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10/10
Third time's a Charm!
flydocfly21 January 2013
I just saw this amazing movie at its Sundance premiere. It's wonderful on so many levels I don't know where to start. The performances are fantastic. If Julie Delpy doesn't get an Oscar nomination it would be a shame (the only stupider thing the Academy could do is have 10 best picture nominations.) Ethan Hawke's performance is brilliant in its own way, however, it's a less showy part and I'm not certain it'll get the recognition it deserves.

The writing is astounding. Sharp, intelligent, biting, humorous, with staggering subtext, but most importantly--it feels real. If the screenplay doesn't get an Oscar nomination it would be a shame (the only thing stupider the Academy could do is have 15 best picture nominations.)

Rick Linklater is now officially the Jedi master of indie filmmaking (Yoda Soderbergh actually said he's giving up filmmaking.) SLACKERS was only 22 years ago, and Linklater has matured into one of the most original filmic storytellers in the history of the medium. 95% of the movie is two-shots of people talking (the other 5% is people talking at a dinner table and cut aways to the gorgeous Greek landscape.) I don't know any other living filmmaker who could pull this off. There's a one-take during a car drive that lasts probably ten minutes (before a brief cut away), however, it goes on for probably another ten minutes (and Linklater said he could have kept the whole take, but needed to show ruins along the country side and cut away for script purposes, not performance.) There's a 30 minute scene of the two actors in a hotel room and I didn't even notice it (by that time I was so invested in the characters and their actions and emotions I wasn't even aware of time, it wasn't until the post screening Q&A that Linklater mentioned the actual time of the scene.)

All three, Linklater, Delpy, and Hawke have matured into their rolls (writing, directing, acting) so easily that it's all just great fun for them and the audience. This is a must see for many reasons (including the history of film--there's only one other modern trilogy where the final film is the best--LOTR, and their food budget was probably more than the total cost of BEFORE MIDNIGHT.)

i could go on gushing about this movie ad nauseum, however I'll finish by saying that BEFORE MIDNIGHT is what indie film making (and the Sundance Film Festival) is all about--truly original, creative, unique, interesting characters and their stories, told outside the Hollywood system, by people passionate about their craft (and in this case at the top of their craft).
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5/10
Too depressingly realistic to be enjoyable
Zev26 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
(I'll warn when I get to the spoilers)

This is the third in a trilogy which includes Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. I can't imagine this one being watched as a stand-alone movie and having anything near the effect it should. In fact, I would even recommend watching these several years apart. I watched these movies as they were released, and being the same age as this fictional but very realistic couple made it more of an involving experience.

The strongest aspects of this trilogy are the flowing endless dialogue, the acting, and the real characters. As opposed to many other opinions though, I sometimes felt that the dialogue in the last two movies became too pretentious and condensed to be real. These movies need more silence, pauses and looks.

In Before Sunrise, they were in their early 20s, smart and practical but open to experience an idealistic short romance based on their chance encounter. They connected, they were charming, they were real, and they pulled it off much to the delight of audiences.

In Before Sunset and nine years later, for the first half of the movie, they were unbearably self-obsessed and pretentious and talked at each other instead of with each other. They spent a few hours together, and gradually their attraction and chemistry came back, and made you believe that they may actually recover from their last few years of miserable relationships and closed-minded lifeless lives that were obviously bringing them down, as long as they got together and developed what they had. Some charm and romance crept in despite their newfound self-deprecating cynicism, leaving audiences with an open-ended ending full of potential. I hated it at first, then grew to like it better on second viewing.

In Before Midnight, in a too-realistic portrayal, they have been a couple for 9 years (with kids), but their personality differences have not been worked on and their marriage is on the rocks.

Jesse is a successful writer but his break with his previous wife and son in order to be with Celine is causing increasing strains in his current marriage. Little annoying things he does add to the strain, but what is very obvious in this movie is that she doesn't love him anymore so every little thing adds to the complaints.

Celine in this movie is like an amalgam of every neurosis in modern women. She is an angry activist, an angry feminist, an unfulfilled angry wife, a woman who is so lost and confused regarding what she wants, she cannot be satisfied no matter how many efforts he makes to clarify things and express his love for her, and she doesn't have the tools and outlook to fix her feelings for him so this is a Sisyphean task in any case. As three-dimensional as she is, this is not a sympathetic character to say the least.

*spoilers*

Which is why, at the end of the movie, anyone with a brain will realize that the small bone she throws him at the end is worthless and that this marriage is doomed. Which is why, as realistic as this movie is, it simply was not enjoyable. Not that movies need to be fun or romantic, but I do expect them to be rewarding or insightful in one way or another. I do not need to go to the movies to watch neurotic people flail at their last threads of marriage and fail at it miserably because of commonplace emotional incompetence.

If there is a next movie in a few years, the only possible outcome is that they got divorced soon after this night, and they get together one more time to talk about how they failed their marriage with humorous hindsight and resignation. And then they have sex for old time's sake because the attraction will still be there, although they have no clue what to do with it. That's my screenplay for the next one.

But Ingmar Bergman already covered similar ground with his superb and recommended 'Scenes from a Marriage'.

If it were up to me, I would have made this movie differently: The fight wouldn't have been so convincingly final. And they would recover from a vicious fight because they made us believe that they built a solid loving base with which to recover. That could have been just as deep, realistic and much more enjoyable.
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10/10
Everything's better with maturity
Sant Jordi27 February 2013
I just saw Richard Linklater's Before Midnight his newest and third film about Jesse and Celine the couple who meet as young adults in Before Sunrise and re-meet as adults in Before Sunset (one of my five favorite films).

