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Inside Llewyn Davis Review

Movies.com Critics

4.5

Dave White Profile

Unlike a rolling stone. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 5.0
    92

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    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.

    Read Full Review

  • 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.

    Read Full Review

  • 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.

    Read Full Review

  • 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.

    Read Full Review

  • 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.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Inside Llewyn Davis reviews at Metacritic.com

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 true3

    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 true2

    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 false1

    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 false4

    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 false1

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

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    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

4

not a main stream performer by ChaosRN
Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961, Guitar in tow, huddled against the unforgiving winter, which is truly metaphorical of the artist's life, he is struggling to make it as a musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles?many of them of his own making, some by his lack of humanity on his own part, some due to his almost autistic way of traveling thru life. It is a Coen Brothers tale told well, if not depressing in nature, but then one does not go to a Coen brothers film to be uplifted.

1

So Bad! You have better ways to spend 2 hours, believe me! by evmurphy
When I used the restroom in the middle of the movie, I considered staying in there and playing Works with Friends, just to kill the time. Dark, boring, no plot, what a waste of time. Why did anyone bother making a movie like this? My mom wanted to see it so I just went with her w/o looking at these reviews first, like I normally do, wish I had!

5

A tale of Cohen by jabber21joe5
The Cohen brothers are probably the most unique filmmakers in the business. Joel and Ethan Cohen are so different that other films out can accurately be described as having that Cohen look, even when neither brothers are involved. Inside Llewyn Davis , is another film that belongs in their time capsule of superb filmmaking. The movie follows a struggling folk singer who is on the brink of being a full blown failure. He's not the most likable character but is probably the most empathetic character that the Cohen brothers have ever produced. We get the image of flawed man who is trying to get a piece of that big pie in the sky. The film maybe categorized as being a node to Bob Dylan, and it certainly does in many ways but Davis comes off as another forgotten ghost in the early sixties folk scene in the Greenwich Village. A must go for any Cohen fan! and while your at it dust off some of hothouse old folk records! you may learn something about life.

3

Interesting movie goes nowhere by RandytheMovieFan
Maybe that was the point, that the main character was going nowhere, but he was so pathetic and the movie was such a downer that it offset the fine writing and otherwise interesting characters. But kudos to Justin Timberlake, who adds further evidence that he just may be the most talented all-around performer of his generation.

1

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.

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