Beach Rats (2017) Poster

(2017)

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9/10
Sensitive and Haunting
evanston_dad28 February 2018
I went to IMDb to see what other people had said about this film, and the very first review I saw had the title of "Boring."

"Beach Rats" is quiet and thoughtful, and it demands a certain amount of patience, but it breaks my heart that someone would dismiss it as boring. It follows a lost youth navigating the no man's land between teenager and adult as he tries to figure out how to be the person he wants to be -- whoever that is -- in an environment that tells him who he should be. He hangs out with a bunch of losers who speak in a kind of dumb bro language and couldn't string together an articulate thought between the three of them while wandering aimlessly around Coney Island and its environs looking to score easy drugs. Meanwhile, he carries on a secret life of gay encounters with older men while at the same time trying to force himself to enjoy a relationship with a young woman who's too mature for him.

Is he gay? Probably. Does he specifically seek out older men as father figures because his own dad just recently died of lingering cancer? Maybe. But the point is that he doesn't have the tools required to process any of the things he's feeling because he lives in a stunted place surrounded by stunted people, and it's easier to escape into feeling good the bad way than to put work into feeling better the hard way.

More than anything "Beach Rats" is about how hard it is for men to explore their own feelings in a culture that has rigidly defined what it means to be masculine.

Grade: A
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3/10
Real, but missing an "and...".
aryugaetu30 November 2017
Don't worry, no spoiler here:

I didn't understand the ending. I understood the confusion and struggles; been there. Whatever it was, it must be hidden under some artsy symbolism.

Should I have picked up on fleeting Sherlock-like clues? There were many things they could have used, I waited for them to tie things together, but it just stopped; just hung there like a gay man's rubber parts during str8 sex

The plot was too drawn out and could have easily been wrapped in a bow. It was all set for the shy, non-conforming, 3rd friend to fill the gap, meeting at the carnival. Watching fireworks together would have been too cheesy, but hearing them in the background as they played with the 2 (basket)balls and scoring would have been subtle symbolism. Such an ending would have given me happy tears (rare in gay centric movies these days). Was I suppose to notice if the guy's car is still in the lot to see if he made it out?

Not a spoiler because none of this happened, thus the low rating; nothing happened. It got 3 stars because we need more gay movies, but this is just 1 step above "all gays die in the end" by proving "all gays have unhappy, confusing, drug and alcohol abusing lives". That's just the plot, no spoiler ending...because there is none I could see.

I'm gay (since the days it was labeled a TV freak show disease, all gays in movies were either killed or were a cheap comic relief character as "sissies"), I didn't get the ending in Beach Rats. Then again, I didn't like the ending of "Brokeback Mountain": Gay assault, brief gay sex that looks more like rape, homophobia and closets are OK if a gay man is allowed to eventually cry for a minute.

