Movie Review: Spring Breakers (I’d Rather Retake a Midterm)

Hi, my name is Brittani and I watched Spring Breakers. I give this movie zero out of infinite fucks. If you haven’t seen it yet, the entire story is told in the trailer and synopsis. If you’re watching it for any sort of plot or storyline, you can find it there.

Spring Breakers tells the story of four sexy college girls as they plan to fund their spring break getaway by burglarizing a fastfood shack. But that’s only the beginning… At a motel room rager, fun reaches its legal limit and the girls are arrested and taken to jail. Hungover and clad only in bikinis, the girls appear before a judge but are bailed out unexpectedly by Alien (James Franco), an infamous local thug who takes them under his wing and leads them on the wildest Spring Break trip in history. Rough on the outside but with a soft spot inside, Alien wins over the hearts of the young Spring Breakers, and leads them on a Spring Break they never could have imagined.

This is the entire movie except for the last 15 minutes which includes the only part you might want to see which is Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical) making out with Ashley Benson (Pretty Little Liars). But it’s in the context of a threesome with James Franco so maybe not. There are lots of women in bikinis but if you are so desperate to see boobs that you’d pay twelve bucks, let me let you in on a little secret. They have them for free on the internet. Or better yet, go to a strip club. I’m sure you can find one with a cover charge that’s cheaper than a movie ticket.

The film was directed by Harmony Korine who I thought was a lady and is one of the only reasons I even agreed to see this film. Apparently he wrote Kids which came out in 1995 and he’s 40 now. Also, he’s married to the one actress you probably don’t recognize, Rachel Korine.

The movie begins with lots of stuff that you see in every movie party scene but never see in real life unless the people you hang out with are the absolute worst. Women have drinks poured down their chests, there are lots of crotch shots, dudes let cans leak beer as they hold them from where their junk is, women eat popsicles suggestively. It’s barely been two minutes.


Ten minutes in and there’s been roughly five lines of dialogue. Finally we start to get some sort of plot, all of which you know if you watched the trailer. The girls have their hearts set on going somewhere for Spring Break but they’ve only managed to save $325 dollars between the four of them. I guess they’ve never heard of work study. They need to escape from their college campus because everyone else is gone already and they’re tired of doing and seeing the same things. If the monotony is their biggest problem, why don’t they just go home? Maybe their parents can’t afford it? We’ll never know because that would make it seem like these girls were people with families or lives or anything tying them to human nature which is exactly what this movies tries not to do. The point is they’re miserable and they want to leave. These isn’t even white girl problems. It’s white girl boredom.

Selena Gomez‘s character is the only one distinguishable from the other two because she goes to prayer circle or Bible study or something. I guess that’s why they don’t bother in including her in their robbery. They coax each other by saying. “Just pretend you’re in a video game. Act like you’re in a movie or something.” I guess that’s the only convincing you need to rob a fast food restaurant because no one raised a concern or cared about their safety or future. Did I mention they stole a car and then burned it? They did. No biggie.

Everything is fine and perfect because nothing has consequences so now the girls are on their way to St. Petersburg. They arrive and we know everything is perfect because there’s a minute long voiceover about how life changing it all is while people in beachwear dance in slow motion. This movie is like one long stupid promo video for an even longer and stupider promo video. Music never stops playing. Music by Skrillex never. ever. stops. playing. Then James Franco is there as a rapper who seems like a really bad Dave Chappelle character.


It’s 30 minutes in and I don’t know anything about any of the characters except one goes to church and gets told to pray hardcore by other hardcore praying people. In fact, I actively dislike all of them. Even the extras. Even the director. The grips, the gaffer, whoever did craft services, the workers who handed out tickets to this movie, anyone that’s ever been on spring break, people that like the season known as spring, and humans who have taken a break from anything ever.

Along with boobs and beer, there is coke which they do plenty of. Then the cops walk in and they get arrested but not charged with anything serious because they don’t have any on their person. They have to pay fines or they get two more days in jail and obviously they have absolutely NO money because they didn’t just rob a restaurant, they didn’t plan to feed themselves, shelter is stupid, and they had no plans to ever return home.

But praise Spring Break Jesus, the white rapper bails them out of jail! Thank you Mr. White Rapper. You didn’t have to do that but you did. We are now free and can leave and you’d have no way of ever finding us again. Byyyye. Jk. They go with this man to a pool hall filled with black men and the oh so subtly named Faith (Gomez) is ready to GTFO because she doesn’t know them and things are only now out of hand. Yeah, earlier we were surrounded by strangers and drugs and were arrested but those dudes were white. Who knew all you needed were some negroes playing pool and smoking weed to scare you straight.


