Critic Reviews



Based on 45 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
The Beguiled is a lurid, sweltering, and sensationally fun potboiler that doesn’t find Coppola leaving her comfort zone so much as redecorating it with a fresh layer of soft-core scuzz.
The film consistently works as both a straightforward psychosexual thriller and something more troubling — almost unspoken — underneath.
Coppola and her production team — including The Grandmaster cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd — have created a fully realized world of eroticism, humidity, and Southern Gothic atmosphere. The characters are simply engulfed by it, almost to the point that even the twisted willow trees appear to be reaching out to grab them.
It has a powdery dryness, a sly wit which is indeed beguiling.
Coppola tells the story with terrific gusto and insouciant wit, tying together images from the first scene and the last, so that the narrative satisfyingly snaps shut.
It’s every inch a group achievement, and the film’s best scenes are its ensemble ones: prayers before bedtime, musical recitals, meals by candlelight.
Time Out
The Beguiled has its jolts and its laughs, but mostly this glides along like a mildly saucy yet poetically made parable, well-dressed, well-designed and well-performed.
Coppola’s The Beguiled doesn’t have the southern-gothic kick of its predecessor. It’s not a horror movie. Its power is in its undercurrents, in the sense that what we’re seeing isn’t inevitable but a sort of worst-case scenario of genders in opposition. No one is wholly good or bad. Both sides are beguiled.
The Beguiled only ever lets its freak flag fly at half mast, and until the end where some very enjoyable archness is allowed to creep in, this Southern Gothic tale of female sexual jealousy feels surprisingly dated.
It’s hard to detect a strong raison d’etre behind Sofia Coppola’s slow-to-develop melodrama.

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