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Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, John Goodman, Bob Hoskins, Brenda Blethyn ... see more see more... , Greta Scacchi , Caroline Aaron , Peter Cincotti , Michael Byrne , Matt Rippy , Gary Whelan , William Ullrich , Vanessa Redgrave

For Bobby Darin, performing was his life. It kept his heart beating. He came alive onstage, even when he was near collapse offstage. From the age of seven, Walden Robert Cassotto--Little Bobby knows t... read more read more...he odds are stacked against him. Rheumatic fever has permanently damaged his heart, and he's not expected to make it to age fifteen. Bobby's family pours all their energies into caring for him. Bobby's frail heart may be one truth, but his mother Polly, a former singer, introduces her boy to another wonderful truth: music. Music becomes Bobby's bargaining chip against time; he's not only singing, but also playing piano, drums and guitar before he even hits his teens. Music takes him into a world beyond the Bronx, and beyond sickness. It's a world of effortlessly swinging songs, and couples dancing to the lilt of Bobby's voice. Bobby has a plan, and no heart ailment will stop him.

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65% liked it

17,767 ratings


42% liked it

153 critics

PG-13, 1 hr. 58 min.

Directed by: Kevin Spacey

Release Date: December 29, 2004

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DVD Release Date: June 7, 2005

Stats: 1,045 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (1,045)

  • January 9, 2010
    Kevin Spacey did a great job putting together the story of Bobby Darin, one of the most popular singers of his time in the 60's. Spacey directed and starred and even did his own singing and dancing in this film that chronicles Darin's childhood then skips ahead to when he's older... read more and just starting out. Darin didn't have drug and alcohol problems or anything else that gets thrown into your usual run-of-the-mill biopic. Bobby Darin was given just years to live, so he pretty much lived his entire life on borrowed time. He had the usual marital troubles and later finds out his sister is actually his mother, but - for better or worse - the story doesn't have the drama and theatrics that most films of these types seem to delve into and ride until the end. Still, Spacey did a terrific job in capturing the spirit and joy that performing did for Darin back in the day.
  • April 11, 2007
    This movie did not live up to its tagline and all in all lacked a certain lustre that this kind of film demands. That's not to say that Kevin Spacey did a bad job directing or acting; he did them very well. I just don't know if he was the right person to do it.
  • February 19, 2007
    This was great, I didn't know very much about Bobby Darin and Kevin Spacey certainly played a great part.
  • November 27, 2006
    Kevin Spacey is absolutely marvelous. A teriffic performance. He sing's, writes, produces and directs a magnificent movie. Kate Bosworth is fantastic. This is a wonderful film. It's an sensational, riveting, extroadinary and brilliant biopic
  • October 22, 2006
    Spacey is someone who is capable of producing, writing, directing, starring and doing his own singing -- and making it all work magnificently.
  • March 1, 2006
    [font=Arial][color=darkred]I really don?t think a lot of people know Bobby Darren. It seems that today most peo... read moreple would recognize him from singing ?Beyond the Sea? over the closing credits of [i]Finding Nemo[/i]. He wasn?t supposed to live past 17 but went on and wrote 400 plus songs including ?Mack the Knife,? ?Splish Splash,? and ?Dream Lover." Seems like there could be some interesting ground for a biopic. Kevin Spacey is one of our most celebrated actors and earned two very well deserved Oscars. Spacey has a strong passion for Darren and has been dreaming of portraying his life story for years. Passion is good for a role, right? Sam Raimi had passion for [i]Spider-Man[/i] and look how those movies turned out. Well, with [i]Beyond the Sea[/i] it seems that Spacey is less passionate about Bobby Darren and more passionate about his love of Kevin Spacey.[/color][/font]

