Once

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 320 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 38 out of 320
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  1. Aug 26, 2010
    10
    "Once" works so well in the realm of its own simplicity: two people connect over their love of music, and the week that they share together is fulfilling enough to last a lifetime. The music, written and performed by the two leads Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, is pure bliss and the movie is an independent film, so the dialogue and character interactions are"Once" works so well in the realm of its own simplicity: two people connect over their love of music, and the week that they share together is fulfilling enough to last a lifetime. The music, written and performed by the two leads Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, is pure bliss and the movie is an independent film, so the dialogue and character interactions are allowed to feel genuine. Expand
  2. BlancoA.
    Jun 3, 2007
    10
    Brilliance.
  3. MarkB.
    Jan 22, 2008
    10
    I can't get the movie or the music out of my head weeks after seeing it. It is simply the best movie musical of all time.
  4. BitBurn
    Aug 22, 2009
    10
    The magic of this film definitely lies in the power of the music but with an added bonus: the low-budget simplicity of how it is all executed before your eyes...absolute beauty.
  5. JerryD.
    Nov 9, 2007
    10
    this movie speaks to the soul. it's uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time, painfully real. the sort of honest, engaging, intelligent romance that hollywood couldn't make in a month of sundays. the music is fabulous
  6. DaveL.
    Jun 12, 2007
    10
    Wonderful story, wonderful music. A refreshingly simple story with palpable chemistry between the 2 leads, even if the story doesn't go where you might expect.
  7. DominicB
    Jul 26, 2007
    10
    Perfectly magical and magically perfect....I haven't seen a better film this year.
  8. TonyR-S
    Mar 2, 2008
    8
    A great, small film with unexpectedly strong performances from non-actors. So much great music (with maybe a bit too much repetition...), great pacing and real people acting, and talking, like real people. That's a nice change of pace.
  9. mark
    Jul 20, 2007
    10
    it's very difficult to create genuine and big emotion out of such small moments in a film. but once probably does it better than any movie I've ever seen with the possible exception of 'eternal sunshine of the spotless mind.' and, as a musician i can tell you that there was not one single false note in the songs, or the depiction of the emotional journey that is it's very difficult to create genuine and big emotion out of such small moments in a film. but once probably does it better than any movie I've ever seen with the possible exception of 'eternal sunshine of the spotless mind.' and, as a musician i can tell you that there was not one single false note in the songs, or the depiction of the emotional journey that is writing and recording music. no film has ever so successfully captured that very daunting and naked process that can devastate your self-esteem. which is why people often fall in love when making music together. it requires honesty, humility and vulnerability, without somehow losing your integrity. that's what 'once' is about. and for the first time, i truly cannot even fathom the people here who've given this less than a five rating. to those people: at exactly what point in your life was your heart surgically removed? Expand
  10. PhoebeM.
    Oct 23, 2007
    10
    This movie could have been the most maudlin, saccharine, melodramatic and sexed-up movie of the year. Instead, it is the most beautiful. Partly because of the transcendent musical collaboration between Hansard and Irglova, but also the simple and elegant (yet seemingly low-fi) directing of John Carney. Hollywood could never make this movie in its wildest dreams. I'm so happy that a This movie could have been the most maudlin, saccharine, melodramatic and sexed-up movie of the year. Instead, it is the most beautiful. Partly because of the transcendent musical collaboration between Hansard and Irglova, but also the simple and elegant (yet seemingly low-fi) directing of John Carney. Hollywood could never make this movie in its wildest dreams. I'm so happy that a small indie movie like this became the grassroots phenomenon that it is now. Give Carney, Hansard, and Irglova awards, fetes and money and let them keep doing what they're doing: adding beauty to the world and proving to the Hollywood bigwigs that viewers DON'T want to see the next pastiche of fantasy, special effects and silicone tits. I hope more movies can be made like this soon - but if not, I'm happy to sit cross-legged in front of my TV and watch Once again for the twentieth time. Expand
  11. MichaelS
    Jul 13, 2007
    10
    For a movie that cost 1/1000th (literally) of Transformers to make, it has a million times the heart and soul and sticking power. A month after I saw it, I heard one of the songs on the radio and I was taken instantly back to that amazing scene in the piano shop and I started to tear up. An amazing film.
