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Universal acclaim- based on 315 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 28 out of 315

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  1. Jun 4, 2013
    Maybe its the fact that I have grown with these characters, and maybe its because I am currently going through a divorce, but the biting dialogue about marriage, life, death, and parenthood cut through me from the opening scene in the airport to the closing scene on a dock. Breathtaking. A must see.
  2. Jun 19, 2013
    My wife and I went to this movie because of the overwhelming positive reviews, and ended up disappointed. FYI, we did not see either of the prequels, and knew little of the premise. The movie is extremely well written and acted. The key to our disappointment was that this movie is 95% dialogue! The entire movie could have been done on stage. Certainly, the dialogue was excellent, biting and emotional. At times, I felt like I was back watching "Virginia Woolf" again. For us, the entertainment value was not there. I felt like I might have gotten the same enjoyment from reading this script, as from watching the movie. We go the the movies to be entertained. Ergo the mixed review.....excellent dialogue....minimal entertainment value. Expand
  3. Jul 22, 2013
    I have no idea how this movie gets any positive reviews. The director must have a lot of friends. My wife and I walked out. Scenes are unbearably long with rambling dialogue about nothing. There is no plot to this movie. It's just uninteresting people talking.
  4. May 24, 2013
    Before Midnight is the third of three movies, shot about a decade apart each, starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy as lovers with a very push-pull dynamic. It's not necessary to see the first two movies to follow Before Midnight. The movie features long takes (sometimes not cutting for 10 minutes at a time) the story takes place over a day, and dialogue and naturalistic acting are paramount. There's a complexity to their characters and relationship that refuses to fully romanticize or demonize them. It's something of a realist romance in (deliberate) contrast the beautiful settings. Careful viewers will notice a handful of ironies that ground the romance in reality. I won't give examples here, or go into the details that keep me from giving this a 9 or 10 as many critics do. The movie is the proverbial breath of fresh air, though. I'd say that the main weakness of the movie stems from its strengths, in that when artists set out to make something so true to human nature (as opposed to fluffier rom coms or Nicholas Sparks movies) it's easy to hear the (few) false notes that are played. There are very few; and unless you're jonesing for a mere-nonsense 'entertainment' movie, this movie should appeal to practically anyone. Expand
  5. Lyn
    Jun 14, 2013
    I couldn't wait to hear from Jesse and Celine again! But this film lacked the luminous insights of the first two; I can't think of a single memorably true phrase. I concede that it probably wouldn't be entertaining to watch a contented middle-aged couple engage in contented conversation for a couple of hours. But while any marriage has its ragged edges, the savage fighting here felt like they saved up every gripe and grudge of nine years, only to discharge them when a director said "ready, aim, fire!" Celine, especially, seemed like a merciless harpy for choosing a lovely vacation setting and a moment when her husband ached from his son's departure to rant about the dashing of her feminist goals. The conversations were interesting, for the most part. Sadly, however, I'm not sure I want to revisit these two again. Expand
  6. May 25, 2013
    The first two films in the series are outstanding, and I was a little concerned that the third wouldn't live up, but it does. I sincerely hope that Linklater, Hawke and Delpy do another one in 10 years, when they're 50. Such amazing chemistry between the leads, and it rings so true. It's funny, often painful, but authentic as hell. If you're a 19 year old kid, should you rush out and see this film instead of Fast/Furious, Hangover, or the latest comic book colossus? Hell no. But rent the first one, wait a few years and watch the next two. If you're in your late 30s, early 40's or later, you should love this movie. Expand
  7. Jun 20, 2013
    In 95's "Before Sunrise" Ethan Hawke & Julie Delphy spend one romantic nite strolling around Vienna in conversation. A decade later they ramble thru Paris doing the same thing in "Before Sunset." This time they're on vacation in Greece with their kids, where the scenery is more limited. They spend an evening walking, while they discuss their relationship. If you've seen the others, you'll find this one less romantic and more realistic, even difficult. Their performances are compellingly real, but the movie is more wordy and less charming. Expand
  8. Aug 9, 2013
    The reviews of this thought-garbage movie prove all critics, and most of the film industry, are Cartesian, schizophrenics.
    The bedrock of reality isn't thought. The bedrock of reality is being-in-the-world. It might sound like a strange or vague point to make about a movie but this movie exemplifies it in the worst way. I can't sum up this trilogy any better than to say it's tagline could
    be 'I Think, Therefore I am'. To see how this phrase might not be the ultimate truth look at how being really is.
    Being-in-the-world is gravity, repetition, and energy holding us in an orbit (think of the sun, the source of life). These three things make thought possible. Gravity can be love, caring, attraction, repulsion. Repetition can be cycles, seasons, habits, the basis of truth, waves. And energy can be any kind of energy.
    As for the scene at the table, a computer can play chess because chess is math and the language of math is fixed. A computer can't use language like us because language is affixed to being-in-the-world. Computers don't have being-in-the-world. Computers only have energy and repetition. For computers efficiency stands in for gravity. It's why they're so boring and artificial intelligence is brain-dead.
  9. Dec 13, 2013
    Just not realistic. People just don’t' act or talk like this, and as the whole point of the film is one of those that try to say something about life it's just pointless. Who would even relate to this anyway unless you were a white, upper middle class American? Don't waste your time.
  10. Jun 1, 2013
    Before Midnight is one of the smartest movies around, and the best of the three in this series. Delphy and Hawke are magnificent. They are up to the challenge more dark content as their marriage is threatened to be pulled apart by anger, resentment, jealousy and other issues/ these issues that the two have seemed to repressed for nine come out in to the open in a hotel room while vacationing in Greece. Richard Linklater gives more depth to these character in the previous two films He seems to understand what it takes to make a relationship survive. A beautiful film. when one leaves the theater One is overjoyed in seeing such perfect film. Expand
  11. Jun 10, 2013
    Expands on what came before it, rather than becoming redundant. There are a few nods to the previous installments, but this film stands on it's own, mainly because the dialogue and delivery that carry the film so triumphantly.
  12. Jun 21, 2013
    What a Great Movie. I did not see the first two movies. The story shows the complexities of love and relationships. Can't praise the movie enough. Loved it.
  13. Jun 24, 2013
    I missed out on Before Sunset and Before Sunrise until recently when my girlfriend had me watch them with her in preparation for Before Midnight. I was floored and thought about both of these movies for a few days after. Considering how much I enjoyed Linklater's other films (Slacker, Waking Life, Scanner Darkly), I don't know how I missed these.

