Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman Revealed
The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
Click poster to enlarge
More posters to select

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Daniel Radcliffe
Teresa Palmer
Christian Byers
Lee Cormie
James Fraser
Jack Thompson
Kris McQuade
Frank Gallacher.
Directors
Rod Hardy.
Screenwriters
Marc Rosenberg.
Running Time
105 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Guardians Of The Galaxy
4 Star Empire Rating
A Promise
1 Star Empire Rating
A Night At The Cinema In 1914
4 Star Empire Rating
Hide Your Smiling Faces
4 Star Empire Rating
Blackwood
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating

December Boys
Harry Potter heads Down Under


submit to reddit


Plot
Four orphans spend the summer at a small beach cove, where the eldest, Maps (Radcliffe), falls in love with the mysterious Lucy (Palmer) and the younger boys compete for prospective adoptive parents.


Review
December Boys

Ah, that difficult first non-Potter film. Rupert Grint negotiated these tricky waters last year with Driving Lessons, and now Daniel Radcliffe too is venturing outside Hogwarts. Like Grint, he’s chosen a fairly small-scale indie to do so, and like Grint he acquits himself pretty well, even if the film itself is as old-fashioned as pinafores and blue rinses.

This Aussie drama concerns four orphan boys in a Catholic orphanage deep in the Outback. One summer, they’re given the chance to visit an elderly couple on the coast, to get their first taste of the sea and the wider world. What follows is a coming-of-age for Radcliffe’s Maps, and a test of their friendship for his younger companions.

The first question, of course, is how Radcliffe does, shorn of the lightning scar and wand - and the answer is not bad. He manages the Australian accent with barely a quaver, and gives a good impression of a much less secure character than we’re used to seeing from him. But his face is still curiously blank, rather detracting from the effect of spot-on voice-work and body language. Perhaps it’s the role, but he’ll need to do more to prove that he has that movie magic outside Rowling’s world.

The standout performance, in fact, is probably Lee Cormie as Misty, the youngest of the four boys and the most determined to be adopted. While the others frolic around the hills and mess about in boats, Misty focuses on making himself attractive to cute neighbouring couple Fearless and Teresa (Sullivan Stapleton and Victoria Hill) in the hope of securing a family of his own, and impressing the elderly couple who are lodging the boys on the off-chance that they’ll put in a good word. By comparison, Christian Byers and James Fraser barely get a look-in, despite a fishing sub-plot and the best efforts of both young actors, and the adults make no impression at all.

The whole thing feels quaint in tone and subject. The pacing is unhurried and the quartet of boys do things unthinkable by modern teens - sneakily smoking after lights out or running about all day without resorting to any form of gaming console. But in the end, the traditional feel may owe more to the material’s familiarity than the filmmakers’ intent.


Verdict
More Sunday afternoon filler than cinema sensation, it’s a perfectly pleasant drama, but you’ll struggle to remember it the next day.


Reviewed by William Thomas

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for December Boys
Empire Star Rating

Sentimental Drama

December Boys is a sentimental drama that is very moving in all the right places. It's refreshing to see Daniel Radcliffe (aka Harry Potter) in a different role, he brings his character to live very well. The stunning and beautiful scenery of Austraillia is a another highlight of this film. But I was a little angered by a choice near the end, I found it quite a shock for it to happen and wasn't impressed. In all, it's one to check out only via rental. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 15:36, 17 December 2010 | Report This Post


Sentimental Drama

December Boys is a sentimental drama that is very moving in all the right places. It's refreshing to see Daniel Radcliffe (aka Harry Potter) in a different role, he brings his character to live very well. The stunning and beautiful scenery of Austraillia is a another highlight of this film. But I was a little angered by a choice near the end, I found it quite a shock for it to happen and wasn't impressed. In all, it's one to check out only via rental. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 15:36, 17 December 2010 | Report This Post


SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The 10 Biggest Stories Of Comic-Con 2014
The shocks to emerge from this year's geek-fest. Avengers! Max! Mann!

Models Inc.: The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
How the likes of Batman, Superman and Luke Skywalker become collectible figures

Classic Feature: Jack Nicholson - Gods Among Us
Charisma, consistency and cunning summed up in a single word: Jack.

The Empire Podcast #121: Brett Ratner Talks Hercules On This Week's Show
Plus The Purge: Anarchy producer Jason Blum pops in to talk horror

Frank Grillo's Ten Toughest Hollywood Tough Guys
The Purge: Anarchy star picks his favourite badasses

'I Have The Club But I Didn't Get The Lion's Head'
Dwayne Johnson (and pals) talks Hercules props, action and ancient superheroes

Classic Feature: The Making Of The Silence Of The Lambs
Is this the most frightening movie ever made?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)