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62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 169 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Gretta (Keira Knightley) and her long-time boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine) are college sweethearts and songwriting partners who decamp for New York when he lands a deal with a major label. But the trappings of his new-found fame soon tempt Dave to stray, and a reeling, lovelorn Gretta is leftGretta (Keira Knightley) and her long-time boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine) are college sweethearts and songwriting partners who decamp for New York when he lands a deal with a major label. But the trappings of his new-found fame soon tempt Dave to stray, and a reeling, lovelorn Gretta is left on her own. Her world takes a turn for the better when Dan (Mark Ruffalo), a disgraced record-label exec, stumbles upon her performing on an East Village stage and is immediately captivated by her raw talent. From this chance encounter emerges an enchanting portrait of a mutually transformative collaboration, set to the soundtrack of a summer in New York City. [The Weinstein Company] Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 39
  2. Negative: 1 out of 39
  1. Reviewed by: Drew McWeeny
    May 31, 2014
    100
    John Carney, who wrote and directed "Once," has made another great film that focuses on songwriters and the way their lives influence their work.
  2. Reviewed by: Ian Freer
    Jun 23, 2014
    80
    Begin Again is a joyous movie about the good things in life: love, family, relationships, New York, creativity and music. And Knightley and Ruffalo make for one of the most unusual engaging couples of the year.
  3. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jul 2, 2014
    75
    The music is hit-and-miss, and the movie sinks into as many cliches as it avoids. But the characters are appealing, and the storytelling is just unconventional enough to keep an audience guessing.
  4. Reviewed by: Keith Staskiewicz
    Jun 26, 2014
    67
    "Once" was a small and well-loved heirloom, its imperfections part of the charm. But Begin Again has been burnished to a shiny dullness.
  5. 63
    Writer-director John Carney re-plays his greatest hit with Begin Again, a semi-successful attempt to recreate the magic of the Oscar-winning musical “Once” in New York with a big name cast.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jun 27, 2014
    58
    Most of the music is by New Radicals frontman Gregg Alexander, and it’s heartfelt without ever really touching the heart.
  7. Reviewed by: Laremy Legel
    Sep 14, 2013
    35
    A film that inserts banal plot devices and endless cutesiness in place of where the “good parts” should be.

See all 39 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Jul 27, 2014
    10
    Begin Again now holds a top spot among my favorite movies. The story evolves into a lovely, graceful celebration about the love betweenBegin Again now holds a top spot among my favorite movies. The story evolves into a lovely, graceful celebration about the love between friends. Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley excel in creating and shaping characters that you hope to meet again. James Corden is also a delight! Expand
  2. MES
    Jul 30, 2014
    10
    Folks, if you like music and appreciate its power/magic, this is a film that you can't help but enjoy. A solid cast combined with excellentFolks, if you like music and appreciate its power/magic, this is a film that you can't help but enjoy. A solid cast combined with excellent storytelling and the power of its original music adds up to a thoroughly enjoyable 95 minutes. Perhaps not deep or profound, yet the four of us talked about music the entire night, fueled by the glow of this movie (and perhaps a little sangria). We all felt this was the best movie of the year, so far. Expand
  3. Jun 29, 2015
    9
    The first time I watched Begin Again, my heart melted as my ears and eyes kept wanting more. The cast was superb, and the songs wereThe first time I watched Begin Again, my heart melted as my ears and eyes kept wanting more. The cast was superb, and the songs were to-die-for. I cannot blame Adam Levine for his acting skills, but Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley gave the film a big 'bam!'. Honestly, their chemistry was good and it was nice that the plot ending was not forced, like it all came down to victory for them all. Expand
  4. Oct 13, 2014
    8
    Begin Again has good music, great acting and lovely story. Keira and Ruffalo have great chemistry while Levine held his ground. Light dramaBegin Again has good music, great acting and lovely story. Keira and Ruffalo have great chemistry while Levine held his ground. Light drama enveloped in subtle comedy makes this movie unique and beautiful. Expand
  5. Feb 20, 2015
    8
    The movie sets the table well, it just takes a while to put it all together! The acting and story is well over the top. I am beginning toThe movie sets the table well, it just takes a while to put it all together! The acting and story is well over the top. I am beginning to love Keira Knightley more and more as I see her in different movies! Also Mark Ruffalo is at the top of his A list, and haven't seen him in really bad movies either. In addition to all the previous, the music and scores are pleasing, so get the full effect and watch it in surround sound!! We simply need to have more movie like this with all the right elements, overall will go on the list of some of my favorites, and one I will pull off the DVD shelf and watch again some time!! Expand
  6. Jul 17, 2014
    7
    Mark Ruffalo plays a washed-up record exec who hears singer/songwriter Keira Knightley and decides to make a recording with her…outdoors allMark Ruffalo plays a washed-up record exec who hears singer/songwriter Keira Knightley and decides to make a recording with her…outdoors all over New York City. Considering the subject and the writer/director (John Carney, who did the same for "Once") you can expect lots of music. The soundtrack is filled with pleasant poppy songs, none of which are memorable. Ruffalo is interesting as always and Knightley may be the most charming she's ever been. Adam Levine co-stars as her ex and does fine as an actor (of course, he sings). The situations are predictable and the dialogue isn't especially sharp, but the appealing actors and plentiful music make it likeable. Expand
  7. Nov 30, 2014
    4
    What was so successful in Carneys ONCE fails to reemerge in BEGIN AGAIN. I feel this is partly due to casting, Knightly is wrong from the roleWhat was so successful in Carneys ONCE fails to reemerge in BEGIN AGAIN. I feel this is partly due to casting, Knightly is wrong from the role of Greta, I feel this role would have been better realized by a more unfamiliar and better actress. Ruffalo also falls short which for me is an ever bigger disappointment as I am a big fan generally.

    I lost interest in the characters and story of this film. Maybe yes to a large degree this is due to the fact I sensed very quickly that the bench mark of ONCE would not be found or close to being found by this outing.

    Unfortunately I gave such little attention/interest to the characters in this film I am unable to provide a more detailed review of the actual film itself.

    Carney can do and must do much better than this mild sell out of a production. Overall I will class this a lame pony with one eye missing and only 2 teeth remaining in its mange-riddled head.
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See all 32 User Reviews

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