RT Podcast

"Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong" About... The Beach

Leonardo DiCaprio grazed a career iceberg with critically dismissed thriller The Beach. Twenty years on, director Jim Cummings joins our podcast to make a case for the Danny Boyle flick's bonkers greatness.

by | October 15, 2020 | Comments

The Beach

(Photo by ©20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.)

Somewhere between the peak of his teen heartthrob years – iceberg, right ahead! – and the dawn of his Scorsese years, Leonard DiCaprio made turn-of-the-century curio The Beach. It was the kind of project you would expect to easily surf into the Certified Fresh zone: Based on a book by sci-fi darling Alex Garland (who would go on to write and direct Ex Machina); directed by indie wunderkind Danny Boyle, just a few years after Trainspotting; and starring arguably the most popular and talented actor of his generation – not to mention that it featured an about-to-break-out-big actress named Tilda Swinton. And yet The Beach didn’t make any waves, bringing in tepid box office receipts in the U.S. and coming in Rotten with critics at 20% on the Tomatometer.

The movie was messy, the story of an adventure-seeking traveler that is sometimes a sexy tropical romance, sometimes a Manson-esque cult thriller, sometimes a video game (really!), and sometimes a Heart of Darkness-style examination of a man on the edge. Critics liked the look of it – thank legendary French-Iranian lenser Darius Khondji for all that Insta porn – and acknowledged it was ambitious, but something didn’t gel. And Leo, who played said thrill-seeker, Richard, couldn’t save things. (He was nominated for a Razzie for his efforts, though, losing out to John Travolta for Battlefield Earth.)

Listen Now:  Spotify |  Apple Podcasts  |  Stitcher  |  TuneIn  |  Google Podcasts | Radio Public | Deezer | iHeart | Art19

Cut to 20 years later, and Boyle and Co.’s ambition might be paying off, with The Beach earning something of a cult following. (Yes, we see the irony.) It’s certainly near and dear to the heart of actor and filmmaker Jim Cummings, who says that when it comes to the DiCaprio movie he counts among his top five films of all time, the Tomatometer is way off base. So, of course, we had to have him on our podcast. In the latest episode of the new podcast, Rotten Tomatoes is Wrong, Cummings – who’s latest film, the terrifying and hilarious The Wolf Of Snow Hollow is Certified Fresh (Rotten Tomatoes is Right on that one!) – explains why The Beach appealed so much to him as a teenage boy and aspiring filmmaker, and why he still thinks it’s one of the most daring, audacious, and underrated films ever made.

Will co-hosts Jacqueline Coley and Mark Ellis be convinced? Listen in to find out.

Be sure to check in every Thursday for a new episode of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong (A Podcast From Rotten Tomatoes). Each week, hosts Jacqueline and Mark and guests go deep and settle the score on some of the most beloved – and despised – movies and TV shows ever made, directly taking on the statement we hear from so many fans: “Rotten Tomatoes is wrong.”

If you have a suggestion for a movie or show you think we should do an episode on, let us know in the comments, or email us at rtiswrong@rottentomatoes.com.

Meet the hosts

Jacqueline Coley is an editor at Rotten Tomatoes, with a focus on awards and indie coverage but with a passion for everything, from the MCU to musicals and period pieces. Coley is a regular moderator at conventions and other events, can be seen on Access Hollywood and other shows, and will not stand Constantine slander of any kind. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter: @THATjacqueline.

Mark Ellis is a comedian and contributing editor for Rotten Tomatoes. He currently hosts the Rotten Tomatoes series Versus, among others, and can be seen co-hosting the sports entertainment phenomenon Movie Trivia Schmoedown. His favorite Star Wars movie is Jedi (guess which one!), his favorite person is actually a dog (his beloved stepdaughter Mollie), and – thanks to this podcast – he’s about to watch Burlesque for the first time in his life. Follow Mark on Twitter: @markellislive.