  12. ChadS
    Jul 30, 2007
    10
    Digital video is often used by default, as an answered prayer to the economical wall that had previously stood between the filmmaker and his/her celluloid dream. But here, it makes intellectual sense that "Once" should be shot on digital video; after all, a street musician is the very embodiment of the DIY spirit. "Once" looks right, a little amateurish(this filmmaker is not as Digital video is often used by default, as an answered prayer to the economical wall that had previously stood between the filmmaker and his/her celluloid dream. But here, it makes intellectual sense that "Once" should be shot on digital video; after all, a street musician is the very embodiment of the DIY spirit. "Once" looks right, a little amateurish(this filmmaker is not as accomplished as The Dardenne Brothers), but just like good indie-rock, the reduced budget and professional know-how are nullified by a suffusion of organic emotion that you can't get from a mainstream product. "Once" achieves a tone that's seemingly impossible; it's diabetic-sweet without making you want to drink a lot of water. It's absolutely how this budding couple's love never truly breaks free from the abstract. "Once" is a gem; every song, a ruby. Expand
  13. JackF.
    Jul 8, 2007
    10
    ?The reviews are accurate. Great antidote to typical glossy Hollywood love stories.
  14. MattA
    Aug 14, 2007
    10
    An unconventional love story. It flowed very well, and the songs added much depth and tenderness to each of the main characters. The emotions seemed real with an outcome that was as practical and realistic as it should have been. A simple film, with a whole lot heart than any other movie.
  15. thecritics
    Aug 5, 2007
    10
    The music in this movie is fantastic. The way he sings, it really makes you feel what he is feeling at that time. It is a small scale irish love story that may surprise you.
  16. KathyS
    Aug 6, 2007
    9
    Low-key, enjoyable, charming. I left the theatre and immediately went in search of the CD. Wound up buying it for less on I-Tunes. A word of caution: After reading all the glowing reviews, don't go in expecting to be blown away as if this were some major blockbuster. It's just a good little movie and well worth your time.
  17. Tim
    Sep 24, 2007
    10
    Certain publications like Spin Magazine have the nerve to call the Frames Coldplay knockoffs despite the fact that they had been releasing records 10 years before Coldplay. That doesn't matter, when Mr. Hansard is holding up his Oscar for Song of the Year we know exactly where he's going to shove that Oscar. Freakin amazing. Glen has the world in his grasp. From greatest live Certain publications like Spin Magazine have the nerve to call the Frames Coldplay knockoffs despite the fact that they had been releasing records 10 years before Coldplay. That doesn't matter, when Mr. Hansard is holding up his Oscar for Song of the Year we know exactly where he's going to shove that Oscar. Freakin amazing. Glen has the world in his grasp. From greatest live band in the world to greatest musical film of our era. Wait to go. Eat Your heart out Almost Famous. Expand
  18. JonathanG.
    Sep 3, 2007
    9
    Never have I become so emotionally invested in a film. I enjoyed every minute of it. Never dull, never slow, always beautiful. I felt like I got to know "Guy" and "Girl" on very deep levels as people, not actors. The music is haunting and hard to forget. Highly, highly recommended to anyone with a heart.
  19. DanJ.
    Sep 30, 2007
    10
    A sincere, honest, charming, realistic and heartwarming low key romantic musical film.
  20. TheDude
    Jan 4, 2008
    10
    My favorite movie of the year. Just a wonderful flick. A friend recommended it to me and I couldn't thank him enough for telling me to go see it. The actors are the real musicians, and they are fantastic. Getting to watch the live performances within the context of the film is awesome. And the story is perfect. Overall, just a wonderful film. I can't recommend it enough.
  21. JG
    Feb 2, 2008
    9
    I, too, was engrossed in this film. Man, talk about doing the right thing in the end.
  22. BenjoM
    Feb 3, 2008
    9
    This movie is outstandingly brilliant, it's like a modern musical without those pompous singers singing solemn songs. With a credible story and down-to-earth characters, who are reflected in their moving songs, this film is actually able to make you cry and, after having watched the whole movie, overwhelm you with joy. But there's also enough evidence that 'once' even This movie is outstandingly brilliant, it's like a modern musical without those pompous singers singing solemn songs. With a credible story and down-to-earth characters, who are reflected in their moving songs, this film is actually able to make you cry and, after having watched the whole movie, overwhelm you with joy. But there's also enough evidence that 'once' even works in its moment without the music. The scene, where the 3 male cohabitants appear in the female protagonists apartment to watch TV is at the same time comical and striking and better than many of Hollywood's so-called milieu-surveys. Expand
  23. TimR.
    Jan 8, 2009
    10
    Great small time movie.
  24. BlakeW.
    Oct 1, 2007
    7
    Overall a fine movie. But a tad overrated. I've heard many critics call it the best of the year. I doubt it!
  25. JenM.
    Oct 5, 2007
    10
    One of my favourite movies of ALL TIME. Exquisite love story, great music. Loved the recording studio scenes in particular. After reading up on the back story to the making of the movie, I questioned what great acting even is. These non-actor actors blew me away.
  26. DanC.
    Oct 7, 2007
    8
    The film takes off with a magical early scene where the two leads make wonderful music together almost before they realize it. The funny-melancholy mood reminded me of a good Chekhov story: quiet, real, and profound. See it!
