Beach, The

Rated 3.0 An American tourist in Thailand (Leonardo DiCaprio), tired of the rat race of Western civilization, discovers a commune of hippies on an idyllic desert island. Director Danny Boyle and writer John Hodge, adapting Alex Garland’s novel, come up with a weird hybrid of The Blue Lagoon and The Lord of the Flies, as the film’s unlikely Utopia dissolves into a cauldron of suspicion, paranoia and madness. The drama is forced and characters shallow, but the film remains erratically engrossing thanks to the off-the-wall premise, DiCaprio’s seething performance and dazzling cinematography by Darius Khondji. Also featured: Tilda Swinton as the commune’s earth mother, Virginie Ledoyen as DiCaprio’s love interest and Robert Carlyle, all but unintelligible as the man who sends DiCaprio to his island paradise.