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      This Boy's Life

      R 1993 1 hr. 55 min. Drama LGBTQ+ List
      76% 37 Reviews Tomatometer 80% 10,000+ Ratings Audience Score In the 1950s, Toby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his mom, Caroline (Ellen Barkin), move to the state of Washington. There they meet mild-mannered Dwight (Robert De Niro), who falls in love with Caroline. They're married, and, after some initial happiness in the household, it becomes apparent that Dwight believes violence is the best way to discipline his troubled stepson. Unfortunately, Caroline is unwilling to give up on her marriage. As Dwight's abuse intensifies, Toby plans an escape. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered Feb 20 Buy Now

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      This Boy's Life

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      Critics Consensus

      A harrowing, moving drama about a young boy, his single mother, and his abusive stepfather, This Boy's Life benefits from its terrific cast, and features a breakout performance from a young Leonardo DiCaprio.

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      Audience Reviews

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      Dean C I'm glad I discovered this hidden gem with 2 of my favourite actors, a young Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 06/25/23 Full Review Audience Member I remember watching this 5 Ravi and rather enjoying it seeing a young Leonardo DiCaprio make way for himself A boys life can be whatever he wants it to be despite all the challenges involved Director Michael Caton-Jones adapts the true story of Tobias Wolff played by Leo himself co-starring with Ellen Barkin, Chris Cooper, Carla Gugino and Robert DiNiro Even a young Eliza Dushku and Tobey Maguire make their first appearances here It's 1957 and Toby and his mother Caroline move to Washington Caroline then meets a mechanic Dwight and falls in love But soon after Dwight becomes more demanding and creates a firm grip on both of them Toby wants to go to college in Pennsylvania on a full scholarship to make something of himself but Dwight is trying to diminish his dreams forcing him to stay stuck Caroline is also reluctant to separate from him This is a very good memoir about a young boy learning to grow up, adjust, asserting his independence, and being brave DeNiro perfectly plays an abusive alcoholic monster hitting both this mother and her son by any physical or emotional means He has his own insecurities a ii his manhood The last scene is very much the most intense cause it gets so dyer The film succeeds thanks to its unique cast and breakout performance by DiCaprio, he had the right amount of angst and emotion acting as a reservoir of conflict and feelings of displacement All he wants is to belong somewhere It's the epitome of being a teenager acting like everyone else just to fit in even if it means hurting others Who's the real insecure child here and who's the adult doing what's right? You gotta reach for the flames and take it otherwise you lose it forever Could've been shortened to an hour and a half and the abusive scenes are hard to watch But Jones makes a very atmospheric drama thats very-well acted showing it's never easy to grow up past childhood trauma but it's possible Rated 4 out of 5 stars 04/23/23 Full Review Jelisije J A good coming of age story of a young man dealing with an abusive stepfather and going through the trials of being a teenager. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/07/23 Full Review Audience Member “Shut your pie hole” Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 07/29/21 Full Review Audience Member Stunning performances by De Niro and, especially, DiCaprio fill the story with the highest possible tension and vitality. The story is tough and hard to watch from time to time, but nevertheless keeps you attached and invested. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/05/23 Full Review Audience Member I hadn't approached this knowing it was a Biographical Drama... Wow. What a story. The psychological abuse, the development of negative coping strategies as the years roll on, as well as the various relationships that mean something to Tobias, are all so well portrayed by everyone involved Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/25/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Critics Reviews

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      David Ansen Newsweek The beauty of This Boy's Life is in the details: this meticulously observed story gets the look of the late '50s down pat and, more important, captures the dissonance between the era's ideals of nuclear-family life and painfully deracinated reality. Jan 29, 2019 Full Review Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly Rated: C Sep 7, 2011 Full Review Richard Corliss TIME Magazine Something more subtle is going on in Wolff's book, a confrontation with a richer, quirkier past and his emerging self that the movie too often brushes aside. Feb 8, 2010 Full Review Nick Rogers Midwest Film Journal The film demands ominous electricity between Dwight and Toby, the latter of whom endures various and sundry humiliation and harm at the former's hands. And there are times when DiCaprio doesn't just go toe-to-toe with De Niro but feels just as tall. Rated: 4.5/5 May 5, 2013 Full Review TV Guide This is powerful and moving stuff. Rated: 3.5/4 Feb 8, 2010 Full Review Film4 Staff Film4 De Niro and Birkin are reliable in this atmospheric drama, but it's DiCaprio who really shines. Feb 8, 2010 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis In the 1950s, Toby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his mom, Caroline (Ellen Barkin), move to the state of Washington. There they meet mild-mannered Dwight (Robert De Niro), who falls in love with Caroline. They're married, and, after some initial happiness in the household, it becomes apparent that Dwight believes violence is the best way to discipline his troubled stepson. Unfortunately, Caroline is unwilling to give up on her marriage. As Dwight's abuse intensifies, Toby plans an escape.
      Director
      Michael Caton-Jones
      Executive Producer
      Peter Guber, Jon Peters
      Screenwriter
      Robert Getchell
      Production Co
      Warner Bros.
      Rating
      R
      Genre
      Drama, LGBTQ+
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Apr 19, 2016
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $3.7M
      Sound Mix
      Surround
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