This movie has been almost unanimously acclaimed. I liked it and recommend seeing it but it’s good rather than great.
This film is unique, spanning about 15 years while still using the same actors.
Ethan Hawke ( Mason Sr. ) and Patricia Arquette (Olivia) are the divorced parents of Masor Jr. (Ellar Coltrane) and Samantha (Lorelei Linklater). The stress divorce puts on the parents as well as the children is explored in depth in an empathetic, creative and interesting way.
For example, Mason Sr. must sometimes travel hundreds of miles to see his kids since Olivia keeps moving around. Mason Sr. chooses to remain single rather than make a mistake again while Olivia pressures herself to create a new intact family by hastily re-marrying.
There are some excellent scenes but the pace is slow and some scenes drag. The movie is about 2 hours and 45 minutes long and it would have been a much better movie at 2 hours. ( If you watch the DVD I recommend watching it in two nights.)
As with the all the Linklater ( writer/director) movies (e.g.-Before Sunrise, Before Sunset; Before Midnight) the screenplay is first rate. The acting is excellent too.
See this film if you are interested in a leisurely journey through the joys and sorrows of growing up with divorced parents.
Rating-8.0- good movie but not quite in the top 20