    Luckily, I didn't have to wait 9 years
    to see Before Midnight... because it's easily the best in the series.

    Throughout the first two films, you see a romantic relationship blossom, but they are not without complications and turmoil. Remember the mystic in the first one? How they both had a different impression and had a minor fight over it? This trend clearly grows in their relationship over time, as Before Midnight isn't the idyllic paradise we might expect. Within the first 10 minutes, a minor fight breaks out. Through the course of the film, tensions grow. This isn't without charming moments where we see romance and love, but it's not the near perfect encounters we're used to.

    While the film breaks our expectation, it also simultaneously meets it perfectly. We may be jarred by the change of tone, but through its honesty and brutality, the story that's delivered is nothing short of perfect. The arc that we see Celine and Jesse take is convincingly real and compelling, sad and happy, heartbreaking and heartwarming.

    Celine acts crazy and Jesse acts distant, and both have their valid and invalid concerns, desires, and complaints. Some may argue that Celine acts unreasonable, but this isn't a story about a perfect life. It's a story about a real one. Sometimes, people act unreasonable, unable to express themselves coherently, and raising their hackles in defense at any opposition. It may take a couple days and viewings to totally understand and see all the layers involved in this couple's life, but that understanding is rewarded when the whole thing comes together and you see both sides clearer than either of the characters do.

    If this ends up being the final chapter in this story, it would be a fitting end. This series is beautiful and honest, and shouldn't be missed. Before Midnight stands, in my mind, as the best of the trilogy.
  14. Jul 19, 2013
    The dialogue stretches to the end of time in every scene of the movie but what keeps it together and easy to take in, is its genuine feeling and fluid delivery. For most of the time you forget that your watching a movie and instead real peoples lives.
  15. Oct 13, 2013
    Deep down in my heart, I felt like this was the 2nd WORSE MOVIE EVER MADE! it's WORSE THAN EVERY HORROR/ROM-COM MOVIES! it's like you are reading a Girl's Book...

    (The good thing is: Now, everytime I need to check if a Reviewer is stupid, I can check if he/she liked this crap! hahahaha)
  16. Oct 25, 2013
    The woman is a NAG, negative and SO annoying I could barely finish watching the movie. In fact, I haven't finished watching it and I have to shout out to someone. The first movie was great, the second movie was good, this movie is bad. I love Ethan's character but the woman? Ethan, run. This
    woman's personality would make any man run for his life! Thumbs down!
  17. Oct 25, 2013
    I just watched this movie with my wife, while it probably was insightful and intelligently and realistically written, it was just boring. NOTHING HAPPENED in the whole movie. They talked then they talked, then they talked some more. I am not one of those guys who rates movies on how many people get shot, but please give me a little story or drama beyond the day to day life I can experience at home without paying to see a movie. Wife thought it was boring too, she went to bed 2/3s of the way in. Expand
  18. Jan 4, 2014
    This is the most boring and overrated piece of crap I have ever seen. There should be awards give to those who manage to get to the end of this utterly nonsensical and uninteresting story about a couple of whom the woman is naggy and the guy has no charisma. I don't understand the reviews and I wish I haven't wasted my time trying to watch this DO NOT WATCH THIS
  19. jkm
    Jun 2, 2013
    Impressively realistic, endearingly entertaining, and romantically funny

