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Before Midnight Review Critics


Dave White Profile

This Is a Much Less Annoying 40 Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    It's a rare and powerful thing to confront something honest and real on the big screen. It stays with you in a way that nothing else can. Before Midnight is fiction but it might as well be a documentary.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Variety Justin Chang

    Honoring all that was memorable about its forebears while taking the story to new depths of catharsis, Before Midnight stands as a unique and uniquely satisfying entry in what has shaped up to be an outstanding screen trilogy

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Before Midnight confounds expectations in powerful and even haunting ways. It's not just darker than the previous two films. It's bigger, deeper, and more searching. It follows the characters through a tale of embattled love that extends far beyond them.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Village Voice Stephanie Zacharek

    Before Midnight—visually stunning, in a late-summer way—is more vital and cutting than another recent marriage picture, Michael Haneke's old-folks-together death march Amour; it has none of Amour's tasteful restraint, and in the end, it says more about the nature of long-term love.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter John DeFore

    The work Richard Linklater and company started in 1995's Before Sunrise retains a clarity of spirit undimmed by 18 years.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Bittersweet, intelligently written, deftly acted and painfully honest.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Richard Roeper

    A rich, smart, funny, sometimes acidic portrayal of a couple who can be spectacular when they’re in tune — and toxic when they’re at each other’s throats.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 16+

Brilliant, mature third chapter to heartfelt romantic saga.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Before Midnight is a smart, talky, insightful dramedy that extends the love story of Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy), the couple who first met and fell in love in Before Sunrise and got reacquainted in Before Sunset. This latest installment is an unflinching look at the complications of a relationship between two very complicated people -- including how to negotiate gender roles when children arrive -- and as such, may not be especially relatable for teens, though their parents will probably find much that rings true. Expect some social drinking and cigarette smoking, swearing (including "f--k" and "c--t"), and a scene in which a woman's breasts are displayed for an extended period of time.

  • Families can talk about whether Before Midnight is a worthy third chapter to Jesse and Celine's love story. What makes these characters so compelling? How are they different from the typical leads in most studio romantic comedies?

  • What is the movie saying about relationships, parenthood, and careers and how all three fit in a person's life?

  • What can you learn from both Jesse and Celine? How is their relationship admirable and/or maddening?

  • Celine talks about how men and women face different hurdles when it comes to juggling work and parenting -- do you agree?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Relationships, and people, are works in progress, and, as such, are rife with maladies and stresses both real and imagined. But honesty and commitment -- and plenty of chemistry -- can be the glue that keeps people together through the metamorphoses.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: They're imperfect and frustratingly complicated, but Jesse and Celine are textured characters who struggle with very real concerns. Watching them parse and navigate them is both instructive and exhilarating.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: A bitter argument between two people.

  • sex false4

    Sex: A couple is shown kissing as they're about to have sex, with the woman's top undone so her breasts are on full display. The same woman sits talking on a phone with her top still undone. Some frank discussions at the dinner table about the sex lives of couples both long-term and newly together.

  • language false4

    Language: Strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," "prick," "t-ts," "a--hole," and one "c--t."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: The brand Trojan is mentioned, as are Skype and Leica. Characters use iPhones.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Social drinking/smoking; for example, a couple is shown smoking while cooking dinner and drinking while dining.

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