She cries and wants to go home and they stroke her hair and ignore her wishes and I don’t get why they don’t just fucking leave and then you say, “Well then there wouldn’t be a movie.” Yes, precisely. That’s exactly what I want. For the movie to end. And you may be thinking, “Oh man, you would just leave your friends? Aren’t you supposed to stick with them even though they do stupid shit?” Umm no. You’re not. That’s dumb. You should just leave. I don’t understand why so many people pass off peer pressure as friendship when really it’s stupidity solidarity. Someone else’s idiocy is not nor will ever be my problem, concern, or issue unless they are my wife, sibling, or child and even then it depends. If that makes me a bad friend, so be it. It also makes me happy (not really), alive (mostly), and well (not at all) which is what you, as my non-shitty friend, should want for me. Faith is on my team and leaves.

Per the usual for this film, nothing happens but time progresses and two of the remaining girls turn the practice they had with the water guns into more jackassery when they pick up loaded real ones and point them at the drug dealer. Now some might see this as a sort of reclamation of power or the shifting of a dynamic that proves they’re not just pretty girls following around a rapper. Those people are wrong. Giving a woman a gun isn’t some shortcut to empowerment. This is just an extension of the disregard they have shown for anything and everything and is not new or novel. It’s not cool to see these women with guns. They’re not taking their power back from the patriarchy or asserting themselves. They’re just being annoying, much like the movie they are in. Alien (Franco) gives the guns blow jobs and tells them he’s fallen in love with them and they are his soulmates and this is all so trite that I don’t even care enough to make a joke about this not being the first or last blowjob Franco will give.

In the piece of a plot they managed to put together in this drawn out unoriginal shoulda-been-short film, Franco’s character has a rival named Big Arch, who I assume is called so because he eats a lot of McDonald’s. For some reason or the other, Big Arch is mad. He executes a drive away shooting on the car with Franco and the girls in it. Not drive-by. Drive away. They sat and chatted and then Arch (Gucci Mane) drove away and the woman in the car with him fires just for the hell of it, it seems. The director’s wife gets shot in the arm and she goes home. Her friends don’t give a shit and proceed to have a threesome. Has this been spoiler-y? I don’t care. Never see this movie. But if you do, then I won’t tell you what happens in the last ten minutes. It’s not exciting so don’t get your hopes up.


This movie is the worst. Is it social commentary on today’s young adult culture? I don’t see how. Is it satire? I surely wish it was. Instead this was an earnest try at something…I don’t know what. Even the biggest blockbusters made by the largest studios directed by the Michealest of Bays doesn’t show that women are interchangeable and undeserving of even vapid dialogue like this film does. This movie tries to be so dark and explorative of the “free” lifestyle that it circles back around and becomes meaningless. The same artsy shots, repeating scenes, and haunting dialogue that make it indie/creative/experimental just make it boring/repetitive/annoying. It doesn’t take stupidity to task, it glorifies it. These aren’t poor life choices leading to unfortunate circumstances. These are conscious choices that lead to ruthlessness, illegal acts, and violence. No one will learn anything from this movie except that this movie is dumb.

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Brittani Nichols is a Los Angeles based comedy person. When she's not tweeting about white people or watching television, she's probably eating pizza. Actually, she's probably doing all three of those things concurrently and when she's not doing THAT, she's sleeping. Brittani also went to Yale and feels weird about mentioning it but wants you to know.

Brittani has written 328 articles for us.


  1. I wanted to see this movie, mainly because I find Vanessa Hudgens really attractive.
    But I guess I can just watch this like I did Sucker Punch, mostly distracted with music playing over it.

    • So I guess I’m still the only person who loved Sucker Punch? I mean DRAGONS! SAMURAIS! ROBOTS! F*CK YEAH! Also – Best first 5mins ever.

      • I have a friend who swears it was the best movie ever but I think he was stoned when he saw it and just thought it was hilarious.

      • I actually liked it too. So there’s two of us I guess. I really don’t think it was as bad as people say it was.

        • I liked Sucker Punch! The fight scenes were awesome and even though everyone wrote essays on how anti-feminist it was I just didn’t see it, and I can usually be counted on to be frothing at the mouth at the slightest provocation.

          Anyway I was thinking about seeing this one too because it looks colourful and I don’t mind stupidity in movies but after this review I don’t think even I could stand it.

          • Yeah, I loved Sucker Punch too – I thought it was actually a really interesting take on dissociation and abuse, and sort of an intentional look at objectification in video games and other movies.

            Problematic? Sure. Possibly not getting what it aimed for? Yup. But overtly terrible? Nah.

            This otoh…sounds pretty terrible.

      • never said i didn’t like. it’s just that it has very little dialogue, and plot kinda sucks. They could easily just upload the fight scenes as a short and make me happy.