Brokeback Mountain: Crappy middle, OK ending. Beach Rats: OK middle, bad ending.
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4/10
A small slice of white working class in Brooklyn without hope
jakob1327 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
'Beach Rats' has received positive reviews.Is it worthy of them? Eliza Hit-man's 'Beach Rats' protagonist Frankie has nothing going for him. In a way, he's 'Saturday Night Fever's' Tony Manero of the 21 century. Like Tony he lives with his family, but unlike him, he doesn't work; he's listless. Unlike Tony who has no future other than working in a local paint shop,but lives for the weekends dancing; on the other hand, Frankie is a sixes and sevens, trolling the web for trysts with older men for sex. Unlike Tony who is sure of his sexuality (he adjusts his junk before a mirror before going off to a discotheque). Frankie fears his homosexuality. (Older men don't live in Frankie's world, so it is a 'condom' to protect his doubts and secrets._ Hit-man has created a closed world of the white working class in Gravesend or Sheepshead in the wake of 9/ll and the 2008 world recession. It is a bleak world,a world that for Frankie and his friends with boundaries that end in Coney Island or the bushes of the Belt Parkway where Frankie has sex. A closed in world with no exit: Frankie hangs with three friends, who, like him, are more teenagers than adults. We know little about them, other than Frankie supplies them with marijuana and his dying father's pain killers to dull the pain cancer causes. Frankie is in his own world;he lives in the basement with his computer he uses to find men... They play handball, a sport that once was an important sport in Brooklyn, but no more. And they congregate in a smoke shop, and live for the weekend at Coney Island, seeing the same fireworks week after week, ogling girls, going on rides and getting stoned. Frankie hooks up with Simone a salesgirl with no future too.She chooses Frankie because he's sexy and more pretty than handsome. Frankie's a cynic of sorts; he asks here if she had sex with another girl; she had which she characterizes as 'hot'; he then asks her what about two men who have sex; her reply is a curt..they're gay. Even sex with her remains a last resort, as his sense of self walks on the edge' Frankie is becomes more an outsider as he retreats into self doubt and afraid to come to terms with who he is. Frankie and his friends will stoop to pickpocket on the boardwalk to pay for a weekend of fun, drugs and feel 'strong' and manly, not aimless and lost. Ultimately Frankie lets his friends in his secret as a way to get 'weed'. The victim is beaten and left in the Atlantic to fend for himself. And he seeks respite on the boardwalk of Coney Island, alone and no more sure of who he is... As a sociological statement, 'Beach Rat' is worth seeing. As a film, it has the feel of a graduate school exercise. Coney Island is wonderfully photographed, but Brooklyn remains elusive as does Frankie.
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5/10
A film that exploits the sadness of the closet
Bayamon_Hill24 November 2017
It is a little shocking to see this movie in 2017. The desperate situation that the writer/director creates for her character as entertainment is so dark and frankly, cruel, that it offends me as someone who lived/lives with that desperation. Frankie is a typical street kid from Brooklyn in many ways. He and his crew don't have much to do, so they go to Coney Island and take prescription drugs to create mild entertainment. He's atypical in that he's capable of being pleasant and respectful, when necessary. He's also gay in a world designed for straight bros, and he lives out that part of his life on a hook-up chat website. This set-up is straight from a gay 1990's movie, when the AIDS epidemic was winding down and being gay was scary - queer films reflected that back then. Like those tragic movies of yesteryear, Frankie becomes more and more isolated by his choices and actions. He finds himself alienated from his friends, his family, his straight girlfriend, his potential boyfriends and himself. And then the movie ends. The writer/director is a straight woman whose artistic decisions amount to having a character put in a glass box that is slowly filling with water just to see what happens. It's cruel. I think the problem is that as gayness is more socially acceptable as a topic for film, straight people feel empowered to tell those stories but their conception of gayness is from the 1990's. "Brokeback Mountain", "Moonlight" and "Beach Rats" are all straight people's assessments of gay life, and man are they bleak.
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3/10
Pretty bad, sadly...
bcolleary26 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
What we have here is anomie and lots of it...and then, more anomie. It start off well...it kind of channels a Larry Clark movie (or a movie Larry Clark might have wanted to make)....and just as quickly as you think you might be watching something special, nothing else happens. We don't even get to know the fate of the victim...in a film with so little plot, that really is a travesty. Pretty boresville, folks.
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4/10
Brooklyn teenage sad sack, confused over his sexual identity, hardly makes for compelling drama
Turfseer3 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Another highly touted film at the Sundance Festival, Beach Rats also garnered quite a bit of enthusiastic accolades from mainstream critics. But why? As usual, second feature director Eliza Hittman manages to proffer up a visually impressive palette evoking the heady atmosphere of lower middle-class Brooklyn and one particular young man confused about his sexual identity.

The protagonist is Frankie, played with subdued intensity by Harris Dickinson. He lives with his mother and teenage sister during a high time of family stress (the father is uncommunicative in a hospital bed, dying of cancer). Frankie's mother wants to know why he comes home so late and the sister resents his being constantly overprotective.

Frankie has a bunch of friends he hangs out with—the so-called "Beach Rats." I'm not sure why the film has such a title—since the aforementioned "rats" are all underdeveloped characters (stereotypes if you will), whom we learn little about during the film. What's more Frankie doesn't fit in with this group and they are only truly integrated into the plot during the film's climax.

Hittman makes the mistake of many neophyte writers when she assumes that a sad sack like Frankie is a) an interesting character and b) makes for good drama. She's wrong on both counts: simply put, compelling cinematic characters have an ego—in other words, they like themselves (think of the cool narcissism of the characters in The Sopranos).

