Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Nov 1, 2012
    88
    Walken was largely typecast in quirky roles as a result of playing the title character's brother in "Annie Hall," so it's something of a delightful irony that 35 years later, Walken finds his most rewarding role leading a terrific ensemble in what amounts to one of the best Woody Allen movies that Allen wasn't involved in making.
  2. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Oct 31, 2012
    88
    A Late Quartet does one of the most interesting things any film can do. It shows how skilled professionals work.
  3. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Nov 15, 2012
    83
    Despite too stately a pace at times, and some fairly predictable plot resolutions, the film succeeds thanks to empathetic performances (from Walken and especially Hoffman) and an evident affection for the music and musicians it depicts.
  4. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Nov 14, 2012
    83
    How many surprises and peaks can Walken possibly have left, after so many movies and memorable roles? Well, there's this one.
  5. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Nov 1, 2012
    83
    Leave it to Walken to upstage Beethoven.
  6. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Oct 31, 2012
    83
    Yaron Zilberman's first feature has a solid structure, but as with a piece of music, the way it's played makes all the difference. His principal actors aren't great at faking their instrumental prowess, but they're perfectly in tune with each other, playing artists who've postponed life's decisions in the name of pursuing their craft.
  7. Reviewed by: Neil Smith
    Mar 25, 2013
    80
    The leads make sweet music in an affecting four-piece that, if not note perfect, plays well to their individual strengths. A marked improvement overall on this year’s other Quartet.
  8. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Nov 29, 2012
    75
    The screenplay by Seth Grossman and Israeli-American director Yaron Zilberman is old-fashioned and melodramatic but stirring in its portrait of people struggling with individual egos to produce something nobler than themselves.
  9. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Nov 1, 2012
    75
    For those willing to enter this world and pay attention, A Late Quartet provides distinct and uncommon satisfactions.
  10. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Nov 1, 2012
    75
    The title refers not only to particular music by Beethoven but also to the fictional string quartet of Yaron Zilberman's fussily genteel, overplotted Manhattan tale in which interpersonal stresses build to a crescendo when one of the foursome becomes ill.
  11. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Nov 1, 2012
    75
    Grace notes abound in A Late Quartet, a small, shining gem of a movie that works its way into your heart with insinuating potency of music.
  12. 70
    I was happy watching these actors, happy going behind the scenes of a sober classical music ensemble instead of another druggy rock group, happy hearing Beethoven for a couple of hours. The movie is haut-bourgeois to the bone, but so am I: Let's hear some chamber music and have a little laugh and a cry!
  13. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Nov 1, 2012
    70
    It would be shortsighted to dismiss this deeply felt, musically savvy film, set in a refined cultural precinct of Manhattan, as sudsy melodrama.
  14. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Nov 1, 2012
    70
    It's rare these days to see an old-fashioned, elegant chamber-piece movie about life and art - let alone one with Christopher Walken as, of all things, a steadying influence.
  15. Reviewed by: Michael Nordine
    Nov 1, 2012
    70
    It's something of a relief that little is actually resolved in A Late Quartet; Zilberman is at his best when leaving narrative threads hanging rather than trying to tie them together.
  16. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Nov 1, 2012
    70
    A Late Quartet serves as an acting showcase, particularly for Walken and Hoffman, and makes for an interesting study in artistic ego.
  17. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Sep 11, 2012
    70
    Centered around four outstanding performances, Yaron Zilberman's fiction-feature debut feels like the work of a filmmaker who knows and appreciates the art form under scrutiny, laying a credible foundation for a story that lays bare the often melodramatic passions of the artistic soul.
  18. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Nov 2, 2012
    67
    Zilberman's conceit is that these players, who mesh so beautifully in their music-making, are discordant in their personal lives. Those lives are constructed for maximum messiness, turning what might have been resonant drama into high-class soap opera.
  19. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Nov 1, 2012
    63
    The performances are worth a look, especially since Christopher Walken so rarely gets to play a sane person.
