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Inside Llewyn Davis Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Unlike a rolling stone. 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

    Variety Scott Foundas

    Inside Llewyn Davis is a revelatory showcase for Isaac, who sings with an angelic voice and turns a potentially unlikable character into a consistently relatable, unmistakably human presence — a reminder that humility and genius rarely make for comfortable bedfellows.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    This is a gorgeously made character study leavened with surrealistic dimensions both comic and dark, an unsparing look at a young man who, unlike some of his contemporaries, can’t transcend his abundant character flaws and remake himself as someone else.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    As played by Oscar Isaac, he's snidely funny, world-weary and deeply sad. Though his story is enigmatic, the film itself is brilliantly acted, gorgeously shot and altogether captivating.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Richard Roeper

    This is a well-crafted look at the American folk music scene of the early 1960s, a sometimes hilarious dry comedy — and oh yeah, the music is terrific.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The film's centerpiece is Mr. Isaac's phenomenal performance. He's an actor, first and foremost, who is also a musician.

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  • See all Inside Llewyn Davis reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

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
  • message true1

    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.

  • rolemodels true1

    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 false0

    Violence: A screaming fight between two ex-lovers. A man sucker-punches another, leaving him doubled over on the ground. Talk of suicide.

  • sex false2

    Sex: A heated discussion about how one man impregnated a woman who already has a boyfriend.

  • language false3

    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 false0

    Consumerism: A few cases of historical name dropping, including the Gaslight and Columbia Records.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    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.