  27. Norman
    May 17, 2007
    10
    Shot for $150,000, this film should be an inspiration to independent filmmakers everywhere -- that personal films, about people, can be made on a low budget without car crashes and big stars. It's fantastic.
  28. MarekI.
    May 20, 2007
    10
    Just pure beauty.
  29. Kevin
    May 26, 2007
    9
    Quite possibly the best Movie about music in at least a decade. This film is so refreshing in it's handling of the musical genre, This film is so anti-Hollywood, all I could do was stand up and cheer on it's splendid, beautifully sad, artistic statement.
  30. MichaelH.
    Jun 11, 2007
    9
    Touching and inspiring, luscious music!
  31. MaxL.
    Jun 12, 2007
    7
    A simple story told very well of a boy meeting a girl and their making music together at a recording studio. The music was very enjoyable and the story was heartfelt.
  32. PaulK.
    Jun 15, 2007
    10
    Brilliant. I didn't see the ending coming and it blew me away. The best movie I've seen so far this year. See it on the big screen, before it's too late.
  33. SteveH.
    Jun 19, 2007
    9
    Very good small budget independent film. The songs went on a bit too long but still a good film. Very nice to see a female character with brains and talent.
  34. BobB.
    Jun 3, 2007
    10
    Amazing cinema. Music & actors fantastic & fresh. I cried 5 times!
  35. KarenG.
    Jul 10, 2007
    10
    Effortless with an incredible score and natural performances by it's non actor actors. Love it. Not one false note. If you don't go see this movie you really are missing out.
  36. DavidB.
    Jul 15, 2007
    10
    Great Movie! Am shocked to see the negative criticism. Sometimes people simply refuse to to admit they like something out of fear of following. I have a friend who is a film maker too, and I am sure he would appreciate this movie. Remember, these are musicians, not actors.
  37. Filmfan
    Jul 20, 2007
    10
    Thoroughly charming film, all the more attractive because it is delivers a simple story. Has heart and guts and does not need to apologize for its small budget. Well done!
  38. NikkiI.
    Sep 17, 2007
    10
    Just a good movie that makes you feel all warm and happy inside! Nothing really happens in the movie, yet everything happens at the same time! Definitely a must see!
  39. ChadShiira
    Jan 15, 2008
    10
    "Once" is unique because it uses real popular music; the genuine article, like Gillian Armstrong's "Starstruck"(this 1982 musical from Australia employed new-wave songs), or more recently, Lars Von Trier's "Dancer in the Dark"(featuring the pop stylings of Icelandic siren Bjork); not some Broadway notion of rock such as "Rent", or "Jesus Christ Superstar". "Once" is truly, a"Once" is unique because it uses real popular music; the genuine article, like Gillian Armstrong's "Starstruck"(this 1982 musical from Australia employed new-wave songs), or more recently, Lars Von Trier's "Dancer in the Dark"(featuring the pop stylings of Icelandic siren Bjork); not some Broadway notion of rock such as "Rent", or "Jesus Christ Superstar". "Once" is truly, a trailblazing film, an alternative to the traditional musical; no camp, no bigger than life characters are allowed. The music is humble. The people are actual size. You actually feel cool watching it. The songs have a intimate quality to them because they were meant to be played in a coffehouse or bar, not in a concert hall. "Falling Slowly" kills me, absolutely kills me. If you're still in the recovering process of unrequited love, it'll kill you, too. Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield wrote an amazing memoir about his late music critic wife called "Love is a Mix Tape" last year about the role music plays in our personal lives. An appropriate title for "Once" would be "Love is a Demo Tape". Every time the guy(Glen Hansard) listens to that demo, he'll be reunited with the girl(Marketa Irglova). It's a relationship in the abstract. They made beautiful music together. "Once" is the first and last word on romantic disappointment; how you have to take it on the chin and carry on. It was, by far, the best film of 2006. God only knows it's better than "ATONEMENT"!!!!!!!!! Expand
  40. ShannaM.
    Jan 2, 2008
    10
    Wow.... Really, the best movie of 07. It strikes you in all the right places. Very beautiful.
  41. SteveK
    Jan 9, 2008
    8
    This is a very good film. It is honest, touching, and vulnerable in a way that is very affecting. The minimalist treatment of this film may not be for all; there are no carcrashes, no sex, no special effects. My two complaints are that it feels a little too short and the tale doesn't quite wrap up. Still emotionally satisfying, but not fully. It's hard to achieve a satisfying This is a very good film. It is honest, touching, and vulnerable in a way that is very affecting. The minimalist treatment of this film may not be for all; there are no carcrashes, no sex, no special effects. My two complaints are that it feels a little too short and the tale doesn't quite wrap up. Still emotionally satisfying, but not fully. It's hard to achieve a satisfying ending without being cheesy, but I would have liked a better attempt... what we have is 90% there for me. The music stays with you and is really what puts this movie over the top. Will it be an enduring classic? Only time will tell, but it is still leaps and bounds above 99% of the crap filling cineplexes today. Expand
  42. CalebL
    Feb 11, 2008
    10
    A lovely film with excellent music.
