User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 119 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 119

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  1. Jun 10, 2013
    10
    Céline (Delpy), an easy-going Parisian, is on her way back from Budapest to study at the Sorbonne; Jesse (Hawke), a young American, is at the end of a Eurorail tour. They meet on a train just outside Vienna; by the time they reach the station, they've hit it off well enough for Jesse to propose that Céline spend the next 14 hours wandering the city with him, until his flight leaves for the States. Intrigued, she accepts. So begins an unexpected adventure of the heart. What's magical about Linklater's entrancing movie is the way he and his actors manage to convey the emotional truths that underlie all the talk as the potential lovers test each other's opinions and commitment. Funny, poignant and perceptive, this is a brilliant gem. Expand
  2. Jun 9, 2013
    10
    Before watching this film I had always regarded The Godfather as my favorite film of all time. Since then, every film I have watched has not met the bar which had been set so very high… until Before Sunrise. Why is this the best film of all time? Because you will struggle to find another film like it. The plot is so straightforward; a boy is on a train to catch a flight which will head him back to America alongside a girl on the same train who is travelling back to France. They both meet in conversation and together, decide to spend the next 24 hours within the beautiful and gorgeous city of Vienna. Sounds like an easy and simple plot but what makes this film so enthralling and interesting is what happens in Vienna and the thoughts and feelings expressed by the two lead characters, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy who portray such outstanding and realistic performances which make you forget that they are just acting. This is a film which consists heavily of pure dialogue which may put off some people; however that is the beauty of the film. There are no explosions, car chases or action scenes but simply two people exploring each other inside a wonderful city debating about such topics such as Reincarnation, Death, Love and many more. The conversations are so real, so vivid and so dreamlike that it makes the film it own. It's almost as though they are in an alternate reality where their normal routine life is put to a hold and they escape inside a dream world. Towards the end where the night is over and the sun has risen, Ethan Hawke's character Jesse quotes that they have gone back into "real time" which shows that the moments they have shared and the collection of memories that they have made, are those which will last forever in their own little world and time. A classical romance which does well to stray away from the old cheesy and clichéd films of that genre, Before Sunrise is superbly filmed and wonderfully acted with rich, pure and realistic dialogue making it one of those rare films that shine with magnificence, a film that everyone has to see. Expand
  3. Apr 10, 2013
    9
    The story could not be more simplistic. An American Male meets a French Female on a train and asks her to spend the evening with him in Vienna. What is not simplistic is the wonderful characters, and exceptional dialogue in Linklater's film. It is obvious that Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy) have a connection after their first conversation. As their day progresses their connection to each other deepens as does our connection with them. Before Sunrise is so special because we are not manipulated into connecting with them through tragedy, or violence, or sex. We connect with them as we do with people in everyday life, through the life experiences they share with us little by little as our relationship grows. This is true intimacy and is beautifully achieved here.

    The intimate, personal moments that Jesse and Celine share throughout the film are sprinkled amidst a plethora of other conversations during their night together. They discuss everything from palm reading to dancing, the conversation is never boring and never unnecessary. They don't agree on everything and through that disagreement we we are invited further into their personalities as their connection grows. Jesse and Celine do interact with other characters in the course of the film. Linklater perfectly blends these interactions as well. The supporting characters add to the film without over powering the main characters. These characters are also just odd enough to further strengthen Jesse and Celine's connection as kindred spirits, without ever becoming caricatures.

    Before Sunrise is a beautiful film. It made me want to rush off to Europe and spend aimless evenings wandering around foreign cities looking for romance. I suppose I will have to settle for revisiting this film and these characters in the future.
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  4. Jan 21, 2013
    10
    Breathtaking and refreshingly authentic. I could watch this from now until forever. It hints of Woody Allen at his best, but yet it feels entirely original. Who would have thought that a movie seemingly in real time could be so captivating, as if caught up in a wonderful and fantastic dream about a love once known. You will never want it to end.
  5. Aug 14, 2010
    10
    Beautiful, one of the best films I have ever seen. The naive optimism of love and intelligent honest dialogue was amazing. Anyone who has fallen in love and has been optimistic of the future will love it.
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Watching and listening to these two is a charming experience; their conversation has the ring of veracity, and rarely does the viewer's interest stray.
  2. 75
    Before Sunrise is so much like real life - like a documentary with an invisible camera - that I found myself remembering real conversations I had experienced with more or less the same words.
  3. What Mr. Linklater does best here is to come up with conversational gambits that have just the right fancifulness to suit this situation.