“What Happened To The Romance? Sappy, Soppy Longhand Love Letters.”
“An Unnecessary Interpretation Of The Classic Fairy Tale That Is At Times Difficult To Watch. The Plot Is Silly And Much Of The Acting Is Unintentionally Terrible With The Exception Of Vanessa Hudgens And Neil Patrick Harris Who Give Decent Performances.”
Adam Markovitz - Entertainment Weekly
Roses and love bloom, and you might giggle yourself sick, but this is the kind of cornball entertainment that rainy afternoons were made for. Throw in a cozy sofa too. Beastly will size down well on your television.
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
It's dogged by awkward dialogue, a ridiculous plot and lackluster performances, especially by the leads, Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
It's possible you need a break from the dirty mind of "Twilight.'' But in favor of a dollar-store "Beauty and the Beast'' with no mind at all?
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
[A] tin-eared, corny attempt at fairy-tale interpretation.
Nick Schager - Village Voice
It takes guts to transform heartthrob Alex Pettyfer into a disfigured hero for the bulk of Beastly, a contemporary retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It takes even more guts to do it differently than the book's fans might expect.
Nancy Churnin - Dallas Morning News
Blandly literal and flabbily familiar, the great irony of Beastly is that this filmed version of the classic parable of how beauty is only skin-deep has so very little going on under the surface.
James Rocchi - MSN Movies
A pallid, formulaic teen romance that might have benefited from a little snark.
Andrea Gronvall - Chicago Reader
Sure, Beastly's underlying message is a worthy one, but by the time the film gets there the audience's ability to empathize will be sorely tested.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
An intolerably sappy "Beauty and the Beast" for the Clearasil set.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
There is one good thing you can say about "Beastly": The title perfectly sums up what you'll see on screen.
Randy Cordova - Arizona Republic
A brain-dead update of the classic fairy tale whose feeble understanding of its own point runs only skin-deep.
Peter Debruge - Variety
More than lives up to its name with ultra-campy performances, high-glucose direction (Daniel Barnz), laughable dialogue, cheesy effects and a back-lot simulation of a Manhattan street that wouldn't pass muster on an after-school special.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
What really grates about this movie, apart from the atrocious script, direction and acting, is the premise that "unusual" is synonymous with "ugly."
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
You have to admire the bravery of the filmmakers, who went ahead and made a movie despite not understanding the subject matter. It's also pretty impressive that anyone could miss the point of Beauty and the Beast.
Eric D. Snider - Film.com
Beastly gets one timeless fact right: For hatchet faces, fatty cakes and Frankenskanks, high school can definitely feel like a curse.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
Like Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens is blessed with amazing looks to go along with her limited acting.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
The best thing about this movie -- starring Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens and Mary-Kate Olsen -- is that it's only 86 minutes long.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
Beastly is just as superficial and obsessed with looks as the characters and the mindset it rails against, which would seem like a bitter, frustrating irony if it merited the emotional reaction to care that much.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
Beauty and the Beast Lite. Might appeal to 11-year-old girls.
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
A sly and pleasant-enough young-adult programmer that is more likeable than not.
Mark Olsen - Los Angeles Times
So this isn't a great re-imagining of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, but Beastly does have mass tweener appeal.
Amy Curtis - We Got This Covered
Roger Moore - Movie Nation
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Daniel Barnz's movie certainly doesn't have any inner depth behind its slick surface, but Neil Patrick Harris's nifty wisecracks, Mary-Kate Olsen's spooky glares and the brisk pacing means that Beastly isn't quite as hideous as you might imagine
Jason Best - Movie Talk
Hudgens is a likeable on-screen presence, Olsen a complete riot, and Pettyfer teases teeny bits of a performance as a genuinely unpleasant baddie that could be the making of him one day, should the right script come along.
Mayer Nissim - Digital Spy
Beauty and the blech.
Grae Drake - Movies.com
... tone deaf (do students today really say "hurl chunks" and "Too cool for school"?), predictably plotted, filled with drippy love songs that would embarrass Bryan Ferry.
Glenn Lovell - CinemaDope
Some snappy pacing and hints of pain throbbing beneath the cool sarcasm of teens push much of Beastly past its skin-deep pandering to a teen demographic. Still, this 21st-century fairy tale doesn't wilt, but it's not quite refreshed, either.
