Universal acclaim - based on 41 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 268 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
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: Farran Smith Nehme
    May 23, 2013
    Making a movie this warm, funny, and rigorously truthful about lovers trying to remain partners is even harder.
  3. Reviewed by: William Goss
    Feb 26, 2013
    Before Midnight manages to be an emotionally astute and tremendously enjoyable conclusion to this rather improbable trilogy.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jun 6, 2013
    If the first two films belong with the greatest (if talkiest) movie romances of all time, the new film is richer, riskier, and more bleakly perceptive about what it takes for love to endure (or not) over the long haul.
  5. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    May 23, 2013
    Delpy and Hawke have never been more persuasive. Nor has the series.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    May 23, 2013
    Bittersweet, intelligently written, deftly acted and painfully honest.
  7. 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.

See all 41 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 53
  2. Negative: 11 out of 53
  1. 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.

  2. 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
  3. 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. Expand
  4. 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?
  5. 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. Expand
  6. 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. Expand
  7. 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

See all 53 User Reviews


Related Articles

  1. The Best and Worst Movies of 2013

    The Best and Worst Movies of 2013 Image
    Published: January 6, 2014
    There were more great movies released in 2013 than in any year in recent memory. Browse our official lists of the year's highest-scoring movies in a variety of categories, and check out 2013's worst films, too.
  2. 2013 Film Critic Top Ten Lists

    2013 Film Critic Top Ten Lists Image
    Published: December 8, 2013
    Throughout the coming weeks, we'll be collecting year-end top ten lists from dozens of movie critics and publications. Browse the individual lists and view our composite rankings inside.
  3. Summer Movie Recap: Best Films, Prediction Results, and More

    Summer Movie Recap: Best Films, Prediction Results, and More Image
    Published: September 3, 2013
    Find out which summer movies were most liked by critics, and which performed best at the box office. Plus, we check on our users' Metascore predictions for the major summer films to see how accurate they were.