Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 34
  2. Negative: 6 out of 34
  1. 50
    A seriously confused film that makes three or four passes at being a better one and doesn't complete any of them.
  2. 50
    Colorful and exciting, as far as it goes. But Boyle and Hodge pull back on their usual wit and grit.
  3. It's a movie to feel. Even when the thinking isn't all there, the emotions are, all the way to the film's poignant last seconds.
  4. 50
    Boyle's movie jettisons much of the telling detail; it has the shambling rhythm of a shaggy dog story and so simplifies the characters' ethical dilemmas that it's hard to care what they do.
  5. The story is less original than its setting - it knocks off everything from "Lord of the Flies" to "The Blair Witch Project" -and its unromantic moods may make DiCaprio's countless "Titanic" fans want to swim in the opposite direction.
  6. As a book, The Beach offers the option of diving deep. As a movie, it sticks too close to the shoreline.
  7. As (DiCaprio's) character heads for The Beach's predictable heart of darkness denouement, only die-hard fans will have the heart to tag along.
  8. An edgy, hypnotic entertainment that's like a Club Med production of "Lord of the Flies."
  9. Whether he's smacking into an iceberg or flopping topless onto a sandy beach, DiCaprio is still maddeningly lightweight.
  10. 40
    It's hobbled by odd plot contrivances and some less-than-stellar acting from DiCaprio.
  11. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Monumentally unimaginative. Thumbs down!
  12. 63
    Always a joy to look at -- and even if the story isn't half as profound as the filmmakers think it is.
  13. 40
    Boyle's Beach lacks imagination and energy, two things that might have distracted us, at least occasionally, from the material's tepidness.
  14. 40
    Not a terrible movie, just an insubstantial one. All of DiCaprio's charisma and the director's savvy are used to divert us from the fact that there's not much going on.
  15. DiCaprio is up to all but the heaviest emotional lifting; when he enters a maniacal phase, you wish for Martin Sheen, who did the "back to the jungle" thing better in "Apocalypse Now."
  16. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Visually resplendent but dramatically uneven.
  17. There's only so much meaningful interplay you can get out of a beachful of slackers and some tanning oil.
  18. 50
    It's not that The Beach is a stinker, exactly. It's that nothing in it -- and that includes the gifted DiCaprio -- ever feels other than perfunctory.
  19. 50
    Terrific looking in the extreme, The Beach is the movie equivalent of vacation reading: no more demanding -- and no less satisfying -- than a sandy paperback left on a damp towel.
  20. Tries to take us from heaven to hell but winds up leaving us in limbo: exasperated and dumfounded.
  21. 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.
  22. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Murky, pretentious and torturously inert.
  23. Relentlessly beautiful and wholly annoying.
  24. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    It's "Beach Blanket Bingo" revisited, but with a Eurocast and more exotic locations.
  25. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Gorgeous but curiously weightless.
  26. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    Obvious in its observations, predictable in its conclusions, and a little dull in the telling.
  27. Cinematographer Darius Khonji does a superb job of conveying both the sensual beauty (there's a spectacular moonlight-on-the-water sex scene with Leo and the lovely Ledoyen), and the darkness of Richard's paradise lost.
  28. 40
    A narrative that tries to juggle thriller elements, tons of pop culture imagery, and way too much philosophical baggage.
  29. The theme (social breakdown in isolation) is strong, but the plot meanders, and the motivations are decidedly hazy, so its popularity probably stems from its seamless blending of naive wonder and soul-mining horror.
  30. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    The opening reels here promise something big, but the movie settles for a sour, predetermined funk -- "Lord of the Flies" as imagined by a Nintendo junkie.
  31. 50
    An intermittently gripping, good-looking movie.
  32. The titular beach really is stunning. But the second hour is an incomprehensible mess that's too dark for Leo's Teen People fanbase and too convenient for the arthouse crowd.
  33. Reviewed by: Richard T. Jameson
    The movie is an experience, of a sort they had a name for in the '60s: bummer.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 76 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 19
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 19
  3. Negative: 5 out of 19
  1. Oct 16, 2012
    Excellent story with breathtaking scenery set in Thailand. Leo's character Richard is an American tourist and he 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. Full Review »
  2. TimR.
    Jan 25, 2007
    (Based on the Alex Garland Novel) The Beach is truly touching and compelling picture with a new-age lord of the flies feel entering the millennium, terrific music score and intriguing escape into the unknown, fantastic. Full Review »
  3. Feb 14, 2013
    The beach is a really touching story with dark and harrowing aspects to it, really well acted by Leo dicaprio. It almost seems like a modern tale of The Lord of flies but with adults, it asks the question what happens to humanity without order and civilisation? Ignoring the deep philosophical nature to this film, it is truly is a weird and wonderful watch. Full Review »