Boy A | Chicago Reader

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Adapted from a novel by Jonathan Trigell, this wrenching drama fictionalizes the notorious 1993 murder of toddler James Bulger by a couple of ten-year-old truants in Merseyside, England, and the public outcry over the killers' release in 2001. A rehabilitated murderer (Andrew Garfield), trembling with hope, is given a new identity and quietly paroled, but his heartfelt desire to start over is immediately threatened by the British tabloids, whose screaming headlines demand to know where the monster is hiding. The movie is taut with suspense but culminates in wise resignation as the hero comes to understand he's running from a part of himself. John Crowley (Intermission) directed, and Peter Mullan is typically fine as the boy's concerned and protective parole officer. R, 100 min.

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