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92

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

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 292 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 47
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 47
  3. Negative: 0 out of 47
  1. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Dec 5, 2013
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Dec 19, 2013
    100
    What Inside Llewyn Davis is all about: the passion, and the pain, of being an artist.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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."
  7. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Nov 25, 2013
    63
    The movie is so “interior,” it so zeroes in on Isaac and his baleful stare, that we’re relieved any time something overtly funny happens.

See all 47 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 95
  2. Negative: 29 out of 95
  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. Collapse
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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. Expand
  5. 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
  6. 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.)"
    Expand
  7. 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. Expand

See all 95 User Reviews

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