    [font=Arial][color=darkred]The film opens with the 37-year-old Darren (Spacey) reliving his life via a biographical movie he?s filming (yes, it?s a movie within a movie). With the help of a younger movie self as a guide, Darren traces his rise from the streets of Brooklyn to headlining the Cococabana club. As a young child, doctors feared that Darren wouldn?t outlive his teens with his weak heart. Bedridden often, he found inspiration in music with his flamboyant yet supportive mother (Brenda Blethyn). Darren is driven to succeed and soon lands on top of the charts with a string of hits. Next he?s starring in movies with Rock Hudson and Sandra Dee (Kate Bosworth), a chickadee that Darren is just as determined to succeed with. They marry, have a child, but Darren doesn?t feel fulfilled. He needs to push his music further whether or not it alienates everyone around him.[/color][/font]
    [font=Arial][color=darkred]If you thought [i]Beyond the Sea[/i] was the story of Bobby Darren, you?d be pitifully wrong. It?s really the story of Kevin Spacey, actor/writer/director/singer/dancer. That?s why we get to see flashy, superfluous dance numbers, that?s why we get to watch Spacey sing 12-15 times, and that?s why Spacey went to the trouble of re-recording all of Darren?s songs so that?s it?s Spacey belting out the tunes. Because, remember, this is a film about Spacey, not Bobby Darren.[/color][/font]
    [font=Arial][color=darkred]Spacey is also much too old to be playing Darren, who died suddenly at age 37. He comes off lechery, especially during his courtship with the young Sandra Dee. Spacey isn?t unaware of this problem because in the opening minutes of [i]Beyond the Sea [/i]someone accuses Bobby Darren of being to old to play himself in his movie. The response: ?He was born to play this part!? There you go folks, case closed.[/color][/font]
    [font=Arial][color=darkred]The acting in [i]Beyond the Sea[/i] isn?t really an issue. Spacey has a genuine bounce to his song renditions and proves to be a capable dancer. John Goodman plays yet another gruff but lovable sidekick. It?s always good to see Bob Hoskins onscreen, no matter what the role may be. Bosworth comes away the best as she shifts from stars-in-the-eyes naiveté to a harder edge (you may rethink that whole song from [i]Grease[/i]).[/color][/font]
    [font=Arial][color=darkred]The dialogue is played so straight that it?s often hilarious: ?Memories are like moonbeams, we do with them what we like.? With all due respect, what the fuck does that mean?! I think I get the idea but what can anyone really do with moonbeams? If this line isn?t bad enough it becomes a central idea for [i]Beyond the Sea[/i] which Spacey/Darren uses to excuse his flagrant gaps in time and fact.[/color][/font]

    [font=Arial][color=darkred][i]Beyond the Sea[/i] gets so caught up in the Kevin Spacey Variety Hour that it fails to tell its audience why they should even care about Darren. Was he an inspiration because he outlived doctor expectations? Did he liven up old songs? Was he a remarkably versatile talent? Who knows? You?re on your own. Spacey?s too busy singing and dancing to explain the relevancy of Bobby Darren or why this movie should even exist.[/color][/font]
    [font=Arial][color=darkred]There must be some interesting facts about Darren. I did not know that he wrote ?Splish Splash? let alone that he wrote the whole song in 20 minutes. I didn?t know Darren required a toupee at such a young age. That stuff is interesting. It?s too bad it all takes a back seat because Spacey wants to emphasize his singing. Seriously, I get it; you can sing, Kevin Spacey. Can I see more of Bobby Darren and less of Spacey now?[/color][/font]
    [font=Arial][color=darkred][i]Beyond the Sea[/i] portrays Darren so single-mindedly. He?s always focused on his music and nothing else, whether that be a budding acting career (he was nominated for an Oscar), the advice of his friends, or the love of his family. Darren kind of comes across as a self-centered jerk a lot of the time in [i]Beyond the Sea[/i].[/color][/font]
    [font=Arial][color=darkred]I don?t know which is worse, Spacey the director or Spacey the writer. It?s not that he?s inept at either end but he just makes decisions that kill the material. There has to be a better framing device than having Darren star in a movie about his life. There have to be better transitional ideas than having New York City explode into choreographed dances. To top it off, when the movie reaches its very protracted climax, we see the adult Bobby Darren in a tap duet with his younger self. [i]Beyond the Sea[/i] loses whatever earnest intentions it had and melts away into one strange metaphysical song and dance revue.[/color][/font]

    [font=Arial][color=darkred][i]Beyond the Sea[/i] has been a pet project for Kevin Spacey for so long that the focus has shifted from Bobby Darren to Spacey himself. This movie exists so that Spacey can celebrate himself. To say [i]Beyond the Sea[/i] is a showcase of megalomania would be an understatement. Many scenes exist for no reason other than to give Spacey another opportunity to dance or sing. Redubbing all of Darren?s songs seems a tad unnecessary and a whole lot about ego. Die-hard fans of Darren or Spacey may enjoy [i]Beyond the Sea[/i], but most people will grow tired of seeing Spacey congratulate himself for being an autuer. This is a self-indulgent nightclub act posing as a film. Memories are like moonbeams, and I?m forgetting this movie as fast as possible.[/color][/font]