  2. Harmony’s movies aim to make the audience feel uncomfortable, to take the teen sexuality and gratuitous violence what we blithely accept in Hollywood and make us repulsed by it. Heartthrobs like Gomez and Hutchins were cast in order to lure fans unknowingly into the nightmare. Reviews like this one show that he was successful in that regard.

    • My favorite “I totally misunderstood the intent of the film” review was in People Magazine (I was in the dr’s office, don’t judge). They gave it 1 star and wrote “We left almost feeling like we were the butt of the joke”.

      NO! REALLY?!

      • That’s just it. That’s why it fails. Because the people it’s making fun of don’t see that’s what the film is doing. Like if you want me to know that people are hedonistic idiots, trust me, I’m already there. If you want people who don’t realize this to, this film doesn’t do that. They’re just laughing at James Franco the whole time or they’re bored because nothing happens.

        • Yeah, I feel like if there isn’t SOME level of awareness that you were meant to be repulsed it’s not actually doing its job. Now I mean, one could argue that it has already done its job by being gratuitously-hedonistic-to-the-point of repulsion and thus you leave with a sour taste for that sort of thing in your mouth that will hopefully stay for future non-intentional films, but …

          I’ve seen so many people defending the content of this movie or viewing it as a panorama of American culture already that I think probably a lot of people aren’t being repulsed enough, either.

    • ok, if the intended audience of the film is people who blithely accept gratuitous violence in hollywood films and hyper-sexualized teen starlets, in order to make them uncomfortable, fair enough, but what if i am not that person? i already hate the culture of sexist mindlessness this movie takes to absurdist extremes, and i’d rather watch something that’s imagining an alternative. i think i also don’t trust that korine isn’t trading in precisely the values he’s parodying, thus getting to have his cake and be congratulated for eating it like a hipster.

      • In that instance, you can be happy that those who, on any other day will eagerly watch what you (and I!) loathe, will also likely walk away from Spring Breakers with their stomachs turned.

        Forums like this give us a chance to discuss without you ever having to see it.

  3. I respectfully and totally disagree with you about Spring Breakers, but this reads like the review I would’ve written of ANY OTHER HARMONY KORINE film, so I have to give you mega props for capturing my inner monologue during Kids/Trash Humpers.

    • That’s so weird, because when I watched Kids I spent about two weeks trying to sieve through how i felt about it, and I’m still not sure how I feel about it, but I would say that I’m more on the side of understanding his creative intent.

      Now, I haven’t watched Spring Breakers, but from this review, I sort of expect it to be much worse than Kids, but now that you’ve said this, i think I should watch it anyway and see for myself.

      Harmony Korine’s work just confuses me in general. Maybe this is what he wants. Maybe this is a good thing.

      • I think you’ve hit upon a good point. If something makes you think, brings you out of your day-to-day, then the creator has succeeded on some level. Korine certainly makes an impact.

      • I may have seen Kids at an inappropriate moment in my development, or maybe I should attribute my distaste for it to Larry Clark, not Harmony Korine (as I hear I’d quite like Gummo/Mister Lonely.)

        I absolutely LOVED this film. LOVED. I came in expecting to be thoroughly disgusted (and fairly disappointed) but was pleasantly blown away.

        Here’s another review (from my self described militant feminist friend) that takes a slightly different tack-

        • BAHAH your friend is an awesome writer and I loved reading it after the conversations had so far for this article. Thanks.

          • THANK YOU (from my friend.) I just like that she can say”boobieshow” in a serious review. And that boobieshow is in my autocorrect now.

      • KIDS is one of my favorite movies actually? i own it, and also may have seen it at an inappropriate moment in my development, but it’s really fucking intense and was a HUGE deal at the time when it came out.

        I also really liked GUMMO. I mean, I hated it, like watching it was unbearable and depressing, but it was a good movie.

        • The thing with Kids and I is that it’s one of those movies that I watched alone and all through the credits I sort of sat, and stared, and when the screen went black I immediately wanted to turn to someone else and go, “hey, we need to talk about this.”

          BUT, alas, there was no one to turn to. None of my friends have seen it, and for a really long time I wanted to discuss this movie with another intelligent life form SO BADLY that I actually included it in my OKC profile.

          As in, I said, “you should message me if you want to discuss the possible merits of Harmony Korine’s Kids (1995)”

          It didn’t happen. And now my OKC profile is literally just filled out with nothing but quotes from the TV show Archer.

          So, learning from that, I’ve refused to watch Gummo alone. But I think I Spring Breakers won’t be a problem because a. I can refer to this thread for intelligent insight and b. I’m almost positive I won’t have to trick my friends into seeing it.

          • I have read EPIC amounts of criticism of this film, because I loved it so much/was so engaged with it, that I couldn’t get enough. My friends and I have talked it to death- some of whom would definitely align themselves with Brittani’s review.

