'Beautiful Boy' -- 2 1/2 stars

<b>R; 1:41 running time</b><br><br> Ku's debut feature provides a fierce acting opportunity for co-stars Maria Bello, the least affected first-rate actress on the planet, and Michael Sheen, equally strong, best known as a light-comic technician, and as David Frost in "Frost/Nixon." They portray middle-class suburban LA parents lurching uncertainly toward divorce, whose college freshman son (Kyle Gallner, seen and heard only in fragments) turns his inchoate despair on his fellow students and then himself, in a massacre inspired by the 2007 Virginia Tech killings. This happens early. Ku and writing partner Michael Armbruster were right to focus on the aftermath, not cheap suspense tactics or easy answers to the question: What fed this tragedy? Parsing the film's visual strategy, we do get plenty of hints, some of them a little dubious. -- Michael Phillips<br><br>Read the <a href=http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/movies/sc-mov-0607-beautiful-boy-20110609,0,7911471.column>full review</a>

R; 1:41 running time

Ku's debut feature provides a fierce acting opportunity for co-stars Maria Bello, the least affected first-rate actress on the planet, and Michael Sheen, equally strong, best known as a light-comic technician, and as David Frost in "Frost/Nixon." They portray middle-class suburban LA parents lurching uncertainly toward divorce, whose college freshman son (Kyle Gallner, seen and heard only in fragments) turns his inchoate despair on his fellow students and then himself, in a massacre inspired by the 2007 Virginia Tech killings. This happens early. Ku and writing partner Michael Armbruster were right to focus on the aftermath, not cheap suspense tactics or easy answers to the question: What fed this tragedy? Parsing the film's visual strategy, we do get plenty of hints, some of them a little dubious. -- Michael Phillips

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