The LFF's Michael Hayden said:
The debut feature from Tom Harper, director of a number of acclaimed shorts, and written by playwright and Skins contributor Jack Thorne, The Scouting Book for Boys is an expertly constructed drama with deftly handled shifts in tone, depicting the anxieties, awkwardness and fears of being a teenager, without denying the occasional delights of being young or the possibility of fun and adventure during a hazy British summer.
The original Baden-Powell The Scouting Book for Boys extols the jolly campfire virtues of running, jumping, hidden dens, stalking, detection and concealment. Tom Harper’s directorial debut of the same name takes all of the above and subverts them with a series of shocking jolts in this grim tale of unarticulated and unrequited love.
Here, a humdrum, bittersweet coming-of-ager is twisted out of all recognition as the narrative takes a sudden turn into darker new territory. And while the getting there takes some effort on the part of the viewer, this is, nevertheless, a promising first feature.
Harper's director's diary can be found here. Below is his celebrated short Cubs.