Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Feb 13, 2012
    90
    What emerges is a poignant commentary on the uneasy commingling of love and fame.
  2. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Feb 13, 2012
    80
    The Swell Season emerges as an incisive cut at fame's effect on the real-life music and romance of Hansard and Irglova. It's an accomplished piece of filmmaking from the trio, who are making their feature-length documentary debut.
  3. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Feb 13, 2012
    75
    It's an eloquent summation of the complexities and strength of their bond, and a poetic cap to the pair's fictional and real ups and downs over two films.
  4. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Feb 13, 2012
    75
    Like "Once," this film is a tender little piece of heartbreak.
  5. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Feb 13, 2012
    75
    Most vividly, The Swell Season captures the insistent, borderline-disturbing energy of fandom at its most rabid and psychically intrusive.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Feb 13, 2012
    75
    It's sadly and tenderly honest -- and so are Hansard and Irglova, as they generously and matter-of-factly open up to the camera.
  7. Reviewed by: Guy Dixon
    Feb 13, 2012
    75
    The question subtly, craftily documented in The Swell Season is whether the fans or Hansard himself want to see the singer cast in this new role of success.
  8. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Feb 13, 2012
    70
    Does right by both fans and subjects.
  9. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Feb 13, 2012
    60
    The movie looks beautiful, its sublime b&w cinematography signaling a fading dream. And there are touching moments here that you rarely see in docs about professional musicians or celebrities in general.
  10. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Feb 13, 2012
    60
    As shown in this disarming and intimate documentary named after their band, the oddness of actually being sought-after was something neither was prepared for.
  11. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Feb 13, 2012
    50
    To viewers without a preexisting emotional relationship to the couple and their saga, that everyday angst is just banal.
  12. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Feb 13, 2012
    50
    It's too focused on capturing a bygone moment and portraying it as the present, while the band and the couple have inevitably moved on, to a new album, a high-profile suicide at one of their concerts, a band hiatus, and well beyond.
  13. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Feb 13, 2012
    50
    There are some compelling performance moments, and it's sad to watch these talented and basically nice people drift apart. But overall the film seems like a collection of bits and pieces, and it's hard to see how it could have much resonance for non-fans.
  14. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Feb 13, 2012
    50
    Ultimately, though, they never cohere into something more than a moderately engaging for-fans-only tour diary.
  15. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Feb 13, 2012
    50
    Swell never really gathers momentum, remaining a collection of moments, some more privileged than others.
User Score
tbd

No user score yet- Awaiting 3 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jan 28, 2013
    8
    Raw love, affection, and romance is thriving in "The Swell Season." While familiarity with the content helps the film progress, it is hard not to appreciate the lyrics and melody that is introduced with each song. Full Review »