This is simply brilliant film making: funny, raw, emotionally honest and complicated. The couple (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy who both co-wrote with Linklater) are now in their 40s and face some very real challenges to their menage. I started laughing and crying within about 3 minutes and both emotions kept up until the very end. Everyone sat through the credits so they could wipe their faces clean. Brilliant acting . . .

This film gives one hope for the state of American film making and reminds you that Linklater is one of our most underrated auteurs. I sincerely hope he continues and I live long enough to see the couple well into their senior years.

Even if you have never seen the first two movies, do not miss this one.
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10/10
Before Midnight is a Masterpiece (****)
Clayton Davis1 April 2013
Before Midnight is a different type of animal this time around. I didn't expect the team could top an already beautiful story but what they achieve in the newest installment is the most accurate and authentic portrayals of love since Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). The film is an absolute marvel, showcasing the very best dialogue and capturing the sheer essence of acting brilliance from stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. Director Richard Linklater has also created the crowning work of his directorial career, showing incredible restraint and focus on two characters that still feel just as new and fresh as the day we met them. The film opens with a near fifteen minute take that gets its hook into you and never lets up. It's a cinematic sensation.

Midnight takes place nine years after the events of Sunset. Jesse and Céline are still together and have managed to have twin girls, Nina and Ella, and are living in Europe. The film takes place at the tail end of a six-week vacation in Greece where Jesse has just dropped off his thirteen-year-old son Hank, from his previous marriage, at the airport for his return back to Chicago. Realizing that he's missing the formative years of Hank's teenage life, Jesse and Céline explore the option of possibly making a move to America, leaving opportunities and a life in Europe behind.

This film is easily the best film of the franchise so far. Packing an emotional and euphoric punch like third-installments like Toy Story 3 (2010) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), films that have a close-nit relation to their predecessors but saving all the masterful speeches and epiphanies for the viewer to indulge in their finales. Obviously there's no big fantasy battle or a near death experience in an incinerator for the meaning of life to be physically explained but in the power of words, and words alone, Before Midnight manages to become the poster child for screen writing and brilliant storytelling for years to come. The film doesn't take any cheap shots with every scene constructed from real emotion and feeling incredibly authentic and genuine. There are long takes for the viewer to be present whether it's in an airport conversation between Jesse and Hank or at a lunch with in the beautiful valleys of Greece or even in a hotel room where a man and a woman share intimacy like older lovers typically do.

Ethan Hawke is an actor that never quite caught onto the awards circuit for some odd reason. Nominated for his performance alongside Denzel Washington in Training Day (2001), Hawke has shown tremendous range throughout his career including missed opportunities for recognition in Sidney Lumet's Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007). As Jesse this time around, Hawke uses every ounce of magnetism, charisma, and acting ability to bring himself to the levels of legendary actors like Daniel Day-Lewis and Marlon Brando. He becomes a man all too familiar to the male viewer and ignites the film into a spectacular frenzy of passion. Hawke isn't afraid to show the inner turmoil of Jesse as the growing cancer of guilt has come to the surface. He works moment after moment in expressing the bewildering beauty of love at the expense of one's own values and sacrifice. He's almost the distant, and utterly toned down, cousin of Freddie Quell from Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master (2012), a man so complex but inserted with terrific character beats and an actor willing to commit entirely to the craft to portray him flawlessly. Hawke surpasses not only his past features but the very being of himself as an actor. It's his finest turn yet.

Julie Delpy is as imaginative and magnetic as ever. She's a wonderful presence, often very skillful example of acting on the finest level. She executes the pure feelings of uncertainty in conjuncture with the script which is a clear and marvelous character study on love. She's wildly immersed into Céline, accomplishing not only a somewhat free- spirited damaged woman but a sex appeal that triggers any person's romantic desires. She's an effortless existence in the film, which makes Céline not only explicitly real, but tenderly and mysteriously loving for the viewer. It's a performance that defines her abilities as an actress and one that will be remembered fifty years from now as we all think back on the amazement of Julie Delpy.

The film is breathtakingly accurate and precise in capturing the love and relationship of couples, it will and should be studied by film schools and writers for years to come. Linklater bares his soul, frame after frame, showing confidence of his own idiosyncratic vision of this story and being as accessible to even the youngest of people. This is Linklater's most personal tribute to the scope of cinema and will be his defining moment on the silver screen. The film is a must-see and is the first masterpiece that 2013 has to offer. Before Midnight is an instant Oscar-contender and a triumph in filmmaking. It's the go-to film of the Tribeca Film Festival and the best picture of the year so far.
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10/10
'Midnight' beats 'Sunset' and 'Sunrise' on its relevance - truly a masterpiece in acting, story and script.
strand28008 March 2013
I was lucky enough to get tickets for the one of the Before Midnight- screenings at the Berlin Film Festival this year.

Being a big fan of both Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, I was truly thrilled to see this new (last?) chapter of Jesse and Celine's relationship.

To sum up the story shortly without spoiling too much, we meet Jesse and Celine 9 years after the events of Sunset. They are now a couple with a pair of twin daughters, and Jesse is struggling to adapt to the role of being a separated father for his son, Hank, having him fly several times back and forth between the United States and France, where Jesse lives with Celine and the daughters. On the last day of their vacation in Greece, Jesse and Celine are trying to find the spark in their relationship again - we are dealing with a couple, like so many others, who in their 'middleage crisis' start asking themselves "where am I in my life, why do I live it this way, and does my husband/wife still love me?".

