Boys Don't Cry movie review - Aussieboyreviews


This movie centring on a transgender young man is very thematic, violent, but well-made. Boys Don’t Cry stars Hilary Swank as Brandon Teena, and the film looks at the events before his death.


A transgender young man named Brandon Teena falls in love with a young woman named Lana Tisdel, but he isn’t clear about his biological gender and things go awry when her former-convict friends uncover his secret.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Kimberly Peirce
Cast: Hilary Swank, Chloë Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard, Brendan Sexton III, Alicia Goranson, Alison Folland, Jeannetta Arnette
Writer: Kimberly Peirce, Andy Bienen
Release Date (Australia): 2 March 2000
Runtime: 118 minutes/1h 58m
Genre: Biography, Drama, Romance
Country: USA
Language: English

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (R18+)

The film contains themes of transphobia and homophobia, as well as disturbing scenes including graphic depictions of murder and sexual assault.

Violence (R18+)

The film contains a scene in which a transgender man is raped by two men, as well as bloody depictions of shooting and beating violence.

Coarse Language (MA15+)

The word “f**k” is used frequently and aggressively throughout the film.

Drug Use (M)

The film includes brief depictions of marijuana smoking.

Nudity (MA15+)

The film features breasts nudity and a depiction of a transgender man’s genitals.

Sex (MA15+)

The film features scenes of sexual activity, oral sex and sexual violence.

mpaa rating

R (for violence including an intense brutal rape scene, sexuality, language and drug use)

Aussie boy's thoughts

This biographical transsexual drama is brutally and painfully honest about the horrific circumstances before the death of Brandon Teena. Although it might not immediately begin with a promising kick-off, Kimberly Peirce’s film never even tries to dodge the saddening and even chilling portrayals of homophobia, sexual assault and disturbing cruelty.

The casting choices for each of the dominant characters in Boys Don’t Cry is absolutely impeccable. Able to illustrate so many emotions to the point where it feels like they’re shooting the actual Brandon Teena during these happenings, Hilary Swank truly deserves the Oscar she earned for her remarkable performance in this movie. But Chloë Sevigny, Lecy Goranson, Peter Sarsgaard and Brendan Sexton III who surround Swank are also perfect when they have their turns on the camera.

If you know about the complete backstory and the situations surrounding Brandon Teena, you’ll be able to estimate where the next chapters to the story are approaching. But that doesn’t stop it from being an extremely painful watch. There’s graphic rape scenes that make it inappropriate for kids, but the powerful themes of sexual identity, intense moments and the violently devastating peak make it worth watching.

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