    Rarely have I witnessed such perfect blend of acting and script in any film I have seen. It is so well-acted and so well written that one can completely forget one is watching a film. It is impressively realistic, endearingly entertaining, and romantically funny. If it were the end of the year, I would assume
    this would be an Oscar & Golden Globe contender. It deserves such recognition. Expand
  20. Jun 10, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It’s the mark of a great script when some of the most profound lines are just tossed into the midst of a conversation, unremarked upon and quickly lost in the flow of dialogue. We all get dragged through our parents’ lives,” says Celine, a Frenchwoman whose raw intelligence is only matched by her impulsive emotions. Jesse, a writer and Celine’s common-law husband, offers this: “If we were ever going to truly know each other, we’d probably have to get to know ourselves better first.” Jesse and Celine are played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, and they have been for almost 20 years. The characters were first introduced in the charming 1995 romance Before Sunrise, as students who meet on a train and spend the night ambling through Vienna, talking of what is past, or passing, or to come. Nine years later, in Before Sunset, Jesse is giving a reading at Paris’s Shakespeare and Company bookshop, and Celine comes to see him. Another peripatetic conversation follows, but did Jesse miss his plane back to his wife and child in New York? Nine more years and we have an answer in Before Midnight. Jesse and Celine are living in Paris, parents to twin eight-year-old girls. In the long opening scene (all the scenes are long, and perfectly so) Jesse is at the Kalamata airport saying goodbye to his son, who has spent part of his summer vacation with them in southern Greece. There are only a few more scenes in the movie. Jesse and Celine drive back to their vacation spot, a writer’s retreat presided over by a congenial old man. (He’s played by 86-year-old Oscar-winning cinematographer Walter Lassally in his acting debut!) They chat with friends before and during dinner. They walk to a nearby hotel, where their hosts have given them the luxury of a night away from the kids. They have a fight, and in the midst of Jesse’s apology, the movie ends. Will they make it through another nine years? As with real-life couples, no one knows. Writer/director Richard Linklater is no George Lucas, with a carefully (or perhaps not-so-carefully) plotted trilogy of trilogies. He and co-writers Hawke and Delpy make this stuff up as they go. For the fans, it almost makes sense to imagine Jesse and Celine as a couple you’ve lost touch with. With luck, you’ll hear from them again one day, bringing you up to date on their lives. It’s instructive to note, however, that while Before Midnight doesn’t end on a cliffhanging note, it’s also open to interpretation. I think the characters will muddle through into old age together; others will tell you they give the relationship another six months, tops. The characters feel so real that the kind of foibles that might normally be charged to the actor or filmmaker instead feel like faults of the characters. It drove me mad that Jesse always has half his shirt untucked, but apparently that’s just Jesse. And when Celine raises her voice and drops her IQ to tease her mate by pretending to be a bimbo, it made me realize what an actress she is. Almost as good as Julie Delpy. An old woman talks about how the memory of her dead husband was always strongest in the morning, before the sun made it fade. Someone else describes the differing reactions of male and female coma patients upon awakening. In other ways, it’s refreshingly on par. Linklater has a new cinematographer in Christos Voudouris, but the camera still finds ways to unobtrusively jog alongside the protagonists, and it knows when to just be still. Given that more than 10 minutes of the film takes place in the front seat of a car, and at least that much in a smallish hotel suite, Linklater makes great use of minimal space and available light. It all adds up to a wondrous third meeting, with concomitantly higher expectations for the fourth. Some critics have argued that Linklater and company should quit while they’re ahead, but the same was said of the last film, and it’s a good thing that road was not taken. I leave you with two scenes to ponder. In one, the couple playfully contemplates their mortality, calculating how much longer they would have to stay together to match the record of Jesse’s recently deceased grandparents. In another, the fragility of time passing is caught by the rays of the sun, sinking toward the horizon as they watch from a seaside restaurant. Expand
  21. Jun 14, 2013
    Before Midnight is, of course, the third (and not necessarily final) film in Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy's winsome, organic, intimate series that follows the stories of lovers Jesse and Celine. The film picks up nine years after the ambiguous ending of Before Sunset and well, you're not interested in the plot. Jesse and Celine are together, of course, because how could the film exist otherwise?

    And what, really, can I say? Was there any doubt that I would gush about this film before I even set eyes on its beautiful opening shot: a throwaway close-up of Ethan Hawke's Jesse and his son, Hank's, shoes? Call me a biased reviewer. Maybe I'm doing it wrong by allowing this film to be the third act of a singular, indivisible story. The truth is, it was going to take a disaster of tremendous proportions for me to not love this film. I can say with absolute certainty that such was not the case. As far as judgment rendered goes, there's a pretty simple rubric. Have you seen the first two films? If not, go see them now. There is absolutely zero reason to watch Midnight out of context, even if it does stand strong as an independent entity. Now, did you love the first two films? If not, you should probably kill yourself with robotic haste, so bleak is the world you must inhabit. If you've seen both Sunrise and Sunset and are still breathing, you will see this film. You will almost assuredly love it. Few things in the world are so simple and so certain.

    Instead, I'll waste everyone's time by drawing some fairly moot and humble and utterly small comparisons between the three films.

    Sunrise is the most unapologetically romantic film of the series, as is to be expected. Midnight ranks a close second, however, due to a level of passion and tenacity that was understated in Sunset. Where Sunrise basks in the warm afterglow of the fading day and the comfortable fabric of young love, and where Sunset is more about two individuals coming to terms with their own lives in relation to each other, Midnight is about the sundering chaos of a binary star system, two supergiants pulling and pushing on each other, bound in an endless dance of growth, destruction, and renewal. Midnight is by far the most intense of the three films; Sunrise is warm, Sunset is cool, and Midnight spans the daring gamut from lukewarm comfort into a nuclear firestorm. Sunrise is all about possibility, where these two people might ever go. Sunset is about evaluation, the strange and complicated states they're suspended in. Midnight is about both the past and the future, looking to both with remorse and hopefulness, and not with the intellectual and emotional curiosity of Sunset but with pinned resignation and patience and pity and an entirely different kind of hope.

    Before Midnight is a powerful film. In comparison (and by no means diminishing the potency of the other two films),Sunrise is a carefree frolic through the grass, Sunset is a careful dance of courtship between two experienced partners, and Midnight is a bare knuckle brawl of devastating emotional honesty that is only possible between two people who have known each other for so many years and therefore possess the arsenal to really hurt both their partners and themselves. It is the biggest film of the three in scope; it introduces what may almost amount to a supporting cast, and in the first act, I almost feared that the focus of the film had unraveled a bit. But by the halfway point, we have returned to the relationship at the core of this (so far) trilogy. But it also spans the largest portion of the emotional gamut; it doesn't deal as heavily in the ethereal idealism of the first film or the calculated sophistication of the second, but runs all the bases and spreads further outward and onward, exploring new emotions and histories and anything else that's ripe for the picking. Midnight is also the funniest of the three; with cruelty there is the merciful counterbalance of humor, made all the more wry and sharper by the irony and acridity that surrounds it.

    There is little else to say about what Midnight accomplishes without ruining the film. This is by far the most plot-dependent of the three films (though still not very), and there are emotional surprises to be had along the way. It is the most beautiful of the three films, especially in its opening act, and especially in a scene filmed at a group dinner that uses light so expertly and beautifully that it is numbing in its sheer visual skill.