For me, the relevance of the film, is its force, along with of course the acting and the script, which Hawke and Delpy again have written together with Linklater. Hawke and Delpy are so much into their characters and you feel how deep their relationship is established - it feels very natural and just like watching a couple in the 21st century. We live in a world where couple's separate, find a new partner, get children, separates again, find a new partner, get new children again (maybe this is a bit extreme, but something like that). Both the husband and wife have jobs and their relationships are affected when suddenly, the only things they are dealing with his who gets the groceries, who picks up the children from the kindergarten etc., and the love and romance between one another slowly fades away. That's the relevance to the age we live in now, that is so strong in Midnight.

I can highly recommend fans of the two first movies to see it, and if you are not familiar with the movies, you are certainly in for a treat! In my eyes, Midnight works very well for as an end to a trilogy, but the door is of course a little open for another sequel 9 years in the future (2022...?)

Again, the acting is superb (the entire hotel scene is magnificent!), and dialog is so grounded, natural and strong and the film has relevance and could inspire a lot of couples struggling with their relationship to their partner.

10/10
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10/10
The Best Movie of The Trilogy
Malthe Tuxen13 June 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Let me start by saying that for me, this was just a perfect ending, to an almost perfect trilogy. These 3 movies and Boyhood, proves to me that Richard Linklater is one of the best directors and writers of our time. Just the whole way all of the movies are directed is just pure genius, and you can seriously see Linklater becoming much better step by step.

Just the way these movies are able to portray love and life is like something I have never seen before I am usually not really the guy to watch romantic dramas but with these movies really gave me respect for the genre. So even if you think these movies are in no way for you, I personally think you are going to be very pleasantly surprised, at least I was.

I actually waited a while before watching them because an old friend told me these movies sucked, but after watching Boyhood, I knew I had to watch these movies, and I am so happy I did. I also remember thinking there was no way the last would be the best, but I was wrong again and the movies just became better by each one. Just saying that if you haven't watched the first two, wait and watch them first, or else I see no point in watching this amazing movie.

I seriously can't think of any better way to finish it of. It is definitely much more sad then the first two, but still got the old romance to it. The connection between Ethan Hawke and Julie Deply seems more real than anything I can remember watching.

While the other movies are more romantic and definitely more happy, this movie seems much more real, as much as I love the first two, this is in my mind definitely the best. I personally think this trilogy could not possibly have ended any better, at least I can't think of a way. The way this movie describes love, is in my experience just spot on.

I really can't remember the last time I worried so much for two movie characters to stay together, and I really feel stupid doing so, but that is just how amazing this movie are. I think that even if you didn't like the first two you could very well still like this one. All I can say is these movies are amazing, and in my mind this one is the best one of them. I hope you found this review helpful and I hope you will love the movie as much as I do. 10/10
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9/10
Not as wonderful as the last one but definitely worth your time
Elaine Sanfey22 June 2013
I enjoyed Before Sunrise when I first saw it, and thought it was a clever, charming movie with an innovative approach. In my opinion though, Before Sunrise was vastly elevated by being paired with Before Sunset 9 years later.

Before Sunset is an exceptional movie, much more melancholic than its predecessor, but understandably so because the characters had grown up and had to let go of childish notions of fairytale happy ever afters. What makes Before Sunset so wonderful though is the notion throughout that even though things went wrong it's never too late to fix them.

Before Midnight is a different film to the previous two. In my opinion it is about two people who, having made the mistake of losing contact the first time, will work to make sure it never happens again. They were never going to have a fairytale life because they are both very complicated, and I liked the realism of how their relationship developed as they got older.

I strongly disagree with other reviewers who say that Before Midnight can be watched without seeing the previous two. I criticised people who did that for Before Sunset and would caution against it even more for this one. Before Midnight relies on the idea that the audience understands how complicated the characters are and therefore continues to like them even when they do things which could seem nasty and shallow.

In summary, while my favourite of the three movies remains Before Sunset, Before Midnight adds richly to the overarching story that has been told, in real time over 18 years, of two characters that fans of the series have grown to love. As a three part series, the Before movies are practically perfect.
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9/10
True breath of fresh air in a time full of poorly-written movies and cheap special effects
Jordan Murphy1 June 2013
First and foremost, this is not your typical mainstream summer movie. However, if you're reading this, then I'm sure you've already seen the two preceding films, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. If you have, then you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. This movie is driven by the characters and their dialog. No fancy special effects, no elaborate sets, no uber-popular actors to stuff in the movie to make people watch it. Just great dialog from two excellent actors.

Now that that's out of the way, I was a little uninterested when hearing about this movie, that it was filmed in Greece. However, after seeing the film tonight, I find that the setting was quite lovely and really had little to do with the movie itself. The movie was more about how these two main characters are dealing with getting older and being parents, and how over time, your opinions about things and about each other can change.

One thing I've always liked about these movies is the gritty realism of the two characters. Being an American myself, and previously having a French girlfriend (and living in France), I can totally relate to the two characters and the idiosyncrasies that are attributed to both of them in this story of their lives.

