'The Bling Ring' needs to examine the cost of its characters' criminal exploits more deeply

'The Bling Ring' is based on a true story about a group of teenagers who robbed the homes of celebrities.

A24 Films/AP
Emma Watson in a scene from 'The Bling Ring.'

Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring” is about a real-life group of teenagers from a wealthy enclave in Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley that, between 2008 and 2009, broke into the homes of such celebrities as Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan and pillaged the Pradas and Blahniks and Birkins. The value of the booty, some of which the teens fenced, some of which they wore and posted pictures of on Facebook, totaled more than $3 million.

The young actors, including Katie Chang, Israel Broussard, and a very un-“Harry Potter”-ish Emma Watson, are engagingly blank, and Coppola films their exploits with a smooth and slowly accumulating creepiness.

But this is a movie that cries out for more than the too-cool-for-school Coppola’s trademark hipster anomie. She may be too much a part of the celebrity-mongering world she portrays to do justice to its injustices. Grade: B- (Rated R for teen drug and alcohol use, and for language including some brief sexual references.)

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