    It is also the messiest of the films. Sunset remains the closest of the three to perfection. Sunrise had some of the unsteady hand of a young auteur, but Midnight sometimes strays by way of its own ambition, a quality that the first two, especially Sunrise were too cool to have. It lacks the almost calculated efficiency of Sunset but is a more daring film, one that renews my love of these two souls, one that has me counting the days until we may revisit their lives again
  22. Jun 19, 2013
    A poignant, resonant ending to the lovers' journey. Every bit of it rings true. A love story that has wound its way over close to two decades and shows wear and tear. Beautifully crafted.
  23. Jul 12, 2013
    I am truly and utterly under Jesse's and Celine's spell and hoping that they will surprise us with another snapshot of their lives 9 years from now. Even though Before Midnight is breezy to begin with, it breaks the courtship mould early on without however losing the romantic undertone and the feel real factor that defined the previous two installments. And since the characters have grown older and more mature, so have the films with them. And now based in Greece, it seems like this a Greek tragedy where the deus ex machina is actually true love. Expand
  24. Jul 15, 2013
    I am a huge fan of Richard Linklater’s ‘Before’ Films, and the third installment, ‘Before Midnight’, met my high expectations. We saw the inception of Jesse and Celine’s relationship, and have made a few brief visits ever since. While the first two films flirted with certain romanticism, whether it be chance encounter or the existence of a soul mate, this one was much darker in its approach. It does away with some of the fanciful aspects of a relationship and chooses to engage in some of the harsher sides of it. Yes, the relationship is in jeopardy as Jesse’s (well played by Ethan Hawke) desire to be with his son in the States conflicts with Celine’s opportunity to take a job in government. This is only the beginning, as their conflicts lead to more arguments; and all this ultimately leads to insight into the true state of their relationship. The performances were very naturalistic which is probably one the most defining aspects of these films, the collaboration between Linklater and our two stars (who also co-wrote the script) are spot on; and Julie Delpy has never been better as Celine; she channels an even more manic behavior into the character, this time around. To say that this film is about people talking is only telling a third... no, a tenth of the story. The conversations between our characters were witty, absorbing and gives great perspectives into the complexities of love and marriage. Jesse and Celine’s now troubled relationship started from the page, and with that said the screenplay was simply exquisite, and is worthy of at least a nomination next Oscar season. This is a fine film that (possibly) concludes an excellent trilogy. Expand
  25. Jul 19, 2013
    Not a very good movie. Watched it because of epic reviews but was disappointed. Movie is 100% dialog and much of it is not so great. I have no idea why reviews are so good.
  26. Jul 29, 2013
    The dialogues, the excellent performances, the cinematography,the words, the images all is perfect in a movie where the reality is just (almost) real.
  27. Sep 15, 2013
    Plot (Imdb): We meet Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna.

  28. Nov 25, 2013
    I would not have attempted to watch this had I realized it was the third of a trilogy. Having not seen the first two, I am completely baffled by the high ratings this movie has. There is absolutely no plot. I can understand enjoying the movie if you're already invested in the characters from the previous tales and just want to spend more time with them, but this completely failed to make me like them, and therefore I didn't care about what they had to say (which is all that happens for the entire movie), so it ended up being a waste of my time. Expand
  29. Dec 28, 2013
    One of the most boring movies I have ever seen. Why are they together? How self indulgent. All the critics have raved about the screenplay??? We fell asleep after and thankfully woke up when the credits were rolling.
  30. May 25, 2013
    “Before Midnight” is the third picture in the trilogy which started with “Before Sunrise” in 1995 and was then followed by “After Sunset” in 2004. This new film continues to explore the relationship between its stars and lovers, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke who, together with Kim Kirzan and Richard Linklater (the Director) co-wrote this film. Ms. Delpy and Mr. Hawke give honest and meaningful performances in this film which is 90% dialogue coupled with a few house, hotel and outdoor drive scenes. But it is the dialogue that captures the audience and makes the film so worthwhile. The actors really do become their characters and though it might seem tedious on paper, the watching of these verbal exchanges is as engrossing and captivating as any action or musical film might seek to achieve. I give the film an 8 and recommend it be seen by all who are, who hope to be or whoever were in a significant romantic relationship. Expand
  31. Jun 8, 2013
    There is no action is this movie, just talk, talk, talk. Mostly between two main characters. But talk intelligent, most of the time serious and quite often sincere and honest. To make a movie such as that to be good is a piece of work. And it is. The screenplay is excellent and so are both leading performances. Add to this mixture a solid cinematography with breathtaking views of Greece and you get a winner. Expand
  32. Jun 19, 2013
    When we met Celine (Julie Delpy), a young French woman, and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) a young American, in 1995 ‘s “Before Sunrise” we met a young couple who spent a night in Vienna walking and talking to and about each other just after meeting on a train. Nine years later in “Before Sunset” Jesse, now a married man, has written a best selling book about that evening with Celine, and is in Paris on a book tour. They had lost contact with each other and now 9 years later Celine comes to the Parisian bookstore where he is making an appearance, and Jesse doesn’t make the plane he was suppose to leave on and they spend the day and evening walking and talking in Paris. We learn that he is now married and has a son while she is an environmentalist with a boyfriend she doesn’t see very often. The ending is ambiguous and there wasn’t talk of a third film.

    This film in the series opens with Jesse taking his son Hank to the airport after the latter spent the summer with Jesse, Celine and their twin daughters. It has been 18 years since they first met and are now a couple living together, Jesse having divorced his wife, continued his career as a writer while Celine is being tempted by a job which she thinks she could get involved in. Jesse is thinking about he and Celine returning to America so he could be closer to his son but hasn’t discussed it with her yet.

    There are three outstanding scenes that will stay with you with the first being when Celine and Jesse are at a dinner, given by the host of the writer’s retreat that they had spent the summer, and their friends. The talk among the six touches a bit on the couple’s problems but what lies underneath comes out later. One of the couples, as a present, leased a hotel room and a massage for two and volunteered to sit the twins. The second outstanding scene is the walk through town that Jesse and Celine take to the hotel. It is the scene that evening in the hotel where they, especially Celine, go at each other that makes the film. It is the accumulation of their life together and what makes it work and what is pulling it apart.

