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Top reviews from the United States
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Reviewed in the United States on November 10, 2018
Saw this in theaters and it was such a touching story that most people have never even thought about. I cried because I am all to familiar with a lot of the situations in this film and they were portrayed perfectly. This movie should open some eye to the subject of conversion therapy and what the really means. Trying to fix something that’s not broken.
Reviewed in the United States on November 19, 2018
I'm reading Gerrard Conley's memoir and saw this movie a couple of nights ago. It's so good. The subject matter is difficult as the movie unmasks the cruelty involved in conversion therapy. It's hard to accept these type places still exist, but they do and states need to put an end to this horrifically abusive practice by making it illegal. Parents misguided by religious leaders and a literal interpretation of the Bible out of context should not be able to psychologically damage their child(ren) due to their state of being/sexual orientation. It's abuse and leads to depression and possibly suicide. I'm thankful this young man's mother had a change of heart or this story could have ended very badly.
Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, and Russell Crowe all give great performances. I also learned of Troye Sivan through his well played role in this movie and have been listening to his music -- just beautiful!
Reviewed in the United States on November 19, 2018
This was an excellent movie depicting the very real harm that gay conversation therapy has on LGBT people. It also shows how badly this practice reflects on the Christian community as a whole, even though many (most) Christians do not support this kind of therapy. Hopefully this movie will open a lot of eyes to the practice and save lives in the process. I just wish it had a wider theatrical release.
Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2019
I gave this movie a one star to capture the attention of the viewer who possibly might be considering renting this.
Let me start off by saying that I am someone who went through a similiar kind of conversion therapy when I was a teenager. However, it was not because of homosexuality but because I started getting into drugs at the age of 15 when I was in high school and my mother thought this kind of place would help me. I am here to tell you that this kind of conversion therapy is the same kind of crap that happens in different kinds of things such as a drug regab, etc...and it does not change anyone. Its abuse!! I wasnt a homosexual. I was a young, 15 yr old girl who wanted to be loved and I was looking for love in all the wrong places. The drugs were the symptom of my loliness and pain. For me, this movie wasnt about homesexuality, but “fake it until you make it”. I too, along with many others, had to do the same talk or none of us would get out. At least his Mom picked him up when he cried out. My mom didnt. The only thing it taught me was not to go back to doing drugs because I didnt want to go back there and I knew my mother would send me back if I did, so this movie was a trigger for my anger in many ways.
Its now been 35 years, and Ive not gone back to drugs since, but it wasnt because of conversion therapy. God changed me on his own. I changed because I didnt want my sin to seperate me from God and I did not want to spend an eternity without Him.
I cant still remember this place as if it were yesterday. Take my advise. Love the sinner even though you may hate the sin. Let go, love and let God. Im living proof. Lastly, we all for short of the Glory of God. Rom. 3:23
When those with money, influence and talent want to make a statement, one can expect them to make it effectively. “Boy Erased” is a good example of this. It has been carefully crafted to be highly convincing, on both emotional and intellectual levels.
The makers of this film have something they’re opposed to -- namely “gay conversion therapy” -- and they’ve set out to get as many other people to oppose it as they can. They’ve done this by presenting it in the worst light possible. The problem is, they’ve only been able to do this by lying about it, blatantly and shamelessly. Of course, it would be harder for them to get away with this if they weren’t building on misinformation and misconceptions that are already widespread.
You’re supposed to be horrified by the information, given in the end credits, that “this practice is still legal in 30 states.” But what actually happens in those 30 states bears NO resemblance to what’s portrayed in this film. And what actually happens has no reason to be banned, or even discouraged, in ANY state.
The film’s plot may have some basis in a real person’s actual experience (certainly many religious parents react inappropriately to a child's homosexuality), but to say it doesn’t represent “conversion therapy” in general would be a gross understatement. Actual therapists and actual Christians would be the first to oppose what's portrayed in the movie, for they would understand its harmfulness as well as anyone.
As with all other opposition to “conversion therapy,” it’s assumed in this film that it’s ALWAYS done against the subjects’ will. The reality is that therapists would not try to treat anyone against their will; besides being unethical, it would be counterproductive. (Ever heard the phrase “they have to WANT to change?” That applies here too.) We’re told at the end of the film that “thousands are HELD in programs like this.” Held?? Wrong. The reality is that thousands are seeking treatment at their own initiative.
As with all other opposition to “conversion therapy,” it’s assumed in this film that it involves bullying, torture, shaming, abuse, and so on. The reality: actual therapy is just… therapy. It involves helpfully and compassionately dealing with the issue by getting to its roots in a given individual. (And, to whatever extent any inborn tendency ever comes into play, there are ALWAYS roots -- in a given person’s environment, circumstances and experiences.)
Typically, for something coming from Hollywood (and popular media in general), this film is massively dishonest about homosexuality in general, portraying it in a rosy light that has little to do with what a given young man is actually likely to encounter upon being drawn into the “gay” life. (Statistics involving AIDS, even among those in “committed relationships,” should alone be enough to lead a society to encourage men to get out of such a life.) And, typically, it’s massively dishonest about Christians in general, portraying them as dangerous wackos who are rankly hypocritical to boot. (If you think such portrayals are reasonable, you’re just demonstrating their effectiveness.)
And, of course, it’s assumed in this film (as in much of society) that same-sex attraction is inborn and fixed. The reality is that recovery from same-sex attraction has a success rate favorably comparable to, say, that of recovery from alcoholism. I can personally attest to what I’ve seen in the lives of men who have succeeded. (Sure, some have not succeeded, but that’s true of anything so challenging.) I can also attest to what I’ve seen in the lives of those who stayed in the “gay” life: deep inner conflict, deep denial, anger at God, never finding peace, and (for some) disease and early death. And that, ultimately, is what the makers of this film are promoting.
A realistic film about the subject at hand would give the exact opposite impression from this film. It would generate anger against those who encourage homosexuality, not those who discourage it.
4.0 out of 5 starsHeartbreaking but very Important
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 14, 2019
This film provides a sharp learning experience. It is HORRIFIC to know this still happens to people in today’s society, and the most shocking part was the ending!! The film was balanced in its approach, it doesn’t bash religion or Christianity - it actually does quite the opposite. The acting was good but the pace of the film was quite slow, it could’ve made certain points quicker, but I understand a build up is necessary. Overall I enjoyed the film for all its intensity. I have more empathy for the LGBT Community, the sacrifices that have to be made to live authentically , must come with a great price.