Frankie, on the other hand, is an angry, unlikable character who spends most of his evenings trolling through gay chat rooms and experiencing unfulfilled sexual encounters with an assortment of (mostly older) gay men. Hittman doesn't want us to identify with her protagonist but rather "feel his angst," which she blames on his sad home life (the death of his father contributes to Frankie's instability one-third of the way through the narrative).

How do we know Hittman disapproves of Frankie's lifestyle?—the ending clues us in: Frankie's plan to smoke some marijuana with his friends goes awry after the "Beach Rats" rob and assault one of Frankie's pick-ups, implicating all of them as criminals.

The story would have been a lot more interesting if Frankie had a better opinion of himself and wasn't simply confused about his sexuality. With his one-note obsession about sex, Frankie doesn't have an internal arc where he grows at all. Ultimately Frankie's machinations are boring as there's little notable change in the character's development.

Earlier on, Frankie does struggle in his relationship with a young woman, Simone, played by the attractive Madeline Weinstein. Hittman does her best work in conveying the tension between the troubled couple. Nonetheless, Simone is another one dimensional character, simply designed to play off the confused Frankie.

In the end, Beach Rats is no "Nights of Cabiria," which is probably what the director intended. Instead, we're stuck with the usual melodramatic characters and stock situations. Angst in itself is hardly the answer for good, compelling drama.
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5/10
Doesn't really go anywhere
suse-prinas15 November 2017
This is another one of those gay themed movies that tries to show some deeply hidden emotions or something, but instead goes nowhere.

Let's start with what's good first... Most of the cinematography is pretty good - expect for overly shaky camera in few scenes. There is a lot of eye candy in terms of shirtless guys and more - can help in making the movie at least a bit more interesting. And the acting isn't totally bad. At least the actors don't feel stiff.

Sadly that is where good things end. There is little dialogue in the movie, though that is not always a bad thing. But in this movie it actually is. Because we don't really see any character development and no real story. We have a young guy that takes drugs, has sex with older men and spends time with his friends doing stupid things. That's almost the entire story. Backing characters have no names, no personality and really don't do anything. Main character... pretty much the same. No ambitions, no desires, no anger, nothing. He just is. Pretty much the whole thing can be seen in the trailer.

You will get the same story if you look at pictures of random strangers in a city near a beach. Though those will probably have more depth. Overall I can't really recommend this one. If you want teens coming to terms with life and their sexuality go watch something like Hidden Kisses or Boys and leave this one alone.
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8/10
Surprisingly accurate, almost tough to watch
em8597618 September 2017
First off, by tough to watch, I mean that in a good way. The almost painful, questioning and awkward teenage years of a man learning, or trying to learn his sexuality and family fit with turmoil going on all around him could not be captured better. His "not (his) friends" don't seem to make anything easier for him, and his love interest isn't much better.

The one big difference in this film which in my opinion doesn't make it bad, just makes it unique to what is to be expected from many coming of age/life films around is that a majority of the movie is portrayed not by dialog, but by character demeanor, and actions. It is not a feel good movie, and it is not a re-assuring style film. It is as it tries to be a movie showing the hardship of being a teenage male, unsure about his sexuality or life in fractured times.

I would highly recommend this film if that sounds like your cup of tea, but if you like the more light hearted, or 'scripted' style of teenage life this may not be for you.