  43. PeterK.
    Feb 17, 2008
    10
    A slow moving film that seduces the viewer by its sensual, passionate and non-sexual build-up into a magnificent conclusion about friends and art. More musically based than acting based.
  44. NickP.
    Feb 4, 2008
    10
    I haven't felt so much emotion for a movie since Dancer in the Dark. Of course, for that it was heartbreaking, this was uplifting. It was beautiful, and I believed the characters, the natural wonder in their connection, and the sweet, unassuming nature of everything. You bet they played the songs time and time and time again - and I listened to them time and time and time again. I haven't felt so much emotion for a movie since Dancer in the Dark. Of course, for that it was heartbreaking, this was uplifting. It was beautiful, and I believed the characters, the natural wonder in their connection, and the sweet, unassuming nature of everything. You bet they played the songs time and time and time again - and I listened to them time and time and time again. Watch it for yourself, then judge - I loved it, you might not. And if you don't, it doesn't make you a bad person, but maybe not one that I'd be that akin to. Loved by me, loved by my wife. Huge fan of The Frames now. Expand
  45. Peter
    Feb 4, 2008
    10
    Greatest soundtrack I have ever heard. Cinematography keeps the scenes personal and real. Best movie I have seen in a long time.
  46. PatrickC
    Feb 4, 2008
    10
    There's a great line in Julius Ceasar. Ceasar and Marc Anthony are observing Cassius, and Caesar says that Cassius "hears no music." The people who rated this movie below a 5 obviously fall in the same category as malcontent conspirators yearning for blood lust. This movie is miraculous!
  47. ShellyL
    Feb 5, 2008
    10
    This movie was enchanting, and captures the truth and beauty of making music, writing songs, and falling in love. Sometimes all three are connected, as one can see from how the main character writes lovely songs about his broken relationship. The scene in the music shop captures that feeling perfectly; it's a gem of a scene, showing, not telling, how music can help cement a bond of This movie was enchanting, and captures the truth and beauty of making music, writing songs, and falling in love. Sometimes all three are connected, as one can see from how the main character writes lovely songs about his broken relationship. The scene in the music shop captures that feeling perfectly; it's a gem of a scene, showing, not telling, how music can help cement a bond of love & understanding between two people. It was completely natural, filled with warmth and ambiguity, like real life. Expand
  48. EdM
    Mar 13, 2008
    9
    Tremendous. Simple honest acting but incredible music. Why can't hollywood make music films like this? Because this film was made around incredible songwriters who just happen to be able to act as well. The music wasn't written by some cheesy stage musical nob but by someone who lives and breathes songwriting and who also perfomed it in an honest and believable fashion, like all Tremendous. Simple honest acting but incredible music. Why can't hollywood make music films like this? Because this film was made around incredible songwriters who just happen to be able to act as well. The music wasn't written by some cheesy stage musical nob but by someone who lives and breathes songwriting and who also perfomed it in an honest and believable fashion, like all music should be performed. A work of passion, talent and belief....what else do you need? Expand
  49. MikeMcCormick
    May 26, 2008
    10
    An unpretentious Irish musical that captures your heart with its beautiful music, simplicity, deft timing and refusal to take you where you expect to go. With the feel of a documentary, it tells the story of a relationship between two skilled but struggling musicians whose love for each other blossoms through their music. In my humbl;e opinion, it belongs in the Top Ten motion pictures ofAn unpretentious Irish musical that captures your heart with its beautiful music, simplicity, deft timing and refusal to take you where you expect to go. With the feel of a documentary, it tells the story of a relationship between two skilled but struggling musicians whose love for each other blossoms through their music. In my humbl;e opinion, it belongs in the Top Ten motion pictures of the decade. The film and its beautiful music continues to haunt me months after viewing, an event that introduced me to a secret those who have not seen the movie have yet to share. Thank you, writer/director John Carney and the rest oif the cast and crew. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova will forever be part of my psyche because of your collaboration! Expand
  50. BobA.
    Jun 1, 2008
    10
    A Soul is a difficult thing to reach with a movie or a song, because it means that you have to have performers with authentic Soul. Hollywood has very few of these, and most of the great music is created by people in small attic rooms above their parent's flat. This movie, its music and performances are authentic, and that is why they are great. And rare.
  51. AnthonyL.
    Dec 1, 2009
    10
    A sonic and emotional feast--the rare kind that satisfies the hunger and satiates the desire for a bittersweet treat. The combination of psuedo-doc and musical diversion echoes the emotional range of Dancer in the Dark minus the choreography and tragedy. If you need inspiration, a good cry or if you simply love music, look no further.
