Honey Boy movie review - Aussieboyreviews


Honey Boy is a powerful, painful and well-acted drama based on Shia LaBeouf’s childhood life. The film rawly focuses on abuse, relationships and trauma.


A young actor in rehabilitation struggles to reconcile with his father as he remembers traumatic memories from his childhood and early adolescence.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Alma Har’el
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Noah Jupe, Lucas Hedges, FKA twigs, Byron Bowers, Clifton Collins Jr.
Writer: Shia LaBeouf
Release Date (Australia): 27 February 2020
Runtime: 94 minutes/1h 34m
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Language: English

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (M)

Thematic material includes child abuse, alcoholism, family disputes, substance abuse and trauma.

Violence (M)

The film contains depictions of a man hitting his son.

Coarse Language (MA15+)

The film contains frequent use of the words “f**k”, “f**king” and “s**t” throughout.

Drug Use (M)

The film contains depictions of drug use, including a man sharing a marijuana joint with his son and a man heating up and smoking crack. The film also features verbal references to drugs and drug abuse.

Nudity (PG)

The film contains brief female buttocks and partial breasts nudity.

Sex (M)

The word “f**k” is used in a sexual context.

mpaa rating

R (for pervasive language, some sexual material and drug use)

Aussie boy's thoughts

In Honey Boy, Shia LaBeouf paints every character as human, removing anger and hatred, and making for a sentimental character study based on his childhood life. This fabricates a coercive autobiography that’s very painful watching and feels extremely real, although it’s not specifically directed by LaBeouf, he just wrote the screenplay based on his early life with fictionalised elements. Instead, the film is directed very welly by Alma Har’el and it actually hurts to watch because it can get very personal and heavy at times.

Obviously, the characters who are placed in the events of his autobiography is a young actor named Otis and his father named James for the film. With the story being based on his childhood, Shia LaBeouf clearly knows how he plans and wants to portray his father, but Lucas Hedges and Noah Jupe are the perfect actors to play the younger and older versions of Otis. 

The big surprise about Honey Boy really comes from the sentimental ending, and just the fact that Shia depicts the abuse inflicted by his father, but he’s not necessarily the main character. In fact, Shia LaBeouf’s character in the film is just as much of a lead as the young character played by two talented actors. It also illustrates James as a living human being with emotions, and not just a simple abusive monster that other movies, may have put it.

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