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7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 319 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 42 out of 319

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  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. 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. 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 good story they are peerless. This just left me cold. Like another overrated film of theirs, O Brother..., this had virtually no substance whatsoever.
  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 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. Expand
  4. Dec 27, 2013
    4
    It's guaranteed that the Coens will leave no detail behind in their settings which is why everyone will give their films a chance and why critics will have their reviews written before seeing the movie. Inside Llewyn Davis is no different from the scarves, to the office chairs, the lovely echo in the empty hall as Llewyn goes a cappella, to the silver in the quarters making a ring as they're dropped on the table, everything of the period is cared for. But in this movie you will find no trace of characters developing their relationships with one another. The ambient light on skin, as beautiful as it may be at times, stays stagnant for two hours. All of the characters' minds were made up before your butt hits the theater seat. Expand
  5. Dec 29, 2013
    4
    This is a highly disappointing film. The critical acclaim made me rush with excitement to see this new Cohen Brothers offering. But it is just plain dull. Yes, it's production, casting and music are exceptional. But it does not at all entertain the audience. I kept waiting for Llewyn Davis to do something that would make me care, that would move me, but he didn't. And in fact, not many of the other characters did much for me either. A lot of effort went into making a beautiful but boring movie. Expand
  6. Dec 9, 2013
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. nothing happens in this movie. love the coen bros., but this falls toward the bottom of their filmography. i could forgive the story if the individual scenes were entertaining, but they weren't. just put the trailer on, pause it on the main guys face, and look at it for an hour and half. that's pretty much it. Expand
  7. Dec 11, 2013
    10
    The coens are back inside llewyn davis is a powerful,emotional with coens directing which might be a Oscars winning movie in what ever category with oscar issac delivering a career best performance and the music score that touches your heart and fills it with emotions that cuts right through the movie
  8. Dec 21, 2013
    2
    There is nothing Inside Llewyn Davis. it's a beautifully produced fraud. The movie goes nowhere. Nothing happens. The Coens have written a movie about an era, rather than a story with a beginning, middle, and end. I cannot believe the reviews it has received. I wanted to love this movie. It is very unsatisfying. The audience I saw it with, was looking at each other, as if to say, "Is that all there is? When is the story going to begin?" Don't waste your money. Expand
  9. Dec 26, 2013
    3
    I understand that the movie's intention is to be dreary, bleak, and so on, but it comes off as boring, overlong, and with no satisfying conclusion. The music was a mixed bag with more bad than good. Some characters felt worthless.
  10. Dec 30, 2013
    0
    Music good. Characters believable. Plot line almost invisible. Deathly boring. I sat there expecting something to actually happen. It didn't. It started out boring and became, well, depressing. Don't waste money on this one.
  11. Dec 15, 2013
    10
    I've been a huge Coen Brothers fan for a long time, my favorites being Fargo and A Serious Man. I think this might be their best film yet. The writing is just incredible, the songs, the music, the acting, the cinematography all flawless. No one makes movies like them, so unique and inspiring, heartbreaking and honest. I was blown away by Oscar Isaac, his performance will garner plenty of awards. This movie is a masterpiece. Expand
  12. Dec 19, 2013
    8
    First of all: Don't let yourself be fooled by reviews acclaiming "I love all of their work, but this work of'em has no concluding story etc." I'd ask each and everyone of them: "Which Coen movie actually has these features?"

    For me, this movie has been great for several reasons... I really like the kind of music the movie is centered around & and I generally like the way the Coen
    Brothers make their movies, not heavily focusing on a concluding story, standards or anything, but always trying to create something that will make you laugh at absurdity, as it was for me with movies like "The Big Lebowski", "Oh Brother..." or "Burn after Reading". This combined with a nice sidekick in form of a cat let me had a really nice evening enjoying this movie. I got what I expected, the 105 minutes really flew by.

    If I had to compare this one with other work of the Coen Brothers, I'd say it is somehow similar to "Oh Brother...", but with a very different setting and tone. So if you like the music & you like more movies from the Coen Brothers besides "No Country for Old Men", you shouldn't be to disappointed watching this one.
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  13. Dec 25, 2013
    1
    This film was supposedly "inspired" by the hilarious book "The Mayor Of MacDougal Street" by Dave Van Ronk, the larger-than-life Greenwich Village folk legend. Somehow, against all odds, the Coen Bros managed to create a dull, plodding, joyless, pointless film. The only good that can come from this movie is the spotlight shining on the late great Dave Van Ronk and re-introducing his work to the world.

    If you go see this film keep in mind that that Coens got everything wrong the folk scene was energetic, fun, lively, bursting with life, and the best of the singer/songwriters were very supportive of each other. It was Dave Van Ronk who first said: "Never root against your competitor if what they are doing is good music. When music of quality sells it's good for all of us." He also said, "Honesty can be the cruelest game of all. Not only can someone hurt you and hurt you to the bone they can feel self righteous about it at the same time." And this: "Never make the mistake of thinking someone you don't like, likes you." (You have to think about that for a second).

    You'd never imagine anything like that coming out of the mouth of Llewyn Davis.

    You can probably guess that I knew Van Ronk, and like many of my compatriots, am baffled how such a bleak film sprang from such brilliantly witty source material. They should have thought twice about using Dave Van Ronk's name to give this film a sort of street cred. There's too many of us out here who see how false this film rings, and because of our love and reverence for the man, feel compelled to speak up on his behalf.
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  14. Dec 30, 2013
    6
    I generally like movies made by Coen brothers and always look forward to seeing them.
    The last one, though, left me surprisingly un-moved. Not that the quality is not there, no, it is done quite masterfully. But something is missing. The script does have a few funny lines but there is nothing new in the story, and frankly, it is quite boring.

