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Beat (2000)

Courtney Love , Kiefer Sutherland , Gary Walkow  |  R |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Courtney Love, Kiefer Sutherland, Lisa Sheridan, Patricia Llaca, Steve Hedden
  • Directors: Gary Walkow
  • Writers: Gary Walkow
  • Producers: Alain Silver, Alejandra Cárdenas, Andrew Pfeffer, Antonio Zavala Kugler, Avi Lerner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: October 15, 2002
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006HAXZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,588 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Beat" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Courtney Love, Daniel Martinez, Kiefer Sutherland, Kyle Secor, Norman Reedus, Ron Livingston - Director: Gary Walkow

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic cinema, essential Beat story June 27, 2004
By Jones.
This film could have been subtitled 'The story of Joan Vollmer', as it is based around her last months before William S Burroughs - her husband - shot her.
Courtney Love does much to glamorise a pretty much unknown beat legend character, and provides a languorous air as she floats between scenes as the estranged Mrs Burroughs.
However, for me, the story veers too much from the truth to order to create a mainstream product. This is a pity when you are dealing with real lives and real literary history.
The disintegrating, complex relationship between the married couple would have sufficed for an interesting enough story for a Beat fan, but may not have provided much 'spice' for the public.
In this version of events, Joan's use of benzedrine (speed) is played down and her rampant addiction and resulting degeneration is never explored, this could be because of the intended general american audience.
I'm not too sure of the whole Lucien affair thing either...
At the closing credits, you're left with a feeling that perhaps Joan Vollmer may have emerged alongide the greats of the beat movement had she not been killed.
In fact, she may not have lasted much longer on her own as alcoholism, the effects of her addiction, drinking and a long-standing illness began to overtake her.(...) pretty much covers it.
One final note for Burroughs fans looking to buy - all the actors do a great job of each character, Keifer Sutherland puts some effort in with the mannerisms and delivery (+ a spot-on wardrobe) in the crucial role.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reedus 5 out of 5 again. January 13, 2007
As usual, Reedus delivers better acting than most in the movie, yet he forgoes due credit lack of a bigger name. Definitely an intriguing movie. Sutherland does a good job as always. Courtney Love is slightly distracting.

I'd reccommend this if you're interested in the subject, or would like to see more of the phenomenal Norman Reedus. I've yet to see him perform poorly in any movie, regardless of the audience or the budget of the film.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, not the best, but good. February 10, 2004
I have to admit I am huge Courtney Love fan. I have really enjoyed her in 200 cigarettes and The people vs Larry Flint where she proved to everyone that she can indeed act. I have to admit that I am not very familiar with the whole beat generation,but I have read the works of Burroughs, Ginsberg, and Keurorac. I didn't find out about this movie untill recently, andu assumed that Courntey as Mr. Burroughs wife, would be a minial role. To my suprise she is pretty much a central character of the movie. I feel that the movie had some wonderful cinematography, but the acting was a little bit low keyed for all those involved. Still for any enthusiasts of Courtney Love its a must. She played her part well and I am afraid that the subtly in her characters experession through out the film may have either been intentional or chalked up to poor directing. In any case the film is definitely worth a look.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest, striking film! April 4, 2014
By scwolfe
I stumbled upon Beat searching for something to watch through my Roku. It has the artistic quality of the best indie films. The cinematography is stunning, the story very deep. Courtney Love and Kiefer Sutherland are phenomenal.

If your looking for the typical "movie" with gratuitous sex and/or car chases, Beat is not for you. If you like artistic, real-life films, this is a must see!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Snapshot poetics October 2, 2010
I will openly admit that I don't know a lot about the Beat poets -- romantic or classical poets are more my type.

So I don't know EVERYTHING that is wrong with "Beat," a movie that chronicles the dramatic crumble of William Burroughs' marriage to Joan Vollmer. But I do know what the movie's problems are -- the acting is patchy, the story meanders, and it's hard to care about the dying marriage of two people who don't even share the screen for most of the movie.

Two years ago, William Burroughs (Kiefer Sutherland) and his common-law wife Joan Vollmer (Courtney Love) helped Lucien Carr (Norman Reedus) after Carr killed a hanger-on who had sexually assaulted him. Now Carr is back, and he's apparently in love with Joan but not sure if he wants to also bring along her kids.

