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81

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 136 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Jun 24, 2011
    100
    A lovably quirky comedy-drama with a rhythm all its own.
  2. Reviewed by: Diego Costa
    May 31, 2011
    100
    One of the most distinct pleasures of Beginners is the way it puts together fragments of someone's life-presumably the filmmaker's, although little does it matter-with humility, and without vying for some complete whole.
  3. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    May 29, 2011
    91
    The movie darts, dreams, and sometimes seems to dance. The great Plummer, meanwhile, creates an inspiring, fully rounded man in late bloom, and McGregor responds with a performance to match.
  4. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    May 31, 2011
    80
    A movie with an unflinchingly tough heart.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jun 3, 2011
    80
    Beginners is filled with crises of identity, but underneath it all is a beautifully humane, sweet and intelligent movie that knows exactly what it is at every moment.
  6. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Jun 3, 2011
    75
    This superbly acted and ultimately disarming dual coming-out comedy-drama -- which turns out to be semi-autobiographical -- certainly grows on you, despite all of the twee touches.
  7. Reviewed by: Ben Sachs
    Jun 9, 2011
    60
    Mills pulls off the nonchronological structure with uncommon sensitivity; unfortunately, he also confuses sensitivity with preciousness (recurring scenes show the hero confiding in a Jack Russell terrier).

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 32
  2. Negative: 4 out of 32
  1. Jun 3, 2011
    10
    i only wish I could give this film a higher score than 'ten'. Beginners is quirky but beautiful--a small, creative, subtle, character driven kind of film, while still successfully moving the audience. It is comparable to modern romantic comedies like (500) Days of Summer, although more mature smart. Classic Woody Allen films come to mind when attempting to describe this gem (partially due to the prevalent old-school jazz soundtrack), although Beginners lacks the overt neurosis (which may be a positive depending on one's opinion). It grabs your heart and mind and refuses to let go, proving that Beginners will be a film that I continue to think about and admire for a long, long time. Ewan McGregor, Melanie Laurent, and Christopher Plummer are all visions. Highly recommended. Expand
  2. Aug 7, 2011
    10
    Excellent Movie... thoroughly enjoyed the quirky characters and by the way Melanie Laurent is stunning. The relationship between Melanie Laurent and Ewan McGreggor is interesting as is the way Ewan is able to come to terms with his gay father, Christopher Plummer. Expand
  3. Dec 16, 2011
    9
    This movie is a very beautiful unpretentious romance. The characters are indeed very interesting, which, i believe, is made possible by the amazing actors who play them.
    It puts us very stealthily out of our comfort zone, making us question things like life and love. People should give it a shot even if just for the unusual experience Beginners grant us with it's smart non-linear story.
    I do understand some critics to this movie as being slow or boring though. I think that both cinema and life itself has gotten so spectacularized (in a Guy Debordian sense) that we are somehow surprised by the calm and simple atmosphere posed in this film. But that's something we should dislike in our society, not in art. Actually, it's the subtle construction that makes this piece so good.
    (I don't think I was very clear, but I'm sure some of you will understand; anyway... there are always other reviews)
    Expand
  4. Dec 16, 2011
    8
    Fresh, witty, original, my sister told me that the movie was boring but she is crazy, this movie was wonderful.! Plummer or Plummer fantastic, Mélanie Laurent very good, and MacGregor great.! Expand
  5. Dec 17, 2011
    6
    This is probably the film I'm most disappointed with, despite the fact that it was ok. So, Ewan McGregor stars as a graphic designer. Sporadically set in flashbacks ranging from 1955-2007, McGregor discovers that his father, a 75 year old, is gay. His mother already died from cancer, and McGregor finds out his father will soon die too. Along this emotional rollercoaster, McGregor meets a French actress who rarely speaks, played by Melanie Laurent. Their relationship blossoms after the death of his father, and he discovers her fragile past as well. So, a few things worked with others, so let's start with the positives. Most of the acting (see next paragraph for exception) was fantastic in this film, especially from Christopher Plummer, who played the father. His performance deserves some Academy recognition, even if it's just a nominee. I also was a fan of how this film dealt with its numerous dark topics. From cancer to abuse, the film covers so many topics in an 104 minute film, and glosses over them so easily.
    The main con in this film is, honestly, it isn't that interesting. The first half of this film is pretty dull, and even though it tries to test our interest with wit every few minutes, the funniest person is the dog who's thoughts are narrated through subtitles. I also wasn't a fan of Melanie Laurent, who played McGregor's girlfriend. Her character just wasn't believable, and she had practically no lines in the movie. I felt as if her character was just squeezed in there to make the whole love plot go through.
    I thought the film, in three words, was: disappointing, mediocre, quirky. It wears its quirky, ironic heart on its sleeve and I respect that. But, the film does have some pretty surprising flaws, and for that, I give the film a...
    C+
    Expand
  6. Aug 5, 2012
    5
    There are few things I enjoy as much as a character driven drama. The problem always lies when there is little to no emotional payoff for the characters. For me that was definitely the case in Beginners. I know Mcgregor and Plummer get the publicity, but the character I enjoyed the most in this film was played by Laurent. I think the biggest problem for me is that there were too many threads in this movie to properly give us enough exposition to have a satisfying payoff. This movie was well acted, and the plot line between McGregor and Laurent did have a nice payoff. Past that, a bit of a jumbled mess for me. Expand
  7. Feb 6, 2012
    0
    A pointless pretentious, arty, waste of time. You don't care about the characters, the acting is sub-par and there's no plot or angle. I don't know how anyone can like this garbage. I do no recommend you wasting a minute of your time watching this trash. Expand

See all 32 User Reviews

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