Universal acclaim - based on 47 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 291 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 47
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 47
  3. Negative: 0 out of 47
  1. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Dec 5, 2013
    While the bleak, funny, exquisitely made Inside Llewyn Davis echoes familiar themes and narrative journeys, it also goes its own way and becomes a singular experience, one of their best films.
  2. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Dec 19, 2013
    What Inside Llewyn Davis is all about: the passion, and the pain, of being an artist.
  3. Reviewed by: Philip Kemp
    Jan 21, 2014
    The Coen brothers on top sardonic form with a winning tale of an incorrigible loser. Hits the right note on every level, from period vibe to performance (human and feline).
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Dec 5, 2013
    In top form, Joel and Ethan Coen offer up feel-bad experiences that, like fine blues medleys, make you feel good (although with an acidulous aftertaste). Inside Llewyn Davis is one of their best. So many movies are emblazoned with happy faces; this one wears its sadness, and its snarl, proudly.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Dec 5, 2013
    The film's centerpiece is Mr. Isaac's phenomenal performance. He's an actor, first and foremost, who is also a musician.
  6. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Dec 19, 2013
    Folk standards such "500 Miles," "The Death of Queen Anne" and "Dink's Song" infuse the movie, and as in the Coens' "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" T Bone Burnett has done first-rate work supervising the musical landscape. The film, I think, falls just a tick or two below the Coens' best work, which for me lies inside "A Serious Man" and "Fargo."
  7. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Nov 25, 2013
    The movie is so “interior,” it so zeroes in on Isaac and his baleful stare, that we’re relieved any time something overtly funny happens.

See all 47 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 94
  2. Negative: 29 out of 94
  1. Dec 7, 2013
    INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS is a feat of filmmaking, taking the gentle strains of folk music and revealing it for the revolutionary act that it is. Not just because it has been the soundtrack of many social movements, but of personal ones, too. Oscar Isaac as Llewyn is revelatory, a bone-tired, supremely talented man whose passion for making music is struggling mightily against the whims of the industry and his demons one being the loss of his musical partner to suicide. When Isaac sings, we're transported first to the dusky bars of 1960s West Village and, more important, to the jungle of discouragement and confusion he's living in. It's a powerful performance. Supporting him is a great ensemble, some new to the Coen Brothers family (Timberlake, thankfully subdued and nearly holding his own against the others) and some beloved veterans (Goodman). It's not just Isaac and the cast, though, that makes Inside Llewyn Davis remarkable. The music, with T-Bone Burnett in charge of the soundtrack, takes its rightful place front and center. And the Coens tell the story in a clever, elliptical way that drives home the futility and magic of a time. But it's not all sadness and tears. The Coens' singular humor runs a streak through the entire enterprise. Go see it. Expand
  2. Jul 3, 2014
    After seeing claptrap like the recent Transformers movie, what a joy it was to see this film. To me, this wasn't about the folk scene in the 1960's; it was biting social commentary on success in America. The Coens message is that sometimes the talented and best don't prevail. If you ever wonder why the talentless hacks make it in whatever field, watch this movie. Very entertaining, could not stop watching it. Beautifully shot, and the music was great too. I don't get the negative reviews for this film. This is complex storytelling and its not meant for people who need immediate gratification or everything spelled out for them. Expand
  3. May 11, 2014
    My Inside Llewyn Davis review

    Telling the downspiraling story of a struggling folk performer, Inside Llewyn Davis manages to charm it´s
    audience and give them something to meditate in the following days.

    The one that makes the movie work in every way and is the essencial part of the movie is the one and only Oscar Isaac. After this film I decided I absolutely respect this man. Not only for his amazing performance as an actor, as he perfectly plays the conflicted and subtly funny character the bros wrote for him, but as a folk performer who hits every emotional note as he sings. Another thing is that the songs where filmed live by the Coen Brothers and that peaks the challenge for Oscar Isaac just to the point to be amazed.
    While the other actors are bypassing side-characters (except for Carrey Mulligan who is more present than the others) all of them manage to play their roles pretty awesomely and feel like Joel and Ethan Coen picked them very specifically for the characters they wrote, as every one of them understands how they must play their figure so that the subtle comedy can work. This film showed us the ability that the Coen Bros posess to write original characters.
    The dialogue was fun to watch as you always expected a dose of crude humour to suddenly pop up. And that´s another aspect that was handeled pretty good. The humour in the movie is very subtle, natural but never over used, and it comes mainly from the dialogue and the performances who hit every humorous note needed.
    Scene selection is something that the Coen Bros excell at, and now that folk song selection is their thing too. These songs fit the mood of the movie perfectly which is bleak but at the same time sympathetic. And plus the beautiful photografy this is a well done package.
    Beeing said, this movie isn´t a cheerful one. Llewyn takes quite a life beeting in many scenes and it may be a little melancholic for some viewers.But it knows it´s themes and works with them in such a way that you won´t get this film out of your head in a few nights.
    I just said that because this movie is deeper than just simply Llewyn´s journey this movie has metaphors and symbolism in it that won´t be easy to find but movie lovers will love to dig through the internet for answers. And that will be a gripe for some too. Many will feel confused becasue they just wanted to watch a fun movie or just sit back, relax and look at some meaningless **** (I sometimes like doing that too).
    So in the end, great movie, amazing music, great actingm, an awesome pretext for making your brain hurt by analyzing it but clearly not aimed at the general audience.
    I am giving Inside Llewyn Davis a 9/10.
    Check my other reviews at
  4. BKM
    Jan 11, 2014
    There's a great deal of grief and loss rumbling inside Llewyn Davis, but as is Joel and Ethan Coen's style, the emotions are muted and only seep out through the singing and playing of Oscar Isaac. The end result is more of a meticulously detailed depiction of a bygone era than a fully engrossing film viewing experience. In typical Coen fashion it is challenging, frustrating and uncompromising but ultimately unsatisfying. Expand
  5. Dec 26, 2013
    Inside Llewyn Davis is saved from total boredom and disaster by one decent song and a few good laughs. The movie is so slow and at the same time didn't make me care about the pathetic main character who insists on continually screwing his life up. Expand
  6. Jan 8, 2014
    The music in this movie is terrific and the performances were really good all around. Sadly, this movie lacks any kind of plot. It is a pure atmosphere kind of movie with comedic elements to lighten the mood. And the mood is in dire need of being lightened, because this movie is depressing. Everything out titular protagonist touches turns, to quote another character in the movie: "to ****
    I do not like this sort of movie. It was really hard to care for anything in this movie, because everything that happened was pointless and ended in nothing but disappointment.
    I like movies that do more than just flop all over the place with things happening without anything ever being achieved.
    Some ideas in this movie sound good on paper, but make for nothing but boredom in practise.
    if you enjoy movies driven by atmosphere and a rather realistic portrayal of a character's life being mildly but tenaciously awful, do give this movie a watch. Otherwise, steer clear.
  7. May 7, 2014
    The movie keeps you waiting for a 'moment' to arrive for the main character Llewyn Davis...there is a solemn suspense that keeps you waiting and hoping that his cycle of bad breaks will end. I was able to appreciate the metaphor/meaning after reading the New Yorker review, but I felt that the movie really fell short...very short of telling the story, a story in any meaningful way. Expand

See all 94 User Reviews


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