  52. LAURAH
    Mar 16, 2009
    10
    This is an everyday story with beautiful music.
  53. MarkS.
    Sep 4, 2009
    7
    A sweet, moving story. I'm glad I saw it. But for an even better cinema-verite musical set in Dublin, watch "The Commitments." I've seen that movie at least 20 times and would gladly watch it again.
  54. GregA
    Nov 11, 2007
    9
    This was a great movie, a very romantic, but unforced story line and compelling actors, especially the girl. It bothers me that people are choosing to give this movie a 0 simply to "counteract" the 10's people chose to gave it. If you think its worth a 4, then fine, but I don't think this movie warrants a zero.
  55. ToniC.
    Nov 10, 2007
    10
    Totally captivating.......highly recommended.
  56. daved
    Nov 30, 2007
    9
    with all the forgettable rubbish hollywood spends hundreds of millions dollars on and shoves in our faces its comforting to find a movie made in our own city that many of us could afford to make and remember fondly for many years
  57. CharlieC.
    Dec 1, 2007
    10
    Little but deep, rough but sweet, quiet but moving, silent but full of music. That's ONCE, an almost perfect film for our times. Don't miss it, please.
  58. PaulD.
    May 20, 2007
    10
    Wonderful, irresistible movie with engaging, attractive leads that you root for. Someone described it as a "musical for the art house crowd", and this is probably a fair assessment, since it's light years away from big hollywood musicals. Here, the songs seem like a natural part of the story and describe better than any dialogue, what the characters are feeling. And it's Wonderful, irresistible movie with engaging, attractive leads that you root for. Someone described it as a "musical for the art house crowd", and this is probably a fair assessment, since it's light years away from big hollywood musicals. Here, the songs seem like a natural part of the story and describe better than any dialogue, what the characters are feeling. And it's refreshing to see a movie where none of the main characters have cell phones! Touching and moving without being sentimental or syrupy. I saw this in the Talk Cinema series where the movie is discussed after the viewing. There is one scene where the [***SPOILER***] boy has found out that the girl is married and asks her if she loves her husband. She reponds in Czech and doesn't translate. What she said, according to a member of the audience who speaks Czech, was "No, I love you." See this, you won't regret it. Expand
  59. ScottY.
    May 26, 2007
    10
    Most satisfying movie in a while. Great music with great cast. Could not have been made by Hollywood.
  60. BruceS.
    Jun 1, 2007
    10
    This little Irish item is the best Irish film since the commitments and maybe better. A terrific chick Flick, in the best sense of the phrase. The chemistry and music are 'spot on;!
  61. GE.
    Jun 12, 2007
    10
    Best movie of the year. I can't get it out of my head. Fabulous and simple story. Great cast. Wonderful music. Extremely powerful.
  62. GideonK
    Jun 17, 2007
    10
    An amazing movie. The ultimate anti-Hollywood experience at its best.
  63. MaciekK.
    Jun 22, 2007
    10
    A sweet and lovely film. The characters are so genuine and real. The realism is almost like a documentary....in the best sense. Real life with all its ambiguities and vicissitudes, and a song and music score that evokes yearning, joy, and sorrow. The film is a tender affirmation of forebearance and generosity.
  64. BillyS.
    Jun 27, 2007
    10
    Once is a small, simple no-frills movie, it also happens to be simply Brilliant. Its simplicity is overwhelming and beautifully honest. Once is the best, most touching film I've seen this year and the best movie musical since "All That Jazz". If you're lucky enough to get it on one screen in your town, make the trip, you won't regret it!!
  65. ErikH.
    Jun 27, 2007
    10
    When I went to see this film, I was pleasantly surprised by how many people were in the theater. Who in their right mind would choose to see a small film about two people rediscovering themselves and inspiring each other to achieve things that they were incapable of previously. After all summer is a time for Ogres and Pirates, right? With a good mix of humor, wit, a bitter-sweet love When I went to see this film, I was pleasantly surprised by how many people were in the theater. Who in their right mind would choose to see a small film about two people rediscovering themselves and inspiring each other to achieve things that they were incapable of previously. After all summer is a time for Ogres and Pirates, right? With a good mix of humor, wit, a bitter-sweet love story and incredible music, this film is a rare gem that has the power to inpire its audience. The main characters exude passion towards their music as they find a temporary reprieve from their troubled lives. Over a week they build something that will change each of their lives forever. I was not surprised that many of the people in the theater couldn't grasp the extent of what they had just experienced as they left the theater. The transformation/journey that these characters go through is an experience that anyone in life would be lucky to have, once. Expand
  66. KevinR.
    Jun 29, 2007
    10
    Sometimes a movie can be great when it just introduces you to characters who are nice, sweet, believable and incredibly talented. The great thing about this movie is that you feel like you've gotten to know some friends.
