By People Staff
Updated October 29, 1998 12:00 AM
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The critics are not being kind to

Leonardo DiCaprio’s new movie, “The Beach,” the star’s first major endeavor since his mega-hit “Titanic.” In this new one, which opens Friday, he plays a dark, ignoble character named Richard, an American backpacker in Thailand who embarks upon a search for paradise (shades of “Lord of the Flies” and “Lost Horizon”). Most reviewers are noting that the film’s dark story and tone will probably not appeal to Leo’s core group of fans: teenage girls. Story and tone aside, the reviewers aren’t too impressed with the way the flick was written or directed, either. “Movie never clicks,” sums up PEOPLE’s Leah Rozen, “leaving viewers as stranded as Leo.” “Not a terrible movie,” opined The New York Times, “just an insubstantial one (with) not much going on.” USA Today awarded “The Beach” one star out of four.