Spring Breakers - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Spring Breakers Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 7, 2013
Very interesting. Starts off all dumb drunk teens doing dumb drunk things, but soon turns very dark. I would like to watch this again before commenting fully.
Super Reviewer
April 3, 2015
Four college students resort to robbery to fund a spring break trip to Florida.
Lacking almost all restraint, director Harmony Korine fashions a didactic drama about hedonism and materialism while including enough skin to make Hugh Hefner blush. Though the film is clearly "artistic" (as opposed to pornographic) with its slow motion shots, fractured narrative, and repeated "poetic" voice-overs, it can't escape the fact that it quickly becomes a parody of itself. Take for example a scene in which Alien shows off his "pad." He says, "Look at my shit" approximately twenty times, and I couldn't resist thinking, "Look at my props department. They found a lot of guns and an oddly shaped bed." A lack of subtlety isn't always necessary, but Spring Breakers goes so over the top that I couldn't stomach the predictable conclusion of its ham-handed plot.
Overall, Harmony Korine may be a fine writer, as evidenced by Kids, but as a director he has much to learn.
Super Reviewer
January 7, 2014
Somewhere between a mindless music video and Terence Malick... grotesque, compelling cinema (European in style, kind of like Drive was) that uses little dialogue and (I'm not the first reviewer to say) "hallucinatory" effects to make its point about how desensitized to sex and violence a whole generation is... about how we play the roles before we even know what they are. Brave and interesting work - much better than the "Disney Kids Go To College" movie I half-expected.
Super Reviewer
March 5, 2014
Exploitation of the youth market is nothing new, nor is the same masquerading as social commentary. The only rarity is how well Harmony Korine manages this overlong music video/Abercombie & Fitch commercial. The basement party crowd get their prerequisite boobs and gunplay, the social commentary crowd get ... not so much, which is better for the basement party set anyway. Like many American International films before it, you can wait to see it.
Super Reviewer
January 5, 2014
This movie is off the flippin' chain. I don't think it's necessarily effective satire because the line between social commentary and glorification of debauchery gets too blurred, but I could hardly tear my eyes away from style auteur Harmony Korine's candy-crush guilt-free Bacchanal. The clever juxtapositions of innocence and immorality paint an extreme, not-far-off culture of excess. The girls engage in kinky-baby playground games, quickly devolving into a terrifying barrage of sex, drugs, profanity, and armed robbery. The non-stop depravation is wicked and titillating, and the gang's crime and violence spree underscored by plaintive pop ballads is at once brutal and eerily beautiful.