    I would probably like it more if the folk
    music appealed to me but it did not.
    So, "Inside Llewyn Davis" I did not find much of anything... Except, probably a snap-shot of 60-th and 70-th...
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  15. Jan 9, 2014
    10
    I feel like what the Coen Brothers did in this was aim at striking a very delicate cord of: not everyone becomes a star. That harsh can really slap you in the face sometimes, and that darkness and that attempt to turn your shoulder away from that is something that the Coen's know how to illustrate. Great film.
  16. Dec 21, 2013
    4
    I'm surprised so many people were able to convince themselves that they enjoyed the movie. You really get little more than you get from watching the trailer. It looks and sounds nice, and seems to be an interesting glimpse into the period, but nothing really happens. Felt like an overextended short film. The kind that just gives you a glimpse into someone's life, without really taking the character through the paces normally required for a feature film. Expand
  17. Dec 26, 2013
    4
    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.
  18. Jan 15, 2014
    10
    Yeah, so this movie doesn't have much a plot. Don't let that prevent you from seeing it. One of the Coens' finest. A gloomy and real character piece is what it is. Llewyn Davis is one of the most complex original characters that the Coens have dreamed before, and what a performance by Oscar Isaac. Please, don't go into this movie expecting a formulaic plot about a lucky musician who strikes it big. You won't get that, the Coens can't let you off that easily. Another masterpiece by some of the greatest American filmmakers ever and my personal favorite film of 2013. Must see. Expand
  19. Dec 27, 2013
    10
    Outstanding. Inside Llewyn Davis is an intellectual, heartfelt look into a period of time long lost. One man's timeless struggles, frustrations and demons.
  20. Dec 8, 2013
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. i usually LOVE Coen Bros. films. Oh well. The music was great to listen to in this one, and it was filmed beautifully, but there was no story. So I was completely disengaged. When the film ended my viewing companion and i looked at each other and shrugged, and said, that's 2 hours we'll never get back. Expand
  21. Dec 22, 2013
    5
    Sometimes the Coen Brothers really surprise me but this time they didn't. INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS is beautifully made, produced and especially shot but ultimately what's really the point? A true exercise in futility that always captures your attention but then fades from memory.
  22. Dec 10, 2013
    2
    Somebody made this movie? I'm a movie buff... and while I was in Hollywood at the Cineramadome complex to see the Mandela movie... I noticed that this movie was sold out and it was playing in the main Dome area. So as the lamb that I am.. I followed the crowd. Boy... were we disappointed!! I say we because the whole crowd was left in the dark... literally. The plot was pointless.. the songs became annoying.. and worse part... the ending was abyssmal. The movie cuts to darkness and the movie ends abruptly at a point in the movie where you might thing it was gonna pick up. Nope it ended. Dont waste your money... time.. or the memory of such garbage. If misery and hard fortune was the aim of this movie... it was accomplished... but at our expense. Literally.... our money and our time... Please tell other people to avoid this sorry excuse for a movie Expand
  23. Dec 18, 2013
    2
    The Cohen Brothers were unable to make me care about their pathetic main character who insists on continually screwing his life up. That would be fine if there were a point to it, but that is also absent. No redemption, just a downward spiral where the main character goes down the drain like the story does. Great acting and signing and songs thanks, T Bone Burnett! A sadly disappointing nothing of a movie. Expand
  24. Jan 4, 2014
    10
    For all over the fake fans who so boldly claim they're "true" Coenn brothers fans you would know they always leave plot holes and rarely finish plot points. If you truly are a fan of the Coenn brothers you will love this. That being said this is one of their best works yet, every thing about it is amazing. One second it will have you on the verge of depression yet the next it will have you laughing your ass off. So please don't listen to the on this post who are giving this terrible reviews just for attention, go see it. You won't regret it. Expand
  25. Dec 27, 2013
    0
    An execrable pile of offensive nonsense. A total jerk and animal abuse. Possibly the Coen's worst; subverting their main character at every opportunity, without a shred of redemption, this horrendous pastiche shrinks to a pinpoint of depressing nastiness. Not even remotely a convincing recreation of life in the Village c. 1960. Awful awful awful.
  26. Jan 16, 2014
    9
    The saddest movie I've seen this year also has a couple of the funniest one-liners. The Coens are probably the only directors working today that could pull that off, and they continue to have my deep respect. Oscar Isaac and John Goodman were also majorly snubbed for Oscar nominations.
  27. Dec 30, 2013
    3
    The critics love Inside Llewyn Davis. A few even proclaim that Joel and Ethan Coen are the greatest filmmakers in America. But look past all those 100 pt. scores and notice the choice of words they use to describe this film. Words like small, painful, heavy, melancholy, bleak, deeply felt and exquisitely crafted. Few, if any, of them describe this movie as clever, interesting or entertaining. That’s because it isn’t.
    Here’s more of what this movie isn’t. It isn’t funny. The night I saw this movie, the theater was sold out. No one laughed, not even once. Also, the songs aren’t that great. Unlike O’ Brother, Where Art Thou?, you’re not going to be singing any of these songs to yourself as you walk out the door, and you’re not likely to hear them on the radio, or anywhere else, ever again. (Sorry T-Bone.) Worst of all, the story isn’t very interesting or entertaining. It’s about a folk singer struggling to make it as a musician. He takes himself very seriously, and he thinks he’s better than everyone else. He makes a lot of bad decisions and pretty much alienates everyone around him. It turns out he’s not that good a song writer, and he gets beat up for being a jerk. Then the movie ends. (No one applauded. Everyone was too busy scratching their head and saying “Huh?”) No Country for Old Men was something of a head scratcher too, but at least it was interesting. My first reaction to this firm was, “Huh?” followed by “Wow, that was totally pointless.” (If you’ve seen Fruitvale Station then you know what I’m talking about.)
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  28. Dec 31, 2013
    0
    As a big fan of the Cohen brothers prior work, I have to say that this movie was simply terrible. The fact that the critics are praising this film ad nauseam just shows that they should be ignored and that the system is rigged. As you watch the film, you feel yourself waiting anxiously for something to actually happen. Instead, absolutely nothing happens. The central character is disconnected and not believable as a 60s folk singer. There's no discernible plot. The cast feels over dramatic. The movie goes nowhere. I'm fortunate that I'm a voting member of a Hollywood guild so that I can transfer my whining here into a No Vote! By far the worst film I've seen this year. Ask yourself this....if this didn't have the Cohen brothers Hollywood machine behind it, would the critics have lauded this film even remotely as much? I think we all know the answer to that. Expand
  29. Jan 16, 2014
    8
    It's 1961 New York, the folk music scene was going strong, but Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) in on the weak side. He's always broke, living on friends' couches and not successful with his music. This film has some of the Coen Brothers hallmark traits: interesting characters (and some hilarious ones), deadpan humor, as well as intelligent approaches to plot, situations and people. The songs are given extended play (with the actors singing live) and actors are all excellent. While this film is richly observed and enjoyable, it's a bit slight by Coen Brothers standards. Expand
  30. Jan 21, 2014
    9
    Only the Coen Brothers can take such an unlikeable main character and make a completely watchable, entertaining film. I loved almost the entire film with the exception of the road trip featuring John Goodman and his "partner". Those characters came across as kind of creepy instead of funny and didn't really add anything to the film. Other than that, the film had a lot of scenes that made me think of the film long after I left the theater. I had never heard of Oscar Isaac before this film, but he is totally believable as a frustrated, gifted musician who makes one bad decision after another. The movie is simply a week or so in a folk singer's life in the early 1960's, and how some struggling musicians lived and survived in the New York Bohemian scene. It also reminded me a little of the documentary "20 Feet From Stardom" that focused on the mystery of why some talented people never become stars despite having obvious talent. Loved the black and white photography and I really appreciate the Coen Brothers for thinking outside the box on some of their camera shots. Overall, definitely one of my favorite films of the year. Expand
  31. Apr 20, 2014
    0
    Did I miss something? Did I watch another "Inside Llewyn Davis" movie? This movie, goes NOWHERE!
    a lot of pointless dialog, drags on and on. The actors and music were good, but that doesn't make a good movie.
  32. Jan 16, 2014
    9
    Other than the two German women talking through half of the movie, I found myself really liking Inside Llewyn Davis. I felt like it was a good example about how life was like in 1960s Greenwich Village for a struggling musician. Throughout the film you will learn a lot about the main character, his struggles and what his song mean to him. A nice plus to the movie was how the actors had to learn the songs before they filmed the movie; you have no idea how much that bugs me when you see an actor misplaying a note. The hot button issue with this movie seems to be people saying that you only liked it or didn’t like it because your preference on Folk music. Granted if you don’t like Folk Music (e.g. musician like Bob Dylan) you might want to skip this one, but if you like or can even tolerate Folk music there a lot more to this film for you to enjoy. Expand
  33. Jan 3, 2014
    10
    A gorgeous, somber, slowly paced moving work of filmmaking written to polarize and sadden. A wholehearted tribute to folk music and the many talented who didn't quite have a place in the world.
  34. Jan 11, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I have a certain opinion about this movie that I think differs from most reviews I 've read(although there was a review by David Kempler that I totally agree with).Well my opinion is that, odd as it seems, by considering the movie a great one and by supporting its greatness with the evidence of the story's moral (the talented artist that goes uncredited forever), you don't really appreciate what this movie is about.I have to admit that while watching it I was not satisfied either with the script or with the way it was filmed, not to mention my aversion towards many of the songs (but I guess this is a matter of taste).However, I keep thinking about the movie three days now and I feel that it haunts me much more than movies I've recently enjoyed a lot while watching.Why is that so? I think Inside Lllewyn Davis is a key to the cinema of Cohen brothers, a movie that enlightens the elements that make their movies special, and these elements, as is usually the case, have to do with a certain philosophy that transcends the movies and their particular stories and instead becomes the real center of their work(as expressed by the way they elaborate every story they touch into a kind of a myth with certain characteristics). To get started, I would say that the first thing to notice is that the cinema of the Cohens is a cinema of ambivalence. Take Inside Llewyn Davis for example: I believe that the way the songs are treated in this movie leaves for the spectator to decide whether they are mediocre or the work of a genius;the way the songs of Llewyn Davis are treated by the people in the movie adds to this ambivalence;we hear that they won't bring money, that he should get back to his duet work, we see people very satisfied with the songs(at the club, for instance)-but they seem to get satisfied with almost anything -and we know that Llewyn believes in the potential of his songs, but not consistently and anyway they are his songs and this is what happens inside him.On the other hand, success could then be counted only in terms of making money, of being commercial,leaving the question of what real art is in suspense.This kind of suspense lies in the heart of the movies of Cohens, I believe.And also, what else lies in the heart of their films, I see clearly here, is that the main character is to be forever damned, forever excluded from the possibility of self fulfilment, no matter how closely he comes to it. Llewyn Davis, no matter how much he strives, has no chance(the guy with the costume that awaits for him is not the Times guy we've been expecting to change his luck but one who wants to beat him up, and for good reasons;the girl he's in love with, although ambivalent towards him, won't ever conclude she's choosing him no matter how much we expect it to be so; when a chance to meet his child comes out of the blue, and we expect him to change direction, he won't take it, and although it might not change anything, his inability to act makes it seem like one more lost chance;and,perhaps most of all, in a moment of stress, he will leave the cat behind, closing his eyes to the begging of the more human of his companions to this road to hell on earth.Llewyn Davis is, in other words, doomed;and he's doomed in the way Barton Fink was(perhaps the character that is closer to him in the Cohen's universe),
    So what's the moral?what do we get from all these?NOTHING as the Hulla-hoop man would say;at the end there is no point and no reason, no nothing except for a certain situation in which the main characters of the movies get lost-and loose themselves-within. Inside Llewyn Davis is the slow torture of a man in a world where he thinks he is someone and he deserves better , when the truth is he's no one and he deserves nothing;like the rest of us.I guess that's the reason the movie haunts me three days now;not the most enjoyable Cohens' movie, I believe, but one of their most successful after all, if we should count success by what a work of art imposes on the spectator as a human being overall. Perception is self centered on its basis and we always forget this but in the greatest moments of cinema the lonely doomed heroes (Polanski's ghost writer and many others, Snake Plissken, John Trent, Gilderoy of Berberian sound studio, just to name a few) tend to remind us of that;and to let us have a glimpse into the human condition naked-the way perhaps madness does-or this can only be a point of view( of mine) and beyond that there lies the valley of everything(and nothing).Good night!
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  35. Dec 30, 2013
    8
    Llewyn Davis, a loose take on the folk singer Dave Van Volk, will, in hindsight, not be remembered as one of the Coen brothers’ most interesting characters and neither will the movie, in which he is the eponymous protagonist. However, Inside Llewyn Davis is still another great picture by the inseparable duo that can deservedly look forward to a couple of Oscar nominations in January.

