The Beach (2000)

the beach poster 2000 movie leonardo dicaprio
3.0 Overall Score
Story: 2/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 7/10

Nice looking

Boring story, action movie lacking action and thrills

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Beach

Studio:  20th Century Fox

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Drama

Release Date(s):  February 11, 2000

MPAA Rating:  R


Let’s leave this perfectly nice empty beach for another empty beach…

Richard (Leonardo DiCaprio) is an American traveler looking for intrigue and adventure.  When he learns from an insane man named Daffy (Robert Carlyle) about a mysterious island with a pristine, untouched beach, Richard and fellow travelers Francoise (Virginie Ledoyen) and Etienne (Guillaume Canet) seek it out.  On the island they find both drug lords and a secret commune led by Sal (Tilda Swinton).  The island and its beach are a secret that people are willing to die to protect.

Directed by Danny Boyle, The Beach is based on Alex Garland’s 1996 novel.  The movie was poorly received by critics but was a financial success.  Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for a Razzie for Worst Actor.


The first rule of the Beach is you don’t talk about the Beach!

On paper, The Beach sounds like a great idea.  It has a strong book, a remote tropical location, a massive star fresh off of Titanic, and a director who is making a name for himself…it is quite amazing how derailed this movie became.  The trailer showed a tense thriller which it didn’t deliver.

The movie is really hurt by the story which is all over the place.  Richard comes off as extremely unlikable or sympathetic throughout the movie, and I kind of wanted him dead multiple times.  He plays the ugly American, but the movie also seems to think it is deeper than it really is.  It even makes a reference to DiCaprio’s character thinking he being smart, but pointing out flaws in the lead doesn’t make it interesting.  Bottom line, the movie is a very un-thrilling thriller.


Boy, Leo can’t even imagine a good video game…

DiCaprio really flounders in this movie.  While I never felt Titanic was a great film, he looks like a king in Titanic compared to this.  His character goes “crazy” and DiCaprio doesn’t seem to know how to “do crazy” at this point.  He’s matured over the years, but this feels like a very juvenile attempt in a juvenile script.

It really hurts because the movie really wastes the location.  The said beach is quite pretty (it doesn’t look much better than the other beautiful beaches seen in the movie) and the movie doesn’t utilize this great setting due to the bad story.  It is also disappointing on the side that Danny Boyle is generally a very experimental and fun director.

The Beach really isn’t worth the time and effort.  There are worse movies, but there are also much better and much more exciting films.  It might make you long for the South Pacific as a travel destination, but if the South Pacific is inhabited by gross hipster tourists like DiCaprio, I’ll just stay here.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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