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Inside Llewyn Davis Reviews

Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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This is one of the strangest yet most satisfying movie experiences of the year, one of those films in which you can't really appreciate what you've seen until it's over. You just have to trust that the trip is worth the trouble. And it is.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 4.5/5

December 24, 2013
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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The broad, black humor of the Coens' early features has ripened over the years into a sadder, more philosophical brand of comedy (A Serious Man) that puts them in a class with Billy Wilder and Ernst Lubitsch (yeah, you heard me).

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

December 23, 2013
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
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The Coen brothers have crafted another unique period piece.

Full Review Source: Richard Roeper.com | Original Score: 4.5/5

December 20, 2013
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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Celebrating and mourning a bygone moment, "Inside Llewyn Davis" is a tuneful wake intended to arouse us from our slumber to desires worth remembering.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 20, 2013
James Adams
Globe and Mail
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You don't end up rooting for Llewyn Davis because there's not much to root for. And this imparts a weird sort of impersonality or cold-bloodedness to the film's core.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

December 20, 2013
Tom Long
Detroit News
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In the end you feel Llewyn's pain even as you realize he is a pain. Llewyn Davis is nobody you'd want to be inside.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B

December 20, 2013
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Inside Llewyn Davis plays like some beautiful, foreboding, darkly funny dream.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 4/4

December 20, 2013
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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"Inside Llewyn Davis" is a transporting cinematic experience with a churl at its center, and how you feel about the movie may depend on how you feel about the churl.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 19, 2013
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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This soulful, unabashedly lyrical film is best enjoyed by sinking into it like a sweet, sad dream. When you wake up, a mythical place and time will have disappeared forever. But you'll know that attention - briefly, beautifully - has been paid.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 4/4

December 19, 2013
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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If it weren't for a single forced, cheap scatological gag, I'd call this the Coens' most nearly perfect film.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 4/4

December 19, 2013
Calvin Wilson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Isaac, who also shared the screen with Mulligan in "Drive," may remind some moviegoers of the young Al Pacino. And like Pacino, he has a gift for being appealing even when he's unpleasant.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 4/4

December 19, 2013
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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When the Coen brothers commit to something, there's no half-stepping. Every street corner bristles with authenticity. Every song lands exactly where and how it should.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: A

December 19, 2013
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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Inside Llewyn Davis is one of the Coens' smallest movies - this one doesn't have the broad appeal of True Grit or No Country For Old Men - but like Llewyn's music, it comes from the heart and is deeply felt. It is also one of their best.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 4/4

December 19, 2013
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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The whims of fate and vagaries of artistic success have never been so clearly defined, or so musically.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 4/4

December 19, 2013
Paul de Barros
Seattle Times
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It's about a sensitive, confused young man in desperate pain, negotiating an identity crisis during an important moment in American cultural history.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 19, 2013
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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It never becomes more than one scene, followed by the next, and then another. Yet those scenes are easy to watch, and they have the Coens' signature humor.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

December 18, 2013
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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Some quibbles. But it's well worth seeing.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 17, 2013
Randy Myers
San Jose Mercury News
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There's not much of a plot to speak of, just a piercing, evocative sense of a time and place and the characters contained within it.

Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News | Original Score: 4/4

December 13, 2013
Michael Sragow
Orange County Register
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The sad-funny story of a stubborn, talented Greenwich Village folk singer becomes a stunning, tragicomic paradigm of an artist's struggle in America.

Full Review Source: Orange County Register | Original Score: A

December 12, 2013
Wesley Morris
Grantland
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The film is a work of deceptive refrigeration. The character lacks the same sentiment and warmth as the men who created him.

Full Review Source: Grantland

December 10, 2013
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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This isn't a rags-to-riches story. There's no great moment of catharsis. In fact, the filmmakers openly flout mainstream expectations when they show a certain highway sign then proceed to ignore the location shown on it.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

December 6, 2013
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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Llike almost all of their films, the Coens' new movie has a great and playful sense of incident, cramming in characters and anecdotes that obviously amuse the brothers without serving any specific narrative purpose - yet make the narrative all the richer.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 6, 2013
David Thomson
The New Republic
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[Davis] doesn't seem to possess the inner life that an artist has to bring to the surface.