    [font=Arial][color=darkred]Nate's Grade: D[/color][/font]
  • February 13, 2011
    I loved the show.
    Beautiful soundtrack, gorgeous sets and costumes, good writing, and great performances.
    you will like the first half of "Beyond The Sea", with its production numbers and people dancing in the streets and love blooming all over the place and rising above adversit... read morey to achieve fame and fortune ...
    ... but the second half was like a whole different movie. No more dancing in the streets, nothing to be happy about at all, just illness, alcoholism, politics, audience rejection and early death.
    The songs are all done well.
    Not to be missed if you like that sort of music.
  • March 27, 2006
    [font=Century Gothic]"Beyond the Sea" is a biopic about singer Bobby Darin(Kevin Spacey, who also directed, did his own singing, co-wrote and co-produced but probably did not help with the catering), ne Walden Robert Cassotto, who was born into a modest household in The Bronx in ... read more1936. As a young boy, he was struck by rheumatic fever which weakened his heart, so doctors did not think he would survive past the age of fifteen. He defied their predictions and also developed an interest in music which led to a very successful career as a pop singer. Eventually, he even gets into acting and a relationship with actress Sandra Dee(Kate Bosworth).[/font]
    [font=Century Gothic][/font]
    [font=Century Gothic]"Beyond the Sea" simply tries too hard in trying to cram the entirety of Bobby Darin's life into a film along with enough symbolism, surrealism and musical numbers to choke a horse. The most serious flaw of the movie is that Kevin Spacey is simply too old to be playing Darin, especially in his early scenes with Kate Bosworth.(Any actor who chooses to direct must eventually realize that they do not have to be in front of the camera all of the time.) As the film goes on, Spacey does get in sync with the older Darin, but by then the damage has been done. [/font]
  • November 27, 2009
    Kevin Spacey's directorial debut proves how skilled he is. Not only is he a phenomenal actor, but a skilled singer and dancer too. It's too bad that such a mediocre film is a showcase for that fact. This is an incoherent, structurally frustrating movie that doesn't achieve any so... read morert of emotional impact.
  • July 21, 2009
    Even Kevin Spacey couldn't keep me awake for this one

Critic Reviews

Paul Clinton (
December 30, 2006
Paul Clinton (,

Many people under 40 may not even remember Bobby Darin, let alone know about his remarkable life story. Beyond the Sea may rectify that problem and stand as a wonderful tribute to an amazing talent wh... Full Review

Peter Howell
January 14, 2005
Peter Howell, Toronto Star

Spacey the actor bails out Spacey the director. He's been talking about his abiding love of Darin for quite some time, and he nails Darin in look, deed and buttery croon, making up for many of the fil... Full Review

Desson Thomson
December 30, 2004
Desson Thomson, Washington Post

This vainglorious biopic about Bobby Darin is really about what the '60s pop singer and actor means to Kevin Spacey. Full Review

Ann Hornaday
December 30, 2004
Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

If Spacey's age problem proves an insurmountable distraction for literalists and Darin fans, his admirers will no doubt relish the chance to watch him sing, dance and basically take over the screen fo... Full Review

Bruce Newman
December 30, 2004
Bruce Newman, San Jose Mercury News

This is one of those rare movies that's so bad it's good, with lavish production numbers in which Spacey sings out of sync with the voice track and dances out of sync with his own feet.

Roger Moore
December 30, 2004
Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel

Spacey may worship at the altar of Darin, but the real Bobby was beyond him. Full Review

Jeff Strickler
December 30, 2004
Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune

[Spacey is] someone who is capable of producing, writing, directing, starring and doing his own singing -- and making it all work magnificently. Full Review

Howard Cohen
December 30, 2004
Howard Cohen, Miami Herald

Watching Kevin Spacey's hilariously inept recreation of Bobby Darin's life in Beyond the Sea brings to mind the old Neil Diamond- Laurence Olivier remake of The Jazz Singer. Full Review

Eric Harrison
December 30, 2004
Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle

Offers little psychological insight into the man beyond his mantra -- 'I want it all. ... I want to surpass Sinatra in everything he does.' Full Review

Tom Long
December 30, 2004
Tom Long, Detroit News

For the most part this movie is a kick to watch, and what a crazy-cool thing for a guy with two Oscars to attempt, a salute from one wandering artist to another.

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    • Bobby Darin: It turns out I can do whatever the F I want.
    • Steve Blauner: I sure am getting fat.
  • When Barry Levinson was set to direct, he wanted Johnny Depp in the lead role.
  • At one point Barry Levinson (Wag the Dog, Sphere) was set to direct.

Beyond the Sea : Watch Free on TV

Beyond the Sea Trivia

  • What movie has the tagline "Somewhere under the sea and beyond your imagination is an adventure in fantasy."  Answer »
  • Which of the following films does NOT feature singer Tom Waits?  Answer »
  • Kevin Spacey directs and stars as singer Bobby Darin, whos success took it's toll on his health and marriage. Name the movie?  Answer »
  • What was the name of the movie starring Kevin Spacey and Kate Bosworth as Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee?  Answer »

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