Box art for Beautiful Creatures

  Beautiful Creatures

drama, romance

Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich) has had nightmares for months and now his world is shaken up with the arrival of Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert), the owner of gothic Ravenwood Manor.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 13
2 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Lush book adaptation mixes romance, fantasy, some violence.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Beautiful Creatures is based on the best-selling paranormal romance by Kami Garcia and Maragaret Stohl. Teens and mature tweens, especially fans of the four-part book series, will be eager to see the tale brought to life on the big screen. The movie has even more romance (including kissing, making out, and seduction) than in the book, with the central couple moving out of "friends" mode faster here than they did in the original story. Language includes "s--t" and "ass," and there's gun and magical violence that kills one beloved character and injures a bunch of mean teens. Discussion fodder includes some messages about the dangers of being close minded.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about Beautiful Creatures' message. What is it saying about being open to differences? About censorship?
  • How does the Beautiful Creatures story contrast to Twilight? Are there any similarities beyond the forbidden young love?
  • Is Ethan and Lena's romance a positive relationship role model for teens? How do each of them make sacrifices for the other's well being? Is it believable for a 15- and 16-year-old to have such an intense connection?
  • Fans of the books: What changes made sense for the page-to-screen transformation? What parts do you miss?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: The movie is an intriguing, intelligent enigma - three words not typically associated with teen romances.

- Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Rotten: A clear bid to ignite a franchise capable of filling the hole left in teenage hearts by the end of the Twilight saga.

- Connie Ogle, Miami Herald, Thursday, February 14, 2013

Fresh: ...a new vision of witchery that is more playful, coherent and intelligent. If you're thinking a deep-fried, more hormonally charged Harry Potter, that's not it, but it's close to the intention at least.

- Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies, Thursday, February 14, 2013

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Beautiful Creates is one of those films that takes the elements from the Twilight franchise, but reinvents it significantly to make it an enjoyable film. By no means is this a great film, but it is certainly better than Twilight. What separates both films is that this film has a far better cast and slightly better plot, although they're at times quite similar. With that being said, to those that hated Twilight, they may find something better in this one as it works out all the mistakes from the Twilight franchise. I liked the film for what it was, and I thought that the cast did a good job with the material as well. The strength of the film lies in its visuals and the film looks absolutely great. One thing that stands out in Beautiful Creates is the performance of Jeremy Irons, who always lights up the screen with his screen presence. Twilight failed to deliver anything truly compelling for the viewer, however when you combine the supernatural overtones of a horror film, and include a romantic storyline that is well done. Aside from the usual clichs, this is a well executed movie that is quite entertaining from start to finish. Even with all its flaws, I much preferred this film over Twilight and it shows that when you have a slightly better script and better cast, you're able to deliver a better movie. Jeremy Irons holds this film together and overall, I liked the film for what it was and I'm not one that usually enjoys these types of films. For viewers that are skeptics, there's more than just a simple "romance" here. If you were disappointed by Twilight, then this film will most likely give you what you're looking for. This is the better supernatural romance film, and it has a far better sense of visuals that is very stylish and sets some great atmosphere throughout the film. Beautiful Creature is not a perfect film, but is one worth checking out.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Sunday, February 24, 2013

3 stars

Liked it, but it has faults. Firstly, the supernatural thing is starting to be done to death. Our heroine here is a witch. I did like her, though. The lead guy who's name escapes me, I didn't think was all that well cast. He looked too old for the part and I didn't think there was a lot of chemistry between the pair. Definitely not a Twilight rip from that angle! Opening was up in the air and hinting at a sequel. I liked this enough to see it, but not enough to want to buy it and watch it over. Not bad addition to the genre.

