stars
5/12/02 Butterbean Swank's performance was outstanding. It's ending put knots in my stomach 5 stars
3/08/02 Mo Anand It was a good movie, but sad...good for indy watchers 4 stars
2/28/02 Alan Smithee Very difficult to watch at times, but well acted and extremely tragic. 4 stars
2/27/02 malcolm part II she did not deserve what happend, but the lies had to catch up. 5 stars
2/27/02 malcolm reminded me of Sling Blade. don't forget - Teena lied and stole thru the whole movie. 5 stars
9/05/01 Bada Bing Crosby I'm happy to knock the last comment off the board, people are just a-holes here 5 stars
8/28/01 Phil M. Afficianado Acting (capital A) out the shockingly sad reality of man's inhumanity to (wo)man. Stunning. 5 stars
7/30/01 Basil Sad and disturbing, Swank definitly deserved the Oscar. 5 stars
4/26/01 timmsy Sevigny carried the last 30 minutes. Should have won Oscar. 5 stars
4/18/01 looni31 Shit hot film 5 stars
3/23/01 Danyo McPee Feelings can be decieving 4 stars
2/21/01 Rocket Boy While Swank was excellent, it was Sevigny's performance that made the film 4 stars
2/11/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi Poignant, disturbing, violent, romantic, relentlessly in your face. The way LIFE really is 5 stars
2/05/01 spunkie Most disturbing film about small town mentality since "River's Edge". Swank= WOW! 5 stars
2/01/01 Vivien Leung strange lesos 3 stars
12/24/00 Connoisseur makes me jerk off... 5 stars
11/01/00 k8e_chapstick@excite.com the most touchign ,amazing film i've ever seen. you will be a different person after wards 5 stars
10/20/00 Stunned Back Into Mikeness I really didn't wanna see this boring-looking film, but it punched me in the gut. Wow! 5 stars
10/07/00 Perverted Pixie Horrorfic cruelty. Swank broke my heart. I can't believe this was all true... 5 stars
8/29/00 Juan both actresses performed really well, swank deserves the award!! 5 stars
8/08/00 Mic You could feel the tension in the audience in the final half hour. 5 stars
7/13/00 Tom Strong performance by Chloe Sevigny. 4 stars
6/23/00 fire-n-ice great movie i hated the ending though 4 stars
5/21/00 mellemel Good acting by Swank, but there's a reason why the movie wasn't nominated. 2 stars
5/15/00 Tracy The toothy Hilary Swank certain out acted anything Ice Princess Paltrow has coughed up. 5 stars
5/15/00 The Bomb 69 great performances all around, tough movie to watch 5 stars
5/15/00 Chrissy T Hilary looks great as a man, and her acting is first rate. Chloe always impresses me. 5 stars
4/10/00 Ernie Levesque This movie is wonderful and funny and uplifting and so heartbreakingly tragic. 5 stars
4/05/00 PJ What a draining movie, I have to say Hillary Swank gave one of the best performances ever 5 stars
4/02/00 Asun Espes The best movie of the year 5 stars
3/25/00 Robert P Gray Honest and brilliantly acted 5 stars
3/16/00 Justine Briggs The movie is tough to watch but you can't help but be in awe of Hillary Swanks performance 4 stars
3/08/00 Booyah! Amazing film. Did not expect to be so moved. 5 stars
3/06/00 John Baranyai Tjis movie is a must-see. Hilary swank is unbelievably good. Go see for yourself. 5 stars
3/03/00 Pix very affecting 5 stars
3/01/00 Matthew Smith Hiliary swank's magnificent performance has oscar written all over it. 5 stars
2/22/00 Bozo Swank will win Actress Oscar, she's great, Hunt & Paltrow before her SUCKED 5 stars
2/11/00 Victor Ramirez depressing. Beautiful. 5 stars
2/09/00 Jess Bennett Goddamn this movie is great. Its very disturbing and every actor involved is so real. 5 stars
1/01/00 jenn "Blu Smrf" this is an amazing film considering the issue that was dealt with, very well done! 5 stars
12/29/99 Malbert Hillary Swank was very good, it was a disturbing movie 4 stars
11/28/99 Kate Badger very well done film....best this year 5 stars
11/16/99 Bearpaw Very hard, very good film 5 stars
11/15/99 joefire, himself The movie actually wasn't bad -- however it was disturbing and the characters were pathetic 3 stars
11/15/99 Heather Great performance from Hilary Swank, but was annoyed by the white trash characters 5 stars
11/15/99 Ellen Dickson amazing and powerful, the performances were the best I've seen all year.... 5 stars
11/14/99 clara the most brilliant, best-acted, and most emotionally draining film of the year 5 stars
10/29/99 "Wild Bill" Kutzner So remarkably annoying & stupid. Why would anyone like this fucking trash-heap of a movie? 1 stars
10/25/99 Jill Morge 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  08-Oct-1999 (R)
  DVD: 13-Dec-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  02-Mar-2000 (R)




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