    In this chapter in the story Ethan Hawke shines like he has never in any other picture including the two prequels to “Before Midnight”. Whereas Julie Delpy seemed to be the center of the Sunrise and Sunset movies Hawke walks away with this one though each gets equal time and Delpy spends time exposing her breasts in the most natural way.

    The director Richard Linklater, who also wrote the screenplay with Hawke and Delpy, draws us into the film, let’s us see that the couple really love each other but have problems as most couples do. The Greek Peloponnese peninsula looks as romantic as it should be adding to the feel of the movie. Will there be a fourth film in 2022 so we can see if this couple will live happily ever after or?
  33. Jun 23, 2013
    I discuss the movie but give away no plot elements.

    Everyone has their favorite in this trilogy, but I'm not sure if I prefer this to the second one (my favorite until now) or not. This third installment is surely more dramatic and closer to a 'regular movie.' There's lots of walking and talking (and driving and talking) in long long long takes, which I love, but there are also quite a
    few other characters in an earlier scene, which I enjoyed, and quite a fight between the two main characters, which I enjoyed, but which also made the film feel a little less of a piece with the prior two. I'm just mentioning qualities, not saying they were better or worse.

    But I have criticism. The film ends too abruptly. The previous film ended abruptly, but it was perfect as it marked a huge turning point. This fim ended merely in the eye of the storm, not at a truly significant moment. They created a bigger movie than they had space for, and one that didn't fit the walking/talking near real-time conceit of the series. But rather than follow through on that very different film, giving it what it needed on its own terms, they merely cut it short to keep in step with the series' style. Not satisfying for me. I just got hints of the movie they restrained themselves from actually making.

    Also, in Before Sunrise the two had just met; in Before Sunset they saw each other for the first time since that one-day affair in Before Sunrise. BUT in this film they've been together steadily for nine years and yet it doesn't feel that way. Yes there's the ex-wife and his son. But it didn't feel authentic. It felt put on. Either the writing didn't get at it well, or the acting didn't bring it across, or a little of both. I've been with my wife for one year, and I could make a gesture or utter a phrase that would have no meaning for anyone else, but she would know exactly what that phrase or gesture was about, and respond accordingly. There was none of that in this movie. Everything, including all the stuff going to the history of the past 9 years with this couple, was spelled out too much. When you do that the audience understands, but does not believe. You lose authenticity.

    I've seen this done well in films. A gesture or suggestion or word, evokes a response that the audience does not comprehend in granular literal detail, but they get the KIND of thing that's going on. That he has struck a nerve going to some past indiscretion of hers. Or she has said a key word that brings on an old guilt trip he's had laid on him by her time and again. When it is not all spelled out in expository fashion, but we get the gist, that works better. It feels more real. The first two movies did not have to handle this issue because the couple had no history that we had not seen on screen. This one should have handled the issue, but it didn't. So my suspension of disbelief was not quite as complete. Granted this is a nitpicky detail, but it can mark the difference between a good movie or good actor, and great movie or great actor. This film fell squarely on the "good" side of the fence, not the "great" partly for this reason.

    My other criticism goes to the sex. Yes sex. I have nothing against sex scenes normally. Angelina Jolie and Mr. Bandares in the DVD version (not the screen version) of that movie where she plays a mail order bride, naked and grinding explicitly on the bed while the camera watches from above? Go to it, I say! But this movie is very different and it did not work. The two are going to have a fight so, I imagine in order to make the fight seem like a bigger change and more dramatic, they put the two into a very cozy romantic situation just before the fight. And that situation involves Ethan sucking on Julie's breasts, her nipples. Not suggested or simulated but Mr. Hawke gets down and dirty right in front of your face, sucking, pulling, and basically giving any infant in the audience a tutorial on basic survival skills.

    This failed to generate that cozy warm feeling of intimacy for me as a viewer. Instead it made me feel uncomfortable, as if I was getting TMI and was a third wheel in the room and should leave them alone. So I'm sitting their squirming and clearing my throat (hoping they'll notice I'm there and stop) rather than feeling the warm cozy intimacy they are feeling. I just kept thinking, these two actors are friends in real life, good friends but still, they are just friends. Which makes this sooooo awkward. And they're continuing to have their chatty chat while this is going on! Which almost makes it hilarious if it wasn't so weird!

    All of this said, I enjoyed the film. It's darker, much more so than than the previous two. It's also a slighter film where a more involved film was called for. But what was on the screen (sans nipple sucking) though it was not enough I did enjoy.
  34. Jun 22, 2013
    Before Midnight is the third in the series of films which have become an unlikely success story in a world of block buster or comic strip character sequels. Not as good as its predecessors, Midnight is so talky that one wishes at times that someone would take a breath. Basically consisting of five major scenes, the airport and car journey sequences see the film off to a promising start only to have it falter in the next, a dinner, which is without question the worst part of the film. Negative reaction sets in here due to bad supporting actors and irritating writing which, whilst trying to be profound one moment and frivolous the next, is just annoying. The heart of the film takes place in a hotel room where disappointments, criticism and recriminations come to the fore. It is in this approximately 40 minute sequence that the film really comes alive demonstrating that despite all attempts to the contrary long term relationships do become jaded and always need to be worked on. Delpy and, especially, Hawke excel here. They inhabit their characters like a second skin and Midnight rises to the expected level which the first hour fails to attain. Expand
  35. Jul 11, 2013
    The movie is all talk, lots of it. It's wonderful dialogue primarily between two people and excellent acting. However, the story is a one note samba theme and there is little beyond the talk. A great opportunity for scenery in Greece is wasted. As another reviewer said, it could just be a stage play. I don;t go to the movies to see what I can see in a drama on stage.
  36. Jul 15, 2013
    This film is like ease dropping on a couple's relationship, their life and everything in between. There are few scenes but endless dialogue, but it is done very effectively and simply. Funny, meaningful, and real.
  37. Jul 16, 2013
    Jesse and Celine are my favourite fictional couple. I followed them from their first meeting 20 years ago and I am still not tired with them. As I expected, this instalment is a great movie, both as stand-alone and as the third part of the series.