            Anthony Lane might have my favorite stuff re: this conversation (and if anyone wants to read a lot of white dudes talking about the movie, I would be happy to share…)

            “Who will stay with this film, and glorify it? Two sorts, I reckon: real revellers, randy for sensation, out of their heads; and a block away, coffee-drinking Ph.D.s, musing on the cinema of alienation, too lost inside their heads to break for spring.”

            Sometimes I go to the movies and I want to have a conversation about women raised on pornography/video games appropriating guns as phalluses, or female penetration, and explore what it has to say narratively and visually about race, and I want that movie to also feature machine gun love circle dances set to Britney Spears, and i want it to be a dayglo nightmare set to horrific flash in the pan music, and this is Spring Breakers.

          • i was a teenager when it came out and EVERYBODY was talking about it. i read probably ten articles about it before even watching it, and this is limited to the print media that came to my house. everybody saw it, everybody was talking about it, it was a huge thing because it was about AIDS and teenagers had sex in it and it was unrated! so there was a panic: is this how kids really are? everybody was worried that this was representative of Today’s Youth. and in some ways it was accurate about a certain kind of kid. at boarding school my bff owned two videotapes: Kids and Fear, and so we saw Kids and we saw Fear at least 20 times each on our smuggled mini-television.

            I just realized while writing this that Skins sort of picked up where Kids left off, in a way

          • Can I just say, Riese, I love your memory of Kids and I love these details, and it is making me want to revisit it? This is not something I ever thought I’d do.

          • YES, Skins definitely did. And I connect to the idea of that instantly not because as a TV show it was less deliberate than Kids, but because I wasn’t 5 years old when it came out. So even with my intellect and ability to suspend my disbelief, watching Kids as a 20something in 2012 is not the same as watching Thirteen in 2003 when I was 13, or watching Skins in 2007 when I was 17.

            You and Caitlinmae would definitely have a much different experience than me re: Kids, and I think that might go to show that where you fall along the audience spectrum will definitely affect how you parse something that’s meant to be art.

  4. This sounds both hilarious and harsh, but I haven’t seen the film and so I guess my inner LeVar Burton is screaming “But you don’t have to take her word for it!!!” I just also don’t want to waste $10-$12 dollars. I liked Kids, but because it was challenging to my typical middle America upbringing at a time in my life when I also wanted to be a little challenging. I also really liked Spring Break in college if only for the opportunity to makeout with my friends and have it be no big deal. Judging from the preview it seems like Girls Gone Wild circa 2007 maybe with guns. Now that I’m getting old I guess it gives me all the nostalgia feelings, not that I robbed anyone, burned any cars, know any white rappers, or party with guns. Does it at least succeed in depicting the heartless debauchery of spring break?

    • “…my inner LeVar Burton…” is a phrase that will never leave me. I didn’t even realize I had an inner LeVar Burton until right now, but he has been there all along.

      This despite loving him so much that

      1. I walked around wearing a headband over my eyes when I was a child pretending to be Geordi La Forge (secretly peeking out the bottom to walk), and
      2. I sat outside a local gay-ish bar talking to a bunch of queer ladies – including the one who had just sang a badass set to pretty much every queer lady in town – about how much we loved Reading Rainbow.

      So pretty much this is perfect.

      • I sing the reading rainbow theme song in the shower sometimes, but my inner LeVar Burton mostly serves the purpose of policing my skepticism and helping me choose kickass books.

        Also headband over the eyes forever <3


  5. The most important thing to know about this movie (and the only reason to see it) is because many of the college scenes were filmed at my undergrad school, NEW COLLEGE OF FLORIDA. (which is the best)

    For that reason, the trailer has been blowing up my Facebook newsfeed since it came out.

  6. I haven’t seen Spring Breakers, and am on the fence about even wanting to. On the one hand, it seems like the trashiest movie ever and the girls in it all look barely legal. (I know the youngest of them, Gomez, is 20 in real life, but that’s still way too young for me.) But on the other hand, I’m not above admitting that the trashiness intrigues me, and I do enjoy Ashley Benson, so.

    I was ~15 when Kids came out, and it’s the only movie I ever remember my mother forbidding me to see. It was rated NC-17 and it’s reputation preceded it. I did eventually see it, when I was old enough to rent it without permission; I don’t really remember what happened in it, I just remember not really knowing how to feel afterwards. Which I think is the point of Korine’s work, as others have said above.