**Fair warning this film does have a fair bit of nudity, and drug use among others**
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2/10
Boring and Predictable
nick949654 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
As usual with the Sundance darlings, I can't understand what possessed the people who saw this to award it with a prize of any sort. It's very tedious to sit through the scenes of the lead character ("Frankie?") emoting the same dogged look on his face in every shot. He seems to have one reaction to everything -- kind of a vapid, listless stare. I don't see how it evokes any kind of emotion to the scenes going on around him. To say that this is an original story would be very generous to the writer/director. I feel like I've seen this plot and set of characters before, but done better. Every scene was played out by the book, so we know exactly what will happen before it does, and there are many unfocused scenes (both in the writing and the shaky-cam cinematography). I got very ansy trying to accept that the 3 other male characters would easily go along with the idea of searching a gay male dating app for a bag of weed (huh? Are these guys all in some kind of mental black hole?) And the idea that the lead character would ask them to search for weed on a gay dating site is completely absurd. In general, the plot is very limited -- they do nothing, they smoke vapes, they do nothing again, they try to score weed, they do nothing again, and there are a couple of yawns over some forced communication, and the movie drags on. I finally had to stand up and leave before it ended because I was in danger of falling asleep.
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9/10
Strong, beautiful medicine
barkingechoacrosswaves29 August 2017
"Beach Rats" is an extremely potent movie. The plot turns around the anguished, conflicted sexuality of the central character, a teenager named Frankie. Frankie enjoys having sketchy sex with older men. Unhappy with his own tastes, he tries to refocus his libido on more conventional outlets. Unfortunately, though, Frankie's efforts to take an interest in women are an utter failure, only serving to confirm, again and again, his lust for men and his appetite for anonymous gay encounters along roadsides, on beaches and in motels.

Unable to cope with the dissonance between what he craves and what he wishes he craved instead, Frankie relies heavily on drugs to numb the pain and kill time. He spends his days and nights with a small pack of pathetic, frustrated thugs who resort to petty crime to buy drugs and booze.

Frankie's downward spiral is portrayed with great finesse by Harris Dickinson. Eliza Hittman's writing and direction are highly effective, and the photography and editing are also first rate. All of the subsidiary roles are well cast and played with uncanny naturalness and precision. I did not detect a single false note in any of the acting in this film.

Fundamentally, this is a movie about the inability of people to accept the mountain of ambiguity and filth they have to climb in order to become themselves. Beyond conformity and rebellion, what is a human being? "Beach Rats" proposes no answers to the profound questions raised by the shabby ruins it excavates.
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1/10
Fractured and Aimless
lonewolf-7196915 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
There might be a good story in this film if only a few of the "plot lines" had been followed and expanded. There are so many threads which begin to weave into the story only to stop abruptly and not re-appear, leaving the film even more tattered and frayed.

There is simply no way to portray a person's inner life on screen; using close-ups of wistful expressions or having characters stare off into black water or fireworks does not a movie make. Despite seeing the lead in every frame, I came away not really feeling much for him or that I had learned that much about him. He doesn't seem stupid or completely clueless yet engages in meaningless activities with no self-awareness or that there might be a potential for self-growth.

I kept waiting and waiting for something to happen in this film - a hookup gone wrong, a gay- bashing, the reaction of his friends learning he's sleeping with men, his mother figuring out what was happening, something - anything. Instead, another round of fireworks, crashing waves and more staring out of subway windows. A complete disappointment.
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7/10
Exploring sexuality... "What is your idea of romance?"
paul-allaer15 September 2017
"Beach Rats" (2017 release; 95 min.) brings the story of Frankie, a Brooklyn teenager. As the movie opens, Frankie is on the Brooklyn Boys dating website, where he, tempted but uncertain, looks at the profiles of older guys. We get to know him better as he is hanging out with his buddies on a boardwalk. While at a nearby amusement park, he gets to know a beautiful girl, Simone, and they eventually hook up. In a parallel story, we also get to know Frankie's family: his younger sister, his worrying mom, and his ailing dad, bedridden with cancer. At this point we're not even 15 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the second movie from writer-director Eliza Hitmann, who a few years ago brought us the equally sexually charged "It Felt Like Love". Here, Hittman portrays the confusion and curiosity and social pressure facing a young guy who is dealing with a heavy family situation, while at the same time also trying to fine his place, or should I say himself. BEWARE: there are a number of pretty graphic scenes in the movie so if that bothers you, please do yourself a favor and check out another movie. I must admit that, as a straight guy myself, I was a bit uncomfortable at times with some of the scenes in this movie. That said, this is a great "little" move that shows a slice of life that feels very real. There are some outstanding performance, none more so that Harris Dickinson as the vulnerable/curious Frankie, and Madeline Weinstein as Simone. Surely we have not seen the last of them. When Frankie and Simone first meet on the boardwalk, they watch the fireworks, which Frankie terms boring and not romantic at all. Responds Simone: "What is your idea of romance?", and that goes to the core of the movie, as Hittman navigates the themes of sexuality, love, longing and belonging.