This movie was, once again, a model example of good dialog and great characters! I was very happy to see this movie, and I'm glad to see the writers haven't lost their touch. This movie was written by not only the director, but also the two main actors, and this series is really their "baby" - you can tell much love and care went into these films, even though they are all shot very quickly and with a small budget. I love how there are very few cuts in most of the scenes, and you can tell that everything about this movie was simple. This is a true breath of fresh air in time full of poorly-written movies and cheap special effects.
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1/10
I created a profile just to warn you to not see this
Elizabeth Dupuis11 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
***May contain spoilers***

If you watched Before Sunrise and Before Sunset and you liked them, run from this movie before you hit play. Yes, it is being rated well, why? Because people think oh this is like a *real life* horrible relationship - that makes it amazing. The two spend the entire movie arguing. Celine spends literally the whole movie marginalizing everything that Jesse thinks and feels.

She is not only bitter the whole time but she is outright rude, insensitive and cruel in some parts. Straight cruel. All the while, Jesse continuously tries to please her and compliment her. It's sickening. Celine's role in this film makes me downright angry. She just invents reasons to be mad and you spend an entire movie listening to a crazy, jealous, bitter old woman.

I cannot summarize enough my complete and utter disappointment in this installment of the series.
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5/10
Liked It the Least of the Three
Larry Silverstein25 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I liked the first two films of these interconnected movies "Before Sunrise"(1995) and "Before Sunset"(2004). I've always liked Ethan Hawke's acting and I thought the scripts were full of life and fresh dialog. I felt that way for maybe 1/2 of this latest film and then, for me, it just deteriorated into one long argument between the two protagonists, often accompanied by vicious barbs and personal verbal attacks. I thought for a moment I was back watching "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf", from decades before.

It was not entertaining for me to watch Jesse(Hawke) and Celine(Julie Delpy) try to win this argument by throwing out all the stereotypes, generalizations, and platitudes that you might find in "Men Are From Mars-Women Are From Venus". They've been together now for many years, and the parents of twin girls Ella and Nina. Jesse is divorced and his son Henry is just leaving Jesse to head back to the States where he lives with his mother. They've all been vacationing in beautiful Greece for the summer.

As mentioned, why ruin all the positives of the first two films and half of this one with all this mean spiritedness?
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3/10
Avoid and you will be happier!
Natasha267 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Usually when the director happens to be one of the writers too, you can expect such heights of boredom and nonstop drivel. Don't get me wrong, I like this genre which I call 'yappy dee yap' movies. Movies which are about lengthy blabber, random tantrums and pointless conversations. Movies with no backbone except for chit chat. I loved the following:

  • "Before Sunset" which seemed to have a point or driving towards one.


  • The excellent "2 Days in Paris" and its inferior sequel "2 Days in New York."


  • Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris."


  • "The Trip (2010)" with British comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon.


But "Before Midnight" is just too much. Every 3 minutes I felt like screaming "Will you please SHUT UP!" This is not a good sign. It reminded me of young me being stuck at the dinner table with boring self-castrated adults. Every now and then my imagination worked on how the movie would greatly improve if a tractor rammed into the (cliché cute) twins or if the roof collapsed on the old people at the lunch table. How about if the couple brought varying degree of bad luck everywhere they went but they didn't know it was their fault until it struck midnight and a giant meteor fell on their head? That alone would have kept my interest up instead of downward sloping.

I think the yapping was way over the top this time and nothing really happened in the movie. It's crossed the line of truly annoying and irritating. Even the nude topless scene was too much and disconnected with the rest. I cannot connect with the characters, their life or the story. If that couple were my friends, I would never invite over and permanently hide their status updates on social networks.
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7/10
The three films together are stunning! But this is the least of them
secondtake15 November 2013
Before Midnight (2013)

The most interesting facet to this slim movie is that it continues the singular predecessors with such glowing continuity. Most people know that Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke started their conversational fictional companionship on film with "Before Sunrise" and then continued it with "Before Sunset." The first of these was shot in 1995, and the next followup was nine years later, and then this new one, nine years more.

If you saw (and liked) the first two films as I did, this continuance alone makes "Before Midnight" worth checking out. And if there is a huge deadening flaw here it is simply that the continuing continues so expectedly. There are times here when this couple—which has been living together for nearly a decade—talk as though they are on that first date in 1995. It's not that they don't know certain things about each other, but more that they are talking about things as if for the first time--and they are such common things. Surely they've gotten around to some of this stuff before. It's not endlessly revelatory.

The director of all three films is Richard Linklater, and he absolutely gets a lot of the credit for an easy, almost languid style. Some would call it boring—all talk and walk, nothing much to watch. But it isn't boring. The first movie for sure is the most fresh (it was the first one), but the second keeps things really interesting because the two leads (Jesse and Celine) are meeting up again after a huge gap, and it's an odd and unpredictable situation. By 2013 things have fundamentally solidified. They are a happy couple with twin girls, living in France. The day proceeds with conversation, and we listen closely (there is nothing else to do), but in fact there is nothing to be surprised or even curious about.

So the words become so critical they can't help but fail. A long dinner conversation with a group of educated friends is fast paced and filled with clever banter, but it goes nowhere. Yes, you absolutely wish you were there (and maybe that you had such friends—that would depend). But what is said is not so wonderful after all. It's just a mood of warm, lively companionship.

Likewise elsewhere. It's all fun and clever. When they squabble a bit it never seems remotely possible that the fight is for real, or that the incredible ease and love shown earlier in the movie would unravel with a slight ill wind. The very last scene confirms, and is oddly wan.