    Whether it’s the trademark cynical writing, the excellent acting throughout the cast, the bleak yet beautiful cinematography (even though it’s not Coen regular Roger Deakins this time around, but Amélie’s Bruno Delbonnel), or the perfectly done editing (reaching its pinnacle in a sort of match-cut between a man and a cat walking) this semi-musical is done flawlessly and should be a feast for connoisseurs of quality movies. Yet I can’t exclude the fact that the 105 minutes feels like a lot more than that and that the full-length folk performances popping up every now and then only increase this. That’s not an all-too-strong counterargument though, as the sheer fact that Ethan and Joel Coen succeeded in making a so heavily down-to-earth and unspectacular story into a movie that I will definitely watch some time again is enough for praise. The protagonist, as it turns out, is probably the most relatable character in the year of 2013 and seeing him perpetually fail in his attempts at becoming able to really live from his hobby gets all the more harrowing to watch through that.

    Inside Llewyn Davis is the perfect dramedy and additionally a lovely experience for fellow cat-lovers, as the tubby with the aptonym Ulysses gets more screen time to be cute than all the supporting actors. That again shows that it’s all about Llewyn and his never-ending cycle of failing, which makes the movie, despite being a step back in humour and inventiveness, a Coen number one: in the category of those of their works one can easily spend an hour thinking about.
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  36. Jan 28, 2014
    8
    [8.9] Even for a Coen Brothers film, this movie is surprisingly disjointed, and delightfully so. Pretty much every moment in this movie is memorable, and the guests the movie features are added in such a way that you wouldn't really think they had any importance to the film. The film doesn't really rely on importance to begin with, because it doesn't have a narrative or ultimate goal to support. It's essentially a cinematic documentary, which is something that only the Coen Brothers could do. The movie changes constantly and it's really impossible to lose interest. Issac also plays the likable jackass role near perfectly, and is quite convincing as a failed musician. The only flaw I see in this movie is the ending, but even that has its purpose. Llewyn Davis is an excellent, atmospheric, and beautifully detailed drama. Expand
  37. Jan 19, 2014
    9
    Another strong showing by the Coen Brothers. The Coen's know how to start a film by making you feel lost but by the end your totally on board and are completely satisfied. Also this is a great soundtrack. A
  38. Jan 19, 2014
    9
    Another masterpiece from the Coens. Although I disagree with critics hailing it as one of their best, this still is a great film that shows the struggle to survive in our world. Finely done and perfectly crafted. HUGE Oscar snub.
  39. Jan 8, 2014
    3
    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.
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  40. Jan 22, 2014
    9
    The Coen brothers return with 'Inside Llewyn Davis'; a bleak character study that is one of their finest efforts, without trying too hard. The film treks a week in the life of the titular character, Llewyn Davis; a folk musician struggling to make it in the business despite undeniable talent. Llewyn navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961, and encounters many distasteful characters from his life (not that he's a charmer, himself). Without being able to plan for the future or face his past (such as the suicide of his musical partner) the man lives in the now. With no where to go and nothing to fall back on, his life seems to be headed in a vicious circle; and the Coens smartly structure their movie to resemble this dilemma. The Coens are master screenwriters; and there dense existential screenplay on this picture is a testament to that. Though craft a handsome looking film with the help of Bruno Delbennel's desaturated cinematography, and those authentic costumes and sets. The man a the centre of it all, Oscar Isaac, does a great job at playing Llewyn Davis; a character who we couldn't help but root for despite all his bad qualities. His brooding presence and his delivery of those wonderful folk tunes, was a delight to watch. Unfortunately, similar to the hero of this story, the film is quite underrated; but, I see it shining years from now. Like folk music itself, this gem just feels timeless. Expand
  41. Jan 2, 2014
    4
    I found this movie to be a waste of money and time. I would not recommend this movie to younger ages at all unless they need a nap. I have really liked Coens especially in their movie "The Big Lebowski" but this was just awful. The only reason why I didn't give it a flat 0 is because the ending made me think and I usually enjoy that. Overall, I would see this if you like folk music or you are a Coen brothers fan boy. Expand
  42. Dec 28, 2013
    1
    Save your money and time, really!!! I am a great fan of the Coen's other movies but this one has no sympathetic characters, is so slow as to make a speed freak drowsy, has no particular plot, and to boot the music was neither interesting or added anything to the movie. I wanted my money back but the theater only gave me a free coke.
  43. Dec 31, 2013
    0
    Disappointing. I've come to look forward to Coen bros movies. (well, uhm, not anymore after this one... and yeah, come to think of it, Barton Fink). It is well acted and the music is ok, but the story, characters, setting, circumstances are all so dreadful that I had to resist walking out at least twice. The Bros served up a stinker with this one... all the hype, ads and cheerful critics can't persuade me that this is a gold nugget. By all means, if you enjoy being hoodwinked by the opinions of the critics, go for it. If you really want to see an entertaining and marvelous bit of tape, see the 1hour 40 minute musical number that was done in conjunction with this film. Expand
  44. Jan 10, 2014
    9
    A beautiful film with wonderful acting, and for those who have an interest in the folk scene in New York in the 1960's, its certainly a dream come true. Additionally, John Goodman, gives one of the best performances of his career.
  45. Jan 10, 2014
    1
    Save your money. In fact, the Coen Brothers should give me a refund or come to my house and listen to me sing old folk songs for 2 hours. Okay, a couple of sad songs are fine but too much of a sad thing is a bad thing. If the purpose of the film was to drive the audience into the ground with unconnected sequences and with only a cat to give a moment of meaning -- then you will like the film. Good cat, bad movie. Expand
  46. Jan 14, 2014
    1
    Egads. Has anyone who was alive during the musical culture of the early 1960s seen this movie and reviewed it positively? It is stultifying. Llewyn is like the walking dead, surly-faced, untalented, and really boring. His so-called audition in Chicago is ridiculous, as if the writer/musician "inside" him skipped town. All the songs (with the exception of the one performed by Justin Timberlake in the Columbia Records studio) are the same monotonous tempo as if all the metronomes in the world were set at 15 beats per minute. Could we have seen any other facial expression on the guy except for the permanent look of pain and suffering? I was in the Village during the Beatnik era and remember it so differently. Did the Coen Brothers talk to anyone who was there? Dave Van Ronk's book about his life and times was allegedly an inspiration, but did they actually read it? This did not approximate the Mayor of MacDougal Street energy and spirit, but rather the drab life of an Accountant of MacDougal Street. A huge disappointment after hearing all the hype. Llewyn Davis proves himself a small, petty, uncaring (never once did he stroke those poor cats) man. The only satisfying moment in the film for me was the end, when he gets his comeuppance. Expand
  47. Jan 17, 2014
    9
    I love the Coen Brothers, and this movie is no exception, the atmosphere is great, the acting is great, I just gained a lot of respect from Oscar Issac, he is truly a great actor, this movie is one of the best of this year.
  48. Feb 5, 2014
    8
