Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 47
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 47
  3. Negative: 0 out of 47
  1. Reviewed by: Philip Kemp
    Jan 21, 2014
    100
    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).
  2. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jan 9, 2014
    100
    The Coens fashion an atmospheric descent for Llewyn, a meticulous re-creation of Greenwich Village's folk scene in 1961, around the time Bob Dylan hit town.
  3. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Dec 20, 2013
    100
    As flawless as any film this year and rock-solid confirmation that Joel and Ethan Coen are the greatest filmmakers working in America (and perhaps anywhere else) today.
  4. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Dec 20, 2013
    100
    Inside Llewyn Davis plays like some beautiful, foreboding, darkly funny dream.
  5. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Dec 19, 2013
    100
    This soulful, unabashedly lyrical film is best enjoyed by sinking into it like a sweet, sad dream. When you wake up, a mythical place and time will have disappeared forever. But you’ll know that attention — briefly, beautifully — has been paid.
  6. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Dec 19, 2013
    100
    What Inside Llewyn Davis is all about: the passion, and the pain, of being an artist.
  7. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    Dec 19, 2013
    100
    Inside Llewyn Davis throbs with melancholy, hunches under heavy skies, revels in music history's unsexiest scene and unapologetically leaves you dangling. It is also beautiful, heartfelt and utterly enthralling.
  8. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Dec 19, 2013
    100
    Inside Llewyn Davis is one of the Coens’ smallest movies — this one doesn't have the broad appeal of "True Grit" or "No Country For Old Men" — but like Llewyn’s music, it comes from the heart and it is deeply felt. It is also one of their best.
  9. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Dec 6, 2013
    100
    The most satisfyingly diabolical cinematic structure that the Coens have ever contrived, and that's just one reason that I suspect it may be their best movie yet.
  10. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Dec 5, 2013
    100
    For my money, the 33-year-old Isaac – who was born in Guatemala, raised in Florida, and has been working his way toward stardom for years – gives the year’s breakout performance, and Inside Llewyn Davis is one of the Coens’ richest, strangest and most potent films.
  11. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Dec 5, 2013
    100
    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.
  12. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Dec 5, 2013
    100
    An evocative vision of self-destruction, a gorgeously crafted time capsule, and a fantastic showcase for Oscar Isaac in the title role.
  13. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Dec 5, 2013
    100
    This is not a biopic, it’s a Coen brothers movie, which is to say a brilliant magpie’s nest of surrealism, period detail and pop-culture scholarship. To put it another way, it’s a folk tale.
  14. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Dec 3, 2013
    100
    But mainly, it’s the film’s folk music that roots in the heart like a faraway lure.
  15. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Dec 3, 2013
    100
    Although the Coens are consummate craftsmen, they don't always show the lightness of touch or the depth of feeling they do here.
  16. Reviewed by: Dave Calhoun
    May 20, 2013
    100
    The Coens have given us a melancholic, sometimes cruel, often hilarious counterfactual version of music history. It's a what-if imagining of a cultural also-ran that maybe tells us more about the truth than the facts themselves ever could.
  17. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    May 20, 2013
    100
    Brilliantly written, terrifically acted, superbly designed and shot; it's a sweet, sad, funny picture about the lost world of folk music which effortlessly immerses us in the period.
  18. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    May 20, 2013
    100
    This is instant A-list Coens; enigmatic, exhilarating, irresistible.
  19. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    May 20, 2013
    100
    Inside Llewyn Davis is a revelatory showcase for Isaac, who sings with an angelic voice and turns a potentially unlikable character into a consistently relatable, unmistakably human presence — a reminder that humility and genius rarely make for comfortable bedfellows.
  20. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    May 20, 2013
    100
    This is a gorgeously made character study leavened with surrealistic dimensions both comic and dark, an unsparing look at a young man who, unlike some of his contemporaries, can’t transcend his abundant character flaws and remake himself as someone else.
  21. Reviewed by: Kevin Jagernauth
    May 20, 2013
    100
    Inside Llewyn Davis isn't about someone trying to make it big, but someone just trying to make it, and the Coens celebrate the hard road that can inspire great art.
  22. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Dec 6, 2013
    95
    In a movie set up to trap us within Llewyn's repetitive loop of failure, baiting us with hope before quashing it with quiet desperation again and again, something more than comic relief is needed to soften the blow a little, and the film's musical interludes are that pillow.
