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

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7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 99 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
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: 20 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  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. Dec 23, 2014
    8
    Begin Again is not a romantic love story you see everyday in cheap movies. John Carney is a talented director, and there's a lot to be sureBegin Again is not a romantic love story you see everyday in cheap movies. John Carney is a talented director, and there's a lot to be sure about that. But the film didn't focus something, it directed viewers to something else that hard to be identified. Even after finishing it, you still cannot know what it's all about. Love? Joy? Or what? Expand
  5. Jul 2, 2014
    7
    Overall, this one feels a bit magical and is quite heart warming. Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo are great and their chemistry with oneOverall, this one feels a bit magical and is quite heart warming. Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo are great and their chemistry with one another feels authentic. Hailee Steinfeld is also good in a supporting role here. Adam Levine, at times, shows his inexperience in acting and is severely outclassed, but never really seems like dead weight either. The characters are well put together, the story is told well, and as I just said, the overall experience is a feel good one. Nothing really overly unique and great about the film as a whole, but it works for what it is. However, the one area where the film is phenomenal is in its music. The songs in the film are magical and really click every single time. Watching them record them and then hearing the final product is a fun and enjoyable thing to see and to see them come together and express themselves doing so is another nice touch. Really, everything to do with the music here is pitch perfect. Expand
  6. Nov 10, 2014
    7
    In the second installment of his career, John Carney again provides us with a beautiful combination of music and storytelling. Despite aIn the second installment of his career, John Carney again provides us with a beautiful combination of music and storytelling. Despite a disappointing performance from Adam Levine, Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo carry the film through its highs and lows. 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.
    Expand

See all 24 User Reviews

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