Pause for kids 15 & under
Bleak, but lovely journey OK for older-teen music fans.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Inside Llewyn Davis, by filmmaking brothers Joel and Ethan Coen, is a startlingly affecting drama about 1960s Greenwich Village folk singer Llewyn Davis's struggle to be noticed and to survive. Expect a bleak (but memorable) retelling that includes some intense subject matter (suicide, abortion), plus some drinking and a scene of a possible drug overdose that may be too heavy for younger teens. There's also plenty of swearing, including "---hole" and "f--k," and a bunch of amazing musical performances.
Families can talk about the character of Llewyn. What makes him different from other movie heroes? What is the message behind his journey?
How does this movie illuminate the folk music scene of the 1960s? Does it debunk myths in any way?
What do you think of the folk music sung here? How is it different from today's music?
The good stuff
Messages: The biggest ally you can have when you're reaching for your dreams is self-motivation and drive. There will be days when striving seems for naught, but you can't short-change yourself.
Role models: Llewyn's not a particularly popular or together guy, but his passion for his music is impressive, second only to his talents. Some of his friends do really care about him, and hold his best interests at heart.
What to watch for
Violence: A screaming fight between two ex-lovers. A man sucker-punches another, leaving him doubled over on the ground. Talk of suicide.
Sex: A heated discussion about how one man impregnated a woman who already has a boyfriend.
Language: Lots of swearing in the first part of the film, and then it's periodic. Some pejorative language ("queer"), plus "s--t," "---hole," "Goddammit," "sonofabitch," "d--k," "piss" and "f--k."
Consumerism: A few cases of historical name dropping, including the Gaslight and Columbia Records.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: A man gets tipsy at a club and heckles the performer. Some social drinking. A man is shown shaking on a bathroom floor after an apparent drug overdose.
Fan Reviews provided by
I Wanted To Love This Movie-Definitely Don't Take a Date! by ktea23
Inside Llewyn Davis had potential to be so much more. While the sets, scenes, costumes for the period piece were enthralling and the good acting can't be denied, the characters and plot were empty and depressing and left me empty and depressed, after watching it. If that is what Joel and Ethan Coen were after in writing and directing this story, they certainly achieved their goal. It is a depressing trip to nowhere with a group of sad misfits, that made me want to throw myself off a bridge and put myself out of the misery of their company and that life. Be warned: Do Not Take a Date, or it may be an early evening!
Very sad... the movie, and the Hollywood critics by moviberg
If you want to go to a see someone play out at a club, you might enjoy this movie. But if you wanted to see a movie, then if you've seen the trailer, you've seen the entire movie. I like so many Cohen Brothers movies and I like unusual movies about unusual characters. But bottom line, I like MOVIES...things with a plot. I hate to be so harsh, but as far as a movie plot goes... the only thing that was interesting was the cat. Oscar Isaac does a nice job of acting and I enjoyed his singing. But his acting and singing was stuck in the middle of a TON of unconnected parts of somebody's ramblings that never went anywhere at all. I have no idea what I just spent my money on and I don't mean that in a good way.
There is nothing Inside Llewyn Davis by Lili M
Here is a character who is absolutely boring; he never smiles, he takes advantage of his friends, and seems to think the world owes him a living because he can sing. How he got some girl to sleep with him is beyond me.
I think the Coen brothers spend too much time together. They think their own jokes are funny, but why not check with the rest of us?
It's period-perfect this film, down to the eyeglasses, but it misses the mark. Why wasn't Garrett Hedlund cast as the singer? He's really a singer, and would have added the missing sex appeal to this so-so film, that is saved only by the music and the cat.
Inside Llewyn Davis by rnsplitt
Excellent performances. But the mood went downhill, feline-wise, and the end was just "The End," tho' it left us with the need to figure out what we had just seen . . . probably the point.
Starving Artist is kind of an ass... by Mp4G
At first I didn't like this movie. It's hard to walk away from a movie when you found very little about the main character appealing. I kept waiting for the moment when he would realize how much of a complete asshat he was and change his ways. Didn't really happen. It seems he's destined to just keep on keeping on, while others around him achieve success and he just finds other ways to tell them they are selling out. It's the story of someone who's heart is in the right place, but he's never willing to compromise enough to get ahead. There's no redemption, no lessons learned. It's not a cautionary tale. It's the story of an artist who holds his art in such high regard that he alienates those around him. It's a sad story about a sad protagonist. I think I liked it.
Not bad by Christoph420
The movie was pretty good. The actors and the setting were great, the script was good. I got a little annoyed with the plot at times. The movie was a bit slow for my personal tastes. I know quite a few people who would find this movie flat out boring. Being a musician myself, I genuinely felt for the antagonist. The story definitely made me feel better about my own life, hehe. Some nice funny moments helped break up the inherent bleakness the film seemed to be striving for. Honestly, I probably would not recommend this movie for non-musicians, those that do not enjoy folk music, or films without a happy ending.
awful by kmcmullen0720
I asked the other people in the theater what they thought and all hated it especially three older women, our newspaper rated it four stars so that is why they came, and totally disappointed, IT was a mess and depressing as hell. I didn't even like Llewyn Davis so it made it worse , his character was a miserable excuse for a musician.
Very different Cohen Brothers by Billy58
What amazes me about the Cohen Brothers is that you, or at least I, never know what to expect from them. This film is so different from any of their others that I've seen, that I was truly surprised. Mind you, it's not a great movie, but what I liked about it was the characters that Llewyn Davis meets along the way in the odyssey that is this movie. Oscar Isaac is quite good. He's got a great voice. And Carey Mulligan, as always, shines. John Goodman is amazing. And Justin Timberlake continues to surprise me by the breadth of his talent.
Still wondering...what's Inside Llewyn Davis.... by amyjolevi
Clearly this is a love or not love movie...the Village wasn't gritty enough for me, and the tortured musician was a little too well groomed. The Coen Brothers usually bring on more, and I didn't get it this time.
Inside Llewyn Davis is a DOWNER! by mcarr1231
Sorry, I did not like this film. As a vocalist, I was hoping this movie would give Folk Music a boost like the Coen brother's movie Oh Brother Where Art Thou did for Old Timey music. Instead the audience gets the most dreary Folk Songs with a seedy and depressing slice of life. I did not like any of the characters - certainly NOT Llewyn Davis so I just didn't care what happened to him. I wanted to care; I looked for opportunities to care. It just didn't happen for me.