  23. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    May 20, 2013
    95
    It’s a character piece, and one of the best and most understated movies I’ve ever seen about the grieving process.
  24. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Dec 5, 2013
    91
    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.
  25. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Dec 4, 2013
    91
    With Inside Llewyn Davis, they've made a film that is almost spooky in its perversity: a lovingly lived-in, detailed tribute to the folk scene that — hauntingly — has shut their hero out.
  26. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    May 20, 2013
    91
    An ode to art for art's sake, Inside Llewyn Davis is the most innocent movie of the Coens' career, which in their case is a downright radical achievement.
  27. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Dec 23, 2013
    90
    This is one of the strangest yet most satisfying movie experiences of the year, one of those films in which you can’t really appreciate what you’ve seen until it’s over. You just have to trust that the trip is worth the trouble. And it is.
  28. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Dec 5, 2013
    90
    Despite its atmosphere of failure and melancholy, Inside Llewyn Davis is ultimately a dark valentine to both its hero and his milieu.
  29. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Dec 5, 2013
    90
    The film's centerpiece is Mr. Isaac's phenomenal performance. He's an actor, first and foremost, who is also a musician.
  30. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Dec 3, 2013
    90
    Where Barton Fink sometimes resembled a horror movie, Inside Llewyn Davis plays like an elegy. Its conclusions are more regretful than angry, and while the conflict between art and commerce is no less central, there’s much more emphasis on that conflict’s personal toll.
  31. 90
    Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis is an exquisitely crafted tale of woe with heartfelt early-sixties folk music — and an overarching snottiness.
  32. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Dec 19, 2013
    89
    Shot in winter grays with no warming ambers and the whiff of tuberculosis hanging around all the players, Inside Llewyn Davis is a chilly thing – a nominal comedy in brisk shivers.
  33. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Dec 19, 2013
    88
    A transporting cinematic experience with a churl at its center, and how you feel about the movie may depend on how you feel about the churl.
  34. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Dec 19, 2013
    88
    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."
  35. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Dec 18, 2013
    88
    This is a well-crafted look at the American folk music scene of the early 1960s, a sometimes hilarious dry comedy — and oh yeah, the music is terrific.
  36. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Dec 5, 2013
    88
    One thing's for sure about this raw provocation from the Coens: Like the music, the pain runs deep and true. You'll laugh till it hurts.
  37. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    Sep 29, 2013
    88
    As played by an eloquently beleaguered Oscar Isaac, Llewyn Davis is arguably the most vivid and complex character the Coens have dreamed up since Marge Gunderson.
  38. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Dec 4, 2013
    83
    Beautifully shot by Amélie cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis is instantly recognizable as the work of its sibling auteurs. But it’s also something of a departure — looser and more rambling than the average Coen concoction, with a lovingly recreated period setting.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 325 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 104
  2. Negative: 30 out of 104
  1. Dec 7, 2013
    10
    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.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. Full Review »
  2. Dec 9, 2013
    4
    I agree with DirkV. I too am a big fan of much of their work, and when they successfully combine their unique visual flair, humour and a goodI agree with DirkV. I too am a big fan of much of their work, and when they successfully combine their unique visual flair, humour and a good story they are peerless. This just left me cold. Like another overrated film of theirs, O Brother..., this had virtually no substance whatsoever. Full Review »
  3. Dec 8, 2013
    10
    "Inside Llewyn Davis" is a masterly work of exquisite beauty, rigorous discipline, and supreme confidence. The Coens have purged the violence"Inside Llewyn Davis" is a masterly work of exquisite beauty, rigorous discipline, and supreme confidence. The Coens have purged the violence of "Blood Simple," "Miller's Crossing," and "No Country for Old Men," the jokiness of "Raising Arizona," the grotesquery of "Barton Fink," the college-dorm philosophizing of "The Big Lebowski" and "A Serious Man," the cornball regionalism of "Fargo" and "O Brother, Where Art Thou"--in short, all of their trademarks as filmmakers--and the result? With all those crutches kicked away, this movie levitates in mid-air, as perfect as a pearl, priceless, graspable, mysterious, layered, aglow. It demands to be seen in a theater, in the dark, with an audience that erupts in laughter, then lapses in rapt silence. With Woody Allen's "Manhattan," and William Friedkin's "The French Connection," it is also that rare cinematic portrait of New York worthy of its subject. Full Review »