Before Sunset Reviews

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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
August 8, 2012
It's a lovely, beguiling little film a rare treat during this overheated season of blockbusters. It's also an unusual example of a follow-up that doesn't seem forced, but expands effortlessly on the original.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
August 8, 2012
The reunion has some lively moments, but a great deal of slow walking and fatuous talking about love, married life and sex.
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
August 8, 2012
Shooting in long takes, Linklater and his actors (who get co-screenwriting credit) allow the conversation to curlicue effortlessly from literate banter to matters of the heart, and sometimes to places in between.
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Time Out
February 9, 2006
At the risk of overhyping 80 minutes of intimate real-time, this is the soul of generosity, a beautifully vibrant and big-spirited film.
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David Denby
New Yorker
August 1, 2004
Before Sunrise and Before Sunset are a rare case of two movies that rightfully demand yet another sequel.
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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
July 30, 2004
A richer experience than the original.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
July 23, 2004
Mr. Linklater and his two creative leads have managed a miraculous transformation of the characters from once-callow lovers into grown-ups teetering on the edge of eternity.
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
July 23, 2004
This is a wonderful movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
July 15, 2004
The chemistry between Jesse and Celine --- and Hawke and Delpy and, for that matter, Linklater --- is as immediate as it is appealing.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
July 9, 2004
Allows you to watch two deeply engaged and engaging performers moving verbally through delicately negotiated layers of delight, apprehension, desire and surrender.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
July 9, 2004
Hawke and Delpy are credited with writing some of the dialogue, presumably as improvisations. They manage to be both natural and intense, and their characters feel real, even if the situation does not.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Tom Long
Detroit News
July 9, 2004
A simply amazing film -- touching, sexy, smart, sad and, beyond all, passionate about the value of time and love.
| Original Score: A
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
July 9, 2004
How often does a visual medium make such an elegant argument about the beauty of language, even as it asserts its right to tell a story and move us with its vision?
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
July 9, 2004
For my money, Sunset tops the first installment because it involves characters who have more life under their belts. Nothing like a few years to clarify a personality.
| Original Score: B+
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
July 9, 2004
For all its modesty, lingers in the mind like an unresolved relationship or a life-altering, if random, moment.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
July 9, 2004
A fictional romance with a factual feel, a near-documentary quality that makes it difficult to distinguish the actor from the role.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Jane Sumner
Dallas Morning News
July 8, 2004
If you didn't like Before Sunrise, filmmaker Richard Linklater says, you'll hate Before Sunset. But if you treasured the original, you're sure to prize the 'romance for realists' sequel.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Scott Von Doviak
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
July 8, 2004
May be the best movie of the summer.
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Eddie Cockrell
Variety
July 7, 2004
A savvy sequel that should speak to anyone who's let that one great love slip away.
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Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
July 6, 2004
A small masterpiece.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
July 3, 2004
Before Sunrise captures the exhilaration of connecting with another person; Before Sunset moves forward from there, burrowing into territory that's more complex and dangerous, but also perhaps more vital.
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
July 3, 2004
Having seen Before Sunset twice, and Before Sunrise again in between, I can't say which film is better. Both seem to fulfill an ambition Jean-Luc Godard expressed in the 60s -- to achieve 'the definitive by chance.'
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
July 2, 2004
The incessant jawboning of Before Sunset is all foreplay and no climax.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
July 2, 2004
Before Sunset has an easy, unforced air about it, mostly because of what seems to be a real rapport between the two lead actors.
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Mike Clark
USA Today
July 2, 2004
It eats at you, just like renewed love.
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
July 2, 2004
As drama, it doesn't hold up, and the screenplay's so loosely structured it almost seems improvised, but the affection that Linklater has for Jesse and Celine is so palpable that the movie coasts by on charm.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
July 2, 2004
It has earthy (and therefore sexy) urban locations, a splendid originality of voice, a loose and distinctive visual style, and it sends audiences out humming with the realness and beauty of it all. ... But it should have been twice as long.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
July 2, 2004
The film ultimately depicts thirtysomething melancholy just as effectively as its predecessor portrayed Gen-X romanticism.
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Megan Lehmann
New York Post
July 2, 2004
It tells of a love affair so heady it generates goose bumps, yet the story unfolds with such unfailing honesty that its characters become people we know, their actions and words a reflection of our own experiences.
| Original Score: 4/4
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
July 2, 2004
The naturalistic dialogue is a masterful bit of writing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 2, 2004
Before Sunset is better, perhaps because the characters are older and wiser, perhaps because they have more to lose (or win), and perhaps because Hawke and Delpy wrote the dialogue themselves.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
July 2, 2004
It's a movie to cheer lovers and movie lovers alike -- an enchanting midsummer cocktail for two, served at dusk on the banks of the Seine.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
July 1, 2004
The bad news is that Before Sunset is not as delirious an experience as its predecessor. The good news is that it's wonderful anyway, and in ways that tell us something about our romance with Before Sunrise.
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Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times
July 1, 2004
A film that in its joy, optimism and aesthetic achievement keeps faith with American cinema at its finest.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
July 1, 2004
Though it is sometimes maddening, the movie's prodigious verbiage is also enthralling, precisely because of its casual disregard for the usual imperatives of screenwriting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
July 1, 2004
Proves itself well worth the nine-year wait, and for a sequel so squarely rooted in the first film, it stands lightly on its own two feet.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
July 1, 2004
Jesse and Celine come to life again in ways that are sad and beautiful, funny and profound.
| Original Score: 4/4
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Gene Seymour
Newsday
July 1, 2004
Hawke's ruefulness seems more than earned here (and, thus, genuine); Delpy's callow winsomeness has ripened to a ruddy sheen.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
June 30, 2004
A film of luminous delights.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
June 30, 2004
What ultimately makes Before Sunset so special (and maybe the most resonant, least self-conscious 'great movie romance' of its era) is its deep-rooted honesty -- the way it takes the bitter with the sweet and somehow leaves us feeling elated.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
June 30, 2004
Forget Spider-Man's tussle with Doc Ock. Forget Shrek's trek to Far Far Away. And forget Harry Potter's latest attempt to endure the snipes of Snape. For me, the sequel to see during the summer of 2004 is Richard Linklater's Before Sunset.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
June 30, 2004
A deeper, darker, altogether more memorable experience. It doesn't extend the characters so much as fulfill them.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
June 29, 2004
All one could wish for in a sequel -- it enriches, glosses, and completes the original.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
June 28, 2004
[R]eally top notch work here.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
June 17, 2004
There is something uniquely unforgettable in the way Linklater, Hawke and Delpy (equal collaborators on the script) find nuance, art and eroticism in words, spoken and unspoken.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
March 16, 2004
A hugely successful experiment to see if a movie can captivate an audience with a conversation between two people in real time.