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Parents' Guide to


By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Violence, drinking, and sex in suspenseful thriller.

Movie R 2017 107 minutes
Beast Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

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Kids say (3 ):

While audiences want thrillers to go left when it's expected that they'll go right, this film accomplishes this and so much more. There's such an awareness of the conventions of the "doomed romance of the bad boy and good girl" story that the unreal reality takes on incredible proportions. In this backdrop -- Jersey, in the Channel Islands, as beautiful as it is boring for Moll, a literal "choir girl" of 27 living an oppressive home life ruled by a domineering mother -- Moll's recurring dreams of home invasions are as surreal as Moll and Pascal getting swept up in line dancing with other Europeans after unknowingly going to a local pub during its "Country Music Night."

The acting in Beast is extraordinary from beginning to end. As Pascal, Johnny Flynn transitions from James Dean to Ted Bundy and back again, and the seeming ease by which he does this makes it impossible to know with 100% certainty if he's truly evil or simply misunderstood. As Moll, Jessie Buckley delivers a truly incredible performance, with so much depth and nuance, the demons lurking beneath the surface-level "repressed nonconformist in a sea of conformity" are truly shocking, as the viewer begins to question their assumptions as to which characters are "sympathetic" and which are not. It's a movie that rewards careful and repeated viewing, a bold debut by director Michael Pearce. Recommended for older teens and adults.

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