The Pitts' Honeymoon Flick Is Awful
Critics give it a 23% approval on Rotten Tomatoes
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2015 11:24 AM CST

(Newser) – Turns out Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie spent their honeymoon making a pretty crappy movie. So argue critics who give By the Sea—written and directed by Jolie—a dismal 23% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Here's what they're saying:

  • By the Sea—centering on a writer who drinks and a former stage star who pops pills—"is awfully pretty and mostly dreadful," writes Richard Roeper at the Chicago Sun-Times. Jolie "delivers some of the more uninspired work of her career," he notes. "Pitt has a few choice moments, but like everyone else in this film, he's sunk by the words he has to say and the long, long, LONG stretches where nothing much of anything happens."
  • At one point, the pair finds a peephole in their hotel suite, which they use to spy on newlyweds next door. The problem is that "the camera is in the wrong room," writes Joe Morgenstern at the Wall Street Journal. He says that even the film's automobiles have an "emotional charge" that "far exceeds that of the beautiful people at the center of the negligible action." This "reminded me of those long, bleak stretches of March in New England, when it seems as if winter will never end."

  • "This is no Eyes Wide Shut—it's barely Jersey Girl," writes Barry Hertz, comparing By the Sea to other real-life couples' on-screen experiments. "What the Pitts failed to realize during production is that there is more to those beloved European art-house films than pretty scenery and stylish wardrobes," he writes at the Globe and Mail. The result is "two of the more languid hours you'll ever spend inside a theater."
  • The film teases "a mysterious family tragedy which isn't nearly as mysterious as the movie hopes it is," but that's only one fault, writes Stephen Whitty at the Newark Star-Ledger. "There's little real drama here. Just one shot after another of Jolie lying on a chaise lounge. … It's like the saddest lingerie catalog ever." By the Sea just "doesn't have a strong point, or even carefully delineated characters. All it has is a mood—elegant despair."