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

E3 sequels Disney+ Disney Plus Emmy Nominations Nat Geo cancelled concert NYCC TIFF 45 Ellie Kemper name the review National Geographic Sundance Now asian-american child's play Kids & Family based on movie OWN political drama Holidays Star Trek Paramount Network Podcast NBC TCA 2017 Pirates TV HBO Max justice league Trivia Pop TV worst movies remakes cats A&E HBO Go Set visit quibi hollywood franchise GIFs Countdown Horror mockumentary versus Writers Guild of America reviews toronto Christmas breaking bad supernatural DirecTV Freeform Hear Us Out witnail The Walking Dead dark Western space CW Seed BBC One Logo Election RT21 CBS composers Mary Tyler Moore 2015 Walt Disney Pictures Spring TV Shudder period drama Brie Larson Disney mutant Mindy Kaling Starz New York Comic Con The Academy what to watch SXSW crime drama die hard Chernobyl cinemax Comic Book Premiere Dates First Look Country Apple true crime emmy awards 2018 Rom-Com YouTube Premium Mary Poppins Returns YouTube halloween tv Thanksgiving MSNBC criterion spy thriller rotten The Arrangement dceu SundanceTV Bravo chucky halloween WGN Character Guide politics Tubi Fall TV science fiction Binge Guide Martial Arts Pixar MTV IFC Pop game of thrones Oscars GoT vampires free movies twilight PlayStation Awards Tour MCU toy story Marvel Television elevated horror comic nbcuniversal miniseries werewolf comiccon superhero Tomatazos movie Music documentary Television Critics Association 2020 Emmys Vudu Disney Plus Warner Bros. Red Carpet TNT Showtime Pride Month festival Black History Month 20th Century Fox stop motion Mudbound batman game show TLC war dragons History Nominations DC Comics VICE movies WarnerMedia Ghostbusters finale 2017 RT History Fox Searchlight independent crossover Super Bowl directors Amazon Studios romantic comedy foreign stoner theme song italian Masterpiece AMC Family japanese television screen actors guild singing competition discovery Quiz richard e. Grant Box Office BET Amazon FX Photos Disney streaming service Tumblr Hallmark Christmas movies LGBTQ cooking dogs 24 frames Trophy Talk satire universal monsters spider-man Netflix Christmas movies police drama Sundance TV First Reviews serial killer diversity APB travel Crackle Comedy Central Shondaland children's TV blaxploitation Arrowverse football Marvel psychological thriller Musicals Epix Marathons adaptation Apple TV Plus nfl Infographic streaming Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 21st Century Fox ratings Toys DGA scary movies CNN Food Network crime thriller TV Land VH1 DC streaming service revenge Women's History Month Black Mirror talk show Sony Pictures spinoff anthology mission: impossible joker Nickelodeon Captain marvel Valentine's Day latino Cannes christmas movies adventure IFC Films X-Men Discovery Channel Creative Arts Emmys parents El Rey Rock TCA Awards laika Superheroe cancelled TV series dramedy archives YouTube Red Year in Review Lucasfilm binge anime Spike ABC Family ghosts video cults Avengers See It Skip It FXX disaster scorecard Musical Comics on TV TruTV VOD USA Watching Series Apple TV+ teaser Mary poppins Fantasy natural history Ovation Calendar sequel ESPN Anna Paquin jamie lee curtis Interview Funimation Reality Competition Esquire technology OneApp Grammys classics USA Network crime award winner sag awards zero dark thirty sitcom DC Universe FOX news The CW GLAAD canceled 4/20 psycho Certified Fresh Stephen King cancelled TV shows Polls and Games thriller Drama Fox News PaleyFest Amazon Prime Hallmark Hulu Sci-Fi reboot Cosplay venice Cartoon Network animated Holiday nature tv talk spanish language transformers australia Best and Worst spain slashers cancelled television Sneak Peek stand-up comedy boxoffice 2019 unscripted TBS documentaries Spectrum Originals Film Festival canceled TV shows Syfy best Trailer Superheroes LGBT Winners San Diego Comic-Con Peacock Turner sports facebook rotten movies we love Summer Video Games BET Awards Academy Awards golden globes Rocketman TCA Winter 2020 biography dc Song of Ice and Fire a nightmare on elm street Teen Comedy historical drama Travel Channel ABC Classic Film Crunchyroll aliens Elton John festivals Awards hispanic Star Wars Lionsgate Animation E! TCM CBS All Access critics Film The Purge Rocky Extras Columbia Pictures screenings Netflix SDCC Heroines TV renewals book Britbox green book President cartoon Action casting romance series fast and furious strong female leads Schedule kids indie spanish BAFTA films robots BBC zombie Chilling Adventures of Sabrina all-time HBO Universal Disney Channel harry potter video on demand The Witch blockbuster hist 2016 Paramount American Society of Cinematographers comedies indiana jones ITV renewed TV shows YA Television Academy zombies Marvel Studios BBC America Mystery comics 72 Emmy Awards Opinion Acorn TV Endgame Biopics 71st Emmy Awards TCA medical drama south america worst FX on Hulu 007 Baby Yoda Winter TV Amazon Prime Video CMT cars obituary Reality Adult Swim french Sundance social media A24 Lifetime Dark Horse Comics Turner Classic Movies Pet Sematary doctor who Lifetime Christmas movies docudrama cops Tarantino PBS