Beastly

  • Review Date: February 28, 2011
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Lackluster romance is heavy on lessons about superficiality.
  • Review Date: February 28, 2011
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie is ultimately saying that beauty isn’t skin deep, and valuing the outside above all else can make your insides ugly.

Positive role models

Lindy is earnest and caring, but she seems to be the only character who's genuinely kind and gentle -- though Kyle does undergo an emotional and physical transformation that teaches him about what’s most important.

Violence

A man shoots another man off screen and kills him; the body is later seen. Another man threatens another’s child. A high school boy ridicules a classmate repeatedly.

Sex

Tender kisses between the movie's stars; a couple paws each other at a party. Several close-up shots of the main male character shirtless. A few sexual innuendoes.

Language

Words include "s--t," "ass," "crap," "slut," "skank," "bulls--t," "WTF," and "bitch."

Consumerism

Some label-flashing and name-dropping, including Ducati, Forbes, D’Agostino, Duane Reade, Coke, Footlocker, Jujyfruit, and Bulgari.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some underage drinking at a party; drug references.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this take on the classic Beauty and the Beast story (which is based on the novel by Alex Flinn) is aimed squarely at teens who love all things Twilight. But those drawn to the movie by its stars (High School Musical's Vanessa Hudgens and "it" boy Alex Pettyfer) and basic romantic supernatural storyline might be disappointed by what ends up feeling more like a toothless high school popularity contest movie. Plus, unlike Twilight, this film has some strong language (including "s--t") and underage drinking, as well as kissing, sexual innuendo, and plenty of label-dropping. Witchcraft plays a role in the plot.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Inspired by the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast and based on the novel by Alex Flinn, BEASTLY takes place in present-day Brooklyn and centers on an arrogant, handsome, popular teenager named Kyle (Alex Pettyfer) who must learn about love and humility the hard way. A classmate known to be a witch (Mary-Kate Olsen) puts a hex on him, transforming him into a disfigured, tattooed, bald creature. His way out? Finding a girl who will love him as he is, and for all the right reasons. And he has to find her within one year -- or else he'll stay the way he is forever. Could Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens) -- a down-to-earth scholarship student -- be the one, or is Kyle bound to be undone by his terrible reputation?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

When the best part of your movie is a supporting actor who appears to be channeling his most popular character from a sitcom -- in this case, Neil Patrick Harris as Will, who seems like a blind version of How I Met Your Mother’s Barney -- you know you’re in trouble. BEASTLY lives up to its name: It's inert, unexciting, and sometimes laughable, and not in an intentional way.

Start with the movie's definition of ugly, for instance. Rather than make pretty boy Pettyfer downright hideous (which is called for in this case), Beastly wimps out and goes for a tattooed, slashed, punk-rock skinhead look, with a dose of allergy-induced-looking inflammation here and there. Then there’s the tone, which is ambivalent at best. Is Beastly a supernatural mystery, a high school drama, or a romcom? (Our money is on supernatural mystery, which it abandons fairly quickly.) And what about chemistry? Pettyfer and Hudgens have none. Some storylines, like Kyle’s dynamic with his father (Peter Krause), seem promising, and the film’s look isn’t half-bad (it has a brooding, midnight-in-the-city vibe). And Harris is always a win, whatever role he plays. But honestly, Beastly is pretty blah.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why the witch puts a curse on Kyle when other people at school are superficial and mean, too. How can behavior like that be addressed in real life?

  • How does the behavior of the teens in this movie compare to how kids treat each other in reality? Does the fantasy element make it seem less hurtful?

  • What would you say the movie's message is?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 4, 2011
DVD release date:June 28, 2011
Cast:Alex Pettyfer, Mary-Kate Olsen, Vanessa Hudgens
Director:Daniel Barnz
Studio:CBS Films
Genre:Science Fiction
Run time:95 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:language including some crude comments, drug references and brief violence

This review of Beastly was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Written byAnonymous March 22, 2014
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Disappointed

If you want anything to do with Beastly, read the book! I loved the book, but was really disappointed by the movie. They didn't have the same endings!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byabbs March 20, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Good For Understanding, Mature Teens

Honestly, I liked it.. But what can I say? Its made for people my age. My moms biggest concerns were sexual, language, and role models, oh, and ofcourse, the witch. Im going to address those topics. Sexual? NO. A couple of kisses between movie stars. So, if youre afraid of kissing, dont see the end of this move. language. That IS a bit of an issue. At the dance, Sloane says "a.rose!? .....!?" and Kyle calls Sloane..Role models. OOOHH big one! okay, so as the traditional story goes, Kyle is rude at first. He messes with the witch, and he gets cursed. While he is 'ugly' he is banned in an apartment where nobody can see him because his dad is a self centered jerk the whole movie. Kyle becomes a better person while sharing the company of Lindy, none other than Vanessa Hudgens. But, the movie makes it obvious the good and evil sides of people, specifically Kyle. Okay, the witch. There is a witch in Beauty and the Beast, but she does not play a prominent role. In this movie, although Mary Kate Olsen is an incredibly talented actress, she is a witch. No, it does not offend Chirstianity, but still the fact of witchcraft gets some people excited, with reason. The worst she does is call herself a witch, and say she can do good... that is, if Kyle succeeds. But, there is also a "good witch" in the Wizard of Oz. Just make sure your kids know that there are no good witches and witchcraft does exist, but it is of the devil.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 15 years old Written byOGORMAN April 9, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Cinema take doesn't quite compare to book, but is still entertaining and teaches about real beauty.

Only 2 stars Common Sense? Really? I think this movie deserves more credit from every movie critic out there. It wasn't the best movie in the world, but it wasn't fall-asleep-you're-so-bored bad. I found it very funny and entertaining. The beginning of the movie where Kyle harasses Kendra is where all the language is; as the movie goes on though there's less and less of it. Neil Patrick Harris portrays a sarcastic blind tutor so well, everything that came out of his mouth was hilarious. For instance when talking about "baby steps" he suggests Kyle walk up to Lindy and say "Whassup?" Which earns equally sarcastic comebacks and eye rolls. In the review it says there's several close ups of the main character a.k.a Kyle, a.k.a Alex Pettyfer. They say that like it's a bad thing! I mean have you seen the guy!? He's so gorgeous words can't describe it! Though I will admit his American accent got a little iffy at times, but he is English and you could tell when he slipped up (really cute slip ups I might add!). Kyle may start off as a self-absorbed pretty boy, but after falling in love he learns to see the beauty in others and the true beauty in himself; which is a lesson I think the whole world should learn. Comments? Questions? Concerns? Email me: ogormanscommonsense at yahoo. :)
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written bysaralove100 March 26, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
This movie i would reccomend for mature kids ages 10 and up. It is a story of seeing a person from the inside not the out. This movie is a wonderful message for 10-14 and i would absolutley reccomend it.
What other families should know
Great messages

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass