There is something people should know before watching this movie, and that is that it takes place from 2002 to 2014. I grew up in that same generation, so as I watched this movie I felt like I was growing up all over again seeing the references to pop culture, society, politics, middle school, high school, and technology. It was incredible to experience that. And even for those who weren't children growing up in those 12 years will still feel a sense of going back in time. There was not one moment that I thought wasn't needed. In fact, I and the rest of the audience wished there had been more going on.
The plot is very simple: what does it mean to grow up, become an adult, and live? And as the years go by, it becomes apparent that Mason (the main character) is struggling to find his place in life. Though there are a few struggles he encounters and some thematic material, overall the movie is hilarious and real. From Richard Linklater's previous films, I've noticed that the dialogue all feels real (to a point where I feel like I'm interacting with the characters). And it is so well done in this film.
Speaking of Linklater, I see an Oscar nomination for directing coming his way. As he sat down for Q&A on Boyhood, one of the things he said that struck the audience was that he thought it was funny that people who saw "Boyhood" told him he improved as a director. This was funny to him because one of the first rules he made before filming in 2002 was that he could not change as a director for the sake of the movie to have no continuity errors (especially so the tone didn't change). The only improvement going on is the superb acting from Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, and (of course) Ellar Coltrane.
With probably the best ending I've ever seen for a movie and a story guided by a talented director, "Boyhood" is the most powerful and unique coming-of-age film ever made and it will be proclaimed as a classic for the years to come.