It's no surprise that Richard Linklater's movie Boyhood was this week installed as the favorite to win Best Picture at the Oscars next year. Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, the movie is ground-breaking cinema and the critics are absolutely unanimous in their praise.

BoyhoodCo-stars Ellar Coltrane [L] and Lorelei Linklater [R] in 'Boyhood'

Boyhood stars Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as the parents of Mason, a child played by the stellar Ellar Coltrane, who grows up before our eyes. It's a stunning time-capsule of a movie that charts the rocky terrain of childhood through road trips, family dinners, birthdays and graduation.

"Any film that takes twelve years to shoot should be commended for its stamina alone; yet no sense of grind, still less of fatigue, attends this Richard Linklater project" said the New York Times.

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"Few filmmakers ever make a great movie. Fewer still ever make a movie that expands what movies can express. Richard Linklater does both with Boyhood," said Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle.

"As a film that dares to honor small moments and the life they add up to, "Boyhood" isn't just a masterpiece. It's a miracle," said Anna Hornaday of the Washington Post.

Next page: what if Ethan Hawke had been hit by a bus?