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A Late Quartet (2012)



Average Rating: 6.5/10
Reviews Counted: 108
Fresh: 84 | Rotten: 24

An outstanding ensemble cast lends weight and depth to A Late Quartet's melodramatic script, and the result is insightful and emotionally satisfying.


Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 38
Fresh: 32 | Rotten: 6

An outstanding ensemble cast lends weight and depth to A Late Quartet's melodramatic script, and the result is insightful and emotionally satisfying.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 8,946

My Rating

Movie Info

When the beloved cellist of a world-renowned string quartet receives a life changing diagnosis, the group's future suddenly hangs in the balance: suppressed emotions, competing egos, and uncontrollable passions threaten to derail years of friendship and collaboration. As they are about to play their 25th anniversary concert, quite possibly their last, only their intimate bond and the power of music can preserve their legacy. Inspired by and structured around Beethoven's Opus 131 String Quartet



Seth Grossman, Yaron Zilberman

Feb 5, 2013


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November 2, 2012:
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All Critics (112) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (84) | Rotten (24)

We can note immediately that Zilberman has the requisite gifts.

June 17, 2013 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The result is a perfectly serviceable, well acted melodrama - but why so serious?

April 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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The screenplay by Seth Grossman and Israeli-American director Yaron Zilberman is old-fashioned and melodramatic but stirring in its portrait of people struggling with individual egos to produce something nobler than themselves.

November 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
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[It] may not sound like a scintillatingly good time at the movies, but actually it is.

November 29, 2012 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The outstanding ensemble cast keeps the story - and its accompanying emotional heft - from becoming overly baroque.

November 15, 2012 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Yes, A Late Quartet is disappointing. But it's also pretty bad.

November 12, 2012 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Not without its touching moments, A Late Quartet nevertheless can't truly escape the eye-rolling determinism of its script, with only a pragmatic, wry Christopher Walken truly convincing as a man who has lived inextricably bound with his music.

June 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Fan The Fire
Fan The Fire

If nothing else, A Late Quartet captures the reality of dealing with professional classical musicians.

June 9, 2013 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

A classical-music ensemble rosins up the bull in a tone-deaf melodrama that loves its musical metaphors almost has much as it adores afternoon soaps.

May 13, 2013 Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger
The Patriot Ledger

Constantly engaging.

April 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

One might expect a film set in the high culture world of classical music to come up with a more sophisticated metaphor for the insecurities of a violinist than having him worry about always playing second fiddle in life.

April 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Scotsman

A Late Quartet is visually and musically rich. But above all there are the performances, individually and as an ensemble, and they're pitch perfect.

April 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Impressive, superior drama.

April 7, 2013 Full Review Source:

While this film has some bracingly strong observations on the nature of long-term professional and personal relationships, it also feels somewhat theatrical in the way its story develops.

April 5, 2013 Full Review Source:

It is not flawless but it makes you watch, and listen, closely throughout.

April 5, 2013 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

It isn't great art, but it is patterned after great art, and there are worse ways to make a film than that.

April 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

The film offers first-rate, mostly middle-aged actors in an intelligent screenplay that's decently crafted, covers interesting but unfamiliar ground and has a worthwhile central idea.

April 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

[L]ays on [its] metaphor a little too thickly, [but] all is preforgiven... by the sheer joy of getting to watch Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener, and Philip Seymour Hoffman rattle around one another...

April 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

Wants to be Bergman, ends up more like a burgundy-hued Sunset Beach.

April 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

The picture's really about the trials and joys of performing for a living so it's no surprise that it has attracted such a fine cast, nor that its principal virtue lies in the acting.

April 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

A movie with clarity and grownup complexity.

April 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian

Insightful and incandescent, this is a film for both music lovers and movie lovers.

April 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

This skilfully constructed, beautifully performed drama will satisfy audiences looking for smart, intelligent filmmaking.

April 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Engaging drama, enlivened by a trio of terrific performances from Hoffman, Keener and Walken, though the script occasionally feels a little contrived.

April 4, 2013 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

Audience Reviews for A Late Quartet

A Late Quartet approaches the ideas of control, passion, restraint and all those things you'd expect from a classically trained world performer. How does the mind work of someone who can not only remember the intimate details of a musical masterpiece but who can also play them perfectly. The simple answer is that's its not always easy, they are only human after all. Not that this ever turns into a cliched film about failed genius, mental health issues such as autism/aspergers etc nor is it an American take on the French farce. Not at all thank goodness. It is a character piece looking at each person as an individual and as a group and where that group dynamic works and fails. It is all about the performances. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener and Mark Ivanir are the perfect Quartet of actors to tell the story. Certain characters and sub-plots are a little unnecessary I thought but overall it was never formulaic. I have a rule that I never watch the same film twice but I think I will make an exception for this film.
February 26, 2014

Super Reviewer

A quartet's leader falls ill as marital strife hits two other members.
Essentially an acting master class, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, and Christopher Walken all turn in remarkable performances that should be the model for any young actor. Walken, especially, in his later years continues to show a sensitive, emotional side.
However, the film is poorly paced. Particularly, after a comic scene in which the stoic, severe Daniel is forced to gather his clothes and slip out the fire escape, we get another tear-ridden scene filled with pop psychology and emotional effusions. What is more, the character look like they've been crying or are about to cry is almost every scene.
Overall, though I like the work by the actors, I think a skilled director could have turned this into a truly fine film.
June 27, 2013
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Maybe I needed to be a classical music fan in order to enjoy this film. Wonderful actors. Nicely done..but I found the story slow, tedious, and rather pointless.
June 25, 2013

Super Reviewer

Movies about violinists aren't usually my thing, but looking over the cast I figured I would give it a shot. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener, and Mike Ivanir star as a string quartet with a lot of drama. 1 is retiring because of Parkinsons, 2 are in a failing marriage, and the other is sleeping with the married couples daughter. It's all made for tv type of stuff, but the performances set it a few steps above. Hoffman shines most, but the rest all do very well. Overall, it is what you would expect. Slow and geared towards a much older audience. It's not a bad movie, but it's not a very entertaining movie either. I liked some parts of it, but was ready for it to be over halfway through. If you like classical music or are much older than 29, then you might like this. Otherwise, wait til your older.
March 2, 2013
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

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