    In this chapter, Jesse and Celine deal with the inevitable problems and disappointments of approaching middle age. They are both still very
    attractive and well-articulated, but now they carry the burden of responsibilities and are starting to consider the idea of their final demise.

    This time they walk and talk in Greece, during the last day of a six-week holiday. Their first conversation takes place while they drive back to their friend's house. They talk about the burden of parenthood, work problems and relocating to the US. No flirting, but still excellently executed. The second long conversation is at dinner, with their friends. It touches several subjects, among which the different perception of love, according to your age. Since the age of their friends varies from early 20s to late 60s, the conversation is very compelling.

    Then Jesse and Celine walk to their hotel, where their friends insisted they stay to get one night of privacy and romance. We understand clearly that nowadays they hardly ever have conversations that are not utilitarian, which makes the situation very realistic. Once they reach the hotel, drama ensues in the shape of a major argument.

    Anybody who quarrelled with a loved one will undoubtedly admire the skilled way in which the argument is presented: the anger about trivial matters, the resentment about past events, the illogical change of topics…. During this exchange their national idiosyncrasies are exploited in a subtle, yet funny way (Celine cannot pronounce an English word, etc…). But no matter how bad things get with them, I still hope they will stick together and will transform their passionate love into a mature feeling.
  38. Jul 24, 2013
    Before midnight is the best movie of the year. Once more Richard Linklater make us explore the meaning of the true love and the difficulties that life can bring us with love, he achieved to direct a wonderful movie by presenting the beautiful places of Greece. The screenplay is absolutely amazing and very realistic, Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke achieved to present to us with their screenplay the meaning of true love and how their magical romance that we saw in Before Sunrise and in Before Sunset concludes to a usual marriage with its own problem that many people deal with in their daily life and they still struggling to find back their true love that they may have lost during their marriage. The cast of the movie is one more time excellent, Julie Delpy is better than any other time, she gives a flawless performance that should lead her to the Academy Awards. Ethan Hawke is also very good in his role and the rest of the cast did a great job, especially the great (well know for her movies back in '60s in Greece) Xenia Kalogeropoulou gives a sweet, touching performance that will remain in our memories. The soundtrack is also amazing, the song ''Gia ena tango'' sung by Haris Alexiou (one of the best singers in Greece) gives a sweet melody to the movie. Now, i can say that the trilogy (Before Sunrise,Before Sunset,Before Midnight) is the best trilogy ever made. Before Midnight totally deserves an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay and a nomination for Best Leading Actress (Julie Delpy) and why not a nomination for Best Motion Picture. It is difficult to believe that the love story of Jesse and Celine ends with that movie, because these movies taught us many true things, like that even a romance that we think that it could only exist in movies, it can become a usual story like the marriages we meet every day with its own problems, but also with its own moments of happiness and with this movie we can understand the meaning of true love and the meaning of the family. To sum up, we have cried and we have felt the moments of happiness of the romance of Jesse and Celine and we hope that in another 9 years we will see another movie of their love and their family. Collapse
  39. Jul 29, 2013
    The final (maybe) part in Linklater's 'Before' trilogy is so incredibly well acted and made you realy feel like you are there with these characters experiencing their emotions, joy, pain, problems through 3 different stages in their lives (each film is a different part). It's best to rewatch the first two because you can better appreciate the evolution of who these people were and who they have become. Each of the 3 films were made 9 years appart so as the actors got older, so did their characters in the story. I would very much like too see another chapter in another 9 years, sure would be interesting! Expand
  40. Jul 30, 2013
    Probably the best movie I've seen so far this year, despite the fact that occasionally you're going to want to yell TIME OUT! at the screen. A third act fight scene is so intense that I wanted to reach for the glass of wine I saw on the screen. The film is comprised mostly of long takes, and feature the main stars simply talking.
  41. Aug 2, 2013
    Well I don't know-I certainly hoped our beloved characters would have some better luck then to get stuck into dysfunctional relationship with fighting and arguing about just everything.
  42. Sep 10, 2013
    Starting with Before Sunrise in 1995, the Before Trilogy has been the perfect anti blockbuster saga that depicts the lives of two people who just happen to find each other sitting on a train heading to Vienna. What follows that initial meeting is nothing short of magical. Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and his wife Celeste (Julie Delpy) and their twin girls are vacationing at a writers retreat in Greece and for their last night they have been treated to a night exploring a small Greek town together, one that highlights each of their insecurities, hopes, dreams and inner most thoughts, thoughts that could bring this epic romance to an end. Before Midnight seems like an apt conclusion to this revelatory series as it is not only the best of the bunch but it's surely one of the best films of the year. The film doesn't shy away from the fears and relationship problems that hit people in their forties as they re-examine their lives. Midnight is the darkest of the three films but that only adds to the experience as the film exhibits a wealth of emotion established over three days of these peoples lives. A cracking romp, it's funny, intelligent and never once leaves you questioning what time it is. Even for someone unclear of Jesse and Celeste's history, Before Midnight is a detailed and personal film written by people who love these characters and want as many other people to do so too. The main reason its works as a film is because it involves you in a persons life that almost everyone can relate to in some way or another as Jesse comments on social dynamics and Celeste complains about the vulgarity of men you can associate with them in a way few films manage. As the film draws to a close the film leads into an anti-establishment climax as these characters shift and respond to things in a beautiful and painfully real way. While everything comes crashing down for these two you might see something you didn't want to see in yourself or you might glance upon the films ending and feel a glimmer of hope for these two and maybe by extension yourself. Expand
  43. Nov 2, 2013
    Easily the best written script of the year... shear magic... honest, raw, difficult to watch at times, funny, and sexy... best writing of the year. I only hope they continue the story following these characters in another 9 years!
  44. Nov 3, 2013
    It is fun to watch and brave enough (6 long sequences!), but quite flawed. At times it feels that these two have never had a conversation before, given the themes and issues that they keep revisiting. Some parts seem too forced and artificial for such a mature (in time) relationship. It looks like someone felt that "someone has to be always talking or it will seem that there is no content! -even during the sunset scene!!!!-" (nothing further from the intention or the French films that give inspiration to Before Midnight, where natural conversations are as important as scene composition, space and silence) Great effort from the actors that must still be wondering "couldn't we just shut up and kiss?!" Expand
  45. Nov 20, 2013
    We only know Jesse and Céline for two days in their lives (BEFORE SUNRISE 1995, 8/10; BEFORE SUNSET 2004, 9/10), but as if we have invested too much already, so at the beginning of this third chapter, when we realize that they have been living together for all these 9 years by now and even had two twin girls, is it a truly romantic fairytale comes true or the day-to-day reality has eroded the edges and corners and exhausted their acuity in dissecting what they are really thinking? The triad of Linklater, Delpy and Hawke will present us a most satisfactory delight delving into these two soul mates’ current states of mind.

