Metacritic score: 59
As Good Boys’ marketing cheekily teased, 12-year-olds won’t actually be able to see this film about three 12-year-old boys, on account of its R rating (for, basically, raunch and language). It’s a movie geared more toward parents, or at least for those of us who haven’t quite forgotten what it was like to be 12, to think we understood everything about the world and yet constantly stumbled into situations we only really understand in hindsight. The main characters of Good Boys, a trio of sixth-graders (Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, and Brady Noon) who’ve been friends since kindergarten, are still developing their frontal lobes, and it shows.
But they are good boys. The title isn’t ironic. They’ve been raised to do the right thing, and that’s what they want to do, even if they often can’t figure out how. Good Boys follows them through a day that tests both that sense of resolve and their friendship, and it’s a wise enough movie to not veer away from the confusing, exhilarating, ever-changing danger zone of being a tween.