Sweethearts of PG-13 television Ashley Benson and Vanessa Hudgens prove their bad-babe mettle as amoral provocateurs who sell every curse and finger-pistol. Corn-rowed gold-grilled James Franco is kerazy, as usual, and appallingly impressive when he submits to the girls' sexually deviant ploys. Disney Princess Selena Gomez, as the churchy good-girl, shows off her enviable Spring Break bod and ultimately reveals some decent dramatic chops in a silent, teary face-off with Alien.
Super Reviewer
March 17, 2013
It's a mixed bag. There are elements of Spring Breakers that filmgoers can admire. Firstly, the film editing and cinematography are well done and appropriately dreamy. Secondly, there are two astounding, albeit disturbing, sequences in the film that are brilliantly designed: the first one features the song "Everytime" by Britney Spears, and the second one is just as beautiful and haunting and concludes the film. However, there are several problems that the film faces. The dialogue is unsophisticated, there are no remarkable performances--perhaps the exception being that of the versatile James Franco--and one never really gets to know these characters. A lack of character development makes it quite easy to lose interest with the film when it lags. There are moments of shining cinematic genius, but Spring Breaker is ultimately dragged down by an unnecessary and frustrating drabness. If there is any competition between Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring and Spring Breakers, Coppola wins hands down. Both are harsh social commentaries, but at least Coppola's gave you some sort of idea of whom the characters were and what they were thinking. When this film wasn't engineering a dazzling sequence, we watched Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens blink and pout in neon lights. It's not saying much, despite its visual chicness.
Super Reviewer
½ April 9, 2013
A dark decent into the seedy underbelly of western establishment emerges from the guise of the candy colors, pulsating soundtrack, and numbing debauchery of "Spring Breakers;" a divisive film that will intrigue and repulse audiences in equal measure. What I find exciting about "Spring Breakers" is it's inventiveness. It's loose and fractured scene structure along with manic editing and breezy Cliff Martinez score work like a cinematic trance; if it feels a tad like a music video (or a straight visual representation of modern electronic music) it's definitely intended albeit undeniably perplexing. Korine brilliantly let's Spring Break inhabit the film itself... all vivid surface and no substance until you realize there are actual people, crimes, and personal atrocities at the center of the party, often in plain view. Casting tween idols at the heart of the film (Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson; all impressive) was smart in getting this point across, and even makes some of the seedier dealings they get into more disturbing and irksome to watch. Through the countless montage shots and filmic style built on repetition in visuals and dialogue, it's quite surprising that the message is never lost amidst the chaos, and that the film maintains it's gradual intensity throughout. When you think the film has shown you all it's cards, James Franco shows up in one of his most memorably fearless performances; when you think the film has nowhere else to go, the stakes get higher and a whole lot darker. That's what I loved about "Spring Breakers." It surprised me from beginning to end. Sure it can grate and meander at times, but damned if it doesn't amount to a fascinating, lurid whole. It's smart, it's infectious, and it's bold film making. Destined to be loved and outright loathed, I'm convinced Harmony Korine has made not only his best movie, but some strange slice of whacked-out pop art. Give it a chance. It's worth it.
Super Reviewer
½ March 12, 2013
Spring Breakers is a conceptually genius, intentionally confrontational, and unnervingly beautiful nightmare of a film that screams 'subversive' at the top of its lungs, to great effect. From casting to soundtrack to cinematography, Harmony Korine's best directorial effort fires on all cylinders and dares its audience to consider if it's the movie itself that repulses them, or the society that they live in that the film so boldly deconstructs. In a year full of astonishingly good movies, Spring Breakers in all of its imperfect and insane glory is my favorite film of 2013.
Samuel Riley
Super Reviewer
September 3, 2013
This was one film that was far better than expected, for me at least. It lives up to what it portrays in adverts; booze, sex, parties, drugs and violence. However, what I found fascinating is that the first half is a satire of the "outgoing" lifestyle of young adults who dedicate their lives to constantly partying and drinking booze. However, it slowly becomes a major development for the main girls as it shows how far they're willing to go before they accept reality. James Franco's performance stands superior to all of the four girls combined; his portrayal of a foul mouthed yet charismatic drug dealer is truly one of the major highlights of this film. From hearing all kinds from critics of 'Spring Breakers' possibly becoming a cult classic, this film has my approval of having that title.
Super Reviewer
½ August 17, 2013
An energetic, hypnotic, colorful tale of four girls who want desperately to get out of their town for a little bit, and after a night of hard drug use decide to rob a diner to help fund their spring break vacation. While it features extreme nudity and an unending moral abyss its characters sink themselves into, this movie is ultimately a success as a middle-finger to my generation as to the hollow-ness the "party all the time" lifestyle ultimately holds. Ironically, a lot of people will not get this movie and view it as "too weird", but really it is director Harmony Korine showing just how selfish and foolish a lot of young people are these days. Sure, what is shown in this movie is a heavily exaggerated version of good times gone wrong, but it is still one that effectively captures young culture. The character development is not even close to good, but I do not think Korine was trying for that, instead having these characters be representatives of just ordinary college students who go off the rails. His Terrence Malick-ian way with the camera and his story is also a pretty big surprise, as the surreal nature and tones this film is given is a welcome surprise. Far from a great movie, but definitely a solid one with a fun, wacky performance from James Franco who creepily hangs around these girls through much of the movie.
Super Reviewer
August 14, 2013
I've had a bit of exposure to Harmony Korine's work before, but this was first time watching a film of his all the way through. And I must say: it was definitely...something.

I actually kind of like it. Yeah, it's a meandering, weird mess, but it's just done in such a WAY, that I can't help but give some respect/get some enjoyment out of it.

What little actual plot there is involves four lifelong friends who, bored at their college dorm, decide to go to Florida for spring break. Problem is, they're short on cash and a ride, so their trip is funded via robbery (and it's done in a really cool long take from a neat perspective). Once they get to Florida, their plans for having an amazing adventure really go off the rails after their thrown in jail, then bailed out by Alien- a cornrowed, mouth grilled, gangsta/drug/gun runner and rapper with a strong southern drawl.

And that's really all there is to it. Sure, once they meet Alien, a bit of a plot develops as the girls get involved in his world, but even that is pretty formless.

A lot of this is just a sequence of montages, with tons of repeated lines of dialogue that seem designed to function as meditative or trance inducing. And the film is shot with a ridiculous amount of bright, candy colored neon lights and garb, and is basically a mix between a bad trip and girls gone wild (to the extreme). I was mostly on board with this though. I really didn't know what to expect or anything, and came away mostly pleased.

