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Beat

3.1 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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

Special Features

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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: February 19, 2004
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006HAXZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,258 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Beat" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Beat" is set in an interlude in the lives of beat writer William S. Burroughs (Kiefer Sutherland) and his wife Joan Vollmer (Courtney Love). While Burroughs is on a vacation to Guatemala to romance a boyfriend, Vollmer is visited by New York friends Allen Ginsberg (Ron Livingston) and Lucien Carr (Norman Reedus). While Burroughs is away pursuing his affair Carr tries to seduce Vollmer into one of their own. Weighing on everyone is Carr's recent release from prison for the killing of David Kemmerer (Kyle Secor) who was obsessively in love with Carr.

I was going to write that the cast wasn't given much to do but late in the film Sutherland wrings some emotion out of Burroughs who was a stoic, taciturn person, but Sutherland brings some real heartfelt emotion to Burroughs. Sutherland is a much finer actor with a greater range than his "24" character Jack Bauer would betray and it is somewhat a pity that Sutherland isn't picking more diverse roles such as "Beat." It would really demonstrate his range as an actor.

The one real problem is that Kiefer Sutherland and Courtney Love look to healthy to be Joan and William Burroughs. As mentioned in the film Burroughs moved to Mexico to have an unfettered supply of drugs where he could just go down to the drugstore and get some morphine, Sutherland doesn't look like a person mainlining morphine. Joan prior to moving to Mexico was so strung out on Benzedrine that in the middle of the night she was scrapping lizards off the trees in their front yard, neither look lost in the drug the movie describes or that the real people were at at this point in their lives.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
There's a lot to be told in the story of William S Burroughs and Joan Vollmer's tragic relationship; unfortunately this was not the right vehicle to tell the story. Kilmer fails miserably in his portrayal of WSB, he's obviously uncomfortable in the scenes depicting the authors gay backstory and can't decide whether to use his hallmark eyewear or not. The other three actors perform passably, despite numerous historical inaccuracies designed to fit the script. For anyone interested in those, the final word belongs to James Grauerholtz- http://www.aintitcool.com/node/5132
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