    Inside Llewyn Davis is heartfelt, memorable and enlightening; not just because it uncovers the folk scene of the 1960's that we rarely see, but because it slowly unravels the truth behind the music industry: it is not only bloody hard to make it the top, but staying there is near impossible. Though some have accused it as leaving us with no satisfying conclusion (the end is rather sudden), they are forgetting that the Coen brother's surely never meant for it to have the cheerful climax that many films now copy. Instead, they lead us through the struggle, the pain and the anger that failure can incur on someone's life, with all aspects covered well - if not excellently - by Oscar Isaac. This is not to say that we should feel sorry for Llewyn - the Coens have presented us with a deeply immoral man here. Not only has he slept with his best friend (Carey Mulligan as Jean), but he seeks money to pay for the abortion from her current partner (Justin Timberlake as Jim, who we never really get the chance to learn about). Despite this, the film remains very likeable; for the Coens have always had a knack at keeping their audiences engaged to iniquitous characters. Jean - the aforementioned best friend of Llewyn who is played dryly yet hilariously by Mulligan - is at times a blueprint of this behaviour. Though she too made the choice to cheat on her partner, she forever blames Davis for the mistake she surely made too. However, she never fails to support him when he is desperate, and through this we get the impression that even Llewyn realises he needs her (not just music) to survive. Therefore, Inside Llewyn Davis is far from unsatisfying. Not only does it appreciate time for loneliness, failure, friendship and the power of music, it unveils a far more realistic and worthwhile tale of achieving success than perhaps many others have before it. Collapse
  49. Jan 29, 2014
    9
    If you like bleak, grey, then this is for you, wonderful movie. Sometimes a film comes along that makes you smile all the way through even if its dark. Coen Bros films do that to me, don't know why ! Maybe I'm just as sad as the characters. Wonderful music, fantastic pace, interesting characters. Loved it.
  50. Feb 9, 2014
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. To quote another user (axgrinder), whose review is so good it needs to be repeated, in full: "The critics love Inside Llewyn Davis. A few even proclaim that Joel and Ethan Coen are the greatest filmmakers in America. But look past all those 100 pt. scores and notice the choice of words they use to describe this film. Words like small, painful, heavy, melancholy, bleak, deeply felt and exquisitely crafted. Few, if any, of them describe this movie as clever, interesting or entertaining. That’s because it isn’t.
    Here’s more of what this movie isn’t. It isn’t funny. The night I saw this movie, the theater was sold out. No one laughed, not even once. Also, the songs aren’t that great. Unlike O’ Brother, Where Art Thou?, you’re not going to be singing any of these songs to yourself as you walk out the door, and you’re not likely to hear them on the radio, or anywhere else, ever again. (Sorry T-Bone.) Worst of all, the story isn’t very interesting or entertaining. It’s about a folk singer struggling to make it as a musician. He takes himself very seriously, and he thinks he’s better than everyone else. He makes a lot of bad decisions and pretty much alienates everyone around him. It turns out he’s not that good a song writer, and he gets beat up for being a jerk. Then the movie ends. (No one applauded. Everyone was too busy scratching their head and saying “Huh?”) No Country for Old Men was something of a head scratcher too, but at least it was interesting. My first reaction to this firm was, “Huh?” followed by “Wow, that was totally pointless.” (If you’ve seen Fruitvale Station then you know what I’m talking about.)"
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  51. Mar 13, 2014
    0
    We simply did not get this. Maybe you need drugs to appreciate it. First and foremost, the folk music era (which was during high school for us) was very short lived...for a good reason. Rap music has been around longer. And frankly, I thought the original music and screenplay from A Mighty Wind, a spoof on this era, was far superior. At the end, I thought I had watched a French film; it was just made by Americans. You know the kind. People you never really can connect with don't say much and nothing ever happens and there is an ending that is purposefully enigmatic. All in all nothing happened to anybody. This guy was very hard to like; he's a loser who's only shred of accountability is trying to care for his friend's cat. I also didn't like the shrewish ex girlfriend or whatever she was to him. HIs deceased partner in music...what was that all about? The trip from NY to Chicago and back in the wind and snow was for what purpose? I guess to allow John Goodman a chance to give a brief quirky inexplicable cameo. What did it show us about Llewyn except more of what a pathetic boring loser this guy is. Good grief! And the music definitely evoked all the memories of how puerile most folk music was. If you want to watch a meaningful comment on that brief period, don't miss A Mighty Wind. It exposes all the phony, quasi-intellectual sappiness in the most hilarious scathing way. An utter delight. Expand
  52. Mar 18, 2014
    3
    First of all let me say I am a HUGE Coen brothers AND Justin Timberlake fan, so I was really looking forward to this movie. I must be either 1)not artsy enough, 2)not educated enough (even though I have a masters degree) 3)not a fan of folk music, or 4)all of the above. This movie took me on a meaningless journey to nowhere. I searched for metaphorical references, like the cat representing his heart, or other meaningful notations, and heck, I just wanted to be entertained at all. I honestly didn't understand this movie, and I think the critics say they liked it because it is just plain weird and that's what they seem to like. Justin Timberlake was underutilized and John Goodman was useless...as were several characters in the movie. Follow me around for a week and I promise you will be so much more entertained watching me make dinner at night, feed the dog, take a walk, sleep, work and do laundry. Expand
  53. BKM
    Jan 11, 2014
    6
    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
  54. Lyn
    Jan 13, 2014
    6
    Llewyn is not self-aware enough to be tragic and not witty enough to be comic. Oscar Isaac's soulful performance hints at hope and heartache, but the movie doesn't really allow him to do more than hint. Still, at least for boomers, the folk music is a fun flashback and the quirky characters are well-played and amusing. Like Llewyn on his ill-fated road trip, you just have to go along for the ride.
  55. Jan 16, 2014
    5
    The Coens are living off their past success as this movie has nothing to offer. Frankly, it is boring and the star is a lost cat. The plot is lost along with the audience as the film plods from his one failure to the next. Even the failures are not connected in any meaningful way. That may be the point of the film. Personally, I think they have gotten to smart for themselves and have forgotten about the paying audience as their main clients. Even John Goodman can't save this bomb. Expand
  56. Jul 4, 2014
    1
    Big coen brothers fan and truly this is not up to the par with their other films. The character's journey is not very interesting, the arc, the tempo, it's feels like a bad version of groundhog day, but you are living in the depressed mind of an individual. There is literally no story here
  57. Feb 7, 2014
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I loved the music, and the performances were strong, but I was disappointed in the film overall. I didn't find any of the characters sympathetic. LLewyn (Oscar Isaac) is selfish and doesn't seem to care for other people. His sometime lover, Jean (Carey Mulligan) is a shrew. John Goodman does a fine performance as the jazz musician, Roland, but as a despicable character

    I thought the film might show some of Llewyn's humanity when he saw the exit for Akron. He could have taken the exit and met the young son he had recently learned he had. But he bypasses the exit, for no apparent reason. LLewyn just does not connect with other people -- or this viewer.