So—a mixed bag. I truly think if you haven't seen these films you might find the style and the remarkable believability (at times) really special. It is. But for me it was more special and more interesting as a story in the earlier movies. This one can now not be separated from those, however, and the great whole, a trilogy with a possibility of more to come, is a special and worthy part of contemporary cinema. Start somewhere and see what this is all about.
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8/10
Two Hours of Talk, Talk, Talk... and Absolutely Enthralling...
soncoman15 May 2013
The 56th San Francisco International came to a close at the magnificent Castro Theatre with a showing of Richard Linklater's "Before Midnight", the third in Linklater's series of "Before…" films. Preceded by "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset", the film continues the story of Jesse and Celine, now a middle-aged, two child couple on vacation in Greece. Things are not quite right between the two, and there is much to be said between them. So they talk. For two hours. And it is absolutely enthralling.

I have to admit that I haven't seen the first two films. I was aware of them, but they just never jumped out at me as something I had to see. I admire Linklater's work ( I thought last year's "Bernie" was one of the best films of the year) but just never had a reason to put seeing those films above others I had more interest in. I attended the screening mainly because it was the closing night film, but had concerns that not having seen the previous two would put me at a disadvantage in appreciating his latest. Festival friend (and "Before…" series lover) Stacy McCarthy assured me the film stands on its own.

She was right. Nothing much goes on in this film but conversations between people, but these conversations are fascinating and have a sense of reality about them often missing from films of this nature. Credit for that obviously goes to director Linklater and actors Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, who collaborated on the script. It doesn't hurt that the film was shot in Greece, but the picturesque beauty of that country comes second to the riveting portrayal of a couple at the stage of life where the often painful questioning of a couple's future begins.

Two hours with these characters flew by, and as the credits rolled my first thoughts were about how much I really liked the film, and how I need to think more "out of the box" when it comes to selecting films to view. I'm guilty of often limiting my scope, and I'm thankful that Film Festivals force me to widen my film horizons.

www.worstshowontheweb.com
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1/10
This movie was a waste of time
Greg Colquhoun24 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
After watching this movie, one has to ask oneself WHY???? The only thing good about it was the credits at the end letting you know that it was finally over, you kept waiting for it to get better, but sadly it never did, in fact it got worse as it progressed.

The endless attempts at intellectual conversation in this movie were not at all entertaining, in fact, they only served one purpose, that was to fill the almost two hours of time wasted. The bottom line is this... DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME, even the wives hated it!!! Wish I would have read the reviews before renting it.

It reaffirms my beliefs that Hollywood is disconnected from the real world.
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2/10
Disappointed
sugar-abstinence23 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Before Midnight is something better erased from the memory. As a fan of Sunrise and Sunset (the latter upon viewing it several times), it was hard to swallow what was served in Midnight.

Delpy and Hawke are both good actors, and they have returned to their respective roles well, but why has Celine turned into a bitter old woman, and Jesse into a selfish ass? They both displayed the seeds of these traits in Sunset, but in Midnight, all redeeming features have been deleted.

Both characters could have walked out of a bad American sit-com. Enter a frustrated artist wife, who worries incessantly about her body and mothering skills, and is unfulfilled in numerous ways. Then add a guilt-ridden run-away father who talks like a teenager and acts supercilious in arguments. It's hard to like either of them, but you end up siding with Jesse, because Celine has become so hard as to be unbearable.

The scenes in which Celine plays the bimbo, ostensibly to attract Jesse, are cringe-worthy. The final scene therefore deals a death blow to the series. The Celine of Sunrise and Sunset would never have dumbed herself down to be found attractive, probably not even in jest. She is out of love with Jesse completely, and it would have been more honest for her to suggest a permanent separation! Jesse on his part seems largely contemptuous of Celine, making numerous remarks about how he puts up with her, as if he's the only person in the world who could love her, and as if he has no qualities that might make him irksome at times.

Content-wise, the conversations in this latest 'Before' film are of much lower quality. Gone are the deep revelations of inner truths, the pretentious thoughts of youth, and in its place are platitudes and sex jokes, with a great deal of sexism added. It's like Before meets American Pie, and it hurts.

Better it is to imagine Jesse and Celine had a one night stand in Vienna, and a short fling in Paris, for Jesse to return to his son in the US.

Linklater, here's a deal: I'll forget all about Midnight, and you'll stop murdering this series.
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3/10
Very disappointing.
mcnlshn16 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
(I'm not sure I give any spoilers in this review, so I checked the alert button anyways) It is utterly incomprehensible to me how this movie has received such positive reviews here. The first two movies in this series were so charming and enjoyable. Getting through this one though was a tough, tough slog. There are no redeeming qualities whatsoever to either Jesse or Celine. Indeed, most of the movie is a case study in passive-aggressive behaviour - awash in bitterness, regrets and jealousies. The acting wasn't bad at all, but it is beyond anybody's talent to make these people seem even remotely interesting or enjoyable. Who wants to watch such a banal, petty, dysfunctional relationship where absurd arguments meander on and on ad nauseam? I kept fast forwarding in the hopes of finding a better movie - but, not to be.

