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The New Boy

2023 1h 56m History Drama List
73% Tomatometer 44 Reviews 44% Audience Score Fewer than 50 Ratings In the 1940s, during the dead of night, a nine-year-old Aboriginal orphan arrives at a remote monastery run by a renegade nun. Read More Read Less
The New Boy

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Critics Consensus

The New Boy bites off more than it can comfortably chew, but this heady exploration of faith and cultural tensions has an ethereal allure.

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Critics Reviews

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Mark Kermode Kermode and Mayo's Take (YouTube) It's not the film you think it's going to be. It's far more transcendent than that. Mar 19, 2024 Full Review Wendy Ide Observer (UK) The pacing is languid to a fault and it all gets rather bogged down in allegory. Rated: 3/5 Mar 17, 2024 Full Review John Nugent Empire Magazine A gentle, odd little Australian fable. Warwick Thornton’s film has a lot of thoughts to process, and while they don’t always cohere, the performances from Blanchett and Reid keep it interesting. Rated: 3/5 Mar 14, 2024 Full Review Jericho Tadeo MovieWeb Many movies with religious themes often turn inwards...The New Boy instead takes it outward, offering a subtle, though no less powerful, battle of wills between Sister Eileen's Christianity and the New Boy's Indigenous beliefs. Jul 12, 2024 Full Review Nico Swenson The Stranger (Seattle, WA) The New Boy is an important and impactful conversation starter that is not one to miss. May 10, 2024 Full Review Adam Sweeting The Arts Desk ... Viewers may find themselves having to ponder long and hard to figure out The New Boy’s layers of meaning. Rated: 3/5 Mar 19, 2024 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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S W For those that don’t give 5 stars just didn’t get it. Powerful movie - absolutely heartbreaking ending. An indictment on past & continuing government policies on Aboriginal peoples. Master piece by Warwick Thornton. Flawless acting & cinematography. Tears flow as you know what the New Boy (and every subsequent generation) will lose. If only every decision maker understood this film, we’d be a better nation. Au esoau Warick! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 05/27/24 Full Review Nico B The New Boy’s plot and overall execution leaves a lot to be desired, but its phenomenal acting and unique premise make it a fascinating and captivating viewing! Rated 3 out of 5 stars 06/08/24 Full Review Georgina E I LOVED this movie. Exquisite in every way. The animated Christ statue seen through the eyes of the new boy, seen through the eyes of an ancient culture unconstrained by dogma is, becomes a lifeless effigy when he submits. His magic gone. Heartbreaking testimony to the dislocation spiritually and geographically of the desert boy such a long way from home. A masterpiece. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/20/24 Full Review Wayne M The New Boy is an enigmatic and at times puzzling film. It's impressive in parts but often lacks momentum. Warwick Thornton is a great Australian film maker and his first two films are genuine classics. His new one though whilst worthy I don't believe lives up to those first two. Set in the 1940s whilst WW2 rages on we find a young Indigenous boy being chased and caught by police. He is taken to a nearby orphanage run by two nuns in the South Australian outback. He doesn't speak and can't be identified but is roughly adopted into his new surroundings. The other orphans find him puzzling as the 'new boy' struggles to fit in. He is though intrigued by the religious imagery around him and he seems to have his own magical powers. I guess deep down this film is about the clash between strict Catholic doctrines and the more mystical elements of the Indigenous population. It moves slowly and not a lot happens but it looks wonderful and the score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis ads much weight. Cate Blanchett is expectedly great as Sister Eileen but the real scene stealer is newcomer Aswan Reid as the wayward boy. This is certainly a film worth seeking out but I felt it doesn't quite fulfill the hope I had that it would be great. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/19/24 Full Review Read all reviews
The New Boy

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis In the 1940s, during the dead of night, a nine-year-old Aboriginal orphan arrives at a remote monastery run by a renegade nun.
Warwick Thornton
Cate Blanchett, Georgie Pym, Kath Shelper, Andrew Upton
Warwick Thornton, Warwick Thornton
Production Co
First National Pictures, Dirty Films
History, Drama
Original Language
1h 56m