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The Beach (2000)

The Beach


Average Rating: 4.4/10
Reviews Counted: 116
Fresh: 22
Rotten: 94

Critics Consensus: Critics say The Beach is unfocused and muddled, a shallow adaptation of the novel it is based on. Points go to the gorgeous cinematography, though.

Average Rating: 3.9/10
Reviews Counted: 32
Fresh: 4
Rotten: 28

Critics Consensus: Critics say The Beach is unfocused and muddled, a shallow adaptation of the novel it is based on. Points go to the gorgeous cinematography, though.


Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 216,010


Movie Info

For his first major project after the overwhelming success of Titanic, Leonardo Di Caprio took a risky path in this adaptation of Alex Garland's acclaimed novel, directed by Danny Boyle. Richard (Di Caprio) is an American backpacking through Asia with a handful of friends from Europe. While in Bangkok, he meets a mad Scotsman who calls himself Daffy Duck (Robert Carlyle). Shortly before Mr. Duck kills himself, he gives Richard a crude map to a place in Thailand that he claims is paradise on … More

R (for violence, some strong sexuality, language and drug content)
Drama , Action & Adventure , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
John Hodge
In Theaters:
Jan 9, 2001
20th Century Fox - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for The Beach

All Critics (132) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (94) | DVD (26)

A narrative that tries to juggle thriller elements, tons of pop culture imagery, and way too much philosophical baggage.

Full Review… | April 6, 2010
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Ultimately, it seems more bland than bad.

Full Review… | March 22, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

The Beach, designed to provoke audiences, stops for too many Hollywood moments to get the job done.

May 11, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Its narrative waters become rather muddy in the late going, and its currents finally don't run very deep.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

All the beauty in the world can't camouflage the movie's gorgeous emptiness.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

A seriously confused film that makes three or four passes at being a better one and doesn't complete any of them.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
At the Movies
Top Critic

A mad assemblage of earlier, better bungle-in-the-jungle stories.

Full Review… | July 23, 2007

By attempting to combine elements of mystery, adventure, action and romance, 'The Beach' becomes too jumbled to follow with much interest.

Full Review… | April 24, 2005
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

A brilliant example of changing the material to suit the medium without losing the message.

March 28, 2005

While it thumped along, I had plenty of time to ponder the other and better movies that it reminded me of.

Full Review… | June 23, 2003
Combustible Celluloid

Three-fifths of a great movie sunk by a crucial tonal misstep. A cross between Lord of the Flies, Swiss Family Robinson and Apocalypse Now.

Full Review… | February 17, 2003
Entertainment Today

...Riddled with bizarre contrivances and unlikely scenarios.

Full Review… | February 8, 2003
Film Quips Online

The film equivalent of eating one of those circular rice wafer things that taste like nothing.

Full Review… | December 8, 2002
Film Threat

In pitching for the mass market, Boyle's film has allowed itself to be rebranded as a Hollywood star vehicle, a cynical assemblage that is never more than the sum of its market-researched parts.

Full Review… | December 2, 2002
Sight and Sound

Boyle takes a seriously wrong turn in the closing third of the film.

Full Review… | October 15, 2002
Cincinnati Enquirer

As it stands, the film is competent enough to be bearable, but not enough to hammer home any points of interest.

Full Review… | June 5, 2002
Boxoffice Magazine

Ao aceitar protagonizar esta produção, DiCaprio comprova ser um artista que ambiciona mais do que ser apenas um milionário sem nada de inteligente para mostrar no currículo.

Full Review… | May 31, 2002
Cinema em Cena

It doesn't really come off, but it's an admirably ambitious, and mostly very engaging, coming-of-age adventure that apes the spirit of Joseph Conrad.

Full Review… | April 3, 2002
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

As many spiritual teachers have warned: if you do not want pain, don't only seek pleasure.

Full Review… | March 13, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

The glimpses of paradise are so intoxicating that it's easy to ignore the cliches and enjoy the drama anyway.

Full Review… | April 17, 2001
Matinee Magazine

a deeply flawed adventure film with heavy themes about the fragile nature of paradise

February 27, 2001
Q Network Film Desk

Boyle manages to heighten the impact of The Beach with visceral imagery, high-energy cutting and sharp-edged social commentary.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

The Beach looks and sounds fantastic.

January 1, 2000
Planet Sick-Boy

Audience Reviews for The Beach

Excellent story with breathtaking scenery set in Thailand. Leo's character Richard is an American tourist who embarks on an adventure to find a paradise island. But at what price? My favourite scenes are when Francoise pretends to be eaten by a shark, when they debate how they are to get down from the waterfall and the scene where they are together in the water. Excellent cast and soundtrack. Directed by Danny Boyle.

Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

The film goes all over the place and in the end barely saves itself. The acting is good but nothing special and Boyle's directing wasn't exactly there. More of an exercise with a big budget, Boyle uses new techniques to grab our attention but ultimately leaves most viewers unsatisfied.

paul o.
paul oh

Super Reviewer


This is the film adaptation of a novel about an American (British in the novel) backpacker named Richard traveling through Thailand to see the world and experience new things. Richard is getting fed up with the way the world has become, and, as luck would have it, he gets word of an oft talked about secluded island paradise off the Thai coast that few people know about, especially how to get there. It's the stuff of legends, but one day Richard meets a disturbed Scotsman named Daffy who tells him the island and its beach are real, and gives him a map to it before committing suicide.

Intrigued, and with nothing better to do, Richard meets up with a French couple and the three of them set out to find the isalnd and its beach, to see if maybe it really is thing they've all been looking for. They do manage to find it, but quickly learn that dreams of reaching a paradise are best left as dreams.

As a concept and a novel (I'm guessing, since I haven't read it). the scenario here is wonderful and works quite amazingly. With how it is done in this film however, it falls short of greatness and could have used some work. It does have some good things going for it though, so, even though I wanted more, I liked this enough to give it a pass.

This film was a bit of a rough transition period of DiCaprio. He had yet to shed the image movies like Titanic and Romeo + Juliet had given him, and he doesn't quite suceed at disposing of it here. He does decent enough, though I think diertor Danny Boyle's go to guy Ewan McGregor would have been a better fit. It's just too bad he and Boyle got into a dispute and the studio basically forced DiCaprio into things. Like I said, he's okay though, even though I think this character seems a little "typical" or obvious for someone like him. Tilda Swinton does a good job as the bigwig in paradise though, and Robert Carlyle does his thing as Daffy.

This film skirts around elements of subtext and deeper themes and messages, but mroe often than not, the focus is on hedonsim and half baked idealism. I know Boyle is a smart and talented filmmaker, so I'm not sure if he just didn't give a shit here, wanted to lighten it up, or if the studio was responsible. At least the film touches upon thigns even if it doesn't totally expound upon or focus on them like I hoped for.

Look, this film is flawed, and I am being pretty kind to it, but it isn't boring, and the music is nice too. The best things going for it, as you might have guessed, are the location shooting and the cinematography. This film picked a great place to shoot at, and the results don't disappoint. The landscapes look awesome, and even the scenes on the mainland really come alive. It just kinda sucks that the film sirals out of focus now and then. I'm okay with showing descents into madness, and bringing odd hallucinations to life, but the madness thign has been done far better, and I was easily reminded me of that since this film not so subtly features Apocalypse Now. Also I get why they have the video game sequence, but it just comes off as silly.

So yeah, I'm letting myself get won over against my better judgment, but look, I did address the issues I have, and I think I gave a pretty balanced account of things. I like this kind of movie, and it at least put forth some effort to be good, even if it didn't totally succeed.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

The Beach started off well enough and it kept my interest until the middle. After that, the film went down hill, and I felt that performances were too wooden and boring. This film had potential, and considering Danny Boyle made this, you'd expect something terrific. But the film just ended up being a total waste of time. What's really a shame is that there's a great cast that star in this film, but not even them can hold this picture together. I think it's a shame, because The Beach started off in such a way that you thought the film would end on a high note. Alas, it was not to be. The ending was awful, and it ruined everything that was good about the film. The Beach looses its fire halfway through the film, and the story becomes ridiculous. I think The Beach missed the mark in terms of effective storytelling, and it's apparent that the filmmakers are struggling with the material at hand because the end result is a film that misses the mark. I had high hopes for this film, and I was let down. This is not Danny Boyle's finest hour that's for sure. There's a good cast at work here, but because of the script obvious limitations, no one can really deliver on screen. The result is a film that tries too hard to entertain and result is a mediocre film that fails to keep you interested till the very end. I found myself struggling to finish watching this, and once I did finish it, I asked myself, why did I even bother? A good cast is wasted here, and a potentially good story is absolutely ruined by a terrible second half that makes the first half obsolete.

Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

The Beach Quotes

That is an ASSHOLE idea!
– Submitted by Zach W (2 years ago)
You hope and you dream. But you never believe that something's gonna happen for you. Not like it does in the movies. And when it actually does, you expected to feel different, more visceral, more real. I was waiting for it to hit me.
– Submitted by Sara B (2 years ago)
Trust me, it's paradise. This is where the hungry come to feed. For mine is a generation that circles the globe and searches for something we haven't tried before. So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience. And if it hurts, you know what? It's probably worth it.
– Submitted by Sara B (2 years ago)
And me, I still believe in paradise. But now at least I know it's not some place you can look for, 'cause it's not where you go. It's how you feel for a moment in your life when you're a part of something, and if you find that moment... it lasts forever.
– Submitted by Lou R (3 years ago)
No offence an' all, but, you're fucked in the head, right?
– Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
Richard, this is just the kind of pretentious bullshit that Americans always say to French girls so they can sleep with them.
– Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)

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