So while Burroughs goes on a vacation with a boyfriend, Joan impulsively goes off with Carr and Allen Ginsberg (Ron Livingston), and begins to seriously consider leaving her husband. Of course, it inevitably leads to tragedy... and since they show it in the very first scene, I'll just say that it involves a "William Tell act."

Anyone hoping for a cinematic dash of beat flavor is going to cry after they see this movie -- the beat movement and their work is barely touched on. It's like the producers heard, "Real life accidental death/possible murder by famous figure!" and decided to make a movie about it without knowing much about any of the people involved.

In fact, most of the movie is a slow, rather dreary trip through the Mexican forests, where people talk and occasionally kiss; and we have some brief glimpses of Burroughs trying to cuddle his boyfriend in a dingy bedroom, as well as sepia-toned flashbacks.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Behind every great man, there's a. . . August 13, 2006
a bitch from hell yappin' at his heels, who, chances are, started out as a reasonably nice girl before he messed her up for good. In this case, literally.

A brilliant, at times magnificent, script, with the ever controversial, awesomely gifted Courtney Love, as footloose and fancy free in her part as, let's say Diane Keaton was as Annie Hall, and as cast to type. Keifer Sutherland does capture the cadence of Burroughs' voice, but more importantly, his darkness.

A child of the sixties, I grew up honoring the beats, and kept a place in my heart for them. At 14, Brando's famed saw from The Wild One, "You don't go anywhere, man, you just go" became my credo. A couple of years hence, an obese, aging Alan Ginsburg would give me a long, passionate, horny look over, late one night in a New York restaurant, dispelling what I had begun to discover, in my callow and ignorant way, were some rather vague and hastily established illusions, propping up the fragile domain of self-deceits in which I lingered too long.

The beats were great - and their greatest impulse, perhaps, the turn to Zen, although the jury's still out on that one too - but there was darkness there, and many kids, such as myself, fixated on that darkness, and were devoured by it. Homosexuality and heroin are not Gods - but that they became for the beats, and their camp followers in the Warhol wing of a generation, and generations to follow. This movie exposes that darkness at its source, eloquently, precisely, and in homage to Burroughs in the skein of his dark, unyeilding, ultimately selfish, genius, without stint.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Strange love story...very "off" beat.
Published 2 months ago by Mary Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting, but falls a bit short.
First off, the acting was spot on. Everyone did a great job, but if you don't know the story behind this movie, I think you will be confused. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jessi Spray
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this movie
I loved this movie. The flashbacks were intriguing and I cried at the end of the movie. Norman Reedus was striking as Lucien Carr. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Winchester
1.0 out of 5 stars Whiny, needy people.
What a bunch of needy, whiny people. I really didn't know anything about any of the characters, though I have heard of Ginsburg. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Debra
5.0 out of 5 stars nice to watch and love owning it
for someone who likes Keifer Southerland this is one of his movies, nice to watch and love owning it.
Published 2 months ago by manatee
3.0 out of 5 stars Beat
I only watched this movies as an avid Norman Reedus fan. It was alright. Nothing too spectacular. Norman and Courtney Love did great in the film. Kiefer, not so much. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Amy
4.0 out of 5 stars How Did I Miss This One!
"Beat" is set in an interlude in the lives of beat writer William S. Burroughs (Kiefer Sutherland) and his wife Joan Vollmer (Courtney Love). Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jym Cherry
5.0 out of 5 stars Reedus Love
Considering that I know nothing of the Beat writers. I enjoyed it very much. The playful chemistry between Norman Reedus and Courtney Love was enthralling.
Published 8 months ago by n. higdon
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating people made boring
I was amazed at how boring this movie made some of the most dynamic, interesting characters in American literary history. Performances seemed much too subdued. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Silverfox
5.0 out of 5 stars a little bit of history
Great movie for Beat Generation fans, Norman Reedus fans, Courtney Love fans. I enjoyed it. Assumptions were made on some of the history, but follows true to the story.
Published 12 months ago by melodie swanson
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