    I really wanted to love this film, but it is not up to the Coen brothers' standards.
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  58. Feb 16, 2014
    4
    I could not bear this film from the first moment. Here is someone you don't know or care about singing. The camera stays on him. He keeps singing. You wait. He keeps singing. The cat part by the way seemed false, absolutely false, starting from: if this is a building with an elevator attendant, there is a super on premises and a doorman. Get them to let the cat into the apartment. Then end the film. Beautifully shot however. Expand
  59. Jan 7, 2014
    1
    The most idiotic, pointless, boring waste of time in a movie theater I experienced in a long time. There was not one scene worth watching or anything about this film that is worth remembering. I have seen Lawrence of Arabia many time, all 4 hours of it ,and it seemed much shorter than this pathetic bore. I do not know how anyone could write anything positive about this film.
  60. Jan 1, 2014
    2
    Admittedly, I felt like walking out of this film it gets so boring. I also did get teary eyed at one of the songs. Maybe this version tested well in Tuscon or whatever but It felt like The Coen Brothers ran out of material for a film. I also think they chickened out" on the music. ( google "dave van ronk" third one down. Finally, the script needed work, developing the characters and adding back story.
    Cary Mulligan and Oscar Issacs do heroic work, as does the rest of the cast
    but they can't save this film.
    This infield pop-up, missed by colliding critics gives them a single on errors.
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  61. Jan 13, 2014
    7
    This was the movie I was looking forward to the most of the current highly reviewed films. The music was great and the acting was good but the plot never seemed to go anywhere. I never felt very attached to any of the characters except Llewyn and his character was kind of an ass.
    Not bad but not that great either.
  62. Dec 21, 2013
    9
    For those of you who are considering seeing this movie, a few thoughts:
    -From my point of view, the user-reviewers who didn't like it missed out on the subtleties and complexities of character and tone. A movie's not obliged to follow the same form as most, or tell a story we've heard before.
    -There's odd, dry humor that percolates through it, as you might expect from the Coen brothers,
    but this is their more serious side.
    -Unlike many of their other movies, this has a more sincere warmth to go with the darkness, the oddness, and the intelligence.
    -It's a rich, sad, dark winter's tale. It's the kind of stiff drink of storytelling that would not be out of place in the Bible or Gilgamesh or other classic literature. It's about a man stuck in a time and place and manner of being, as he hits up against the limits of what is possible for him, and often is his own worst enemy.
    -See this when you are in the mood for more nutritious entertainment, and feel free to give yourself just enough distance from the main character that you can have a good look at what makes him human.
    -The music is great, and it's all live performances.
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  63. Apr 7, 2014
    5
    This film might be better entitled, “Inside the Clinically Depressed Mind of Llewyn Davis.” If the world of music is often overglamorized, Ethan and Joel Coen have gone to great trouble to completely deglamorize it so that just about everyone who participates is a loser. That is, unless you happen to be the one person in the room who wins the lottery, such as the young Bob Dylan, who is briefly depicted at the end of the film as one of the neophyte folksingers who gets a break at the well-known Village nightclub, called the Gaslight Cafe, designed to be a public showcase for new talent back in the 60's. Beat poets like Allen Ginsberg gave readings there, and the Gaslight later metamorphosed into a club for folk music, where many young folk singers got a start.

    The swarthy and handsome Oscar Isaac, playing the title role of Llewyn Davis, does a superb job of depicting an angry, frustrated young folk singer who plays the Gaslight but just can't get a break anywhere, even though he briefly captured a recording contract when performing as part of a duo with a partner who later committed suicide. That is where the depression in this movie begins. Going solo, Davis cannot collect royalties on a single recording or attract the attention of a single agent. As a libertine and free-thinker who is self-absorbed and who lives for the moment, he has no spouse, no children, and no place to live. He crashes every night at the homes of friends, including a couple where he seduces his friend's wife (Carey Mulligan) and accidentally gets her pregnant. Because she only wants her husband's child and not Davis's, she requests that Davis pay for her illegal abortion.

    The critics had high praise for this film—in terms of making a film depicting someone who constantly makes bad decisions and leads a destructive lifestyle, and who is probably suffering from undiagnosed depression that causes him to explode into foul-mouthed tirades, the Coen brothers have done a good job. But since it is never clarified that this is a profile of mental illness, it becomes an unrelentingly stark and grueling portrayal of a talented young man who is on a hopeless downward spiral. Davis's self-centered and egomaniacal personality is such that he is unable to care about anyone but himself. He can't even be trusted with a cat. Three cats suffer from Davis's sociopathic indifference to the fate of others. There is not a single spark of sunshine in this man's life. His friends are at best friendly rivals. The woman he impregnated despises him. He is alienated from his sister and his nephew; his father is in a nursing home that is, like everything else in this film, dark, gloomy and joyless. Davis has no real desire to communicate with his father, and just as well, because his father is in the late stages of dementia and merely sits and stares blankly into space. The only sign of life is that his father soils himself while Davis is visiting, as if we needed more proof that everything in Davis's life is malfunctioning.

    Davis's finances have also broken down catastrophically. He has no money to buy a proper winter coat or a pair of boots. He is always freezing to death and malnourished. But when well-to-do friends take him in and ask him to play a song at dinner, he erupts in rage for being treated like a trained pony, when clearly he doesn't perform for free; he only performs to “make a living.” His day job was that he once worked as a merchant mariner, and when in desperation he tries to go back to sailing, he is, as always, met with insurmountable obstacles.

    I would not want to give away the ending, but there is no ending to give away. The ending starts over at the beginning. There is no redemption to be found here; no lesson to be learned. Except for a few songs that lift this film out of its perpetually bleak Weltanschauung, this story is purely the heavy-handed tale of a tragic hero who has no one to blame but himself.
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  64. Mar 16, 2014
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Thoroughly unlikable character; pointless movie. The cat was interesting, and John Goodman's character, slightly, though he wasn't in it for long. Was it worth sitting through just for the final moments when we hear a Bob Dylan song? Nah. Expand
  65. Jul 6, 2014
    10
    The Most Brutally Honest Artists' Statement in Modern Cinema

    I think the Coen brothers' most profound gift is their ability to translate any message, text, or emotion to film. To me, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS is so special because of its brutal honesty of what it looks like, for most people, to pursue your artistic dream. And it's a damn shame. We see people come and go every day with the
    talent of Llewyn Davis, the titular character at the heart of the film, but through a very distinctly Coen combination of situation, lack of luck, and very particular misjudgments throughout the course of his life prevent him from ever reaching the reputation he may or may not have deserved (but could very well have reached it under different circumstances, which is the larger point).

    Oscar Isaac completely disappears into his performance as Llewyn Davis, someone who may appear as a very average person in the streets of New York who has as many dreams and ambition as anyone else. But he's not a perfect person — he doesn't have the foresight or moral flexibility it might have taken for him to have made a more comfortable living out of the passion of his life. Oscar is able to wear this character like a perfectly fit glove, but he made it fit; years from now, people will be wondering why he wasn't aptly recognized for this work in his own time. The performance itself is an intricate, if modest, masterpiece.

    Another strength of the Coens' is their ability to bring out the best of their cinematographers. The camerawork from Bruno Delbonnel will, at any given moment, visually clue the audience into the place, position, and state of mind into this central character's mindset through color, focus, framing, and detail. Cinema is, first and foremost, a visual medium; and, as such, both Joel and Ethan Coen know what director of photography to trust most to convey the thousands of words they have to say with each frame.

    Finally, what makes this more than a worthy look is the work of Mr. T-Bone Burnett himself. The soundtrack of this film is easily the best in the world of music in its year and helps this film to transcend into a world of poetic irony that has little else but the decibel of its own understated 60s-era East Village earnestness to cry out with.

    The Coen brothers themselves tend to seem like shy and introverted individuals. And it's only them who could have painted such a rich and painfully honest portrait with the very artistry they excel at. This is a look at art that crosses every possible medium. The Coens are asking us, "how many geniuses have slipped through the crack? What kind of beauty has been made in any field that I've never been privileged enough to experience? Are we ever really at the ends of the spectrum of possibility of the art we so enjoy to indulge in when such brilliant voices can never quite break through?" It's almost a message of humility — that their ability to tell this man's story is the minimum they can offer back to their audiences for the good fortune they themselves have had to be able to tell such stories in the first place. And, appropriately, they've crafted a film that wasn't properly appreciated by their own successful peers in its own time. The truthful tone will turn many audiences off from its message, but INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS is one of the most essential film offerings of the new millennium thus far.
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  66. Sep 2, 2014
    6
    Breathtaking musical performances of nearly forgotten folk tunes... a week in the life of a hopeful folk singer might not be what we expected but it still certainly has that Coen Brothers zest.
  67. Apr 5, 2014
    9
    Soul. This flick just has it--along with a character whose general demeanor seemed almost painfully familiar to me until I realized that I sometimes make eye contact with him in the mirror. Funny, dark, bright, strange, haunting, and many other adjectives that I'm too lazy to type. Seriously good stuff here. Come for the music. Stay for the cat joke.