    Again tracing a one-day journey of the couple in their last day of their summer getaway in Southern Greece, in the morning, they see off Jesse’s son Hank in the airport, who has to return to his mother, Jesse’s ex-wife, which aggravates Jesse’s paternity guilt for being absent in most of Hank’s life, elicits an idea to move back to USA with the entire family, while they’re driving back from the airport, the discord occurs when Céline rebuffs the connotation of the unscheduled idea, and a time-bomb is ticking, the first long take in the car signals as a gambit to re-ignite the audience members’ coveted interest in their love story.

    Under the magnificent scenery of this ancient land, their farewell lunch with friends carries a casual spirit but the small talk is overflowing with engaging and emotively touching insights about love from different ages and experiences, Jesse and Céline are mainly listeners, but Delpy manage to pull off a splendid ad lib mimics a brainless bimbo flirting with Jesse the writer and talking about Romeo and Juliet, so hilarious and this is a patina when they are surrounded with other people.

    Later, they leave their daughters to friends and head to a hotel since they are treated to have a private evening in a hotel to culminate their last night there (with a couple massage coupon), clearly it is a god-given opportunity for them to express real thoughts without the interference of their children. Meandering in the town, everything is like deja vu, they are like two people deeply in love with each other and the sexual attraction is simmering when they reach the room, but their carnal engagement is interrupted by a pivotal call from Hank, their following tête-à-tête turns sours when Céline bickers about her sacrifice in the relationship and the frustration of parenting, utters discontent and spurns the prospect of moving to USA, meanwhile Jesse appears to be the calm one, but his passive-aggressive strategy fails to appease her and they begin to blame faults to each other, until Céline storms out and leaves the deal-breaker I don’t love you anymore”. From convivial to acrid, it is so spot-on in everyman’s world, then the ending plays a nice trick on the ambivalent possibilities of their future, fingers-crossed a fourth one will come another 9 years later and it will be worth the wait.

    Thumbs up to both Hawke and Delpy’s scintillating acting, their resounding rapport and flawless two-hander should have earned some serious awards recognition apart from their effervescent script, good luck for a third time, Delpy could be a dark horse to bag a BEST LEADING ACTRESS nomination, and she is also French, Oscar voters, remember?
  46. Dec 29, 2013
    If you want to watch a film about love, family, sex, and the complex differences between men and women then this is the film for you. The scene in the hotel room is priceless even though I think Celine is crazy. A-
  47. Jan 2, 2014
    I was somewhat disappointed with this film after all I read as I expected more. I acknowledge that it is well acted and offers more visual variety than the previous two installments in the trilogy. However, I want more from a movie than just a conversation and I hope the director isn't tempted to make another "Before installment as I am not planning on seeing it if he does.
  48. Jan 8, 2014
    I think this is a very very interesting film. Maybe it is not the best film of the trilogy, but it gives aoriginal an nice ending to the film series. The three films have something special, that catch you, and I say this because i was a hole afternoon watching the films. There aren't like many othe comedies, thay have, and specially this, has the different way to talk about a romantic story of a man and a woman. I find it really well. Expand
  49. Jan 21, 2014
    A lot of the complaints are coming from people who haven't seen the first 2. When viewed as a trilogy, the "Before" series is absolutely fantastic, and this movie is without a doubt the best of the 3. This explores the true meaning of love, why we feel love, why we experience love, why we love who we love. It is so profound, and so damn near flawless. I understand why some find it slow, and boring, and drawn-out, but if you watch all three, and you listen to everything they say, you'll find tons of gems, and you'll hopefully be entertained. For me, it made me view love in a different way than I ever had. Expand
  50. Jan 24, 2014
    The final scene of this trilogy was worthwhile. It was thoughtful, reflective and heartwarming. In my opinion the remainder of the trilogy (i.e. all three movies) didn't amount to much more than a record of some very plain conversations, which rarely offered any useful or unusual insights into human relationships.
  51. Feb 24, 2014
    Warning to people that are going to watch this, it is much better if you have watched the first two. This movie is all dialogue and I mean every single bit and the scenes are excruciatingly long but in the end this movie shows the true side of marriage and shows how difficult it can really be. I would give this a 58.9/100 mostly due to the fact that the pacing was slow.
  52. Mar 17, 2014
    While reading The Guardian's 2010 Ranking for "The 25 best romantic films of all time", I found two Richard Linklater's films: "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset". I then watched them, and I agreed. Now, it comes the third film in Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy's intimate and romantic series that follows the stories of lovers Jesse and Celine. You can watch "Before Midnight" and appreciate the film on its own
    right. But, I advise you to first see the two previous films (Sunrise
    and Sunset, in that order), before this one. Then you will understand
    that "Before Midnight" is a powerful film, but IMHO it could not be
    fully appreciated if you could not discover Jesse and Celine before.

