Beetle Juice

Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
Watch On
  1. 50
    Gets off to a start that's so charming it never lives it down. The movie is all anticlimax once we realize it's going to be about gimmicks, not characters.
  2. The screenplay is foolish and Michael Keaton overplays the title role badly, but director Tim Burton gives the comedy a heap of visual imagination. [22 Apr 1988]
  3. Elaborate as this sounds, there really isn't much plot here, only a parade of arbitrary visual tricks to hold the film together. [30 Mar 1988, p.C18]
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 207 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Aug 31, 2015
    6
    Bottom line: Classic Tim Burton film that makes for a solid evening around Halloween.

    Adam (Baldwin) and Barbara (Davis) Maitland are a
    Bottom line: Classic Tim Burton film that makes for a solid evening around Halloween.

    Adam (Baldwin) and Barbara (Davis) Maitland are a young, recently married couple. They are vacationing at home and make the quick trip to the local hardware store. On their way back they crash off a bridge into a river. Somehow, they walk back to their house (though they don’t exactly remember how) and, drenched, they try to dry off and warm next to the fire they don’t remember starting. They soon realize they drowned in the river and are now ghosts. They still want to try and live, or exist, happily in their home. Unfortunately, a new family (the Deetz’s) from New York buys the house and starts to move in. The Maitland’s decide to haunt the house to scare away the unwelcome residents. After repeated failures, they resort to calling Betelgeuse (Keaton), a freelancer who turns out to be far more trouble than he’s worth.

    Beetle Juice is, for me, one of those movies that you actually sit down and watch once but you see it in parts here and there. I first saw Beetle Juice when I was little and I thought it was creepy and somehow depressing. After re-watching it just the other day, I still think it is creepy and depressing but I will say that it is good.

    The acting is really rather good. I had forgotten that it was starring a very young Alec Baldwin. As soon as he spoke, I did a double take and thought, “I think I recognize that amazing voice.” Michael Keaton does a really good job at creating Betelgeuse a unique character. I didn’t realize it was him until I looked at the credits. It was like learning that Tim Curry played Pennywise the Clown in Stephen King’s It. It is a combination of makeup and acting to create something new. Winona Ryder fits perfectly into the aesthetic of the film. It made me wonder why she didn’t do more stuff with Tim Burton.

    Beetle Juice is one of the few movies that ends with a dancing sequence that I don’t particularly find offensive. Lydia received an “A” on her Chemistry paper so the Maitland’s possess the house so it plays Harry Belafonte’s “Jump In The Line” and possess Lydia to make her float in the air and dance. Many of the dancing sequences I’ve seen use the opportunity to cycle through the characters as they dance to show their status. In Beetle Juice, we cycle through the characters but they aren’t dancing. They are just doing what they would normally be doing: Lydia’s mom is sculpting some modern art and Lydia’s father is reading. It is mildly silly but it isn’t going for a zany ending.

    Overall, I’d recommend Beetle Juice if you haven’t seen it before but, considering it has been on TV about a million times, you probably have. Would I recommend you see it again? If it is Halloween time, sure, why not? It isn’t a scary movie and in terms of humor, it’s alright. I didn’t laugh out loud but chuckled here and there.
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 3, 2015
    10
    A hilarious classic from Tim Burton that still continues to bring laughs even in its cast is absolutely perfect especially Michael Keaton whoA hilarious classic from Tim Burton that still continues to bring laughs even in its cast is absolutely perfect especially Michael Keaton who is hilarious as beetle juice, the sets and visuals in beetle juice are also a treat to look at Full Review »
  3. Jul 27, 2015
    9
    A cult classic. Beetlejucie is hilarious, feel good and at some points, terrifying. The character is exactly how I would think a dead exorcistA cult classic. Beetlejucie is hilarious, feel good and at some points, terrifying. The character is exactly how I would think a dead exorcist pervert **** would act coming along with all his mischief and tricks up his sleeve making for some pretty creepy sequences that are just past the line of being hysterical as well as slightly terrifying. I only wished they'd do more exploration in the world of the afterlife as there seems to be so much potential for a world there (I'd imagine this was further explored in Burton's Corpse Bride but it should've been in this movie as well) Full Review »