User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 138 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 138

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  1. Jun 3, 2011
    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. Lyn
    Dec 26, 2011
    At every point in the story when things could take a goofy or soapy turn, the film opts instead for an honest laugh or a gentle sadness -- it's a subtle approach that really works. Christopher Plummer is superb as usual. McGregor's character's actions are odd at times, but then you remember what he's dealing with as a son: astounding revelations about his parents, and now they're both dead. The "back and forth in time" device, which can feel like a cliche, works well here. It helps us understand the son and in the end, wish him well. Expand
  3. Jan 18, 2012
    Taking its cues from Annie Hall, the whimsy feels genuine in the first half supported by a wonderfully executed girl-meets-boy scene and a cool narrative structure. Somewhere in the center when fireworks explode in the sky and the new couple take to a hotel lobby on rollerskates (with cute dog in tow) it all begins to feel dialed in and hardly as substantial a movie experience you're hoping for.
  4. Jun 11, 2011
    Completely original movie making at its best!. Wonderfully affecting. Plummer, MacGregor (his finest role to date) and Laurent are outstanding. You can't take your eyes off any one of them. The relationship between father and son is real. The romance between would-be lovers is painfully tentative and true. The subtitles by a dog who can't talk but can understand "150 words" is wonderfully amusing. Four stars all the way!!! Expand
  5. Aug 23, 2011
    Beginners is an absolute gem of a film. The acting is grade-A with a younger star like Ewan Mcgregor (once again) proving his high capabilities and an experienced celebrity, Christoper Plummer, maintaining his high quality work. This films individuality, quirks, humor, and genius come in the editing. Many scenes seem unnecessary and disconnected but they serve a higher purpose of outwardly representing what so much of a relationship is. Do not mistake this film as a gay-pride motion picture; it's much more than that. Beginners will lift you through the spectrum of emotions and drop you off breathless. I recommend Beginners to every open-minded, emotional human-- others may not appreciate. Expand
  6. Aug 7, 2011
    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.
  7. Jul 17, 2011
    Beautiful and heart breaking as if Vintage Woody Allen met vintage Wong Kar Wai. A fantastic cast acting their socks off and a talking dog that actually works. Go see.
  8. Aug 17, 2011
    It's beautiful, touching and humorous all at the same time, with a brilliant cast (particularly Christopher Plummer) and premise. I left the cinema feeling like I could watch it again straight away.
  9. Oct 21, 2011
    Beginners begins with loss, the loss of a parent. However its this event that brings about what I can only describe as one of the most heartfelt, gripping and powerful movie experiences.
    Beginners is the story of Oliver Fields (Ewan McGregor) a son trying to handle the loss of his father who died only 2 months prior. However he is also looking back on his father Hal's (Christopher
    Plummer) life following the death of his mother, when Hal came out as a gay man (a moment handled so beautifully I might add). The story is one of both men trying to find love in their own way with Hal finally being able to accept who he is and Oliver trying to get over the significant commitment issues he has. In this regard Beginners succeeds with Oliver meeting a french actress called Anna (Melanie Laurent) and Hal meeting a young paranoid gay man named Andy (Goran Visjnic). Together the four leads provide some outstanding performances with Christopher Plummer being incredibly vibrant and entertaining while conveying Hal's wonder at how the gay scene had changed with him enjoying every minute of his new life despite the fact he has just been diagnosed with cancer. McGregor is an engaging lead with his performance showing incredible versatility with Oliver being very closed off at first and then much more emotionally enthralling later on. Laurent and Visjnic are equally gripping with the latter bringing his characters flamboyant nature to life while also hinting at the characters fears about his acceptance within society. Beginners flourishes in its quirky tone and manages the time jumps from Oliver's present (2003) to his fathers 4 years as an openly out gay man, to Oliver's childhood with his mother. The film actually benefits from this approach with there being moments where Oliver does something that seems totally random (like say hello to his house, his dining room, his bedroom) and the flashbacks show that not only is it not random it is Oliver's way of connecting to the man he lost just as he was finally getting to know him.
    The film plays to its strengths with the idea of silence meaning more than words, especially with Laurent's Anna who has laryngitis when we first meet her at a costume party. Despite this obvious problem the communication between Oliver and Anna is incredibly honest and the evolution of their relationship is realistic while quirky, touching but not overtly emotional and ever so slightly adorable.

    The overall result is a film that makes the viewer think but also allows them to lose themselves in a world of great characters and engaging story thanks to some outstanding direction, acting and editing. A film I will be thinking about for days, maybe even weeks.
  10. Nov 16, 2011
    This movie may be is going to make you feel bad at the beginning but at the end is you're just gonna feel happy about it, the message of the movie is clear: we can not impede that bad things happen the important is how we face it and how are we dispose to begin again, is simply EXCELLENT
  11. Dec 16, 2011
    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.
    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)

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
    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
    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
    A lovably quirky comedy-drama with a rhythm all its own.