  20. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Oct 30, 2012
    63
    Playing the cello is such a pleasant change of pace that he (Walken) eventually grows on you, scene by scene, proving for the first time since his role as Leonardo DiCaprio's troubled father 10 years ago in "Catch Me If You Can," that he really can act. He - along with the rest of the elegant cast - keeps A Late Quartet in tune when it threatens to go flat.
  21. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    Apr 1, 2013
    60
    Measured performances from the seasoned cast balance out a script that errs towards the melodramatic. Hours sweating over those instruments pay dividends too.
  22. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Dec 14, 2012
    60
    The sort of movie you should go see with someone you love. You should also hold their hand during the movie. And be thankful that that hand is there.
  23. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Nov 1, 2012
    60
    Zilberman's minimalistic approach fits the idea of the film better than it fits the actual film. It leaves this melancholy mood piece with some beautiful moments, but unlike Beethoven's work, A Late Quartet ultimately feels unfinished.
  24. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Oct 31, 2012
    60
    The four leads more often than not transcend the material's calculated moroseness; Ivanir is especially good as a man whose perfectionist facade masks a soul in perpetual turmoil.
  25. Reviewed by: Jordan Mintzer
    Sep 11, 2012
    60
    The film mines both the relationship issues and the Upper East Side neighborhoods of Woody Allen's best work, but could use an added dose of the Woodster's jokes to spruce up a self-serious scenario that hits the right notes about half the time.
  26. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Nov 14, 2012
    50
    A Late Quartet overplays its bass line and loses sight of the melody, making for a movie that is heavy-handed and sluggish. It remains earthbound when it should soar.
  27. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Nov 12, 2012
    50
    Yes, A Late Quartet is disappointing. But it's also pretty bad.
  28. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Nov 9, 2012
    50
    Watching A Late Quartet feels more like sitting through a Classical Music 101 lecture than entertainment.
  29. Reviewed by: Nick McCarthy
    Oct 31, 2012
    50
    A muted soap opera masquerading as erudite ensemble piece, Yaron Zilberman's A Late Quartet jettisons character plausibility in favor of pop psychology and leaden instrument analogies.
  30. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Oct 27, 2012
    50
    The scenes of the musicians rehearsing or talking about music, with the actors playing parts of Opus 131 themselves (the longer stretches are played by the Brentano Quartet), are fascinating and moving for anyone who loves this music; the rest of the movie is conventional.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Mar 31, 2013
    8
    What a wonderful surprise. The performances in this film are so good it beggars belief that no member of the cast garnered any recognition, anywhere. Indeed the film has somehow gone right under the radar. It may be Christopher Walken's best performance in an age; it's so refreshing to see him break at last from lunatic typecasting and bring to life a sensitive musician blanketed in grief and confronting darkness. Hoffman is amazing, along with the whole cast. There are so many richly written scenes in this film, played out by such superb actors, that you can't help be swept up in the turmoil of their relationships. A real achievement. Full Review »
  2. Nov 13, 2012
    10
    One of the best of the year, with possible Oscar nods for Walken Hoffman, Keener and Poots. The story was varied and fascinating and it nicely gave time to each character's struggle. Exciting shots of NYC, great music, and nice work by the cast to make us believe they were really playing. Full Review »
  3. Nov 11, 2012
    10
    This is a terrific film. It is well-written and directed by one of the screenwriters (Zilberman). The acting is superb, especially by Seymour and Walken. It is a story of relationships, starting with individual needs and desires and strengths and weaknesses, but all held together when they are one in a string quartet. It demonstrates the individuality of four people who are then welded together to produce a great unit producing lovely music. The whole cannot function without the individuals, a microcosm of society in general. The story begins with the deterioration of Walken who is the glue that holds them all together, and then the unit falls further apart only to come together at the end in a great final scene. This film will not receive thenumber of viewers it should, which will be a great loss for those who do not see it, and a great film for those who do. Full Review »