“This beautiful, mysterious movie is a time-lapse study of Mason, growing up from around the age of five to 18, from primary school to his first day in college. It is an intimate epic: over 12 years, Linklater worked with the young actor Ellar Coltrane, shooting scenes every year with him and other cast members, who grow visibly and heart-stoppingly older around him. The director’s daughter, Lorelei Linklater, plays Mason’s older sister, Samantha; Patricia Arquette is superb as their divorced single mom, hard-working and aspirational, but worryingly condemned to hook up with drunks and give the kids abusive stepdads. Ethan Hawke – his lean, chiselled face softening as the years go by – plays the kids’ feckless and unreliable but charming father, who shows up every few weeks in his cool car. And Mason’s own face changes from its young, moony openness to a closed, grown-up handsomeness. It is the face he will learn to present to the world.” (The Guardian).