Brian Gibson - Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
It's basically programming a generation of young girls to yield to the will of a patriarchal society and grow up to become biddable Stepford Wives. This evil must be stopped.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
Beauty And The Beast except with the lusty, gothic menace that makes that story interesting replaced by moany teenagers and crap acoustic guitar music. Or, in short, Dawson's Freak.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
Undermines its central message about substance over style by sacrificing characterisation for glossy visuals.
Catherine Jones - Liverpool Echo
Beastly doesn't quite cover it. Not even monstrous, gruesome or grotesque come close.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
It's not nearly as bad as you've probably heard, thanks to a mercifully short running time and decent performances throughout, but a sloppy script denies Beastly the hormone-infused gravitas it desperately needs.
Shaun Munro - What Culture
Beastly has some groan-inducing lines and acting to match.
Graham Young - Birmingham Post
Fails to convince on every level, thanks to an ironically charisma-free performance from Alex Pettyfer.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
'Beastly' is a special brand of hogwash: a fairy tale that preaches inner beauty while refusing to obscure the looks of its doomed hero.
- Time Out
A tween-baiting update that sullies the elegant fairytale with privileged brats in penthouses. Beastly is a crass, spirit-sapping bore.
Ken McIntyre - Total Film
In every aspect, from story to tone to characterization to visual aesthetic, it's laughably perfunctory, as though everyone involved were too embarrassed to give it more than a half-ironic token effort.
Tasha Robinson - AV Club
Maybe the next time they tell this story it'll star the cast of Jersey Shore and The Garbage Pail Kids. Why shouldn't it?
Dave White - Movies.com
- National Post
Somewhere inside 'Beastly' is a gorgeous, intelligent film, straining to get out of a ridiculous subplot and dopey set-up.
Linda Cook - KWQC-TV (Iowa)
Beneath it all, however, is a movie with a good heart.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
"Beastly" is a poor representation of its source material and creates a monster out of it its inherent themes.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Undeveloped characters, undeveloped performances, undeveloped emotions and a mess of a script that could have benefited greatly from an extensive rewrite. Or at least some singing crockery.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
A clueless, pointless inanity that's destined for the DVD discard bin, while Disney's 1991 'Beauty and the Beast' remains on the top shelf.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
Another sad example of the Twilight effect.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
... all strained wisecracks and moony teen angst ...
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
The one thing that I could call a high point is Neil Patrick Harris as Kyle's blind tutor.
Beth Accomando - KPBS.org
Definitely appealing to teen girls, anyone else will only accompany them if they have true inner beauty.
Diana Saenger - ReviewExpress.com
Thoroughly solidifies the fact that CBS Films' head is firmly lodged up its cathode ray tube.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Worth getting excited for the fact that it rings in a brand new subgenre: the Post-Twilight Emo Fairy Tale. Excited? "Terrified", I meant to say.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
This is Beauty and the Beast for the Twilight generation; they've paid for abs and sparkles, and they insist on getting their money's worth.
Richard Larson - Slant Magazine
Disney did it better but this is an acceptable re-telling of the old Beauty and the Beast legend.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
Beastly falls flat as a love story, and what we're left with are a few interesting ideas presented in the most patronizing way possible.
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky - Ebert Presents At The Movies
Beastly plays as an apologia for bad boys and the saintly girls who find them irresistible.
Mark Pfeiffer - Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Beastly starts off promising, but it turns ugly fast.
Roger Tennis - Cinemaclips.com
Beastly is such an excruciating morality play that it feels more like a punishment to the audience than the characters.
Todd Gilchrist - Cinematical
Resistance to this sort of commingling of the classical tale with the high school milieu is, as ever, totally futile, and to its credit, Beastly doesn't try so hard to fit within the framework of the fairy tale that it bends itself all out of shape.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
To redo The Beauty and the Beast and introduce a movie version of classic literature to a texting addicted, reading challenged generation, at least do it right.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
Imagine Beauty and the Beast rewritten by a pack of teen girls high on Twilight and Gossip Girl, and you get an idea of what you're in for with Beastly.
Camerin Courtney - Christianity Today
An adequate updating of the "Beauty and the Beast" tale for a sliver of young film fans
Doris Toumarkine - Film Journal International
No one erred by choosing to mothball Beastly for eight months. It was only in the mistaken decision to release it that the ugly came roaring out.
Kimberly Gadette - Indie Movies Online
Meant to cash in on the craze for fantasy films about hormonal teens started by a certain chick-lit vampire series, Beastly merely shows how Twilight got it right.
Radheyan Simonpillai - NOW Toronto
...Beastly benefits substantially from an uplifting, thoroughly satisfying conclusion that's arrived at without the assistance of a fake break-up...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Watching Beastly isn't nearly as disturbing as reflecting upon Beastly. So, if there's an opportunity to immediately dive into a nap after a viewing, perhaps there's a good time to be had.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
How ridiculous, corny, and obvious is all this?
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
I'm not a 13-year old girl, so I couldn't care less about Pettyfer's six-pack abs, so I was focused on what a horrible actor he is with some of the klunkiest, most ridiculous dialogue
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Lackluster romance is heavy on lessons about superficiality.
S. Jhoanna Robledo - Common Sense Media
Teens convinced that a pimple will kill their social life will find Beastly bracingly honest. It's the cynicism, not the phoned-in uplift, that works in this JV Grand Guignol.
Amy Nicholson - Boxoffice Magazine
For a fable about a magical curse, "Beastly" is strangely earthbound. And once it starts, it just seems to go on sappily ever after.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
There are flashes of genuine wit and charm that, while they cannot support the rest, hint at what was intended and not realized.
Linda Holmes - NPR
At one point when Hudgens' character points out that she prefers substance over style, one can only wonder what she would have thought of BEASTLY.
JimmyO - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
The hilariously awful tale of a selfish jerk who learns absolutely nothing ... full of helpful tips on dating strategies such as underhanded manipulation and blatant stalking.
Matt Pais - RedEye
Disney's animated film featured characters that were more alive and human than this live-action film.
Rebecca Murray - About.com
I'm a half-century too old for such tween swill as that which is regurgitated in CBS Films' Beastly," another in the ever-expanding clones of Twilight wannabes...
Elias Savada - Film Threat
It would be disturbing if it weren't so incompetently hilarious.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
Oh, yes, the script is a little ham-fisted, plowing through exposition and establishing character with a steam shovel, but in a tale like this, sometimes being obvious and cutting to the chase can be a virtue.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
A slipshod teen sudser starring 20-year-olds playing 17-year-olds penned as 12-year-olds.
In an era of bullies and mean girls, "Gossip Girls" and "Pretty Little Liars," it's nice to have such a tenderhearted fairy tale.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
Beastly manages to show you all the ways it might have worked by missing every available mark, sometimes by the gaping expanse between Alex Pettyfer's ears, sometimes only by the feline curl of Vanessa Hudgens' smile.
Michelle Orange - Movieline
There's just not enough substance to make Beastly anything more than another cheesy teen romance movie.
Jason Zingale - Bullz-Eye.com
"Beastly" is not the best or the worst teen movie I've ever seen, but given the talented cast (especially Harris), I would have loved to see them tackle a more realistic reboot.
Cathy Jakicic - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Everything and everyone looks very pretty, with even Kyle's disfigurement looking like it would make a cool T-shirt logo; nothing, and nobody, makes any sense.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
Beastly is tolerable enough for a March release. Yes, that is damning with faint praise.
Loey Lockerby - Kansas City Star
From conception to execution, this is a misguided effort to update the classic fairytale for a younger generation; if you like the fable, please revisit the 1946 Jean Cocteau film or even the 1991 Disney animated musical.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
It's been over a year since CBS Films launched and their curse still isn't broken.
Geoff Berkshire - Metromix.com
the filmic equivalent of the word, "duh."
Jason McKiernan - Filmcritic.com
Poorly written, amateurishly acted and cheesily made,...this high school morality tale that recasts the old fairy tale for the 'Twilight' audience...resembles a chintzy Afterschool Special with supernatural overtones.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Trite and formulaic, Beastly is an inoffensive snooze.
Tim Grierson - Screen International
Director Daniel Barnz casts his own spell of bad dialogue, soppy montages, and ringing cell phones as a plot device to ensure that the fairy tale retains no traces of the beautiful or bestial.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
Beastly, for all its potential pitfalls, works better than it has any right to.
Howard Cohen - Miami Herald