    This movie, however, is different from Kids in that all the marketing for it (that I’ve seen) centers on scantily-clad young women, drinking, sex, drugs, more drinking, and more sex. Kids, from what I remember, was marketed as a documentary almost. It was gritty and raw, and there was sex in it, but the sex wasn’t the entire selling point. Perhaps Spring Breakers is supposed to be a commentary on the worst parts of current teen culture, the sensationalizing of sex, etc, but I don’t think most people – especially the young men – who are lured in by posters of bikini-clad girls in handcuffs are going to see it as such.

  7. I saw this film and it was terrible! I have never walked out of a screening but had to after an hour and a half. This should never have made it to the big screen…

  8. I love the movies that leave you completely disgusted and sort of confused afterwards…probably why I love Kids and Spring Breakers. I’d rather be completely upset and horrified by a movie then sadated into sleep by another hero with a hot bimbo companion who fights off robots/aliens/armies, ect. (I fell asleep during Batman…twice…in INMAX. True story). I knew a lot of people would hate the movie the second I walked out of the movie theatre, because I heard at least five different “what the fuck did I just watch?” comments. At least it’s interesting enough to hate.

  9. “I feel that it’s frightening that as mass media uses more certain kinds of representations for specific impact and effect, we’re also being told that these images are not really that important… specific liberal white men who are moneyed within the context of Hollywood can produce whatever images that they want to produce.” -bell hooks on “Kids”

    That pretty much sums up how I feel about the whole “but that’s what the writer wanted you to feel and say about it so it really is subversive/ artistic etc.” Just because some kind of cultural producer plays on assumptions and shorthands already present in a given society in order to shock an audience does not mean that the work they produce in anyway challenges or problematizes these assumptions. Normally I would just read and enjoy this really entertaining review and move on. But that kind of thinking, that whoever doesn’t see the critical commentary embedded in exaggerated representation of social phenomena simply doesn’t “get” what the supposed intentions behind the project were, surrounding some of these comments makes me so queasy.

    • This so many times, like I can’t.

      I tell people all the time that Spongebob is a subversive show about gender and sea animals. Granted I’m drunk when I say this, people are like “omg you must have been high….” and I’m like “no, son, you don’t get iiiiiit you don’t see the deeper intent because how is that there are just as many child fans as adults fans….the creator wants viewers of different levels to seeeeeee different things. Pineapples do not grow underwater!!” When I get frustrated and more drunk like a brat, I blurt: YOU DONT GET IT AND I WIN THIS ARGUMENT ON POP CULTURE ANALYSIS!!!” I pass out.

      Just because I keep saying “one does not get it, it means something else….” does not make me right, it makes me a prat, a drunk prat.

      You know what I think like it’s going on and excuse the crudeness but when it comes to movies like this made by the similar markers of directors ( any combination of cis-white-maleness) it’s like smelling the same fart and people keep insisting, “no it’s not!!!!!!!! spray some febreeze!” and smile and sniff.

      I’ve seen this movie and yeah the only thing I found interesting about this movie is the overall structure of the cinematography with the music. Trippy.

      On the other aspects of the film:

      Imagery: Oh we are doing this again okay, *sigh*
      Dialogue: Oh we are doing this again but with young “innocent-looking” white-skinned girls, okay, I liked Jawbreaker *shurgs*
      James Franco: A little different, I do remember that movie White Boys, *sips soda*
      Vanessa: You’ll always be Gabby XD!!!

      I realize in my little critique I’m referencing other movies in relation to this movie but honestly this movie is a big ass reference to other vulgar tropes and that are repeated to make certain viewers feel “shocked”(?) But at the same time, if one ones to be shocked at contemporary youth culture on their supposed vapidness, go to tumblr, shit is cray!

      Here nor there comment: Can we like have a new set of imagery that is different, I honestly feel like I’m seeing the same movie over again, like why (rhetorical question) does hollywood keep doing this, ugh!?! We need a new film revolution in the mainstream.

      Okay, I rambled enough!

  10. THANK YOU FOR THIS. Most painful 90 minutes of my 2013. Based on how everyone has been talking about this film, I felt like someone in the Emporer’s New Clothes who just wasn’t seeing something everyone else was. Thanks for not getting caught up in the bullshit justification for this film or what it claims to be doing.

  11. It’s stunning how completely this review misses the point. I almost want to believe it’s a parody.

    • @MK- I was kind of thinking the same thing when I read the line “The film was directed by Harmony Korine who I thought was a lady and is one of the only reasons I even agreed to see this film.”

      That can’t be real.

    • No one missed the point. I saw what the point was supposed to be and feel as if he failed at getting the point across. It’s hard to have discussions about anything opinion based when you automatically decide that someone missed the point because they don’t like it. I do not feel he made his point. I also feel the movie was boring. Also, those things don’t go hand in hand. You could think he made his point but didn’t enjoy the move or vice versa. Really not black and white. Really not as simple as “I didn’t get it.”

