Beach Rats (2017)
Critic Consensus: Empathetic and powerfully acted, Beach Rats takes a clear-eyed yet dreamlike look at a young man's adolescent turmoil.
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Critic Reviews for Beach Rats
Beach Rats does feel a little half-formed, but it swells with such passion that one longs to follow all involved on their subsequent journeys.
The film's mix of murky, up-close realism and dreamy vagueness is reminiscent of Gus Van Sant's and Larry Clark's detailed, faintly voyeuristic depictions of teen life, as well Matt Porterfield's unvarnished but elegant portraits of urban disaffection.
Powered by a taciturn, soulful performance by its young star, this meditation on fear, shame and sexual repression packs a wallop.
Hittman shares something of Claire Denis's gift for finding vulnerability in a chiselled male body and a kind of bruised poetry in the tough-guy swagger of these teenage kids.
Audience Reviews for Beach Rats
Yet another gay-themed drama about a teen's struggle with self-acceptance that belongs 20 years ago, with a silly, confused plot that doesn't really go anywhere and the kind of outdated and prejudiced view of homosexuality that you find in hundreds of films alike.
Far less complex than it tries to be but Harris Dickinson's performance is stunningly raw.
Over the past year, I've been questioning a lot about myself, like who I am and why I feel the way I do about certain things. Things like Moonlight. Why do people like it so much? I didn't hate it, but I didn't think much of it. It seems like society demands that you decide to either love Moonlight or not. I don't like being forced into such a binary existence. A lot of my peers tell me that it's a masterpiece, and I sometimes feel forced to go along with them just to fit in. I just want to be me and like the movies I like without all this pressure and sometimes full-on hatred. Anyway, that has absolutely nothing to do with Beach Rats, a film about a young man struggling with his sexual identity unbeknownst to his peers and family. It's pretty and pretty slow. As the trailer suggests, there are definite visual hints of Harmony Korine, especially Spring Breakers, and it shares a common setting with Kids. There's also a bunch of gay sex and man ass if that's your thing. Harris Dickinson in his breakout role does a great job at portraying a vacuous, pill-crushing millennial struggling with his sexuality, but the inescapable truth is that Beach Rats really is trying to be the white version of Moonlight with less visual flair and without the structural innovation or dynamic performances.
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