    P.S.: **** critics...and groupies. Peace.
  68. Mar 12, 2014
    9
    Absolutely beautifully shot. The Coen brothers certainly show that they have mastered using the camera to capture the bleak feeling that this movie has. That being said the film still manages to be funny at multiple times and it is filled with good music. Oscar Isaac does a great job as Llewyn and the entire cast supports him marvelously. The only real problem with the film is the ambiguity of the ending. It ends and you end up asking yourself whether the ending made it more philosophical or just gave it a feeling of being unfinished. Expand
  69. Aug 15, 2014
    7
    Another solid entry into the Coen Brothers' extensive filmography, Inside Llewyn Davis is a very pleasant and enjoyable look into the life of a fictional folk musician in 1960s New York. Oscar Isaac is phenomenal in the lead role and Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, and John Goodman, all stand out as some of the good supporting performances, in particular Mulligan, who really killed it. The music is also very good here and the fact that they are also results of the actors actually singing them is all the more impressive. The cinematography here is also splendid and I, in particular, really enjoyed the slight blue filter. It really captures the mood well and it simply looks really good and gives this one a distinctive look. The plot is simplistic, but very interesting and it feels entirely authentic to the times and the life lived by musicians at the time. Overall, Inside Llewyn Davis is a solid little film that is not, as a whole, great or very good, but it is very easy to watch and even easier to enjoy. Expand
  70. Dec 23, 2013
    5
    What can someone say about that film. That Cohen's have the money & the means to create it? That, it is only accepted because of them? BOTH work here boys/girls since no one would ever could create the story behind an insignificant, old & dusty random vinyl someone's majesty could notice somewhere under a sofa.. As, none each of us would have ever wonder & exposed ur curiosity to the story behind the cover. Space & Time work in parallel way with the actual space. Just take a look around u, when u watching it Expand
  71. Feb 11, 2014
    8
    La prima scintilla è venuta dalla biografia di Dave Van Ronk e la parte visiva in molti esterni deve molto a ‘The freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’, ma il nuovo film dei fratelli Cohen non è la rievocazione della scena folk del Greenwich Village, bensì il ritratto di un uomo che in quella scena cerca di farsi strada. Che non sarà molto lunga, lo si capisce già dal fatto che, per le vie del quartiere, Davis ci passeggia con un gatto sulla spalla invece che a braccetto di Suze Rotolo: del resto è un artista appena discreto (probabilmente il treno giusto è passato quando si è suicidato Timlin, assieme al quale si esibiva come duo) e un uomo che la fortuna non dimostra di meritarsela. E’ vero che bisogna sempre fidarsi della canzone e non del cantante, ma Davis dimostra di essere un egocentrico interessato solo alla sua musica e, di conseguenza, irresponsabile nei confronti degli altri, a partire da coloro che gli offrono ospitalità nel suo vagare senza dimora: lontano dalla famiglia, dorme sul divano in questa o quella casa e ha rapporti occasionali con donne altrui che poi lo ripudiano. Il viaggio della speranza è verso Chicago, ma dopo l’impietoso giudizio dell’impresario Bob Goodman (F. Murray Abrahams in una piccola parte), Davis accetta nel suo intimo che la musica non potrà essere la sua vita: dopo l’ultimo spettacolo nel solito club, lascia il palco a chi cambierà la storia e va a espiare parte dei propri peccati nel vicolo. Il risultato è una commedia amarissima, come spesso succede nei lavori dei Coen: benché numerose siano le situazioni o le battute che strappano il sorriso e anche la risata, il sottofondo resta sempre assai triste in quella che è la narrazione di un tratto nel percorso di vita di un perdente. Con una barba che fa molto artista e stretto nella sua giacchetta perché non può permettersi un cappotto, Oscar Isaacs disegna con grande finezza un personaggio non facile, perennemente in sospeso tra le aspirazioni artistiche e la mediocrità di tutti i giorni: l’attore nato in Guatemala è praticamente sempre in scena e si districa con abilità sia sul registro drammatico, sia dal lato commedia e – oltre a dover maneggiare un gatto, animale che odia - interpreta con la giusta partecipazione le canzoni del suo personaggio (il maestro è stato il supervisore alle musiche T-Bone Burnett, i brani sono quasi tutti traditional riarrangiati). Gli altri attori finiscono per essere fatalmente di contorno, ma ciò non vuol dire che le loro prova non aggiunga valore al risultato finale: se questo è vero anche per Justin Timberlake, lo è ancora di più per Carey Mulligan (che risulta assai più carina da mora) e, soprattutto, John Goodman nella parte di un tossico musicista jazz che si diverte a massacrare a parole la musica folk (e Davis in generale) nel viaggio verso Chicago. Davvero azzeccate sono poi le facce dei personaggi di contorno, scelte con una cura davvero mirabile a partire dall’anziano discografico Mel (Jerry Grayson all’ultima apparizione) e coetanea segretaria per finire alla coppia di amici benestanti Mitch e Lillian con i relativi ospiti – i due sono i padroni del gatto che Davis si ritrova fra i piedi e al quale presta quasi più attenzioni che agli esseri umani che lo circondano. Fotografato con toni in prevalenza freddi – e opportunamente invernali – dal francese Bruno Delbonnel, ‘A proposito di Davis’ non raggiunge il livello dei migliori fra i film dei fratelli Coen (ad esempio, la trasferta in una gelida Chicago è tirata troppo per le lunghe), ma è comunque un lavoro che, seppur non facile, lascia ampiamente soddisfatti, grazie a una capacità di fare cinema subito riconoscibile nelle atmosfere come nella rappresentazione delle singole situazioni – basterebbero le inquadratura nel ristorante deserto sulla via per il Midwest o la prospettiva kubrickiana della scena nel bagno. Infine, un’annotazione curiosa: il titolo italiano non compare mai, perché quello originale si può vedere solo in una fuggevole inquadratura dell’ (invenduto) disco solista del protagonista. Expand
  72. Feb 13, 2014
    9
    This really is a delightful gem of a film with a unique and beautifully rendered screenplay that is performed to joyful perfection by a talented cast. Oscar Isaac plays the titular Llewyn Davis, a struggling folk singer, who may not be all that likeable a character, but is certainly very engaging to watch. This is one of the Coens best pictures to date, one to stand alongside 'Blood Simple' and 'Fargo', and a real surprise. Some lovely songs permeate the film adding to the hypnotic like hold it exudes. It is also beautifully shot with some well lit cinematography particularly in the club and during the road trip scenes in the second half. Carey Mulligan and John Goodman are amongst those etching out well drawn characters in small parts. Another great performance is given by a particularly obedient ginger Tom who doesn't seem to have any fear of the New York underground system. This is that rare beast, a film that gets better the more you reflect on its nuances. Expand
  73. Mar 4, 2014
    8
    No doubt it was a good movie with fine characters and great story. This movie reminds one of my favourite movie of recent time ‘Frances Ha’. Because both the main characters from these two movies are more alike. Theirs professional struggle and also chronicles relationship problems.

    This, Coen brothers latest created lots of noise before hitting the screen. Like everyone I too expected
    what they gonna give to us. I enjoyed it. The folk songs were so good and it was not nominated for Oscar because most of them were not original. According to the filmmakers, especially the music section was inspired by 70s, but not the lyrics.

    Beautiful cinematography, very eye catching colour palette. It was on the short list for Oscar, but lost to the magnum Opus 'Gravity'. I was rooting for any of these two in this category for Academy awards.

    I think Carey Mulligan is used to it with a character like this, an anti-good roles or an irritable one. In a recent 'The Great Gatsby' as well she was in such role. But I like her, she's the one of a beauty that Hollywood imported from Britain.

    The only trouble the movie gave me was the tease in many parts. It teased me with its scenes when I expected something it went opposite direction made me look like a fool. Yeah, it was good thinking by the Coen brothers as the script writers, but I felt a little let down when they carried away throughout. In the end the buzz they created did not end in what everyone could expect. I don't know it is good or bad, but the movie will win our hearts.

    Believe it is not your regular movie, but looks like one, that is the trick made by the legendary brothers. If you like sentiments with a low amount of its contents and realistic characters, then it will be your movie to have a peek inside.
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  74. Feb 13, 2014
    8
    The essence of any character piece, especially one like this, is that for a short period of time (in this case, an hour and forty-five minutes), we are completely inside a person’s world; navigating through their faults, problems, dreams, goals, hardships, conquests and successes. Inside Llewyn Davis is a film with very little accomplishments for its title character, but the film itself is anything but dissatisfying. Gorgeous in its bleakness and ridled with grey areas surrounded by sadness and endless failures, Inside Llewyn Davis is a slow, melodic narrative about the criticism that ridicule the life of an artist and the passion that ignites us all.

