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94

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

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 288 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jun 23, 2013
    100
    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
    100
    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
    100
    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
    100
    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
    90
    Delpy and Hawke have never been more persuasive. Nor has the series.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    May 23, 2013
    88
    Bittersweet, intelligently written, deftly acted and painfully honest.
  7. Reviewed by: Dave Calhoun
    Jun 21, 2013
    60
    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: 42 out of 56
  2. Negative: 11 out of 56
  1. Jan 21, 2014
    10
    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
  2. Jul 12, 2013
    10
    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
  3. Jun 4, 2013
    10
    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 23, 2013
    8
    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.
    Expand
  5. Nov 3, 2013
    7
    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
  6. Feb 24, 2014
    6
    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. Expand
  7. Nov 25, 2013
    0
    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. Collapse

See all 56 User Reviews

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