Beginners

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 231 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 231

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User Reviews

  1. Aug 26, 2015
    5
    I found the film, while at times touching and warm, to also be somewhat aloof in its message. It was a slow film that has many-rather pointless-montages of photos of the past. The actors did what they could, their utmost, but I feel that 'Beginners' is slightly undernourished, which takes away a lot of interest a person may invest in this film, myself included.
  2. Jul 18, 2011
    4
    Ewan McGregor stars as a troubled son. He just can't seem to handle a relationship with a woman and is preoccupied with sadness. Meanwhile, his father (Christopher Plummer) announces he's gay at 75, a subplot that adds the only life and warmth to the film. Oh yes, flashbacks to the childhood connection with his mother make regular appearances. All of this wandering thru a fluid timelineEwan McGregor stars as a troubled son. He just can't seem to handle a relationship with a woman and is preoccupied with sadness. Meanwhile, his father (Christopher Plummer) announces he's gay at 75, a subplot that adds the only life and warmth to the film. Oh yes, flashbacks to the childhood connection with his mother make regular appearances. All of this wandering thru a fluid timeline results in a numbingly navel-gazing, somewhat arty examination of life, love and happiness. Too heady to be enjoyable. Expand
  3. 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 aThis 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+
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  4. Dec 24, 2011
    5
    I must agree with some other reviewers, this movie is 104 minutes, but seemed like 240 minutes. Wasn't bad per say, but does have some major flaws, such as extremely unbelievable relationships (e.g. the father and the younger gay man; the main character and his girlfriend), just didn't buy any of it. The ending too, really had no ending, which I"m cool with, but when combined with allI must agree with some other reviewers, this movie is 104 minutes, but seemed like 240 minutes. Wasn't bad per say, but does have some major flaws, such as extremely unbelievable relationships (e.g. the father and the younger gay man; the main character and his girlfriend), just didn't buy any of it. The ending too, really had no ending, which I"m cool with, but when combined with all the other flaws of the movie, was too much to bear. Go watch "Another Year" and enjoy instead. Expand
  5. Jun 13, 2011
    5
    The trailer seemed to suggest the movie was mostly about the Ewan McGregor character and his relationship with his father who comes out of the closet at age 75 and professes he is gay. It isn't. It is mostly about Ewan McGregor and the new woman in his life that he meets after his father dies, and how he has never been able to commit to a relationship once he gets serious with a woman.The trailer seemed to suggest the movie was mostly about the Ewan McGregor character and his relationship with his father who comes out of the closet at age 75 and professes he is gay. It isn't. It is mostly about Ewan McGregor and the new woman in his life that he meets after his father dies, and how he has never been able to commit to a relationship once he gets serious with a woman. The filmmaker seems to suggest he can't commit due to the fact that his mother and father were not close when he was growing up. PLEASE. Of course, the new woman he meets has commitment issues herself. You feel like slapping these people and saying GROW UP already and enjoy each other. Why all the unnecessary drama? Also, I absolutely HATE graffiti, and these people spray graffiti all over the city with glee. DISGUSTING. Even the beginning of the film made me cringe when he is pouring a bunch of pills and medicine in a toilet which is not the proper way to dispose of medications (it pollutes). The scenes between McGregor and his father (played wonderfully by Christopher Plummer) worked GREAT. I wish the whole film was about those two. I'm a big Woody Allen fan and I was hoping this would be similar to his films but it seriously lacked the drama and humor and great dialogue of a Woody Allen film. Disappointing. Expand
  6. Feb 13, 2012
    5
    For all its merits, I just did not really connect with this film. Yes, it was rather wittily written, with interesting situations and dialogue. It had very good acting, especially from McGregor who, in my opinion, overshadowed Plummer who did not strike me as anything out of the ordinary. Same thing happened with Alan Arkin in "Little Miss Sunshine" - I would have never expected him to getFor all its merits, I just did not really connect with this film. Yes, it was rather wittily written, with interesting situations and dialogue. It had very good acting, especially from McGregor who, in my opinion, overshadowed Plummer who did not strike me as anything out of the ordinary. Same thing happened with Alan Arkin in "Little Miss Sunshine" - I would have never expected him to get the Oscar. Anyway, the film as it is, is rather interesting and somewhat entertaining. What is lacking, though, is the connecting with the characters. While many have written about how real the characters felt, I had a rational understanding for that, but just could not connect to them at all. Usually I like films like this, but this just did not resonate with me all that much. Expand
  7. Mar 21, 2012
    5
    This movie is is supposed to be a comedy!?!? HOW?? my god.. everything was so depressing! there was nothing even remotely funny about this movie.. i felt like a migraine was coming on.. Really disappointing.. the movie just left me really really confused..
  8. 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 manyThere 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
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Anna Smith
    Jul 18, 2011
    60
    With good performances and characters, Beginners is an enjoyable, amusing and occasionally poignant watch. Indie film fans will want to catch it, but it falls short of being a must-see.
  2. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Jun 30, 2011
    88
    McGregor hasn't been this appealing or vulnerable in ages, and in both of the film's love stories, he exemplifies Mills' message.
  3. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Jun 24, 2011
    100
    A lovably quirky comedy-drama with a rhythm all its own.