Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. As stylish as it is suspenseful.
  2. 100
    Brilliant, brutally poignant.
  3. Unpretentiously fantastic.
  4. 100
    What has resulted is a blistering film you feel in the pit of your stomach, a jumpy, edgy piece of work that thrusts us into a personal maelstrom so tortured and intense, the emotions could be spread with a knife.
  5. Audiard's superb remake improves on the original significantly, investing it with aesthetic grandeur and emotional depth.
  6. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    90
    Audiard's take is fevered, immediate, and hopeful--a story of a man recovering his soul. The most intense and compelling sections of The Beat are almost word for word from "Fingers" (albeit translated into French), but this beat changes everything.
  7. There are remakes and there are remakes. I don't want to belabor the flaws and sexual excesses of the original; its great strength was its explosive energy. Still, this one investigates the unfulfilled potential of the first one so thoroughly, and develops it so audaciously, that it qualifies as a brilliant reinvention.
  8. It's a thriller that comes at you with gut-clutching ferocity, spewing blood and sex, shaking you up and scrambling your responses.
  9. Beautifully shot, in long, fluid takes, The Beat That My Heart Skipped is that rare thing: a remake that improves on its source.
  10. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    The film confirms director Audiard as a master of visual mood, in this case one of barely expressed emotional panic.
  11. The Beat That My Heart Skipped lacks the screw-loose existential vibrance of "Fingers," yet it teases out a romantic underside to the original I never quite knew was there.
  12. Reviewed by: Gianni Truzzi
    83
    It's a film that, by its complexity of character and mastery of tone, surpasses the original it was intended to honor.
  13. 80
    From the performances of its first rate cast to the infectious score and Audiard's deft direction, this is one of the most accomplished movies you'll see anytime soon-old, new or, as is the case here, combining the best of both.
  14. 80
    Might not be as intriguingly odd as the picture that inspired it. But like that earlier picture, it bristles with life and energy. It's a movie made with equal measures of bravado and humility -- the same mix of qualities you need to play Beethoven, Mozart or Bach.
  15. 80
    As tense and taut as any crime saga, but the stakes are more personal.
  16. A character study, the film succeeds in large measure due to the kinetically charged performance of Romain Duris.
  17. 80
    A nifty piece of work -- with, by the way, a fantastic musical score and soundtrack -- that, if there's any justice in the movie world, will eventually earn a mystique all its own.
  18. 80
    Audiard's work is tense, vivid, and alert, and he's got the right actor as Tom, an irresistibly attractive guy who's pushing thirty yet has no more control over his impulses than a chaotic boy.
  19. It's more than a simple improvement, inverting some of the original's qualities so that the impersonal, well-crafted filmmaking remains lucid throughout.
  20. 75
    Doesn't replace "Fingers," but joins it as the portrait of a man reaching out desperately toward his dying ideals.
  21. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    75
    Even when deadly silent, though, as he is through most of the film, Duris is brutally eloquent.
  22. A good French film that was inspired by an American classic.
  23. Beat has a moody, furtive quality that jibes perfectly with the perplexed life of a pianist-gangster.
  24. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    70
    Out of a borrowed and preposterous premise, Audiard has fashioned a film that is more haunting--and more compellingly watchable--than it has any right to be.
  25. 60
    It lacks "Fingers" searing, explosive vitality.
  26. Reviewed by: David Parkinson
    60
    Simmering study of a petty hood-cum-wannabe pianist succumbing to his innate violent side - but there might be a touch too much ivory tinkling for some.
  27. Reviewed by: Eddie Cockrell
    60
    Stands reasonably well on its own as an urgent, updated genre meditation on nurture vs. nature.
  28. Plays like a piece of mediocre music, gorgeously rendered.
  29. The Beat That My Heart Skipped has nonetheless brought attention to a nearly lost classic. For more than two decades, "Fingers" was not available on video or DVD and was rarely screened. But it's available now, and if you've never seen it, put it on your must-rent list immediately.
  30. The problem with The Beat That My Heart Skipped, as it was with "Fingers," is that the gravity of the character’s psychological divide is clear after the first half hour, and both films add little in the next hour to deepen our – or the characters’ – understanding or entanglement.
  31. As it is, Duris, capable and dull, is no Keitel, 2005 is no 1978, and The Beat That My Heart Skipped is no "Fingers."
  32. Contrivances accrue so thickly that the source seems to be not 1978 Toback, but 1930s Warner Brothers. The film sweats to be up-to-date with ultra-hectic editing, pace, elision, and sangfroid, but they can't verify the pasteboard base.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. TimothyD.
    Jan 28, 2006
    9
    Intense, compelling, emotionally complex, with great work by Duris, the male lead, who brings subtlety and urgency to what could have been a Intense, compelling, emotionally complex, with great work by Duris, the male lead, who brings subtlety and urgency to what could have been a terminally unsympathetic character. I don't know that I could say I enjoyed much of it, but I couldn't stop watching -- in this case that is a high compliment. Full Review »