Why would the writers do such a disservice to the beautiful Celine in this third movie? They made her into an insufferable,sour, foul-mouthed, bitch. (sigh)
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9/10
Before Midnight- A Logical and Equally Emotional Continuation of the Romantic Saga that is Uncomfortably Truthful and Painfully Heartfelt
generationfilm29 May 2013
Despite what idealized viewers might think when it comes to their beloved romance films there are numerous events and circumstances that can occur outside the frame that could strengthen, fracture, or challenge that particular relationship beyond the assumed happily ever after conclusion. This idea behind continued uncertainty is essentially called life and though the realist perspective might damage some optimist hopes there is a genuine beauty to the wonderful truth that is a relationship that cultivates or fissures in the face life's challenges. Eclectic filmmaker Richard Linklater, known for such diverse films such as his debut indie feature Slacker and his wide appeal comedy School of Rock, understood the idea of life beyond the ending credits once he reintroduced his two romantic leads Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) with a chance encounter in Before Sunset after their initial meeting nine years earlier in Before Sunrise. Before Midnight, the latest chapter of this ingenious film series, offers the creative staples that the romantic saga is known for with Linklater's consistently delicate observational style, Hawke and Delpy's engaged performances, philosophical witty banter relating to relationships, life, and more but this time unfolding the details of a relationship that has marinated beyond its initial romantic beginnings and changed into something far more palpable, strained, and relatable. The collaborative writing between Linklater, Hawke, and Delpy demonstrates their immense understanding of their created characters and deliver their most uncomfortably emotional and richly life-affirming vignette in this particular reflective road stop in the lives of Jesse and Celine. When poet John Keats wrote the famous last line "truth is beauty, beauty truth" in his poem "An Ode to a Grecian Urn" he realized that even the most unpleasant truths had intense beauty in its mere recognized existence and the Before saga is one of the purest cinematic exercises in revealing that kind of beautiful truth. Before Midnight takes the initially romantic setups in Before Sunrise and Before Sunset and expands them into their most logical and equally emotional prolongation where it expands the narrative strength, character vivacity, and philosophical importance of the series into a fully realized and painfully heartfelt whole that speaks uncomfortable truths in an engagingly entertaining way.

Read more: http://wp.me/py8op-yV; more reviews: generationfilm.net
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1/10
Headache
adbrown10010 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
If you really like fighting with your spouse for two hours, then this movie is for you. When Delpy and Hawke aren't arguing, they are throwing around cheap, pop culture observations about feminism, careerism, child rearing, divorce, literature and philosophy. The Greek scenery is just a silent backdrop to their incessant prattling. The movie could have as well been filmed in Peoria. The first and second movie in this trilogy, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, had charm and some dramatic interest, plus European settings that related to the plot and action. Aside from a long dinner table conversation with some other couples that was humorous and stimulating, Before Midnight was essentially boring and pointless.
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1/10
A Truly Bad Movie and I was a huge Before Sunrise fan
giantpanther20 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I can consider myself a fan of the before series of films, I saw Before Sunrise years before the sequel came out and hipsters started jumping on the band wagon of this film. To explain why before midnight fails I need to explain the film from the perspective of both Before Sunrise and Before Sunset.

Now Before Sunrise was a slightly flawed yet still really captivating and original film about two people who randomly by chance meet in Europe, Jesse the American and Celine the french girl. They walk around together for a day until dawn and then Jesse must catch his plane back to America and thats it the end, they agree to meet up again a year later but as we find out in Before Sunset that falls apart.

Now Before Sunrise is cute because they are both supposed to be 23 in the film and its OK for 23 year olds to have stupid ideas or be overly dramatic because hey they are young and thats how it works. In Before Sunrise the cracks started to show, the film still held up but the plot began to meander into strange directions, first off when they meet up again they still decide to be "cutesy" around each other which is a little odd for people in their thirties to be that way. But the cuteness of the situation is allowed as they haven't seen each other in a long time, also the weakness of Before Sunset exists because get this Jesse writes an acclaimed book to get Celine back and the book is about how they both met.

The concept of Jesse as an author is weak because it is very apparent that the guy is kind of stupid and a goof, there is never any indication of depth or being an articulate human being. The other thing is in Before Sunset you get the feeling these two should not be together, they are different and Celine gets annoyed by Jesse but that of course is all very slight. The "celine getting annoyed by Jesse" plot line takes the front and center part of the stage in Before Midnight.

Really this should have just been two movies, I truly believe that. In part one they separate at the end and in part two they get back together and stay together and just leave it at that. Before Midnight first off doesn't function quite well because of this fact, Jesse and Celine still have stupid cheap back and forth banter between each other except that doesn't make sense because now they aren't 23 and they definitely haven't gone a long time without seeing each other so they are 40 somethings who argue about nothingness.

During the first segment of the movie, Jesse and Celine driving back from the airport with their daughters in the back, Celine gives Jesse a hard time about eating one of their daughters apples but in a way a 14 year old would taunt another 14 year old not the way a couple in a long term relationship would act. There are many examples of that and thus begins a two hour long film filled with Celine's passive aggressive and aggressive aggressive attitude towards Jesse.

You get the feeling Celine truly and genuinely hates every aspect of her life, she is with a guy that she thinks is dumb, she has two kids when she never wanted any kids, her environmental job always results in failures and having to work with idiots shes annoyed by every aspect of her existence and its truly miserable to have to watch her. There's nothing entertaining or charming about Celine, she is simply very very bitter at Jesse for "ruining" her life by getting involved with her.

Now the argument here is "well this is reality" OK watching paint dry is also an element of reality it doesn't mean I want to go to a movie theater and experience it. This film is different there's none of that whimsical carefree attitude that exists in the first two movies. The few brief moments of entertainment come from Celine not being around, Jesse has some conversations early on with some author who invited him out to Greece to stay with him.

Also when Jesse and Celine arrive at the hotel the owner of the hotel asks Jesse to sign a copy of the books he has written then begs Celine to sign them which she refuses because being angry and bitter is all she knows how to be in this film. Finally Jesse pressures her into signing them, but shes angry as always. Also twice Celine is on the phone with Jesse's son and then hangs up before he has a chance to chat with him, which is actually pretty rude.