  67. MikeM.
    Jun 6, 2007
    10
    All of my instincts tell me not to hype this movie because it's the kind of small film that may crumble under the weight of someone's high expectations, but as its characters might say in a charming Irish brogue or beautiful Czech sneer, f.ck all that. Every review I've read has contained some variation of the phrase "This is the musical for people who hate musicals" but All of my instincts tell me not to hype this movie because it's the kind of small film that may crumble under the weight of someone's high expectations, but as its characters might say in a charming Irish brogue or beautiful Czech sneer, f.ck all that. Every review I've read has contained some variation of the phrase "This is the musical for people who hate musicals" but more accurately, I'll say this is the musical for people who generally hate musicals because they so desperately want to love musicals. (In case you don't know, that's me.) It's 'gritty' and 'realistic' but also an amazing fairy tale. It's 88 minutes that capture more truth and pain about love and the creative process than any movie I've maybe ever seen, yet it's a fantasy anyone with a soul hopes might happen to them. To say much more would cheapen it. See this movie. Expand
  68. ScottG.
    Jun 9, 2007
    10
    It's rare when my wife and I agree on a movie. We went to see this on a whim, knowing nothing about it. Both agreed, best movie we've seen this year. After wasting my time seeing Spiderman 3 and Pirates 3 over the last few weekends, it was great to see a simple story well-told with great performances and so much heart.
  69. JayK.
    Jun 9, 2007
    9
    Beautiful, heartfelt movie. I think the music was among the best the singer/songwriter genre produces (backhanded complement), and certainly better than I've come to expect from a musical or a guy on a guitar. I like the main characters, the feel, and the evolution of their relationship.d
  70. MickVV
    Jul 10, 2007
    10
    Well, the opinions are certainly split here. The truth is that those who don't like "Once" aren't reacting against the fact that it's a small independent film. Many small independents can be annoying, I agree. But this one isn't. It's authetic and unpretentious. No, what those few ones and zeroes are reacting against is the unabashed romanticism of the film. And Well, the opinions are certainly split here. The truth is that those who don't like "Once" aren't reacting against the fact that it's a small independent film. Many small independents can be annoying, I agree. But this one isn't. It's authetic and unpretentious. No, what those few ones and zeroes are reacting against is the unabashed romanticism of the film. And for that reaction you really have to pity them. And as to the "filmmaker" who thought it was terrible. Pretty safe to say he doesn't have a clue. I mean even if he didn't like it, any artist couldn't help but see the merit in "Once." Absolutely great film. Expand
  71. Keith
    Jul 21, 2007
    10
    Charming, lovely, just about perfect. It's a movie other filmmakers SHOULD see, not because others need to make movies like this necessarily. But there are lessons here. After seeing it, I thought about all the movies I've seen that have bent over backwards with money, big names, contrivances of all kinds to be romantic. This film is a lesson about how little it really takes to Charming, lovely, just about perfect. It's a movie other filmmakers SHOULD see, not because others need to make movies like this necessarily. But there are lessons here. After seeing it, I thought about all the movies I've seen that have bent over backwards with money, big names, contrivances of all kinds to be romantic. This film is a lesson about how little it really takes to tell a wonderful, sincere story that is also romantic. As for the negative criticisms, I tend to ignore them. Every time a movie comes along that gets almost universally positive reviews, there are always those who protest simply because they think it makes them sound smarter. It doesn't. It just makes you sound like you have bad taste. Congrats to all involved with the movie. Lovely story with music I'll remember for a long time. Expand
  72. emilyb
    Jul 22, 2007
    10
    No violence, just a sweet love story with a great soundtrack.
  73. DanB
    Jul 29, 2007
    10
    This movie moved me in a magical way and I am seldom moved this way. Do not miss this movie. Footnote: I find it ironic to see a reviewer like Jen L. who gave it a 2 commenting it was a 120 minute film. Actually, Jen L., it was 88 minutes. What film did you see or do you like to give negative ratings when everyone else is positive?
  74. CL
    Jul 31, 2007
    9
    Beautiful movie with good intentions. Songs were perfect for the movie. Its nice to see a genuine movie that is not contaminated with Hollywood BS. The LOVE story was truly there. I'm happy with the ending.
  75. KB
    Jul 9, 2007
    10
    Beautiful Movie in itself, from the music to the amazing acting from one amateur and one fresh actor is amazing, i wouldn't think it was Oscar potential for acting, but golden globes, this movie is going to get every musical category, well done, just well done.
  76. JasonS.
    Aug 21, 2007
    10
    A wonderful movie that captures the whimsy of life.
