Richard Linklater has created something that tops his already impressive resume of film with his newest movie, Boyhood. It’s a never before done way of shooting a movie over a 12 year span. It’s a story through the lives of two children who live with their single mother and deal with the stresses and situations of such an age. Boyhood is seriously unlike anything i have ever seen in my life. It’s impressive to think that these actors signed up for a 12 year shooting schedule that takes them on a transformation much deeper than just character. The children are of course the biggest transformation as watching them grow is literally like watching family video tapes from a young age. It reflects the characterization in a way that makes you question if we are really watching actors playing characters or a legit team that became a family in 12 years of shooting. There is a scene towards the end of the film where the mother (played by Patricia Arquette) cries after her son finally moves out on his own. You feel her tears because this is literally like watching a real life child of hers move out on her. It’s that kind of chemistry that you won’t find in any other film ever. Think about it, what movie ever took twelve years to make while it’s constantly shooting scenes? The pacing is absolutely genius. It is such a coming of age story about growing up and the awkwardness and bittersweet moments that we go through on our journey of adolescence. The awkward scenes are great because usually in a movie you will get an awkward scene for it to go somewhere later in the film, but in Boyhood it’s done just to reflect the lives we once lived in that era. It’s not to set up any kind of storyline, and i really appreciate that. It keeps me on the edge of my seat when the movie is less predictable. The cast is perfectly crafted with Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette being the only big time movie stars in the film. The children (Coltrane Ellar and Lorelai Linklater) don’t ever feel like actors, and maybe that is for the best. It’s really a gamble to know if these kids who become adults are going to be good actors when they get that age because they are cast as an 8 year old. So i appreciated even more that director Linklater took a chance on a film for twelve years because it epically paid off. One of the other unique aspects of the movie is that of the soundtrack. During the year it is in, the movie will play only hit songs from that year. It’s a musical scrapbook of songs from the last decade that will have you trying to pick the song from the tip of your tongue as you listen in the backseat with the children. I can also imagine that it probably cost a lot of money to not only license the songs, but license them from bands who are really among the biggest in the world. Linklater spared no expense on his baby of a film, and it’s clear to see why. It’s also pretty cool to see the gadgets like Nintendo 64 and older model cell phones being used for the respective year they were popular. I am curious to know if it really is product placement when the film they are showing these gadgets off is done many years after they have already been discontinued. I found myself laughing when the kids got to be teenagers and the boy talks about wanting to delete his Facebook page because of ongoing drama. It’s situations like this that makes Linklater a master of studying today’s youth. John Hughes used to get credit as knowing teenagers better than anyone, but i think Richard deserves equal the amount of respect for having to learn about real situations in three different decades for our young stars. The only slight problem i had with the movie was the transitioning scenes where the kids would age a year or two. It happens without warning, and some of the past is never fully explained with relationships or what happened to characters who played an important role five minutes ago. I know it’s not Linklater’s style, but i would’ve preferred to see some small text revealing to us how much time has passed before we see the character with a different look. I think this is done so that he can tell us that sometimes our own children grow before our very eyes. That’s the way i interpreted it anyway. That’s why i didn’t get too mad at the long critique i had for the film. For anyone who has seen Linklater’s earlier work, you know the man is a guru with dialogue dominated films. It doesn’t work better than it does in Boyhood because you already know that these kids will grow up and move on someday. That dialogue shows us the viewer in so many words the subtle nature of these characters. You know that Ethan Hawke is a good, but struggling father to relate to his kids because of the way he stutters to find out anything new in their lives. You know that one of Patricia Arquette’s boyfriends are an abusive alcoholic because of random trips to the liquor store between playing father of the year. It gives you subtle hints at these characters without beating you over the head with it. The running time is just shy of 3 hours long, but it never ever dragged for me. I was well invested in these characters because i felt i grew up with them as a viewer of their growth. I sat through the film in one sitting and it never ever felt like 3 hours to me. I would like to say so much more, but i feel i got into spoiler territory towards the end of this review, and i don’t want to ruin it for anyone. I abso-freaking lutely recommend this film to every single one of my readers. Linklater’s satire is monumental in technical direction, but breathtaking in character transition to the eye. Adjectives won’t ever do this film justice because Boyhood is a cinematic masterpiece 12 years in the making. Thank you Mr Linklater for inspiring me to believe in films in 2014.