The film does ramble, and doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, but, I do agree with those who think the film is a satire. Problem is: I think it straddles the line between satire and sincerity a little too well, and it's hard to tell when/if the audience is supposed to be taking it seriously.

The music and editing match the visual style quite nicely though, and serve as great ways of showcasing youthful debauchery, even though the shock value wears off earlier than it should have.

Probably the most striking thing here is not the attempt at some Disney princess to cut loose (although it is a noble, and mostly successful effort), but the stunning performance by James Franco as Alien. It's such a bizarre character, and a really out there performance. It's fascinating and engaging, though some might find it funny, and it kind of is, but they might find the humor in it for the wrong reasons. I personally think it's a bold move by Franco, and easily one of his most notable (and interesting) performances.

This is a love it or hate it movie, but I somehow ended up closer to the middle, though leaning towards the positive. As far as a grade goes, let's call it somewhere between C+ and B-.
Super Reviewer
½ August 13, 2013
I am so glad I am not a young person anymore! I felt disgusted at times while watching this movie. James Franco is sooo good in this role. It takes quality acting to portray such horrible people. Sometimes I guess I need to be reminded how bad things can be!
Super Reviewer
½ April 15, 2013
Bad girls do it well.

Too much style, not enough content movie! Now, I wanted to like this movie. Honestly, I really did. But there were too many things I couldn't quite handle, like a strange musical moment where Franco serenades the girls with an oh too popular Britney Spears song. Yes, that did happen, and no I will not get back those 3 minutes of my life. I will give the film credit in a lot of areas. Personally, I found Director/Writer Harmony Korine unique and the film pushes most of the cast members out of their stereotypes, and in a strange way, that worked. The problem was I wasn't sold on the plot. As the girl's 'adventure' with Franco continues, I lost interest. Yeah, I could buy the coming of age bits, but the whole 'party girls turning into James Franco's hardcore gangsta b*****s' bit was too ridiculous for me. I understand that there are probably a lot of 'deep' factors in this film that a lot of critics are going to obsess over, but personally, I couldn't overlook the ridiculousness of some moments enough to appreciate that other side of the film. Basically, if you want my advice, this movie isn't for your average film goer.

Brit, Candy, Cotty, and Faith have been best friends since grade school. They live together in a boring college dorm and are hungry for adventure. All they have to do is save enough money for spring break to get their shot at having some real fun. A serendipitous encounter with rapper "Alien" promises to provide the girls with all the thrill and excitement they could hope for. With the encouragement of their new friend, it soon becomes unclear how far the girls are willing to go to experience a spring break they will never forget.
Mario M.
Super Reviewer
July 25, 2013
"Spring Breakers" is not only the best film of the new year; it's also the best gangster movie in years. The film follows four deeply bored college students (Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Rachel Korine, and Ashley Benson) who decamp to Florida to escape the dreariness of their small Southern town. In the decadent and decaying paradise that is St. Petersburg, the girls meet wannabe kingpin and rapper Alien (James Franco) and experience the effects of consuming copious amounts of drugs and alcohol, the thrilling rush of violence, and the undeniable power of Britney Spears.

The film works to undermine the conventionality of its premise right away. The four co-eds liberally indulge in all the weed, coke and booze they can handle(provocatively delivered through the barrel of a squirt gun) before making their journey to the sunshine state. Appearances aside, none of the girls are bubble gummers, even the actively religious Gomez. The group's lack of innocence is further underlined when three of the four pull a brazen robbery to finance their vacation. This sets the film outside of most crime movies in which the ambitious but green protagonist descends into a debauched life of crime. The girls of "Spring Breakers" always had the potential for magnificent carnality; they just lacked the proper motivation.

Some of this motivation would logically seem to come from Franco's Alien. He's an obvious hustler who bails four ostensibly vulnerable young women out of county jail with nothing but sex on his mind; but the film subverts the preconceptions of their relationship. Underneath Alien's swagger and hideous tattoos lies another young person who ends up burned by the bright lure of excess. For all his posing and garish platinum plated automatic weaponry, Alien doesn't have the stomach for the game. He can't protect his people from his menacing ex-partner (Gucci Mane), and he can only dole out violence to unsuspecting civilians. The triumph of Franco's performance isn't his fervent love of all things extravagant; it's how he subtly lets the scared little boy shine through.

