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Spring Breakers

By MICHAEL NORDINE
The words “spring break” are repeated so often in Spring Breakers that they eventually begin to lose their meaning. That may seem obvious, given the title, but it’s worth pointing out: The phrase takes on a mantralike quality in Harmony Korine’s most outwardly conventional outing to date. Still best known for writing Kids and directing Gummo, the backwater auteur teams up with a Disney-centric cast led by Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens to turn up the decadence and sleaze to 11 in a candy-coated vision of the American Nightmare. Neon lights, blinged-out cribs and James Franco's white-trash gangsta rapper Alien make this akin to an art-house installment of Girls Gone Wild crossed with Scarface—with all the surface allure and occasional vapidity that licentious description implies. The many Skrillex-scored party sequences, though gorgeously filmed, never quite transcend their own vacuousness or offer any insight into the culture they're at once glamorizing and lampooning. That said, an utterly sincere rendition of Britney Spears' “Everytime,” performed by Alien and set to a violent montage, is an early contender for sequence of the year, and nearly enough to forgive the film's shortcomings.
 
  • Running Time:
  • Release Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Critic's Score: B-
  • Watch the trailer
 

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