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Beautiful Creatures

By REBECCA JACOBSON
As its teenage characters woo each other with Charles Bukowski quotes and Kurt Vonnegut references, Beautiful Creatures fancies itself an impassioned ode to overcoming alienation. But the film—despite any mileage it gains thanks to its eerie Southern gothic setting—hews closer to Twilight than to any other literary forebear. Lena (Alice Englert) is a spookily enigmatic newcomer to the small town of Gatlin, S.C. “She looks like death eatin’ a cracker,” sneers one of her prim, Bible-thumping classmates. But the Vonnegut-worshipping Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich, whose square jaw and frequently unbuttoned shirt will probably recruit him fans) quickly cozies up to Lena, even when she reveals she’s a witch under the grasp of an age-old curse. Lena swears her powers are becoming darker, but as the film plods on, all that supports such a conviction is that she wears thicker eyeliner and accidentally produces more lightning bolts. Aside from scenery-chewing turns by Jeremy Irons as a morally ambiguous dandy and Emma Thompson as an unequivocally evil witch, the cast is wide-eyed and wooden. Beautiful Creatures attempts to make itself a supernatural Gone With the Wind, complete with gauzy Civil War flashbacks and a truth-telling maid (Viola Davis plays a telepathic housekeeper), but a modern-day Tara this ain’t.
 
  • Genres: Fantasy, Romance
  • Running Time: 123 minutes
  • Release Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13 [ Scary Images, Some Sexual Material, Violence ]
  • Critic's Score: C
  • Starring: Alden Ehrenreich [Ethan Wate], Alice Englert [Lena Duchannes], Jeremy Irons [Macon Ravenwood], Viola Davis [Amma], Emmy Rossum [Ridley Duchannes], Thomas Mann [Link], Emma Thompson [Mrs. Lincoln/Sarafine], Eileen Atkins [Gramma], Margo Martindale [Aunt Del], Zoey Deutch [Emily Asher], Tiffany Boone [Savannah Snow], Rachel Brosnahan [Genevieve Duchannes], Kyle Gallner [Larkin Ravenwood], Pruitt Vince [Mr. Lee], Robin Skye [Mrs. Hester], Randy Redd [Rev. Stephens]
  • Directed by: Richard LaGravenese [Director], Richard LaGravenese [Screenwriter], Erwin Stoff [Producer], Andrew A. Kosove [Producer], Broderick Johnson [Producer], Molly Smith [Producer], David Valdes [Producer], Yolanda Cochran [Executive Producer], Philippe Rousselot [Cinematographer], Richard Sherman [Production Design], David Moritz [Film Editor], Jeffrey Kurland [Costume Designer], Margery Simkin [Casting], thenewno2 [Original Music], Troy Sizemore [Supervising Art Direction], Lorin Flemming [Art Director], Matthew Ferguson [Set Decoration]
  • Visit the Movie Website | Watch the trailer
 

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  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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