- romy861, Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2 stars

Beautiful Creatures wasn't a bad film, in fact in many ways it's an improvement over past films of its genre, but I still believe this was just another fantasy-romance that just doesn't want to achieve greatness. I will attempt to not compare this film to "The Twilight Saga," because that would be unfair to this film and the filmmakers who shouldn't have to be compared to that mess of a series. I believe what makes this film stand above other films of its genre is the cast of actors; I believed their performances, I enjoyed their performances, and I was impressed with their performances. I even can admit that I was a fan of the chemistry between the two main characters, which I believe the writers did a fine job at getting us to like and not feel like one big clich. Great chemistry is something every romance story needs, because without that this film would feel like just two hours of a huge Nicholas Sparks adaption. I will even admit I liked the concept of the story and it will entertain many filmgoers such as myself. However, I didn't think the movie took on any risks or challenges to make itself stand out amongst the crowd of films this year, and when I left the theater I felt like it was just another day at the movies. Director Richard LaGravenese tries to do something great here, and I was impressed with his direction and great use of the visual effects, but sadly the script is so clustered and predictable that it just couldn't make me love it. Many people are going to enjoy this film, and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, but if you aren't a fan of the fantasy-romance genre than I urge you to stay away. The story follows Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) a high school boy who has been having dreams about a girl he does not know. A new girl named Lena (Alice Englert) who everyone is scared of since they believe something is wrong with her. When Ethan almost hits her with his car, they begin to bond and start a relationship. That is when she tells him that she is a "caster" which can let her perform magic and will decide her future to be good or evil. The plot has a lot happening and a lot of things to remember about magic powers and good and evil, and at one point I just stopped worrying about it and stopped trying to confuse myself. I believe that the character of Ethan is supposed to be our audience surrogate, which means we are learning everything about this world just like he is. Sometimes the story hits some good moments but overall I thought it was just silly and couldn't take it seriously. The characters had me intrigued and luckily the performances pull them off perfectly, but they are put into a story where nothing really interesting or new happens. I could predict how many things in this film would play out, and at times some scenes were just too ridiculous to take seriously. It is just a prime example of talented actors who get sucked into the world of Hollywood that only cares about money. However, there is a scene in the film where the two main characters witness a flashback on a movie screen of the Civil War, and this is a point where the film starts to really take itself seriously and this scene really impressed me. This story is still directed toward the female audience, and maybe some men will even enjoy it, but this just showed me another example that Hollywood has trouble showing us anything new or original. The cast is a talented group of performances that really appreciate their characters and are really the high point of the film. Alden Ehrenreich could've been just a boring and one-dimensional actor with no real purpose in the film, but he rises above that clich character and gives us something that shows me he could become a very good actor in the future. He has anger, lust, and happiness in him which makes him much more than just a pretty boy. Alice Englert didn't seem like much to me at first, but as the film progresses her performance improves and I really began to like her. We grow to sympathize with her and want her to find happiness. Jeremy Iron is brilliant in this film and stands out as the best actor in the film, due to his anger and believability in his character. He steals every scene with his intensity and edginess, and that is just another example of why he is such a great actor. Viola Davis gives a good performance in the film, but I believe her talent was wasted as her character really wasn't given any stand out scenes. I just believe they should've used her talent more wisely. Emma Thompson plays a brilliant villain and I believed every second of her performance, and I believe every scene with her reminded me of her power as an actress. Thomas Mann and Emmy Rossum also give some interesting performances as well. Overall this is a large cast and they all play great performances, and I enjoyed watching all of them on screen. Beautiful Creatures seems like it wants to become the next series of fantasy-romance films that will drive the girls wild and make men just roll their eyes, but I just don't know if this film had enough going for itself to continue a series. I am not against this genre just because I am a male, in fact it was the romance in the film that I think was one of the high points, but the story just gets too caught up in magic and curses that I just found the story to be silly. I was impressed by the visuals and the score of the film, espically in the climax which used its budget to its advantage. But these advantages don't fix a story that is meant for teenagers who love young adult novels. Richard LaGravenese wanted to create a film that wouldn't be compared to "Twilight," but the films have so much in common that many critics and audience members are going to compare the two. But I think this film is more mature than "Twilight," and that is due to the better performances, more believable romance, and the greater direction. I cannot tell you if you will like or hate this film because I don't know what your preference is, but I do know that I walked into the theater expecting a complete waste of time and was given something actually a lot better than I expected. Overall I didn't love the film and I personally hope they don't turn it into a series, but if you give this film a chance like I did than you might be pleasantly surprised.

- fb1526363679, Saturday, March 2, 2013