  77. Cube
    Aug 28, 2007
    8
    I give it an 8 not because I did not thoroughly enjoy it but because a 10 really means a perfect movie. It was not perfect or flawless, I just thought it was exceptionally good. I enjoyed the music. Some complained that it was too coldplay, (check it out my friends the frames were way before Coldplay so actually Coldplay sounds like this guy). And as for it being like David Grey, its just I give it an 8 not because I did not thoroughly enjoy it but because a 10 really means a perfect movie. It was not perfect or flawless, I just thought it was exceptionally good. I enjoyed the music. Some complained that it was too coldplay, (check it out my friends the frames were way before Coldplay so actually Coldplay sounds like this guy). And as for it being like David Grey, its just a movie, let it go. The movie does move slowly along but that does not mean its bad. There is little dialogue but I think what is said is sufficient. The fact that they had no names I thought was great and really allowed the story to be more dynamic. Finally to all those haters who do not understand the ending I feel sorry for you. They were in love, but not with each other! It ended perfectly! Finally a movie about true responsibility and love! Not some lame Bridget Jones shmoozy falsified love story that perpetuates fantasies and adulterous thoughts. Expand
  78. PinH.
    Aug 29, 2007
    10
    Possibly my new "favorite movie of all time." I've seen it four times and will buy it as soon as it's available on DVD. Bittersweet, yet heartwarming, and real. Don't miss it.
  79. JohnCline
    Sep 28, 2007
    10
    One of the best films in a long time. Simple and beautiful.
  80. Dana
    Jan 10, 2008
    7
    Sweet movie but overrated. Overall I enjoyed it. Glad I saw it.
  81. PJ
    Jan 12, 2008
    9
    Had no idea what I was getting into, but was dazzled, touched, and grateful for the experience.
  82. AdamB
    Jan 17, 2008
    9
    Great movie i enjoyed it very much. The music was great and everyone needs to stop saying it sounds like coldplay because it definately does not. It sounds alot like the Frames for some reason i dont know why.... ahh i know maybe because hes the lead singer of the band. You people need to do some research before you catagorize him with the successful but mediocre coldplay. The movie isGreat movie i enjoyed it very much. The music was great and everyone needs to stop saying it sounds like coldplay because it definately does not. It sounds alot like the Frames for some reason i dont know why.... ahh i know maybe because hes the lead singer of the band. You people need to do some research before you catagorize him with the successful but mediocre coldplay. The movie is great and so are the Frames. Expand
  83. DamianP.
    Jan 19, 2008
    10
    The writers strike in Hollywood doesn't matter when you have gems like this being made elsewhere. The story was so real because it was kept simple.
  84. [Anonymous]
    Feb 2, 2008
    10
    Once was a masterpiece, compelling and so real. The soundtrack on its own may not be amazing, but after seeing the movie the songs come absolutely alive. I fully agree with the critics' reviews. I'd see it again, and recommend it to most anyone.
  85. JeremyJ.
    Mar 10, 2008
    10
    Fantastic, real, heartbreaking. One of the most perfect small movies I've ever seen. Puts Hollywood to shame.
  86. HalB
    Mar 1, 2008
    9
    A truly wonderful little film, all the more amazing because of its very limited budget and the fact that nearly all the scenes are focused on the craft of song writing and performing original music. It is a cynical heart indeed that will not be moved by this story of two people whose lives momentarily intersect in Dublin, producing some of the best music you will ever have the privilege A truly wonderful little film, all the more amazing because of its very limited budget and the fact that nearly all the scenes are focused on the craft of song writing and performing original music. It is a cynical heart indeed that will not be moved by this story of two people whose lives momentarily intersect in Dublin, producing some of the best music you will ever have the privilege of hearing on screen. The ending is bittersweet, a bit unexpected, yet totally believable. The song "Falling Slowly" -- which just won an Oscar for Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (whose performances are a revelation) -- is inspirational and beautiful. This movie is for anyone who has ever found a friend, fallen in love and then been called by their larger dreams. Very highly recommended; and perhaps the best "date movie" I have ever seen. Expand
  87. RudieY.
    Mar 12, 2008
    10
    Once is a totally captivating minimalist cinematic indulgence with grandiose emotive conveyance. AMAZING score - the best I've heard in years. Actors-cum-musicians did a fantastic job in making us love the characters they portrayed.
  88. JacobN.
    Mar 24, 2008
    10
    Awesome movie! kickass soundtrack...couldnt stop listening to it good job glen!
  89. StevieG
    Apr 18, 2008
    10
    An absolute triumph from beginning to end. Sublime music, an unconventional love story in the simple world of Dublin!!
  90. joshe
    Jun 3, 2008
    10
    Beautiful movie. beautiful soundtrack. sad ending in a way but it reveals that sometimes thats just the way life is. they did love each other though and that is revealed in the scene when they are standing on the hillside and he says "do you love your husband?". She replies in czech, "No, I love you." Really great movie.
