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118 min.
Kimberly Peirce
Crime, Drama, Romance, Biography
Rating *
Votes *
5.6% (1:18)
* View IMDb information

Top comments

  1. ChrisReynolds's avatar


    Hilary Swank and Chloe Sevigny give amazing performances and hold the movie together. The film suffers possibly because it's being helmed by a first-time director, so the direction feels very flat and uninspired. However, when the last half-hour arrives, it's heartbreaking. 7 years 6 months ago
  2. sureup's avatar


    Powerful story but the movie itself was pretty boring... 9 years 2 months ago
  3. CinemaDump's avatar



    Brandon Teena (Hilary Swank) is a transgender youth who's original name is Teena Ray Brandon. He lives with his cousin Lonny (Matt McGrath) in a trailer and tries to make his way in the world. He runs into legal problems however and also has to deal with a lot of intolerance regarding his gender and sexuality. Brandon happens to make friends with John Lotter (Peter Sarsgaard) and Tom Nissen (Brendan Sexton III) who take him back to their trailer park in Falls City. Moving there full time, this is an escape for Brandon and he couldn't be happier.


    The first and extremely obvious thing to say about Boys Don't Cry is just how good the acting is. Hilary Swank won on Oscar for Best Actress and it's no surprise why. Her portrayal of Brandon Teena is completely convincing. You feel Brandon's happiness and his pain flawlessly through Hilary Swank. Chloë Sevigny as Brandon's lover is also really great and she was nominated for an Oscar as well in the Best Supporting Actress category. She didn't win but she's unbelievable to watch too.

    I also want to give a big shout out to Peter Sarsgaard. I already know what he's capable of but he gives another great performance in what is one of his earlier roles. His character is an ex-con and he's quick to fly off the handle in absolute rage. He's charismatic and seems like a pretty likeable guy but I was pretty much terrified of his character the whole time.

    The script of Boys Don't Cry really does a good job at developing its main characters. We learn all about Brandon Teena but I really like the direction that they go in to explore his character. It's not all about trying to get his sex change, it boils down to his freedom. It'd be an easy way out to just exploit the sex change angle but that's not what Kimberly Peirce and Andy Bienen do. Brandon is a rich character and everyone around him is also full of depth.

    Although it was filmed on a $2 million budget, it doesn't look or feel it. The trailer park scene is expertly captured and I can certainly see why Brandon dreams of leaving and going to Memphis. It's nighttime for the most part with lots of driving on lonely high ways that is all very nicely filmed. Apparently, Kimberly Peirce drew from a lot of past movies like The Wizard of Oz, Raging Bull and Bonnie and Clyde. All put together and you can see that it's an inspired piece of film making.

    Boys Don't Cry is not the kind of movie you relax with a beer and watch with your extended family. It's graphic, haunting but strangely enough it's hopeful in a way. spoiler I know that the real Lana Tisdel who is played by Chloë Sevigny doesn't like this film at all for its inaccuracy, but that doesn't mean that Boys Don't Cry isn't an amazing film. Because it is and I won't be forgetting it soon.


    6 years ago
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In 8 official lists

  1. This movie ranks #11 in BFI's 100 American Independent Films
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  2. This movie ranks #36 in BFI Flare's The Best LGBTQ+ Films of All Time
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  3. This movie ranks #41 in BBC's The 100 Greatest Films Directed by Women
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  4. This movie ranks #111 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
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  5. This movie ranks #126 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
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  6. This movie ranks #524 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films: 1001-2000
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  7. This movie ranks #782 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown
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  8. This movie ranks #811 in Library of Congress's National Film Registry
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