Before Sunset Image
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 39 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 330 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: The timeless romantic story of two questing hearts and minds whose powerful bond defies time and place. [Warner Independent Pictures]

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. This is one of the most wildly romantic movies in ages.
  2. Romantic, real and as generous as it is vulnerable, the art of conversation has rarely been so acute, honest and revealing.
  3. The result is a peculiar small gem, a true Linklater gem. The verity of the film, rather than any novelty or twist, keeps us fixed.
  4. This is a romance with minimal physical contact and sex--and that's part of what makes it work so well as a love story.
  5. The ex-lovers' new conversation is stimulating and banal, selfish and broad-minded, affectionate and recriminatory, insightful and obtuse - in short, the kind of dialogue two people might have while pouring out their hearts and poring over their pasts.
  6. 88
    In the midst of summer's cinematic thunder and lightning, this is a rare moment of tranquility.

See all 39 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 93
  2. Negative: 16 out of 93
  1. Oct 4, 2012
    10
    Astonishing. Not just incredibly well-written and wonderfully engaging - you never feel like it's film because there is always a great senseAstonishing. Not just incredibly well-written and wonderfully engaging - you never feel like it's film because there is always a great sense of reality to it.
    Amazing.
    Expand
  2. A.G.
    Jun 19, 2007
    10
    It is very clear from the wording of comments that rating is directly related to level of intellectualism and an experience of real sensational love.
  3. CY.
    May 3, 2008
    10
    Strange hybrid of incandescent emotions and real life messiness; sublime yet grounded dialogue; and the most unabashedly romantic slice of Strange hybrid of incandescent emotions and real life messiness; sublime yet grounded dialogue; and the most unabashedly romantic slice of life cinema since Brief Encounter. Expand
  4. AnaC.
    May 17, 2007
    9
    A very captivating and interesting story. Celine's personality suites a woman's emotions and points of view. Hidding the emotions A very captivating and interesting story. Celine's personality suites a woman's emotions and points of view. Hidding the emotions first, then bursting it all out when you're too overwhelmed by your emotions. You can't appreciate the story if you won't put your full attention to into it. Expand
  5. Jun 10, 2013
    9
    Back in 1995, Richard Linklater until then best-known for Slacker and Dazed And Confused left Kevin Smith to chronicle America's wasterBack in 1995, Richard Linklater until then best-known for Slacker and Dazed And Confused left Kevin Smith to chronicle America's waster youth and made a small, offbeat romance called Before Sunrise. A deeply appealing two-hander about an American backpacker (Hawke) and a French student (then-unknown Delpy) who meet on a train and talk their way around Vienna, Before Sunrise charmed romantically-inclined twentysomethings everywhere. The crux of the matter in that film, of course, is that at the end the pair agree to meet six months on. Would they be there? Would they live happily ever after? It was fun to daydream, but ultimately, was that even the point? It is now. A decade later, Linklater rejoined by his two stars, who share the writing credits has produced a "real-time" sequel, catching up with Jesse and Celine nine years down the road a prospect that must strike both joy and trepidation into the hearts of devotees. Have they spoilt it all? Conversely, will it mean anything to those new to the pair? Should it ever have been made? The answers to these are broadly no, yes (there are even helpful flashbacks to the first film but oh don't they show how shockingly gaunt Hawke has become!) and, well, the third could generate debates to rival those of our spirited protagonists. Certainly there are problems with the film. A mere 80 minutes long, like Before Sunrise the structure of Before Sunset two people wander aimlessly, arguing, flirting, ultimately rejoicing in each other is not on paper the stuff of high drama, and some will find the lack of a definite story arc undisciplined and unengaging. Potentially more damaging is the abruptness of the ending which, coupled with the short running time, could leave some viewers wondering if the last reel slipped down the back of a filing cabinet. Teasingly frustrating in its ambiguity, the final scene languid, heady, sexy as hell eschews a solid, conventionally dramatic conclusion, instead taunting us with yet more questions some will love this, but after the building tension of the preceding moments, others will demand more. That said, there is still so much to love about Linklater's literate, candid, and this time necessarily more sombre film. Jesse and Celine, now in their early 30s and in theory older and wiser, are still as delightfully real as they were ten years ago. All credit to Hawke and Delpy, who hardly seem to be acting; they just are these characters. Meeting up by (almost) chance in Paris with mere hours until Jesse has to leave, the shell-shocked pair walk the streets of Le Marais and the Latin Quarter, stumbling from awkwardly polite niceties to heartfelt confessions and anxieties touching the very core of their "grown-up" lives the poignancy of regret, the loneliness of failing relationships, the agonising conflict between desire and duty universal subjects that extend beyond the parameters of Jesse and Celine's story and will strike a chord even with those unfamiliar with the first film. While some might balk at such wordiness, the film is far from earnest or depressing, full of humour and joy and the three writers counter any chance of boredom by dropping mini bombshells at regular intervals; tiny ripples on the Richter Scale, perhaps, but hugely important twists in the context of this couple. Set against the beauty of Paris cinematographer Lee Daniel hardly has to try! it's near impossible not to be seduced by this picture, the director nevertheless cranking up the aesthetics by filming the city in long, golden-dappled tracking shots that soothe the eye just as he tightens the emotional screws. An involving and all too fleeting joy. Expand
  6. MichaelM.
    Dec 26, 2009
    7
    I rented this based solely upon the rating on this site. Truly, it was a unique story, though a bit slow off the mark. It came around enough I rented this based solely upon the rating on this site. Truly, it was a unique story, though a bit slow off the mark. It came around enough for us to recommend, yes. The gal is compelling, the dialogue quite believable. The story involving a "real-time" visit was very intriguing. The ending certainly left us to wonder. Expand
  7. ElleR.
    Apr 13, 2006
    0
    This was by far the worst movie I have ever seen. It was painfully boring.

See all 93 User Reviews

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