"Beach Rats" premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival to immediate critical acclaim. The movie finally opened this weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. The Friday early evening screening where I saw this at was attended okay but not great (about 10 people). I can't say that surprised me, given the nature of the film. Yet with positive word-of-mouth this movie surely will get, maybe the movie will find a larger audience, if not in the theater, then later on VOD or DVD/Blu-ray.
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3/10
Move along, nothing new to see here.
scotartsproduction3 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
OK, it's better than the McQueer films that are underproduced, and over-sickeningly cliché, but that's all I can say for it. The cinematography is almost unwatchable - dull, boring closeups throughout - while the skin scene is nice, it gets repetitive and trite. I don;t need to be looking up some teenager's moody nostrils all the time to get the point.

The whole thing looks like a bad mashup of the dying father meets desperate kid. There is zero continuity throughout. The mother is portrayed as more of a shopkeeper than a mom, the fussy little sister - BO-ring. There is nothing new or remotely gifitng about this film. The director clearly was making a film about something thy know little about.

If there were any nuance, at all, about this wanna be, it would be in the leads physique - but I can get that for a lot cheaper and not have to sit through 2 hours of made-for-TV but made- it-to-film by mistake.

Skip it and see 'Call Me By Your Name' instead. It does all the jobs this thing sets out to do in the first 20 minutes, and then keeps going.
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2/10
The Most Pretentious Film I've Ever Seen!
reconditered8 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This was the most pretentious movie that I have ever seen in my entire life! The protagonist is a young man who has no job, no education that we know of, is fighting against his sexual desires to be with other men, and has a group of friends that seemingly only like him due to his drug supply. As he has sexual experiences with other men, the audience suspects that he may embrace a gay sexual identity. However, he states that he doesn't identify himself as gay, and when he is with his friends, he portrays the gay video chat site as a way that he scores weed. After he and his thug friends rob Jeremy on the beach, I was hoping that they'd all end up in prison, or at the very least, the mother would throw Frankie out on the street. Throughout the film, we didn't learn anything about Frankie, his friends, his ill father, his mother, or his sister. This film starts out like Frankie is going to go on a journey to learn about himself, yet in the end, his life is just like the fireworks; it's the same thing all the time. After watching this film, I almost feel like the filmmakers were using Frankie's ambiguous sexuality as a mere ploy to garner attention and make their film appear to be much deeper and cutting edge than it actually is. All in all, I find it incredibly insulting and offensive to the entire LGBTQ community that this drivel won 7 awards!
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Painful and tragic
Red_Identity13 November 2017
Woah. I knew almost nothing going into this but it really affected me like few films this year. It was tough seeing such a repressed, confused character in such a dark state of mind, especially one that was going through such a similar experience to many others and I in the LGBTQ+ community. The lead, Harris Dickinsion, was so authentic and genuine, it made it that much more difficult to watch him go through what he does here. The film doesn't deliver anything in terms of a satisfying conclusion or tidy little arc. Instead, it becomes harder to watch the more it goes. I don't know, I just found this to be quite powerful.
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1/10
boring and aimless
tdoa23 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Summary above actually needs no further elaboration, but I have to fulfill my IMDb 5 line minimum.

If the director wanted to show people who are boring and aimless then she succeeded in spades.

Having to sit through this movie with a story that does not engage you on any emotional level, full of unappealing characters who have nothing to offer, is about as exciting as watching paint dry and at least the color of the paint on my walls is appealing!
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2/10
Boring
qeter27 October 2017
Seen at the Viennale 2017: A guy is really really bored. And we have to watch him on screen. He is gay and takes drugs. And he meets older men. So what? I cannot really believe, that boys like him exist. At least he is gay and is looking for sex. I assume that a young boy who is eager for sex has a vital force in himself, driving him to stupid ideas and encounters. But this boy does not have any urge in him. I guess, in reality he would not even search for sex with such low energy in him. I guess, the real gay boys on that beach are much more filled with energy, what cannot be imagined or shown in an art movie by a director without similar inner needs. Real life is not that lifeless.
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5/10
Pity...c(sh)ould have been better
foxc-215 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Beach Rats" Much hyped but very disappointing. The theme of a young man trying to figure out his sexuality is fertile ground for any story, literary or cinematic, because it's an on-going real life struggle for many. This shallow, one-dimensional attempt though, while full of the vacillating that must accompany such a personal conundrum, doesn't shed any light on its main character's dilemma or suggest any way for him to find a solution - if there is one.