      • Except you make no effort to actually engage the film and instead say things like: “If the monotony is their biggest problem, why don’t they just go home?” and “They coax each other by saying. “Just pretend you’re in a video game. Act like you’re in a movie or something.” I guess that’s the only convincing you need to rob a fast food restaurant because no one raised a concern or cared about their safety or future.”, which makes me think it actually *is* as simple as you didn’t get it.

        Or maybe you didn’t even try, instead opting to fill the review with hilarious quips about how James Franco gives blowjobs. I don’t think you missed the point because you didn’t like it (that’s actually okay!), I think you missed the point because you never gave any indication that you even tried to get it.

        • “Except you make no effort to actually engage the film”

          Isn’t going to the theatre, watching the movie and then writing an entire review engaging the film?

        • Umm…thinking about character’s motivations and decision making is in fact engaging the film. A big part of television and movies is having the characters do and say things that the audience accepts as part of their persona. When characters stop doing things that don’t make sense with we’ve been given is when people “give up” on shows or movies. This is to point out that we are given almost nothing about these characters to even decide whether this makes sense for them other than what they say about being tired of seeing the same shit. So going home would make sense unless their monotony problems started there and were supposed to be quelled by college.

          Should I apologize for trying to make a review of a movie I find terrible somewhat entertaining? The entire process of watching the movie was “trying to get it.” But there is nothing to get because in my opinion, and many others, he missed the mark. So again, no I did not miss the point and you repeating that I must have really is not going to change that. If you would like to expand on what points you think he actually achieved I’m sure everyone would appreciate that more than just being flabbergasted that so many people don’t “get it.”

          • Here’s a hint: It’s a movie, not reality. Sometimes films and art have deeper concerns than tactical realism. Instead of thinking “Hey those girls don’t have concern for their safety! How unrealistic!” you can attempt to decipher *why* that is. After all, it’s a conscious choice of the filmmaker to portray the girls that way. What is being shown via this choice? Imagery, scenes, and even characters (!) can have symbolic aspects. The quicker you stop treating films as documentaries, the more you’ll enjoy them.

            “Isn’t going to the theatre, watching the movie and then writing an entire review engaging the film?”

            Not if you refuse to actually work with anything you’re given. Passively watching something is most certainly not engaging with it. There should be a good faith effort to really analyze and grapple with the film, going beyond a surface level “well if I was in the situation I wouldn’t do that” thought-process. There’s also barely any mention save the last paragraph of the actual filmic aspects (i.e., the editing, cinematography, soundtrack etc.).

            Something like “Music never stops playing. Music by Skrillex never. ever. stops. playing.” comes so, so close, but then is sadly left as just a joke. No observation is ever followed up with any substance. Perhaps the constant Skrillex soundtrack is there for a reason? We’ll certainly never know if we just read this review.

            “Should I apologize for trying to make a review of a movie I find terrible somewhat entertaining?”

            Of course not! I just think the most entertaining review would be a well thought-out, honest and good faith attempt to understand a film. It can still have jokes, and you can still conclude you don’t like it. What we have here, though, is reductive and boring.

          • This film is formatted like a dubstep song. Twirly and light and spinny (repetitive, too, which you can either fault the film for or celebrate, depending on your taste) lulling you into a false sense of security until HOLY FUCK, the bottom drops out and everything starts grinding into machine noise (or in this case, gunshots and video game violence.) I would argue that OF COURSE Skrillex never stops playing- it’s a lovely companion to a structural device being employed.

            This is one of the reasons I liked this movie so much.

          • You are working under the pretext that analyzing a film on a very technical level dictates whether someone likes the film. Maybe that’s the case for you and surely that makes or breaks a decision for many people but at no point do I pretend that I form my opinion on this film based on any technical aspect of filmmaking. I don’t think most people watch films that way and, for the most part, disregard those parts of the experience when evaluating whether they simply like a film. That’s a whole other merit system that I don’t even engage in this piece because it doesn’t much matter to me unless it’s outright horrible to the point that a movie becomes unwatchable. There are many ways to engage with a film and because I do not center my conversation around cinematography and editing doesn’t doesn’t mean my observations are not valid.

          • I haven’t seen the movie so can’t comment on it. I would say generally speaking, sometimes filmmakers make a conscious choice to make their characters unrealistic, but sometimes it’s just bad writing/directing. To say that it’s always an intentional part of their art is just not true.

            Anyways, I don’t think she’s complaining that the movie was unrealistic. She’s complaining that’s it’s unrelatable. If this is supposed to be a work of art for the artist alone and forget everyone else, fine. Then no one should be surprised if people speak up that they didn’t like it. If it’s trying to reach people, it needs to have something they can relate to.