    The Coen Brothers may very well be one of the most respected and applauded American directing duo working today, and rightly so. In their newest writing/directing gig, the Coens single-handedly deliver one of the most mysterious folktales in American cinema history, showcasing the talents of an actor who can sing his heart out and help drive one of the best original soundtracks in recent memory. The truth of the matter is, the Coen‘s completely submerge themselves in their work, and it is quite evident with Davis. Like its misunderstood and highly underrated protagonist, the film is a descent into the truth of the subjectivity of art and music. Every person is entitled to their own taste, and folk music is one genre that may not be for everyone. Fortunately for audiences and cinema lovers, the Coen brothers craft a finely-tuned tale of an artist’s struggle to make it in the Greenwich Village music scene in New York City during the early 1960′s. My only hope is that this film doesn’t find itself limited to theatres full of indie film lovers, Coen fanatics, and young kids looking to get pointers on how to be “hipster”.

    Inside Llewyn Davis is a film loosely based on the life and music of Dave Van Ronk, an acoustic folk pioneer in the 60′s. But like so many, including myself, who had never heard of Van Ronk, the film itself is a testament to the power of interdisciplinary art forms. From the moment the spotlight is on, we are never quite sure if we are processing the power of the musicians on the small stages of coffee shops in Greenwich village, or if we are just surprised those musicians are actually just actors. Thankfully that’s where the talent and genius of chief executive music producer T Bone Burnett shines. Llewyn Davis becomes an applause worthy narrative that centers on the music and the stories these rich characters tell with their heavy lyrics and the strum of their acoustic guitars rather than just another character piece about a bunch of musicians. Instead of opting for A-list actors and teaching them how to pass with lip-syncing, the Coens got a hold of talented actors with incredible singing/songwriting abilities. From Justin Timberlake to Carey Mulligan to Marcus Mumford, the directors as well as music producer Burnett focus on the sound of the film to carry its authentic charm rather than the noises music-centric films often make. Delivering a bare-boned, authentically raw and vulnerable film stripped of all glamour, and instead is replaced with the grungy tattered clothing of real artists struggling to find a place to sleep, the artists and actors, as well as the music, are the real stand-out performers of Davis.

    The film takes place over a week in the life of Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac). Beginning under the uncertain smoky spotlight of the Gaslight Anthem, it is evident that Davis’ voice, along with his sad storytelling music is heart wrenching, to say the least. The film begins and Davis introduces himself and his music with the sombre lyrics “Hang me, oh hang me”, a small glimpse into the reality Llewyn has faced as of recent. Llewyn has seen his fair share of death and tragedy, especially after his musical partner Mike commits suicide. As Llewyn tries to find a way to not just exist, but become something of himself as a folk musician, his journey as well as the journeys of everyone he meets along the way, becomes a modern-day Greek tragedy.

    There are roles some people are just born to play, and Oscar Isaac was born to play the role of Llewyn Davis. The moment his mouth opens and his eyes gaze upon the scarce crowd, he delivers on a level that is satisfying for a singer as well as an actor, that makes you want to stand up and applaud after every song he sings–literally, I actually had to stop myself from standing up and applauding. Needless to say Isaac left his audience in the theatre hypnotized. Isaac delivers in ways that are both vile yet breathtaking. Irresponsible, unapologetic and inconsiderate to everyone, Llewyn Davis epitomizes the selfish arrogance any artists must learn to contain while on their seemingly endless uphill battle to success. Llewyn’s actions are unethical and impulsive, and his demeanour although comical at times, is somewhat unnerving.
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  75. Feb 4, 2014
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I cannot understand why many people rate this film very highly. Nothing happens, literally. The end is the same as the beginning albeit with the addition of Bob Dylan playing on stage. Big whoop. I understand the meaning behind this; if you don't change anything about yourself or your situation then you're destined for repetition.

    Don’t get me wrong. The music is quite good and captures the essence of that era. Isaac has a beautiful voice to boot. But you’re probably better off buying the soundtrack instead of seeing the movie. Each performance in this film is certainly impressive and I wouldn't be surprised if Justin Timberlake does a folk music album.

    Back on the film itself was disappointed by the supporting cast. Everyone is quite suitable in their roles but we're not given enough time to care they appear. Llewyn is the main character and it makes sense he is the focus. However he is unlikeable because he is definitely annoying and unpleasant. I commend Oscar Isaac for nailing that. The two main women in Llewyn life have permanent PMS because they are always annoyed or angry so well done for showcasing realistic women. As for the rest they're onscreen and then they're gone as they don't matter to the story, considering there is little story to tell, they're just passing by. To the audience they may as well not have appeared at all. One exception is John Goodman as the vicious jazz musician. His appearance is a highlight for me, particularly on how he describes how talent-less folk musicians are with their limited, simplistic use of music: "C, G, C".... folk music hasn't changed much in 50 years.

    And that leads me to this categorization of this film: comedy-drama. Really? I realize categorization helps people classify something but this is not a comedy drama. First and foremost this is a drama, with a different and interesting setting, with some comedy thrown in to lighten the melancholia throughout. It isn't laugh out loud comedy either, rather it gives us quite a few snickers, giggles and chuckles.

    My lasting impression is that hype has helped sell this film and this hype has blinded many to believe this is a terrific film. It isn't. Appreciate the different setting and solid musical performances.
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  76. May 11, 2014
    9
    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 http://thechannelofawesome.blogspot.mx/
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  77. Jul 3, 2014
    10
    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
  78. Aug 20, 2014
    2
    This is f**king disaster. I have seen movies which are hugely meaningless, pointless, worthless, boring and irritating but this movie crossed every f**king limit..!!
    Let start from the driving scene, what the hell that 20 minutes are all about..??
    And the End of the movie, what the hell, i was so desperately expecting to happen something good to happen with that person but No, not a
    single good thing..!!
    What the hell that Cat doing in the movie and why his dad was introduced...?
    This movie really really had given me cancer..!!
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  79. Mar 8, 2014
    9
    A story of a man simply trying to start, not necessarily finish, and encountering problems along the way. The Coen brothers are still filmmakers that expose brutal honesty and realism to their films, only this time they do not add the level of comical violence. Just the story of an artist trying not to get back on his feet, but simply to stand up, and yes, I know I've just repeated myself. Oscar Isaac is a new talent as this man who we both feel both pity and disdain for. The cinematography, the soundtrack, everything fits with the time and era of the film. Expand
  80. Feb 26, 2014
    3
    I wanted to like this movie, because I'm a big fan of the music genre. But it was just so slow, so boring, and had an ending that just left me completely unfulfilled.
  81. Mar 26, 2014
    9
    Inside Llewyn Davis is getting a lot of smuck from audiences for being too boring. It is very subtle and doesn't have an extensive plot, so if that bothers you don't watch it. What it is, is a character study that explores what it's like to be a struggling musician in a what appears to be a dying genre (at the time). I quite enjoyed the film. Oscar Isaac's performance was superb, most notably his musical talent. It's really quite beautiful how much we learn about Davis in a one week period. It might seem like a bit of a downer, but Inside Llewyn Davis is a human experience that reminds us of that passion and talent isn't always recognized. Expand
  82. Jan 13, 2014
    4
    Where was the plot line? Where was the twist? Seems to be a new trend of having interesting characters with no real story being told. Am I missing it?
  83. Jan 22, 2014
    3
    Funny at times but just when you think something is going to happen it goes off in a different direction. I didn't get it. Why all the great reviews? Just because it's the Coen brothers? Very disappointing.
  84. Feb 20, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Extremely deep and beautiful movie. Coen brothers are very very brilliant and witty in their scenes and dialogues. An unconventional and really intelligent story about a precise historical period which was very interesting. Before Bob Dylan. "Inside Llewyn Davis" has beautiful and characteristic colours. Coen brothers are great film directors, they are unique. You have to see this movie, it is one of the most beautiful movie of 2013/2014. It's unconventional and very very nice. Expand
  85. Jul 26, 2014
    9
    Delightful and dark. Perfect shots and imperfect, albeit highly memorable, characters. That's the Coens for you. Every frame oozes confidence. And why shouldn't they be confident? I'm pretty sure they can do anything. Except fail, that is. I'm also fairly confident that if anybody else had directed this it would've turned out somewhat mediocre. The brothers' mastery of craft, command of tone, as well as their playfulness - all of it makes up for a plot as meandering as their roaming protagonist. Expand
  86. Jan 2, 2014
    5
    Generally the Coen brothers make movies I really like but for the life of me I don't get this one. Spare plot, depressing setting, unsympathetic major character. I love folk music but this was only average. A few laughs here and there and Carey Mulligan is outstanding. A miss.
  87. Jan 3, 2014
    10
    Mighty river
    runs muddy and wild,
    can't care the bloody
    for my unborn child.
    Fare thee well, my honey,
    fare thee well.