    There is not much to say, but advise you to watch this film series to
    appreciate great acting, great stories and great original films.

    I really hope for this love story to continue. And I am sure that some
    of you may agree with me that these romantic films, may sometime be
    ranked as the best romantic film series of all time.
  53. May 3, 2014
    Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke reunite for what is probably the most consistent, and definitely the most underrated film trilogy of all time.
  54. May 6, 2014
    My comments will be directed mostly towards the writing of the movie. I thought it was a beautiful looking movie. Midnight has a more realistic look to it. In terms of the picture, it is not better or worst looking than the first two, it is just different--intentional different, I think.

    This is the best written film. The most romantic, I think. It was easy for the two characters to
    fall in love in the first movie. They were young, experimental, and free. In the second movie, they have been disappointed by love, but the desire was still there and the biggest huddle they had to leap was the institute of marriage. This movie may seem depressing and full of hateful speech, but these are my arguments that this is the most romantic movie of all three.

    1. Celine is trying to make herself fall out of love with Jessie, and she is trying to make Jessie fall out of love with her. She says at one point that Jessie bread does not have the same color it had when he was young. If you remember, she mentioned in sunrise that this was one of her favorite physical feature of him. In her mind, she is trying to construct arguments that would let her reach the conclusion that she does not love him anymore. This is one of her arguments to herself. Jessie rebutted. Then she tries to argue that Jessie hinders her spirit to be a strong independent women. Jessie rebutted. However, leaving France is the one thing Celine will not do. This is not because she hates the United States so much. It is because, by going back to America, to Celine, Jessie admitting that he made a mistake nine years earlier. Celine does not want their love and their life and their children to be a mistake in Jessie's mind. This is why she does not let Jessie talks to her son on the phone, she would like to avoid the topic altogether, but it is eating away at him.

    2. What is in question is not the fact that they love each other and that they want to be together, it is the fact that they are facing the biggest huddle in their relationship: "I **** up my whole life because of you." That is not what a women wants to hear, but in respects to his son, that statement is absolutely true. He choose Celine over his family back in America. Celine knows it is true, and she knows it does not means Jessie does not love her, but the only way she will admit it ( "it" being the fact that She and her daughters are Jessie's biggest mistake and biggest regret in regards to his son). How does a mother admit that her children and herself is a father's mistake, well she has to convince herself that she does not love him.

    Of course this is art, and many other possible explanations of this movie are plausible. However, when I first seen the movie I felt the same way as many other fans. I felt like it was dark, and depressing, and I felt Celine was being unreasonable harsh. But if we were to truly ponder what Jessie is asking Celine to do, the fact that she is even considering it, is a testament to how strong and powerful their love is and has always been. This is the most romantic movie because the huddle they have to jump to maintain their love is taller than it was in the first two movies.

    A few comments on the ending. Yes, as one user suggested, it ended in "the eye of the storm." I'm not sure that is a bad thing. However, the last conversation I felt was very important. Did Celine surrender? I think when she broke into the character of the "stupid, simple girl" that Jessie is suppose to want, it represented the most heartbreaking moment of the series. Heartbreakingly sad, or heartbreakingly romantic. This movie gives you the chance to pick. Best Three American romance movies ever.

    How did 12 Years a Slave win best screenplay? Go pick up a history book and read, you will have the same experience as watching 12 years a Slave--beautiful looking movie, but no new twist to the same story. That is another issue.
  55. Jul 12, 2014
    Not as good as Before sunset. I still like the conversations they had, and the scenery, but nothing stood out.I also didn`t like the ending much. The ending is what probably left a bad taste in my mouth.
  56. Jul 26, 2014
    Strong performances. It makes a lot of sense dramatically and compositionally to have Jesse and Celine bickering, reintroducing previous ponderings about soul mates, fate and everlasting love; questioning them. The film culminates in a hotel scene that's rather exhausting to bear witness to. I found Celine intolerable. I guess that she's probably supposed to be and perhaps has her reasons to be. It's rough to see the couple having devolved into exactly the people they once swore never to become. Expand
  57. Aug 21, 2014
    This is not a movie, this is a one hour forty minute conversation so beautifully scripted that each and every line force you to admire it, love it, feel it and most importantly live it...!!
    Although not 100% realistic, things not always go that smooth and people not always talk like that but by reducing the boring and not so nice realistic part from the movie(or the conversation), they
    made it more beautiful and heart touching. Expand

Universal acclaim - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jun 23, 2013
    The latest in the wonderful "Before" series does three important things: It breaks out of the courtship formula, yet retains the series' quality, and it moves the lives of Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) forward in ways that are satisfying and believable. True, a romance you once envied might now be a relationship you'd not want to be in, but as long as Celine and Jesse are still talking, there's hope.
  2. Reviewed by: Philip Kemp
    Jun 21, 2013
    A more-than-worthy, expectations-exceeding chapter in one of modern cinema’s finest love stories. As honest, convincing, funny, intimate and natural as its predecessors.
  3. Reviewed by: Dave Calhoun
    Jun 21, 2013
    Luckily, Hawke and Delpy remain as charming as ever, and their combined goofiness is more endearing than annoying. Winning, too, is the sense that this peculiar project, though imperfect, could grow old with its audience and its cast.