  91. MattM.
    Jul 29, 2008
    10
    I bought this on a whim at a DVD store because I remembered it winning an Oscar for best song. I finally got around to watching it a month later. I didn't have very high expectations, I've seen a lot of low budget indies films. Nevertheless this movie blew me away. I sat through it thinking that it can't really be this good, and it kept getting better. The music is I bought this on a whim at a DVD store because I remembered it winning an Oscar for best song. I finally got around to watching it a month later. I didn't have very high expectations, I've seen a lot of low budget indies films. Nevertheless this movie blew me away. I sat through it thinking that it can't really be this good, and it kept getting better. The music is incredible and passionate. It is the only movie I've ever watched and then immediately started it over and watched it a second time...I loved it that much. Expand
  92. DiegoL.
    Jan 5, 2009
    10
    Loveable motion picture, really cativating. The music is great and the actors are great. It's simple, but that's a lesson many directors could learn. Waiting for a special edition.
  93. BrunoG.
    Dec 20, 2007
    10
    Best movie of the year! Don't miss it.
  94. ChrisB.
    May 31, 2007
    10
    Fantastic film. It captures the magic and of performing music with people. Do not miss!
  95. G.H.
    Jun 15, 2007
    10
    Skip the third installment of the summer blockbusters and go see "Once." This movie will invade your head & your heart in the best ways. Beautiful, sweet film, full of surprises ~ best movie of the year so far.
  96. DWilly
    Jun 19, 2007
    10
    This movie changed my life. A classic. I got the soundtrack and just listening to it takes me back and rips me up. No one appreciates the art of acting more than I do, but I have to support their decision to use musicians who could act, instead of visa versa, and then edit brilliantly. Wow.
  97. RobbotheYobbo
    Jun 24, 2007
    10
    This movie really got to me quickly. It packs an emotional wallop, and the songs are what deliver it. The songs in this film are perfect. Most musicals have a few numbers where you just want them to be over so the plot can pick up again. But in Once, the songs are the plot and they are the highlight of the film (which *is* well acted). The trick of this film is that it lets us imagine This movie really got to me quickly. It packs an emotional wallop, and the songs are what deliver it. The songs in this film are perfect. Most musicals have a few numbers where you just want them to be over so the plot can pick up again. But in Once, the songs are the plot and they are the highlight of the film (which *is* well acted). The trick of this film is that it lets us imagine that, like these two seemingly ordinary people, we have within us the ability to express our own experiences of love and loss as beautifully as the leads in the film do. This is easily the most powerful film experience I've had this year. Go see it! Expand
  98. GailO.
    Jun 26, 2007
    10
    This film captures the feeling of falling in love unlike any other. The secret of success lies in the credibility of the actors, in the focus on the most relevant and telling tender elements of the best of human nature in the simple moments in life that mean the most and the phenomenal music. Carney has created magic in his understanding of how to capture the most realistic and beautiful This film captures the feeling of falling in love unlike any other. The secret of success lies in the credibility of the actors, in the focus on the most relevant and telling tender elements of the best of human nature in the simple moments in life that mean the most and the phenomenal music. Carney has created magic in his understanding of how to capture the most realistic and beautiful aspects of the art of creation and the creation of art. The best creation is the highest level of communication through a story of those who conquer the traps the limit communication. It is the haunting music and sincerity of an uplifting message that stays with us long after the credits roll. This is a work of genius on many levels. Expand
  99. AndrewK.
    Jun 27, 2007
    9
    Wow. What can I say about this movie that hasn't already been said. Anyone who didn't like the movie just doesn't get it. And if you would use characters from Garden State as something to strive for, you have no idea what a good character is. The music is amazing. The acting is imperceptible. Marketa Irglova does not pale in comparison at all to her costars, as one reviewer Wow. What can I say about this movie that hasn't already been said. Anyone who didn't like the movie just doesn't get it. And if you would use characters from Garden State as something to strive for, you have no idea what a good character is. The music is amazing. The acting is imperceptible. Marketa Irglova does not pale in comparison at all to her costars, as one reviewer suggests. This film is musical, but it's not a "musical." It flows like real life. Not the type of film that immediately hits you as being "great." It's the kind of "great" that sneaks up on you. Expand
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 33
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 33
  3. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Jeremy Mathews
    70
    A film of limited production values, a low-quality picture and the occasional flubbed camera move. But it makes up for these flaws with sharp observations, compelling characters and a great collection of music.
  2. 75
    This isn't a perfect motion picture but, in the midst of summer's vapid pursuit of spectacle, a movie that provides real heart and emotion is a rare find.
  3. The film has enormous charm and zero pretense.