            Apparently it had something you could relate to and it drew you in. Great. It didn’t do the same for Brittani. This is why there’s more than one movie reviewer out there. Some people want to watch their movies with an eye to critical analysis. Some people simply want to be engaged and entertained. I was fine with your comments until you implied that somehow Brittani’s review was invalid because she wanted to reach the second audience.

    • Ok, honestly, I didn’t really *like* the blowjob scene. But I was able to stomach it because penis was replaced by gun.

  12. tbh I laughed my ass off through the vast majority of the film, but it was the kind of laughter that comes from a place of horror and incredulity at the shitshow taking place in front of you.

  13. Well now the comments have made me really confused about whether I want to see this movie or not!

    I confess that I originally wanted to see this movie because, well, Ashley Benson is attractive and I heard she made out with a girl in this.

    However, I can barely stomach onscreen violence so I dunno.

  14. On Harmony Korine— Kids absolutely traumatized me. I had always randomly heard good things about Kids and I watched it with a friend who had seen it before. At the end there is a FOREVER long rape scene and I couldn’t keep watching the screen so I remember staring all heartbroken out the window waiting for it to be over. I passionately despised that movie.

    However, I really liked Mr. Lonely and have actually seen it several times. I wouldn’t pay to see Spring Breakers or stress out trying to find a free copy online but I’d give it a once over.

    Also, “The film was directed by Harmony Korine who I thought was a lady and is one of the only reasons I even agreed to see this film” is hilarious and it made me laugh.

    • Thank you for finding this funny. I guess it’s not obvious I was kidding but whatevs.

  15. God I wish I’d read this before seeing this movie. I don’t know why I saw it. But I did. It was so fucked up and racist. I just don’t even know what to do about it. After, my friends and I had to drink and process.

  16. I still can’t get over where Selena Gomez was totally okay with all those white dudes and SUDDENLY not okay with all the black dudes in actually a calmer environment.

    The worst part of that film honestly, for me, was that it was just boring. I laughed at a few points, and maybe there was some commentary happening somewhere, but I saw it with a good friend and we didn’t leave the theater with a discourse we left feeling like we shouldn’t have been remotely sober going into the film.

    I also have never wanted to punch James Franco more in my life.

    • I’m Black and I can understand why she was uncomfortable.

      It’s the equivalent of me hanging around a bunch of outlandish Black college co-eds, a demographic I familiar with, one day.

      And the next hanging around a bunch of calm but otherwise unkempt White guys of a completely foreign demographic to me in the middle of a community I am completely unfamiliar with.

      I’d be ready to leave too. It wasn’t as if they threw her in with The Cosbys are the black debutante community.

      • I feel that, I guess it was also not a situation she’d been anticipating? One could say, like, spring break is such an insulated environment however nuts it gets and then they broke out of that and that could have driven her discomfort as well.

        She just cried so, so much, it was off putting.

  17. LOL! Someone’s not a Harmony Korrine fan…

    On the surface this movie is -_- Dumb… My boyfriend hated it. I couldn’t make him even attempt to pretend he wanted to analyze it for the zero f**ks he gave.

    But… I didn’t hate it. Plain and simple Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson’s characters were sociopaths who found themselves and found that what they enjoyed most was giving zero regard for anything or anyone.

    I don’t think it was any deeper than that. Everything else was done for artistry – dissonance and dysmorphia. Discomfiting.

  18. “I wanted to make a film that looked like Skittles”
    -Korine, in regards to Spring Breakers

    this review makes me want to see it even more now. well done.

  19. I knew what I was getting into…

    For that reason, for the first time ever, I took a hip flask with me to the cinema.

    I feel both so much and also so little re: the film, but mostly I feel that I should simply recommend the above.

  20. After watching Kids, I definitely won’t go and see this. While Kids really affected me, it was in the worst possible way and left me feeling disturbed, angry, and most of all confused because there was no point to it other than shock value. I feel like this is the same thing. You can’t just show explicit scenes that make me want to throw up unless there’s a good reason for it.

  21. I found this review to be really aggressive to the point of being alienating. On a website that always seems to strive for being inclusive and embracing of opinions, there’s a hostility in this review that makes the reader feel embarrassed if they disagree (and if they liked the movie). I understand that this is just Brittani’s opinion of the film, but she (and it) represents Autostraddle. Autostraddle has a wide audience, many of whom I’m sure are film lovers or students and know how to properly diagnose or review a film without just bashing it. This, in my opinion, doesn’t qualify as a review, but more of a rant, and should be classified as such.

    • As someone who saw Spring Breakers and actually quite enjoyed it, I’m more than a little baffled that you a. are admonishing a website for not being inclusive enough of opinions because it posted someone’s personal take on a movie that you deem too opinionated and b. (and this is not me trying to insult any of the lovely authors on here) seem to expect a movie review on to be comparative to the standards of one in the NYT or some similar publication.