    Number nine train
    done no harm,
    number nine train,
    take my poor baby home.
    Fare thee well, my honey,
    fare thee well.
  88. Jan 6, 2014
    4
    Worst Coen Bros. movie of the century. When the movie ends, you realize that nothing has happened Davis is the same jerk at the start as he is at the closing credits. I'd rather have spent two hours with John Goodman's jazzman or the shadowy Bob, who appears for a few seconds. On the other hand, I have this urge to rent "The Incredible Journey" and ponder the obscure connections between the two movies. Maybe Llewyn Davis is a cat! Expand
  89. Jan 18, 2014
    1
    This is a dreadful, dreary movie about an uninteresting character --I have trouble believing folks think it has merit. We could find nothing to really hold onto--boring guy with few morals or friends, minimal talent, schlepping from one place to another with little to offer--this is not deserving of further attention.
  90. Feb 4, 2014
    6
    I was let down with the repetitiveness of the film as a whole. Like Barton Fink, the Coen brothers have created another dislikable protagonist that somehow captivates the viewer's interest throughout the film, yet doesn't leave them satisfied. I wish Llewyn's 'dick' personality shared more of the comedic genius that Walter Sobchak possessed (probably impossible to duplicate or compete with). Llewyn came off as a hopeless musician with an unpopular talent that would forever be shadowed by Bob Dylan. If I watch this film again, I'll probably catch more and I'm sure it will grow on me. The cat and Llewyn relationship also added some quirky originality to the masterful filmmakers that are the Coen Brothers. Expand
  91. Mar 4, 2014
    6
    It seems a bit too niche to me. It didn't really engage me. As much as I absolutely loved the music, I was felt feeling a little bit confused at the end too. I think I need to watch it again
  92. Mar 3, 2014
    1
    C'mon, this can't be a Cohen Brothers movie. They are great story tellers. They always give us a good story that holds our interest, not a boring tale where we don't care what happens to the principal character. Did Joel and Ethan subcontract this production to some novice producer/writer/director? "Inside Llewyn Davis" is a compilation of substandard folk songs sung by an unlikable, obnoxious, tiresome human being. This movie lost me in the first half hour. Unfortunately, I had to endure the remaining 90 minutes. The brothers were resting on their laurels when they made this one. Expand
  93. Mar 7, 2014
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I was very disappointed with this movie. It seemed like an easy out at every turn, the message I got basically being: life is sad and perhaps meaningless, it is hard to be an artist, we are doomed to repeat our mistakes. I think the Coen brothers became enamored of the early 60s Greenwich Village bohemian atmosphere, but they then failed to fashion that feeling into a satisfying feature length film and instead hung a fairly brittle premise. Sure, the movie expertly evokes a time and place, and some of the music is beautiful, but there's very little else in this. Characters flit in and out while the protagonist sits at the mercies of fate, seemingly bundling in to one catastrophe after another. He exhibits little to no capacity for change, and fails to be courageous or admirable at pretty much every turn.

    I will admit that the dinner party scene that climaxes with the old lady screaming about the cat scrotum is still making me laugh. That part alone probably makes this a worthwhile watch, and reminds me how great the Coen brothers can be. Otherwise, though, this was a flimsy downer with little to redeem it.
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  94. May 1, 2014
    9
    All this movie does is a great puzzle for you to assemble, feels like there's not plot at all, but there's more plot that you think. Joel and Ethan Coen had delivered us another great (not surprising) film, that is yet to be recognised, but it feels like the Coen Bros. are loosing magic, but they're still making powerful movies.
  95. chw
    Jul 18, 2014
    8
    Inside Llewyn Davis was the first Coen brothers movie I ever saw that they wrote themselves, so I was kind of surprised of the style they used in this film. Although, Inside Llewyn Davis was still a good movie.
  96. May 7, 2014
    0
    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.
  97. May 8, 2014
    9
    One of the most sad but at the same time honest films I have ever watched. The storytelling is flawless, the casting is superb, everything you could expect from a Coens production.
  98. Sep 5, 2014
    8
    The Coen brothers latest release Inside Llewyn Davis blends together many of the elements that have proved a success for them in various earlier works. A lack of redeemable characters, their signature dark offbeat humor, no apparent narrative and a very special genre of music in the soundtrack. The year is 1961 and Llewyn Davis is a struggling folk-singer who used to be part of a somewhat successful duo and is now trying to get his break as a solo artist. He's also a homeless drifter, who sleeps on whatever sofa becomes available and he's without a steady income. The film certainly paints the picture of rougher times, which produced big dreamers and resulted in deeper music with true passion.

    Oscar Isaac deserves a lot of recognition not only for his acting, but just as much or even more so for his singing with which he even outperforms a big artist like, Justin Timberlake. I was amazed by how full of soul his singing actually was and how authentic his performance as Llewyn Davis was. Timberlakes acting performance is quite good in this film and his portrayal of a more conforming folk-singer named, Jim Berkley was great. Carey Mulligan has the role of Jim's highly cynical and very fiery wife and John Goodman plays an aged, eccentric Jazz musician named, Roland Turner. These two bring such dedicated and ranged performances to their roles and since this is really a character-based film the Coens have made sure that even the smallest part becomes a memorable character. The film follows Llewyn for a week and lets the viewer get to know him increasingly as he gets in to odd situations filled with the Coens signature offbeat humor, but Llewyn is a character who never really takes the moral, rational or admirable decisions, which should make him very hard to care for. The strange thing is that I still did as I got more and more engaged in Llewyns plight and that is what makes the film great in a very unconventional way.
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  99. Sep 20, 2014
    5
    Inside Llewyn Davis is a depressing comedy, a glimpse into a struggling folk singer’s life during one week in the 1960’s.

    The first half of the movie is slow as Llewyn ping pongs around the Village and New York, causing disruption everywhere he goes. Oscar Isaac unflinchingly plays the dislikeable title character a, sincere to a fault because it impedes upon his ability to be
    successful, freeloading folk singer newly solo due to the suicide of his duo partner Mike. Frustrated, dejected and broke, he leaves on a road trip to Chicago and the story’s components converge to a chaotic culmination one expects from an Ethan and Joel Coen film.

    Teeming with talent and thoroughly Coen, the movie is full of quirky characters of a beatnik persuasion. Unfortunately, with the rare exception, most portrayals are forgettable – Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, and Garret Hedlund included. Justin Timberlake is ultimately the least successful of the bunch and his casting is a misstep. His acting is an out of place self-aware parody of a folk singer from the 1960’s. With the exception of Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, whom most know as the love interest of Lena Dunham’s character in Girls, is hilariously sincere and scene stealing in the minor role of Al Cody.

    Inside Llewyn Davis contains all the successful ingredients typical of a Coen Brothers motion picture but is lacking the charm that typically enamors viewers. It is artificially bleak, reliant upon post-production, and fundamentally contrived.

    More reviews of recent releases can be found at our website.
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  100. Nov 24, 2014
    5
    Really an average movie with no actual ending. The writers should be ashamed by themselves (I realize that they are probably proud with themselves instead). Yes, it is shot well, and I watched it till the end, while still intrigued. It didn't get too boring during. But it is totally pointless after all. They teach even the children that every story should have a proper ending. Apparently the directors are too big to bother with such. Most of the branches of the story are not finished either. To try explaining it better: imagine somebody is telling a story and you are interested by all the things starting to develop in it. And you expect it all adds up and mix together. But when the story is finished, you realize that all of these "interesting" things didn't actually go anywhere. And the only indication for the finish is that it suddenly stopped. Major BS if you ask me. Expand
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: 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.