Full Review Source: The New Republic

December 5, 2013
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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In top form, Joel and Ethan Coen offer up feel-bad experiences that, like fine blues medleys, make you feel good (although with an acidulous aftertaste). Inside Llewyn Davis is one of their best.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: A-

December 5, 2013
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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In addition to everything else, "Inside Llewyn Davis" is very much a roman clef about those early folk years, with many of its characters inspired by real people the Coens reconstitute after viewing them through their very particular lens.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times

December 5, 2013
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
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If you love the Coens, or follow folk music, or hold fast to this period of history and that patch of New York, then the film can hardly help striking a chord.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

December 5, 2013
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
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"Inside Llewyn Davis" is one of the Coens' richest, strangest and most potent films.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

December 5, 2013
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
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The Coen brothers' latest is one of their best, a bittersweet rumination on creative ambition and youthful dreams.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 5, 2013
Dana Stevens
Slate
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For all its grim pessimism, Inside Llewyn Davis is almost romantic in its way. It's an enigmatic parable about ambition and failure, about the loneliness and insecurity of trying to live as an artist.

Full Review Source: Slate

December 5, 2013
Ian Buckwalter
NPR
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The brothers challenge their audience to find the vanishingly fine line between nervous laughter at Llewyn's relatable human foibles and schadenfreude over the notion that his defeats represent a morally just comeuppance ...

Full Review Source: NPR | Original Score: 9.5/10

December 5, 2013
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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A bleak but lovely little parable about the failure of a Greenwich Village folk singer in the weeks before Bob Dylan hits town and Everything Changes.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

December 5, 2013
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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The film's centerpiece is Mr. Isaac's phenomenal performance.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

December 5, 2013
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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One thing's for sure about this raw provocation from the Coens: Like the music, the pain runs deep and true. You'll laugh till it hurts.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 5, 2013
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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It's a must-see - as long as you're willing to embrace the movie's melancholy.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 5/5

December 5, 2013
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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It's a Coen brothers movie, which is to say a brilliant magpie's nest of surrealism, period detail and pop-culture scholarship.

Full Review Source: New York Times

December 5, 2013
A.A. Dowd
AV Club
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Twenty-some years after Barton Fink, the Coens have returned with another comedy about the maddening, exasperating business of trying to make art for money. The joke is still on the artist, but the brothers aren't laughing so hard this time around.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B+

December 5, 2013
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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Brilliantly acted, gorgeously shot and altogether captivating.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3/4

December 4, 2013
Jessica Herndon
Associated Press
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The film is a heavy downer and its consistent gray-hue enhances the bleakness. But the Coen brothers never fail to weave in bits of saucy irony, giving way for essential comical moments that bring everything full-circle.

Full Review Source: Associated Press | Original Score: 2.5/4

December 3, 2013
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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It's a hell of a mix of tones, but that's the challenge the Coens' movies pose: How do we reconcile their cheerfully disparate impulses? (Do we need to? We need to try.)

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

December 2, 2013
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
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This isn't the cute, accessible period piece that some audiences might be expecting, but the Coens once again prove that their seemingly random and chaotic chord progressions lead somewhere wonderful.

Full Review Source: TheWrap

November 15, 2013
Jon Frosch
The Atlantic
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The Coen brothers' new movie ranks with their very best in its nearly pitch-perfect balance of biting satirical humour and deep reserves of feeling.

Full Review Source: The Atlantic

May 28, 2013
Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York
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It's the movie's profound undercurrent of sadness that gets to you.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York

May 23, 2013
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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The brothers have created a character who's hard to love and a bit of a chore to invest in for an hour and 45 minutes. Like the old songs in his repertoire, he's familiar, not new, but he quickly gets old and tiresome.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

May 22, 2013
Stephanie Zacharek
Village Voice
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Inside Llewyn Davis is the warmest picture [the Coens have] ever made, and though it will never attract the cultlike adoration of The Big Lebowski and Fargo, or earn the serious-lit-adaptation accolades of No Country for Old Men, it's possibly their best.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

May 21, 2013
Jordan Hoffman
Film.com
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One of the best and most understated movies about the grieving process.

Full Review Source: Film.com | Original Score: A

May 21, 2013
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
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The Coens have given us a melancholic, sometimes cruel, often hilarious counterfactual version of music history. It's a what-if imagining of a cultural also-ran that maybe tells us more about the truth than the facts themselves ever could.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 5/5

May 20, 2013
Scott Foundas
Variety
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The result is a movie that neatly avoids the problems endemic to most period movies -- and biopics in particular -- in favor of a playful, evocatively subjective reality.

Full Review Source: Variety

May 20, 2013
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
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An outstanding fictional take on the early 1960s folk music scene from the Coen Brothers.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

May 20, 2013
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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The Coens bring the pre-Dylan 1960s Village to life with a spangly authenticity that leaps off the screen.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A-

May 19, 2013
William Goss
MSN Movies
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To call Inside Llewyn Davis a minor work doesn't render it any less a pleasure to watch; it's to admit that the film's melancholy depiction of the '60s folk scene in Greenwich Village (and beyond) may only improve in the interim.

Full Review Source: MSN Movies

May 18, 2013
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