Ty Burr
November 22, 1996 AT 05:00 AM EST

Boys

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
86 minutes
performer
Winona Ryder, James LeGros, John C. Reilly, Skeet Ulrich
director
Stacy Cochran
genre
Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a C

Any movie in which the main character says, ”I feel like I woke up with the dial on the wrong channel” is just asking for trouble, n’est-ce pas? And it’s hard to get through this pandering preppie wet dream of Boys — in which a private-school rebel (Haas) finds a soul mate in a troubled ”older woman” (Ryder) — without a giggle or two. But if director Stacy Cochran’s script contains plenty of clinkers, Boys at least nails the hermetic snottiness of teen life in a dorm. The cast, too, rises above the material: Ryder gives her loose lady a charismatic glow and Haas — once the saucer-eyed tyke of 1985’s Witness, now an avidly alert teenager — almost makes you forget that his character is little more than a faded Holden Caulfield Xerox. C

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