everything you have heard about this movie is true.
This is a tender, generous movie that likes its characters and presents them as real people, full of flaws and strengths.
This is a coming of age storyline that you've seen in one form or another for decades. It takes a truly unique voice to make yet another one worth watching.
Three words for this effort: Coulda, woulda and shouda. This had so much potential and the director (?) blew it. A movie must tell a story. This just wandered until it ran out of gas. Too bad.
For all the hype around "Beach Rats" it should be noted that it owes a large debt of influence to the 1998 Australian film "Head On" . Watch this underrated film from 20 years ago that is just as insightful now as it was then , that didn't need to have a catharsis at the ending so that it would stick in our mind. "Beach Rats"is a bleak one dimensional character portrayal of being gay and closeted. It has more in common with the films of the 1970s where being gay was a tragedy in itself . It exists out of its time and relies on the cliche of a scenario that requires violence to underline the producers bleak view .
The third act could be more revealing, the actors are not quite believable, and Jackie's struggle could be a lot more highlighted. But I love how the story is told in subtle and not in spoon-feeding ways.
Harris Dickinson gives a great performance. The story however is too drawn out and boring at times, actually started fast forwarding. Should have been a short. Hopelessly on the fence and in need of a role model, guidance, therapy , something. Never gets moving and goes nowhere.