Beautiful Creatures (2013)Closed Captioning
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A strange recurring dream haunts Ethan Wate in his sleep, but he prefers anything to his waking life. Trapped in a small, conservative Southern town with his withdrawn father, Ethan desperately wants to escape. Then the beautiful Lena Duchannes arrives at his school, and mysterious events begin to occur. Lena has a secret: she is a Caster with powers beyond her control. Worse, when she reaches her 16th birthday, she will be claimed by either the Light or the Dark . . . and there is no escaping her fate in this supernatural love story.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 171
- Fresh: 78
- Rotten: 93
- Average Rating: 5.4/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: As supernatural types, Oscar winners Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson overact so strenuously and with such outrageously awful Southern accents that you fear the damage this crock may do to their reputations.
Fresh: Beautiful Creatures is good fun and I want to know what happens next for Lena the teenaged witch.
Fresh: This surprisingly beguiling attempt to blend fantasy, coming-of-age drama, melodrama, camp and social critique isn't always successful - but it's nearly always entertaining.
Rotten: The movie is claimed ... by narrative incoherence, Tim Burton-envy and the usual demons of digital effects.
A SOLIDLY BEWITCHING TEEN ROMANCE
While "Beautiful Creatures" has all of the key marketing elements to attract devoted fans of "The Twilight Saga," the film itself is rather a lot more fun (in most areas), made with some wit and intelligence, and a strongly assembled cast that seems delighted to ham it up for the cameras. Based on a four-novel series, this movie actually has a lot more in common with "True Blood" than "Twilight," with its Deep South setting and the clash between religious fundamentalism and supernatural beings. And while it isn't quite the most innovative or original film when it comes to cohesive storytelling and solid characterization, it at least genuinely succeeds in delivering entertainment value when we least expect it. At the center of the film is Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich), a 16-year-old who yearns to travel far away from his small South Carolina town. His recently deceased mother instilled in him a lifelong love of books banned by the town's hyper-religious leaders, and the local librarian Amma (Viola Davis) gladly helps keep his interest alive. As a result, he's a lot more open than the other teens when a mysterious new girl named Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert) suddenly arrives at his school. It isn't long before she's shunned by her classmates because her Uncle Macon (Jeremy Irons) is the local pariah, a secretive landowner whom everyone thinks is a devil worshipper. In reality, the whole family are castors, people with special powers that are designated good or evil on their sixteenth birthday. But when Ethan enters Lena's life and the two become romantically connected, the fate of her wildly unstable powers is put in serious jeopardy, and there's no telling whether she'll be claimed by the Light or the Dark. The plot stirs up some intense suspense as Lena's big day of reckoning approaches. She's horrified that she'll go right over to the dark side like her man-eating cousin (Emmy Rossum) or, worse still, her spectral mother (Emma Thompson), who causes her a lot of mischief by inhabiting the body of one of the town's most pious housewives. Of course, this gives Thompson two intensely insane characters to play at the same time, and she clearly has a ball with it, gleefully overacting to the extreme. Irons pretty much follows suit as Macon, the shadowy father figure to Lena. And at the center of the movie's acting department, both Ehrenreich and Englert show considerable promise as big main stars. With their strikingly non-Hollywood good looks and natural depth of character, their strikingly humble performances make this teen romance a lot more engaging than many of us would expect. Yes, it's still a very silly tale assembled from just about every cliché from the genre imaginable, but writer-director Richard LaGravenese constantly keeps things visually interesting, focusing on the lush isolation of the town and never letting the special effects overpower the central characters (although, one dizzying dinner scene comes close). But unlike "Twilight," this movie has a very refreshing sense of humor about itself that nearly makes up for the story's underdeveloped themes (Why are some people simply told that they're "evil?"). This is also that rare teen flick in which both leads are realistically lusty. You can actually believe it when Ethan falls in love when Lena, and their strong portrayals of the characters really bring the film to a whole other level. All in all, I'd have to say "Beautiful Creatures" is definitely one of the more entertaining (and underrated) movies of 2013 so far. The cinematography is beautiful, the story is consistently engaging, and the two romantic leads are easily likable. Despite suffering from some tonal inconsistency and a plodding pace, the film has a charming and campy "Tim Burton-ish" vibe to it that makes it worth watching till the very end. Personally, I had a fun time with it, and I'd gladly see the sequel if the people at Warner Bros. were willing to turn this flick into a full-blown franchise. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. Anyway, if you enjoy supernatural teen romances and over-the-top acting, "Beautiful Creatures" is the film for you. It's far from a perfect adaptation, but it's an entertaining adventure nonetheless. If you get the chance, it's worth a rent.
This movie completely butchered those beautiful books. Everything was wrong and I am so disappointed. What a waste of money, I stupidly thought I was buying a movie that was like the book. No wonder this movie did so poorly. Hey screenwriters, why did Harry potter, lord of the rings and twilight do so well? They stayed true to the story. They didn't change everything great about the books! Something to think about.
Actually pretty good.
When a book is turned into a movie/tv show, lots of people judge it whether it did justice to the book or not. According to some the movie wasn't the same as the book and I totally understand your anger but we're reviewing the MOVIE not the book. I loved how finally we get to see the main character as a guy and not some girl who's life is all about a love triangle. I loved Ethan's personality and what he aspired to do with his boring typical life, I think anyone could relate to such thing. The acting was great, it was humorous, the effects were good and the ending is filled with "feels". What I didn't like about the movie was that Ethan and Lena fell in love too fast even though I like them as a couple but the development wasn't too much. Other than that the movie was everything you expect in a fantasy/semi-romantic movie. Loved Emmy Rossum's character, the one we all should hate but love instead. Anyhow, review the movie by the movie, not the book. "It's Kind of a Funny Story" was nothing like the book but the movie was amazing. Books/Movies, completely different things.