Franco's co-stars aren't in the same class as he is, but writer/director Harmony Korine wisely assigned his players roles suited just for them. Selena Gomez looks younger than she is, so she's cast as the most overwhelmed member of the group. Vanessa Hudgens isn't much of an actress but her eyes betray a disquieting ravenousness, so her character doesn't talk a lot but gets to smash and blast everything in her path. These choices represent a clarity of purpose that Korine has never demonstrated before. By exploiting the intensity and sex appeal of former Disney child soldiers, the "Gummo" helmer has really hit his artistic groove.

Korine has always had a knack for gorgeous imagery and by teaming with cinematographer Benot Debie ("Enter the Void," Irreversible"), Korine has made his best film. "Spring Breakers" has an eye searing palette that looks to have drawn from a melted pack of Starburst. Tonally, the film evokes recent Gaspar No and early 2000's Michael Bay in intensity, with a bit of Michael Mann's later work thrown in for good measure. And Korine really nailed the neon and black light color temperature on which Hype Williams made his name. I would be surprised if the film doesn't end up being the most beautiful film released this year

The film pulses with sexuality but is too frenetic and distant to be erotic. There's gratuitous nudity but little sex and none of it particularly graphic. The most sexually charged scene in the film is a power negotiation between Franco, Benson, and Hudgens that blurs the line between role playing and actual violence. The film's relationship with violence is its most fascinating aspect. At first, when the girls rob a restaurant to fund their vacation, violence is framed as scary and harsh as if to signify that a line has been crossed. Later in a brilliant sequence where the three of the gun toting, ski masked young women circle Franco as he sings Britney Spears' "Everytime" and we see them robbing and brutalizing various spring breakers, it seems atavistic and almost sacred, a physical expression of their profound affection. Finally, when raiding the beachfront compound of Franco's nemesis, the violence becomes mythic and elegiac, full of cascading sounds and imagery, resolving and beginning simultaneously. At this point the film reaches a ethereal sublimity and that's pretty staggering achievement for a spring break movie.
Super Reviewer
July 23, 2013

"Spring Breakers" is another one of those "weirdest movies of 2013". It's a story about 4 college girls( Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine)who want to get away and go to spring break, but they have no money. So, they rob a restaurant and head down. While they're there, they get involved with a rapper/gangster named Alien(James Franco), and they just go down a road of crime. So, that's the basic plot, but the movie is made kind of like an art film by Harmony Korine(he directed "Kids"). There are weird angles, and a lot of just odd voice-overs. Scenes of girls dancing while Franco just says "Spring break...spring break....spring break, forever". It's bizarre, but still entertaining. Actually, Franco is one of the funniest and most entertaining characters of the year, in any movie. There's a scene where he is showing the girls all of his guns that is just hilarious by the way he plays it, saying stuff like "I got "Scarface" on repeat...On..Repeat"(you just gotta watch it). He's the best thing about the movie, as the girls aren't really that interesting. Just didn't give them enough to make me care about them, and none of them seem to have much personality at all. Also, the ending is ridiculous. That would never, in a million years happen like that. It's worth a watch, if your into the artsy type films, or seeing Franco just play a real off the wall character. If not, you may not like it. But, it's one of those that you just gotta watch for your self.
Super Reviewer
July 22, 2013
hey this was pretty funny! it was a comedy, right?
Super Reviewer
½ March 18, 2013
I went into this movie with relatively high expectations because of reviews and hopefully biting satire about a culture that I don't agree with whatsoever. I was massively disappointed. There's no plot to this movie whatsoever. Just a bunch of former Disney stars trying to shed their squeaky clean image by drinking lots of alcohol, doing lots of drugs, and having sex with James Franco. Speaking of Franco, he's really the only memorable thing about this film. He clearly went all in with his absolutely crazy character ( a small time rapper/drug dealer). He deep throats gun barrels, has threesomes with Vanessa Hudgens & Rachel Korine, and just looks like he actually belongs in this kind of culture. The rest of the cast hardly does anything, and Selena Gomez bows out about 30 minutes in before any of the really bad stuff happens. The stylistic choice in this also drove me mad. They repeat dialogue four, five, even sometimes six times for no apparent reason. It isn't revelatory dialogue or anything that is going to stick with you. It is just aggravating. Same with the gun click every time they switch the scene. The whole thing is an incoherent mess, including the characters & story. After about 30 minutes I just wanted it to end, but there was still another hour left. I suffered through it and tortured myself to finish it, but it wasn't easy. I wouldn't recommend you do so. Unless "Girls Gone Wild" with guns and no plot sounds appealing to you, skip this and don't look back.
Super Reviewer
July 4, 2013
three stars
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