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62

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

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8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 148 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: 26 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  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. Nov 10, 2014
    10
    An amazing coming age film starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine. What else can we ask ?

    An amazing musical coming age
    An amazing coming age film starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine. What else can we ask ?

    An amazing musical coming age film well directed by John Carney an amazing director. This film is just brilliant due to the following reasons.

    First of all the movie is directed brilliantly by John Carney ( the director of Once), making such emotive scenes, like the one in which Keira Knightley sings the song " A Step you can't Take Back " and Mark Ruffalo sees her for the first time playing her music.

    The second important thing is the performances of Keira Knightley an amazing actress that does the singing job really well, since she is able to sing and rock. Also he character Gretta is really likable and really helps develop Mark Ruffalo's character Dan. The second thing is Mark Ruffalo performance making one of his best performance in my opinion dealing with problems and actually growing and developing his character through the movie. Finally Adam Levine known from the popular band Maroon 5 making he's debut as an actor making in a great way by adapting to the environment and to his characters situations really good, plus he is great singing.

    The third thing is that this movie is brilliantly written by John Carney using time in a brilliant way to tell his story in amazing way. This script is really good since the characters due change through the movie, also the songs are really amazing and likable. Although the movie is cheesy sometimes the script is good in general since Carney uses time, well and his characters are really likable.

    In general this is a great age coming film, that should be taken more seriously by critics since a 62 is not what it should have in my opinion. It is really sad that this movie will not be considered by the Academy Awards (Oscars) for a prize since this movie is totally a great summer blast and a great musical age coming film that will definitely make you buy the soundtrack of this movie. This movie is definitely 10 out of 10.
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  3. Jul 4, 2014
    9
    A fantastic, fantastic movie. Ruffalo really shines and Adam Levine is an absolutely unexpected standout. He did a great a job. I reallyA fantastic, fantastic movie. Ruffalo really shines and Adam Levine is an absolutely unexpected standout. He did a great a job. I really enjoyed the story, pacing, characters, and acting. The ending was also really solid. Overall a splendid movie. 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. Dec 27, 2014
    8
    This is a sweet and charming film that is enjoyable from start to finish. All the performances are good especially Mark Ruffalo who alwaysThis is a sweet and charming film that is enjoyable from start to finish. All the performances are good especially Mark Ruffalo who always comes off authentic on screen. A- Expand
  6. Jul 13, 2014
    7
    "Begin Again: stars Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Adam Levine, Katherine Keener and Hailey Steinfeld in this film written and directed by"Begin Again: stars Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Adam Levine, Katherine Keener and Hailey Steinfeld in this film written and directed by John Carney ("Once").
    Ms. Knightley comes alive in this film after our having viewed her in so many mid 19th Century films as she helps illuminate the streets of Manhattan (where the film takes place) with her stellar performance. . Although her role requires singing, this is obviously not her professional forte. Nevertheless she handles the role nicely. Alas, that’s where the accolades for the film end for the performances of Mark Ruffalo (who always seems to play the same part) and the other performers are hampered by an average script and music that two generations after mine probably love but this writer could do without. Writing and directing the same film is an art and a task not easily carried off. Mr. Carney is no exception here and a somewhat confusing screenplay coupled with less than average musucal performances earn this a 7.5 rating with the 0.5 attributed solely to Ms. Knightley.
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  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 30 User Reviews

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