Bernie, his "Before" trilogy and now Boyhood, it seems clear to me that Mr. Linklater, shown at left, is among and perhaps at the top of the small heap of great American filmmakers currently working. What he has done in his latest is to film the same group of actors, who make up a supposed "family," over the period of a dozen years, in which the young son of the group ages from something like six years old to 18. (Maybe it's 7 to 19, but you get the point.) We watch and marvel as this adorable kid named Mason (Ellar Coltrane, on poster, top) grows and ages, his features -- as well as his thought processes -- deepen and mature with experience until he becomes the young man, below, who is about to spread his wings and try. We've seen kids age in plenty of movies previously. But never like this. It's the same kid, at every age and in every moment, and the verisimilitude pulls you into his character in ways not experienced in film until now.
IFC Films, opens this Friday,. July 11, in New York City (IFC Center, Lincoln Plaza Cinema), Brooklyn (BAM Rose Cinema) and Los Angeles (Arclight, Hollywood, and The Landmark). In the weeks to come it'll be expanding to theaters throughout the entire country. Click here to see currently scheduled playdates, cities and theaters