Boy Erased ★★★½

This is more or less precisely what you’d expect from a 2018 problem picture about gay conversion therapy—well-intentioned and worthy, sensitive about people’s motivations, respectful of their experiences, and almost totally unsurprising. It’s propelled forward by a phenomenal lead performance by Lucas Hedges, who’s saddled with the unenviable task of making passivity interesting on screen, and who manages to lend that passivity meaning and depth—to root it in a rich personal history and to convey the roiling ocean of feeling that it’s tamping down. I’m also enjoying seeing Joel Edgerton further develop the sharp, clinical style he unveiled in THE GIFT: with only a couple exceptions, the film is level-headed and cool, with immaculate montage standing in for big sentimental outbursts, and with a clean, high-contrast look that feels like it could be the hallmark of a major director who got started in the digital age and doesn’t feel like aping 35mm.