Let's get one thing out of the way: Harris Dickinson as Frankie, the lead character and the only one that's fleshed out to any degree whatsoever, at 20 is perfectly cast, easy on the eye to both gay and straight people and therefore his scenes, and he is in every one (the movie should've been more properly titled "Beach Rat"), ring true and create much of the reality with which this film attempts to cloak itself. It's certainly not his fault that that attempt falls flat partly because the rest of the cast are cardboard cutouts - I don't remember if we ever know the names of the other three of the group with which he hangs, let alone know anything about them (where they live, what if anything they do for a living, what their interests are other than drugs and women). They're just there! Consider that Frankie a neophyte to the gay world and is shown via a sequence of scenes to go from a) peering through his fingers at men in the chat room to b) refusing their offers to meet ("I don't do that") to c) accepting an offer and bottoming for a guy in the bushes without any seeming discomfort. As another example of how fatuous this movie really is, let's take the penultimate scene (what in a Shakespearean play would be the climax - not the end but the point at which a decision or action creates an inevitability for the rest of the plot). The guys want to buy some weed and are desperate it seems. How any group of 20-somethings in New York City with their lifestyle can't find weed is beyond me but we need that pivotal plot point. Out of the blue, as they are all sitting on a bench somewhere, Frankie suggests that they roll a gay guy and grab his weed. Take any group of very straight young men and make that suggestion and there would be, I suggest, an explosion of emotion. Here we get mild amusement, minor surprise, practical questions ("What do you have to do in return?" to which Frankie mimes oral sex) and then acceptance with further questions of how to go about it. Frankie of course has the answer and next we see the group in Frankie's room where he is on his computer trolling a gay chat room (which we've seen him do before) and engaging potential victims there. The other three are a little (I stress "little") shocked but quite blasé about the whole thing only once asking him how he knows about this site to which he replies, "Oh I just found it" or words to that respect. There was never any revulsion on the part of the group, no accusation that Frankie was gay. Nothing. I found that just plain silly and dumb as a portrayal of what would have really happened: the anger, disgust, accusations, shunning. That whole sequence is part of what's terribly wrong with this film.

There are any number of loose ends scattered throughout: characters and situations that are just left hanging. Example: In the group, the smallest fellow (don't know his name - see above) has an enigmatic role as there are several times when the camera focuses on his face looking at Frankie in a more than casual way. I found that suggesting that just maybe he had fond thoughts about his friend. This was never developed one way or the other. During the beach scene where they mug the other guy for his dope, this fellow (I'll call him #4) does not join in but disappears back into the bush. The other three emerge to the parking lot with the weed but #4 is nowhere around. Nobody misses him or asks where he is; we never have any inkling of his motivation for leaving or where he went. Nothing! Previously when the group goes swimming (the one and only time they have anything to do at the beach - (why the title?)), #4 does not go into the water but after the other three strip down to their underwear and dive in, in a shot from the back it looks like he's pumping himself up (or jerking off). What's that all about? We never know.

The only person in the film who shows any kind of depth and growth over its length is Simone, Frankie's erstwhile girlfriend who, having picked him up at a club to get laid, tries to make a boyfriend out of him even though she describes him as a "fixer-upper" (a term I'm glad she explains to him). However, this relationship never seems a strong part of the plot, balanced against his lifestyle and his dabbling in gayness.

The editing was jumpy; scenes didn't dissolve one into the other so much as one just abruptly ended and another began. Not to suggest that they weren't sequential but rather that they felt disjointed. After the mugging, the last shot in the parking lot focuses on the small bag of pot that they'd scored. Cut to Frankie in bed the next morning with his mother standing over him. There are more satisfying ways to get from one scene to the other rather than jumping like that.

