Iffy for 15+
Nearly pitch-perfect drama 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 swearing, including "---hole" and "f--k," and plenty 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: 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, a needle in his arm.
Fan Reviews provided by
A Good Movie From Great Directors by thomdreeves
'Inside Llewyn Davis' is a beautiful film. Oscar Isaac gives an amazing performance as the struggling folk singer, his emotions taking over the screen and his music captivating the theater with each note. The journey is a reflective and depressing one, but it all feels very real - therein lies the beauty.
Where I think this film struggles (where the Coen's films usually don't) is in the supporting characters and the interactions with those characters. Not many lasting impressions are made, other than that of Llewyn's talent and hard work being rewarded only by a mundane existence. There are some fun/funny moments throughout but nothing strong enough to be recalled, even immediately, which I think is a lose for any film. Other than the intensely emotional or down, mood-driven scenes, most of the body of this film gets buried by the end.
A bit of a change in tone while still using some of the same formula for the Coen brothers here. Not the worst. Not the best.
No Plot, No Story by dutypaid
I found this to be a mostly depressing and disappointing film especially from the Coen brothers. This is a dark almost joyless film that has lots and lots of unknown folk music in long form throughout the movie.
I would not waste any money! So disappointing!
sub mediocre in every way by menster1
This was a case of critics darlings the Coen bros taking a big dump of a movie, and everyone buys into it because it's The Big Lebowski, Fargo..etc.. guys..
The music was a boring , cliched,mediocre facsimile of 60's folk music. The movie suggests that
the protagonist's music is authentic and earthy and invites the viewer to look down on the more commercial folk that was around at the time. Too bad the songs and performance don't hold up ..the entire premise of the movie becomes offensive.
T bone Burnett the resident "expert" on Americana ..another critic
darling who now phones it in ,should be ashamed ..The characters and
acting were in general overdone, and unsympathetic to degree that
the story felt pointless and contrived. And the final "guest performer" (I won't
spoil it)..please ! ! ! I want my 14.50 back
Very depressing. by Sallyloper
I was looking forward to see a nostalgic movie about the '60s, but this film was very depressing. Indeed, it never showed the enormous vitality or idealism of the period -- the civil rights protests, etc.
It is a film about a "loser," with not much of a plot. If you like folk music, you will enjoy the music. You can feel some empathy for the actor who starred in it; his musical partner committed suicice, and who has unresolved grief about him.
Wouldn't recommend it.
No more Coen brothers ' movies for me. Don't trust the reviews.
Inside Llewlyn Lewis by raynorsmth
While not being part of the folk scene in the Village, I did live there from '63 thru '78.
As a merchant seaman I was mostly employed and never had to sleep on couches, etc.
I found this movie and its main character depressing as Hell (no surprise} and it had none of the wonder that the Village had for me in those days.
The cinematography was excellent, acting was very good.
Where the Coen brothers were going with this film left me a bit in the dark.
One sour note:
The shipping out sequences toward the end of the film were total b--s. There is no, repeat, no license or document for able-bodied or ordinary seaman which is entitled Masters, Mates & Pilots. I know this because I belonged to the International Order of Masters, Mates and Pilots which was an officers union, not a seaman's card for Llewyn Lewis.
If this movie was a metaphor for the folk scene, then I am very happy that I was on the very far edges of that scene
no narrative arch by amongstflowers
The characters are interesting but totally without any narrative meaning...altogether too long. Could have been an hr and 20 minute series of vignettes..I don't recommend it.
Inside Llewyn's hype by legolamb
Having seen every Coen Brothers film and loving pretty much all of them, I was highly anticipating this film. There were special concerts celebrating the music, everyone was reviewing it and it was called the film of the year. Unfortunately it was just okay. It kept my interest, but unlike Lebowski, O Brother, fargo, No Country, Millers Crossing, there was nothing memorable. When Llewyn gets into the car with John Goodman I was thinking "here we go. here's where it gets weird," but no. Llewyn doesn't end up famous or infamous. He's not involved in a murder, he doesn't reunite w his kid in Akron, Jean doesn't keep her baby. I kept thinking maybe Jean decides to have the kid, maybe she tells squeaky clean Jim that Llewyn or even Pappi could be the dad. That would be a fun scene- screaming, fighting, forgiveness and finally a hit song. And where was all the music I heard so much about?
I didn't think it was possible to make 1961 Greenwich Village look boring, but I was wrong.
Tedious Bore by attorney
How this movie made anyone's 10 best of 2013 list, I can not fathom (other than out of loyalty to the Coen brothers). Perhaps I should have realized in the opening number, which was boring, that this was not going to be an exciting film.
The lead character is largely unlikeable.
Casey Mulligan was terrific, as was John Goodman.
But, who wants to sit through 2 hours watching an unlikable character, who gets into problems of his own making, about which we could not care whether he gets out or not.
The songs are dull. The music uninspiring.
Oh, Coen Brothers, get back to your Big Lebowksi days, please!
Not Worthy Of the Good Reviews by toni919
I am baffled how this movie got such great reviews. The best I can say was that it was absorbing. However, the plot is very thin, and the movie was very slow. I would only recommend seeing it to people who want to see if they can figure out what all the hype was about.
Let Me Out by Digital Insider
Although the acting and cinematography were excellent, the film lacked a compelling plot and a sympathetic protagonist. I napped twice. The movie simply wasn't worth the $32 that my wife and I paid for tickets. Sandy Kenyon was right on this one - the other reviewers were off.