This was such a garbage movie, an utter waste of time and talent, although probably not that much of a waste of time for those who made it I am sure they shot it and scripted it in about 5 days. The critics have all praised this movie but they only praise things that are different, and sitting and listening to two people argue incessantly on screen for 2 hours is certainly different but also stupid.
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4/10
Maybe a set-up for the next installment?
X Chrome1 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
POSSIBLE SPOILERS

I wasn't sure what I felt as I walked out of the movie theater. I had just watched this couple bicker for 2 hours. Somehow, I wasn't bored, and was not happy to see it end.

The Good

Amazing long scenes with two masterful actors gave me a chance to appreciate their talent. Deply's Celine brought to mind a stern Hillary Clinton and Hawke's Jesse a bumbling, clueless dude. Bill Clinton?

Hawke's angst over abandoning his teenage son in favor of this new woman and his new family will certainly resonate with so many men today. He used an example of Deply being late to pick up their young daughters from school and the panic she felt to explain how he feels that about his son all the time. Well played.

The Bad

No magic between the two, so little affection. The bickering and "issues" would have been easier to digest had there remained some kind of magical, lyrical love between them. We could have felt the tug between true passion and the burdens of real life and real conflict. As it sits now, all we have are the conflicts. Just stop, is what I was thinking.

But Maybe . . .

It could be that when the next installment arrives in 2022, the couple will have fallen love again. The daughters will be 16, perhaps in boarding school, the son from a first marriage will be a young man and maybe even presenting a grandchild. Who know if all of these characters will be alive? There could be a death, no?

If the couple falls in love again, or becomes bonded again over tragedy, we could look back at this film as commentary on the burden that raising children is to a romantic relationship. If the couple are still together 9 years hence, and able to love more and bicker less, perhaps even showing compassion toward each other, we could all say: see, it's best to endure the tough times and let the love return.

However, if this is to be the last movie of the series, not good. Very unsatisfying. I guess I'll reserve judgment on this installment until 2022. Time will tell.
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6/10
Jesse and Celine?
Paul Shafer22 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I read an online review of Before Midnight where the reviewer made the case that in this third film of the "Before" trilogy, Celine had been reduced to a flat character. Behaving in ways that didn't square with the Celine we know from the first two films, and not to her credit. Believable thoughtful feminist Celine, for example, become stereotypical bitter feminist Celine. And that seems pretty right.

I would argue, though, that Before Midnight reduces Jesse and Celine both to flat characters; but only for the fight scene. I've seen each film in the trilogy only once, so I should be cautious in my judgment, but my first impression on seeing this one was that we do see the "real" Jesse and Celine for most of it—still chatting away, debating, poking fun at each other, and now, figuring out middle-aged family life together—but in the hotel, and certainly by the end of the fight, they've been transformed into a familiar, almost clichéd, dysfunctional couple.

Not that the real Jesse and Celine shouldn't deal with dysfunction, but if one thing has been established in their on-screen relationship, it's that they have always been able to talk to each other openly and for the most part, honestly. And perhaps more important, listen to each other. It's what makes their falling in love the day they meet believable. But in the hotel, they're simply not there.

I can believe Jesse would cheat on Celine and not tell her, but I can't believe that when confronted, he would ignore her question, and respond essentially by accusing her of questioning his commitment. It's familiar, it's understandable, and sadly, it's predictably male. But is it Jesse?

I can believe Celine would be bored, or seriously angry even, by Jesse's always having sex the same way, but would it take a fight for Celine to bring it up for the first time? Basically, in the hotel, this is not a communicating couple who love each other but are struggling through mutual feelings of resentment—this is a couple who may love each other, but have spent years bottling their resentment and then when the kids are gone, it explodes, and they're at each other's throats. Contemptuous, totally un-empathetic, and downright mean, both of them. It's like they haven't had a real conversation about their feelings in years. Jesse and Celine?