Overall, the film was a great disappointment, partly I think because I could have been so much better.
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3/10
Bland, Boring, and a big disappointment
aet090330 November 2017
I was really looking forward to this film. The plot sounded very interesting and it really caught my attention. However, about 15 minutes into the film I came to the conclusion that this wasn't what I expected. Sadly, this film is poorly written, bland, and a major let-down. It had a lot of potentials, but sadly the director doesn't know how to convey a disturbing, and emotional story. The plot is interesting, yes, but you don't really care for any of the characters and you don't know why the things that are happening, are happening. Going into the film, I knew what I was getting into, yet coming out of it, I was confused on how they messed it up. This sort of plot could've worked incredibly. In conclusion, "Beach Rats" is a mess of a film where you feel no sympathy for any characters and are left bored at the end. The music is decent and the atmosphere of Brooklyn has a very nice feel to it. Other than that, I do not recommend this movie, and the fact it is getting praised almost everywhere, baffles me completely.
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2/10
Awful, soulless
thompson-074302 October 2018
This was a really awful movie with no soul and so much lost potential. So sick of these "gay" movies that go nowhere with characters that are morally reprehensible and who continue to give the community a bad image.
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6/10
Reality even in 2018.
varun-discovery10 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The movie quite accurately depicts what closeted boys do and go through.. Acceptability in society is kept above self and for good. Fear of rejection by friends is quite what the character depicts and chooses not to accept himself as he is. Even when in company of a gay man, fears what might happen if he accepts the truth.

The ending however is a bit abrupt. Great concept but not so good execution..
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5/10
Tries to be daring but doesn't actually do anything...a sub-par effort
manuelasaez19 November 2017
I have seen many Gay themed films, the pinnacle being the German film "FREE FALL". Since watching that film, I tend to unfairly compare all future gay films to it, and I almost always come back disappointed. Unfortunately, this film continues the trend. The film is slow, it's often tedious, and when things do happen, all we are afforded is a haphazardly obscured glimpse which does nothing to dispel the stereotypes people have of the gays.

I have to admit that the only reason I watched this movie was due to the lead actor; the guy is gorgeous, has some talent, and does a great job working with his limited script. The rest of the cast is not so attractive, but the lead more than makes up for it.

I just don't understand what this film was trying to achieve, if it was trying to achieve anything at all. Was it a vanity project? Did the director meet this guy and decide to cast him solely due to his looks? I mean, what does a woman know about being a man struggling with his sexuality? This movie has all of the markings of someone that does not truly understand modern gay issues. She might have done her research, but it's a very poor effort on the creative teams part. These types of movies should be written by and directed by gay men, as the voices are more authentic. As it stands, this film comes off more as a side project from someone who wanted to prove that she understands "the struggle". News flash; you do not.

This movie was not properly executed and could have used some more time in the oven. The voices expressed were not genuine, and did not help in dispelling the various stereotypes people have about gays. The sole reason to watch this movie is to ogle the star. That's it. Enjoy his presence, but don't invest to much in the rest of this mess.
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4/10
great actor can't save it
fred-1073 January 2018
Harris Dickinson gives a great performance. The story however is too drawn out and boring at times, actually started fast forwarding. Should have been a short. Hopelessly on the fence and in need of a role model, guidance, therapy , something. Never gets moving and goes nowhere.
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6/10
Could've been better
Jithindurden12 November 2017
Harris Dickinson gives an amazing performance as the sexually confused aimless teenager who also faces family tragedy and drug problems. The whole film works well telling the story from his perspective. But the film lacks the ambition to expand the themes touched by it. It should've been daring in exposing the problems faced by the protagonist and the results of his actions. While what's been shown catches the state of mind of the protagonist perfectly, it feels like the film ends without telling everything it could and should have.
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1/10
Why was this reviewed well?
briner839716 September 2017
I drove 30 miles to see this art house film because I read two favorable reviews of it in national periodicals. For only the second time in recent memory I left before it ended. A few moments were closely observed and genuine, but the story development was mostly unbelievable, unpleasant-to-cringe-worthy, and I dreaded it becoming a gay Looking For Mr. Goodbar (Diane Keaton, 1977). Cruising Jersey Shore would have been a better title. I wouldn't want to spend one minute with any of the characters in this movie.
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