Boys State

Watch Boys State

"Democracy isn’t a spectator sport."
  • PG-13
  • 2020
  • 1 hr 49 min
  • 7.6  (5,502)
  • 84

Boys State is a 2020 documentary film that follows a group of teenage boys from Texas as they participate in a mock political competition known as Boys State. Directed by Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss, the film is a deeply insightful look into the mindset and motivations of young men aspiring to become leaders of their communities. The film begins by introducing us to various participants of Boys State, a week-long event where teenagers are divided into two parties and tasked with forming their own government. We follow key figures such as Ben Feinstein, a conservative who wants to become governor, and Steven Garza, a progressive who sees the program as an opportunity to make a difference.

As the program starts, tension builds between the two parties as they try to establish their platforms and win the election. We see the young men engage in heated debates over issues such as gun control and abortion, highlighting the intense polarization that exists in American politics today.

What is particularly striking about Boys State is the level of political savvy on display. These teenagers are incredibly well-versed in political strategy, tactics, and messaging, and their proficiency at navigating the world of politics is a testament to their intelligence and adaptability. We see them employing tactics like canvassing, crafting slogans, and even dirty tricks to gain an advantage over their opponents.

As the election approaches, we see the boys grappling with issues of morality and ethics, and struggling to reconcile their ambitions with their sense of integrity. There are moments where they show genuine compassion and empathy towards their opponents, and moments where they stoop to low blows in order to achieve victory.

Throughout the film, we also get glimpses into the personal lives of some of the participants. For example, Ben Feinstein is shown to be deeply affected by the Sandy Hook shooting and is an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment, while Steven Garza's family is undocumented and his experiences have shaped his progressive beliefs.

Overall, Boys State is an engrossing and thought-provoking look into the minds of young people and the way they engage with politics. The film highlights the contradictions and complexities of American democracy, and the implications of such a system on the aspirations of its youth. It raises important questions about the role of education in shaping young minds, and how institutions like Boys State can either reinforce or challenge existing power structures.

Boys State is a 2020 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 49 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6 and a MetaScore of 84.

Boys State
Where to Watch Boys State
Boys State is available to watch, stream, download and on demand at Apple TV+. Some platforms allow you to rent Boys State for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 49 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (5,502)
  • Metascore