So why? That's why I'm bummed. Whatever the intention—undoubtedly honest and thoughtful— of the director and actors, I believe they took an extraordinary couple brought together by extraordinary, yet believable, circumstances—in their communication, at least, maybe even a healthy example to follow—and waited as long as possible before revealing them to be actually pretty ordinary after all, and not as special as we thought. And maybe not even to be inspired by. :-(
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4/10
We Walked Out
T Staed1 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
MINOR SPOILERS: I can't even remember the last time I walked out of a movie. It's a rare occurrence. But we were so bored that, after about an hour, we decided our evening could be better spent. I wanted to leave after the scene in which the two characters are talking on a drive home from the airport, but decided to wait a little longer. It didn't get any better. We found the drama contrived, the characters unlikeable, the relationships conveyed stereotypical and the dialog lame. Blah blah blah about my book idea, blah blah blah about whether I should take the job with the guy who's a jerk, blah blah blah about how you keep a man (Answer: you let him win!). Not if that means moving to Chicago. Honestly, isn't this the 21st century? What kind of people have transnational relationships, visit their author friends in Greece and then behave like stereotypes from the 1950s? It was like being trapped in a car or on a peninsula with a bunch of people you can't stand with no escape. Thank God there was a door.
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9/10
The mere idea that Jesse and Celine have days like "Before Midnight" everyday is more overwhelming than an epic drama.
Sergeant_Tibbs26 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The first time I saw Before Sunrise and Before Sunset I didn't think much to them. I thought it was a cute concept to revisit characters, particularly with the irony that Jesse wrote about Before Sunrise but it wasn't until a rewatch when they opened up. I wish more films were two interesting people talking and walking through beautiful cities, especially if they can be as breezy and rewarding as Before Sunset. So now that I'm a fan, I was excited for Before Midnight and felt that it could tie the knot that the first two left loose. It did. Midnight is definitely the funniest and most hard-hitting film I've seen in a long while. In the other films I've found their existential conversations interesting but it's never felt like they've dug their fingers in my brain like this film. It feels like a mirror of my feelings. In a single shot they articulate all the transient anxieties I have about the world and life in a more profound way than I could've achieved in my lifetime. With its real-time gap in time between films with events and moments only left to the imagination of the viewer, that element of reality is fascinating. The mere idea that Jesse and Celine have days like Before Midnight everyday is more overwhelming than an epic drama. But beyond the fiction, there's a scene where Julie Deply is topless through a range of emotional tones which adds an extra strange element of reality that the other films don't have regarding the chemistry between the leads. As Ethan Hawke suckles on Julie Deply's nipple, the idea of an intimate relationship between Hawke and Deply in reality lifts the fiction of Jesse and Celine to a new realm of emotional impact, especially considering the sharpness of their argument scene. Midnight has one of the best endings I've seen and if it left it at the penultimate scene, I would've been far too wrecked. The humour is just so poignant and wonderful and true. On a technical level, the film is terrific considering their choices of where to set conversations and how they're executed in long shots. I loved the way the score for the film was adapted from Celine's "Waltz For A Night" song from the end of Sunset. As always, the acting is genuine and charming and while it struggles to adapt to the barrage of side characters at first, they do have something fascinating to say. Before Midnight is draining but thoroughly enlightening and satisfying. I have no hesitation in calling it the best of everyone's careers and best of the year unless anything else hits me harder. 9/10
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1/10
A killer of all the good things in the previous 2 films - couldn't have been any worse...
dilekvt3 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I just hated this movie because it killed my favorite 2 films: Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. This is absolutely one of the worst films I have ever watched. It ruins all the romance, love, attraction and magic between this cute couple that was strongly felt in the first two films and I am frustrated mostly at that. The film is about some stupid dialogs and fights between two people who resent each other for ruining their lives (let alone love each other) and who have betrayed one another some time during their relationship. The more they speak, the more you feel that they never really loved one another. If the purpose of the film was to show that "this is real life - there is no love that lasts. In the end, you see that every relationship turns into garbage", well, they succeed in doing it in the most painfully boring and frustrating way. I wish they had not done this movie at all. I would have preferred to remember the unique love story of Celine and Jesse in the first 2 films... Unfortunately, they killed it already...
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3/10
I appear to be in the minority, but stick to the flawed but endearing Sunrise and the rich, brilliant Sunset then go to bed early, so to speak.
Laura B2 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
After loving the first two (and being the same age w/similar life events so not suffering from any adolescence-caused naivety/boredom by a couple decades' shot), two words struck me over and over watching this... 1) TEDIOUS and 2) VAPID. You can have the greatest actors on earth and generic, dreary and forced dialogue won't be suddenly brilliant, insightful, and touching.

Great films DO exist where the characters are meandering and where little but dialogue-even strained dialogue as they find themselves having-is there to carry a story. I love clever chatter and waited too long for too little-of 109 minutes less than 15 scattered about were worth keeping in the film! Were it not in a beautiful place, it would have NO worth apart from the younger couple being a bit of a refreshing break from Hawke&Delpy and the brief but brilliant(half-star-rating-improving) scene in the hotel&outside at its restaurant... It felt like they were stroking their egos with zero concern for anyone who might discern quality writing from a few merely "authentic" but still overly trite, contrived and flat out boring scenes full of drivel.

Personally, I do not watch films to hear conversations legitimately less interesting than talking about laundry. NONE of it was insightful and they both look ragged and washed out INDIVIDUALLY-like he's been in and out of rehab for hard drugs for a decade and she's simply lost both her charm and any acting chops that perhaps were never even there-and I think both CAN act but seemed exhausted by the unoriginal garbage they had to make us believe&give two number of care about-do I want to watch a couple of potential neighbors be washed out, unclever, and unhappy in their marriage or do I want to see them actually problem solve and fire each other up without resorting to what is no better than faking orgasms for a decade-it doesn't actually make you happy so don't, and for goodness' sake don't try to get ten bucks from me so I can watch what felt like "Before Counseling!" The only thing I found cute or funny was a moment of "bimbo" talk that would be fine if not used to show off how much she hates perceived traits about him to others-which is just pathetic...

The other problem is that everything they're discussing is far nearer to what couples in their late 20s go through&as a result it all feels fake and poorly cast, a bit like if you cast Clint Eastwood as a traditional father to a toddler and fifth grader without it being odd ie him trying to pull off 32. They say&look their ages but act like a couple of 28 year olds. Nothing meshes. It is tired, tedious and annoying. Don't waste the nearly two hours this requires-well, unless you want solace for a bad relationship and it'll get you role playing as them or pretending it's you in Greece. There are SO SO MANY better films out there. It should simply have never been produced, not with THIS script. I can't believe Linklater was at all involved let alone in charge-maybe HE needed to be in serious rehab when this was being storyboarded. Such a fabulous producer-I can only guess money trouble equaled pressure for a quick sale. Sad. I'm so glad I checked it out from a library since I'd be legitimately upset if I put my money directly into this when I'd get WAY more satisfaction buying a dozen homeless people a cheap meal or soap&toothpaste etc.
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