- Movie Rating -

Boy Erased (2018)

| October 18, 2018

Joel Edgerton’s Boy Erased is a movie that I kept waiting to leap into greatness.  It is well-made and perfectly slow-going, revealing its intentions and then waiting patiently to move into something heavy and meaningful.  Well, it gets the heavy part right but never quite moves into meaningful.

The boy who is erased is Gerrard Conely (Lucas Hedges), a lonely Arkansas teenager who is basically cast aside by his Bible-thumping parents; his father is a conservative pastor father (Russell Crowe) and his mother weak-kneed mother (Nicole Kidman), one of those kowtowing Southern women who bows to her husband on Biblical mandate (it really hits a bell of familiarity if you’re a southerner).

The prodigal’s son is cast aside because of a raging struggle with his own sexual identity.  He is sent to a conversion therapy camp where his ‘conversion’ is overseen by a man’s man named Victor (played by Edgerton) who somehow believes that conversion therapy is best done with boxing gloves.

This is a very good set-up and, as I said, you keep waiting for it to move into something meaningful.  But it never really gets there.  The drama is more or less predictable.  The characters are exactly what we expect and the ending slides into a note of compassion from Conely’s parents that doesn’t feel earned.  It is slightly less than it should be.  You keep waiting for something deep, something truthful.  Instead, you get a movie that is kind of just preaching to the choir.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(2018) View IMDB Filed in: Drama