      • That’s just it, though, I DO expect a certain level of quality from Autostraddle based on so many of their other film/tv/book reviews, and I thought that this one was more of a personal rant than a “review.” I’ve always counted on Autostraddle for funny (and CLEVER) reviews that still provide the beginnings of intelligent analysis/dialogue, but phrases like “No one will learn anything from this movie except that this movie is dumb,” really don’t resonate with me here humor-wise and feel kind of lazy, to be very honest. I’m glad so many people (including Brittani) had more clever things to say in the comments, but I stand by what I said.

    • I think that there’s also some of miscommunication because Brittani’s humour seems to be inclined to be a little on the dry, sharper side and that doesn’t always translate well over the internet. Grains of salt people! Folks don’t always agree but Autostraddle still loves you!

    • I’m not sure if you’ve ever read a recap on this site but we pretty clearly say however we feel because what reason do we have to lie? Nobody’s paying us to like it. And they’re definitely not paying us to dislike it. “Properly diagnosing” a film is really not on my to do list. I review things with the voice of AS in mind and that voice is often more honest than you will find elsewhere. This isn’t an NY Times review and it isn’t an outright bash. I’m not a movie critic. This isn’t a movie site. It’s Autostraddle and sometimes we hate shit.

  22. I’m conflicted. I think the best way I can put it was I enjoyed the parts that weren’t incredibly racist. Visually it was super trippy. And it made me think a lot about how we treat violence as something cool or whatever. But I also don’t think I would have liked it if I hadn’t seen it drunk. Super racist though. Not cool.

  23. Gosh, I so disagree. I just saw spring breakers and I happen to have seen a whole lot of festival films, being in jurys and travelling quite a bit to watch films. Now, I don’t think this qualifies my opinion more than anybody else’s but, as a film lover, I found this review really degrading. First of all: I find it very upsetting, when someone judge a films quality, from their political opinions. Films are not always supposed to be politically correct. Triumph der willens was a great film, and it celebrated Hitler, still masterpiece. Also, I don’t know if this is just me but you have to acknowledge this film for its originality. It’s absolutely astounding camerawork. The effectfull and strange editing. The acting and the screen play. This is NOT a cheap and badly made film, and there fore I also think that it deserves a real and respectfull review.
    So, what’s also interesting is, the way you critique it from a feminist point of view. Me, being also a feminist (as I hope most people are, even if they don’t care to admit it), completely disagrees. This is a film, which gives these girls a libido, a sex drive, they are wild and take over where the men can’t. I think you’d have to acknowledge that this film is actually very empowering to the female characters, and if this accuses are because of the nudity, then duh: all the guys are naked as well. I don’t see a potrayal of women, no, I see a generation being potrayed. And that’s where it gets interesting: Because is the plot really as dumb as you make it out? I don’t think so. This is a story about youth in revolt, and the main conflict is “how long are these girls going to last?” This film raises some really interesting questions that I as a 17-year old myself, can 100% relate to. It made me question some of the ways we teenagers tend to dream and live our life. And I don’t think that’s dumb.
    Anyhow, I respect everyone with a different opinion, just wanted you to think before you judge this truly outstanding film.

    • Again, my problem is not that this film is politically incorrect. That’s not even a thing I concern myself with. Nor do I give a shit if it looks cheap or expensive. I don’t care if they had crane shots or rolled a dolly out of someone’s ass. Just because something is trippy or strange doesn’t make it original. From what everyone has been saying, it seems like this film is much in the vein of his other stuff making it not even original when it comes to his brand of filmmaking, let alone the entire world’s.

      I understand that giving these women agency is something a lot of films don’t do but this agency does not take place in a bubble. What they do with it, how they came to get it, whether they choose to embrace it…all of that informs whether it’s considered a feminist act. This isn’t a review about whether or not this film is feminist (though I don’t think it is on any front). For me, it isn’t enough just to be like WHAT THEY WANNA HAVE SEX? Slap a feminist sticker on the box! Which is the sentiment I hoped to express when I said giving them a gun isn’t a shortcut to empowerment.

      I mean you can disagree about the plot but plots aren’t questions. They’re conflicts. And when your conflict has no foil because your characters have no conscience it really isn’t that interesting to me.

    • dude, my advice is: watch it whilst super stoned. don’t know why dude but it becomes fucking beautiful then (not just coz i fancy the fuck outa hanna marin)and makes a whole lotta more sense.

      saw it sober and was just like this is slow and misogynistic and just horrible. saw it high and… dude, i is just saying, watch it stoned.

  24. two things:
    1. i saw this over my spring break last year whn it came out and my roommates love d it.

    2. u sound exactly like my gf. no srsly.

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