(2006)

Critic Reviews

88

Metascore

Based on 33 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Once is the kind of film I've been pestered about ever since I started reviewing again. People couldn't quite describe it, but they said I had to see it. I had to. Well, I did. They were right.
100
Until Once, I'm not sure that I'd ever seen a small-scale, nonstylized, kitchen-sink drama in which the songs take on the majesty and devotion of a musical dream.
100
Once proves to be as smart and funny as it is sweet; it swirls with ambiguity and conflict beneath a simple surface. In all of 88 minutes, Mr. Carney's singular fable follows its guy and girl through a week of musical and emotional growth that could suffice for a lifetime.
100
Once is the first rock musical that actually makes sense. People don't burst into song in this movie because the orchestra's swelling out of nowhere. The guy and the girl are working musicians -- or they'd like to be, if they could make a living at it -- and they're played by working musicians.
100
Chicago Tribune
It's a very small piece, working in a deceptively casual storytelling style. But it's my favorite music film since "Stop Making Sense," and it's more emotionally satisfying than any of the Broadway-to-Hollywood adaptations made in the last 20 years.
88
It's a magical, beguiling wonder.
88
Once is a film for anyone who has ever been transported by the power and passion of music.
80
The Hollywood Reporter
The film has enormous charm and zero pretense.
75
This is a very little film with a very large heart.
75
This simple story of a Guy and a Girl and their music is very appealing.
75
Once isn't especially complex, but the chemistry between its appealing leads (who contribute to the lovely score) feels deeply true. You'd have to look awfully hard to find such sincerity in a Hollywood romance.

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