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Beast

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom

2018

Rated R • 1h 47m

Director Michael Pearce

Starring Jessie Buckley, Johnny Flynn, Geraldine James, Charley Palmer Rothwell

Genre Drama, Thriller, Mystery, Crime

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A troubled woman living in an isolated community finds herself pulled between the control of her oppressive family and the allure of a secretive outsider suspected of a series of brutal murders.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

67

The A.V. Club by A.A. Dowd

This psychodrama didn’t go exactly where I expected it would. It didn’t go anywhere particularly interesting either.
70

The New Yorker by Anthony Lane

Beast is at its best when Buckley is at her most undaunted, showing us Moll at her most extreme — when she lies down by moonlight, for instance, in the shallow hole where a murder victim was found, beside a potato field.
80

CineVue by Christopher Machell

Beast is rough around the edges but as a feature debut marks out its director as one of the most intriguing new talents in British filmmaking.
63

Slant Magazine by Chuck Bowen

The narrative has a gambit that steers Beast into the terrain of a horror film, offsetting the sentimentality of the audience-flattering romance.
80

Empire by Dan Jolin

A strong debut from director Michael Pearce, with a gripping performance by newcomer Jessie Buckley. So much more than just another serial-killer movie.
80

Variety by Guy Lodge

Upgrading a sleeping-with-the-enemy premise familiar from countless B-thrillers with a faintly mythic aura and cool psychosexual shading, Beast also sustains a fresh, frank feminine perspective through Jessie Buckley’s remarkable lead performance.
50

The Playlist by Kevin Jagernauth

Beast takes a storytelling gamble, presenting itself as a psychological whodunit, before pivoting toward a more genre oriented plot. The risk doesn’t quite pay off, undercutting its thematic potential for thrills that aren’t quite that effective.
80

The Hollywood Reporter by Leslie Felperin

British thriller Beast takes a fistful of tired old tropes — like a hunt for a serial killer, and the ‘ol Joe Eszterhas-style is-he-or-isn’t-he-a-baddie tease — and manages to fashion something fresh, fierce and quite striking from them.
80

The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

[Pearce] gives us a carefully crafted dramatic setup, an intriguingly curated selection of suspects for the crime and all of it building to a fascinating, finely balanced ambiguity in the movie’s climactic stages.

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