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Once (2007)


Average Rating: 8.3/10
Reviews Counted: 155
Fresh: 150
Rotten: 5

Critics Consensus: A charming, captivating tale of love and music, Once sets the standard for the modern musical. And with Dublin as its backdrop, Once is fun and fresh.

Average Rating: 8.4/10
Reviews Counted: 45
Fresh: 45
Rotten: 0

Critics Consensus: A charming, captivating tale of love and music, Once sets the standard for the modern musical. And with Dublin as its backdrop, Once is fun and fresh.


Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 188,939


Movie Info

"Once" is a modern-day musical set on the streets of Dublin. Featuring Glen Hansard and his Irish band The Frames, "Once" tells the story of a street musician and a Czech immigrant during an eventful week as they write, rehearse and record songs that reveal their unique love story.

R (for language)
Musical & Performing Arts , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
John Carney
In Theaters:
Dec 18, 2007
Box Office:
Fox Searchlight - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Once

All Critics (156) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (150) | Rotten (5) | DVD (15)

So this is how you make a low-budget musical these days!

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

In an era when Hollywood has largely lost the ability to distinguish between romance and sex, Once is the rare film that recognizes that love is no less love for being held in check, it is merely a different kind of love.

Full Review… | September 18, 2008
The New Republic
Top Critic

Once doesn't plop its emotions on its characters' sleeves, and it trusts us enough to leave some of the best stuff unstated. In other words, it trusts us to know that half the music lies between the notes.

Full Review… | December 19, 2007
Top Critic

Forget everything you think you know about the movie musical, one of the more predictable genres. With Once, writer-director John Carney deconstructs it and reinvents it as something wholly new, inspired and alive.

Full Review… | August 9, 2007
Associated Press
Top Critic

This lovely tale of a love affair between a Dublin street musician and a flower girl will leave you wistful for more. It's a movie to fall in love with and a movie to fall in love during. It is the most naturalistic musical ever.

Full Review… | June 28, 2007
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Don't miss Once. It has to be seen and heard to be believed and enjoyed.

Full Review… | June 27, 2007
New York Observer
Top Critic

If "The Commitments" shows the gritty, robust side of Dublin and the Irish music scene, "Once" shows us a softer, more romantic side.

Full Review… | April 18, 2014
Movie Metropolis

At once delicate and gritty, wistful and deeply satisfying.

Full Review… | October 29, 2008
Decent Films Guide

There is much to admire about Once, in a little-movie-that-could kind of way, but it can't help but get in its own way just when it begins to gain some momentum

Full Review… | October 18, 2008

my biggest road block was the fact that I didn't like the music

Full Review… | August 17, 2008
7M Pictures

It has its own peculiar naturalism, a kind of lo-fi, lovelorn charm.

Full Review… | August 7, 2008
Sacramento News & Review

Um filme mágico que, através de sua narrativa enganosamente simples, alcança uma vitória que escapa à maioria das obras do gênero, retratando com sentimento o instante preciso no qual dois seres humanos se descobrem apaixonados um pelo outro.

Full Review… | April 19, 2008
Cinema em Cena

Once is the anti-blockbuster that couldn't have come at a better time.

Full Review… | February 28, 2008
Colorado Springs Gazette

a tender little ultralow budget movie about the intimate connection of making music...the warm folkiness of the songs and their generally non-narrative-pushing content make it feel more like a long, lovely home movie of a short portion of two people's liv

Full Review… | February 16, 2008

Un effort battant la mesure d'une manière somme toute imparfaite, mais néanmoins prenante, qu'un genre aussi excessif que le film musical a besoin de temps à autre...

Full Review… | February 16, 2008

A moving story about two people who share a common love of music.

Full Review… | February 2, 2008
Cinema Sight

mia idiaiteri kinimatografiki empeiria, esto kai san kolaz, apo mia seira binteoklip me toys idioys, agapimenoys soy protagonistes

Full Review… | January 26, 2008
Movies for the Masses

With delicate care and a modest street musician attitude, Carney has reinvented what a movie musical can be.

Full Review… | January 14, 2008 epic told in incomplete lyric lines, a classic fable forged out of slowly strummed guitar, lilting piano, and strained, struggling voices.

Full Review… | December 28, 2007

Though the trailer for Once might pique your curiosity, you don't know the freight train of raw emotion that's about to blindside you.

Full Review… | December 24, 2007

Carney's Once is definitely not enough...thoroughly inspirational, lyrical, charming and cheeky...a winning spark that ignites the lovelorn imagination.

Full Review… | December 15, 2007

A minimalist musical which makes the most of the 'boy-meets-girl theme.

Full Review… | December 14, 2007

It's probably one of the best musicals I've ever seen...

Full Review… | November 12, 2007
Cinema Crazed

Audience Reviews for Once

John Carny knows how to direct performances and incorporate music very well, because every single scene throughout this film feels true and natural. The shaky camera in almost every scene was odd at first, but you become so used to it that it feels like it is a part of their unbalanced lives. I feel like there are so many hidden messages throughout this film that I feel the need to watch it again to find them all. The two leads are fantastic and I really bought their connection. "Once" is a very well-written romance film that is not really like your average Hollywood tale, which is why I loved watching it so much. I do not love many romance films, simply because I find it hard to believe the connection most of the time, so a film really needs to impress me with it's chemistry and dialogue. This film delivers performances and dialogue better than almost any romance I have seen in a long time. It felt very "Before Sunrise-ish" to me, and that is what sold me. "Once" is a very well put together film, the musical aspects are great and the atmosphere is vibrant. Loved every minute.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

It's really no surprise that Once is so critically acclaimed. It's a simple, low-budget musical of sorts but with a huge heart at its core. It's a triumph in film making, story telling and music. I think maybe the fact that the makers and all those involved had little aspiration for the film but were so full of passion for it anyway is the key to its success. The love story is realistic, sensible but still captivating. The music is awesome, each song as strong as the next and a couple as powerful as I've ever seen in any film, musical or live show. Now and again a film comes along that is pure magic and in 2006 it was Once. As modern day musicals go it is up there with Dancer in the Dark, okay so it's not quite a musical in the classical sense but the modern realism and unconvoluted structure make it something new in an existing genre and something I would love to see more of. This is why I love film!

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer


The original twisted musical, "Once" is full of simple beauty, small, quiet scenes, and some very inspiring music. Technically this is a musical because the characters are expressing their emotions through the medium of song. It doesn't have any of the grandeur of original movie musical. All of the songs are original, written by stars Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. They both play musically talented people, on guitar and piano, who bond over their love of his music. They talk mostly about music, but as Glen or "The Busker" realizes his obvious attraction and eventual love for her, they find that there are obstacles to them being together. Marketa or "The Girl" is a character that is very forthcoming, who is interesting, sweet, and intelligent, and yet she is stuck in a life as a recent immigrant and single mother. Glen, in contrast, is living off the tips he gets from playing guitar in the street, and his work at his father's vacuum cleaner repairing business. They complement each other so easily, and as the songs become more and more about the two of them and less about Glen's former girlfriend, we feel the true love between these two characters. Glen is still hung up on that former girlfriend at first, but when he falls for Marketa, it's hard and difficult and so painfully adorable. He is the definition of a lovesick puppy, and Marketa is nearly oblivious to their rendezvous and shared experiences. In the end, it's painfully clear that Marketa does love Glen, but the burden of her difficult life, and her own fear at what could be, comes between them and ultimately makes for a heartbreaking and frankly tear inducing ending. It was just so understated, so lovingly determined to show love in its earliest stages, and how two people can understand so much about music, but nothing about their own desires.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

the music is great

Spencer Macklin
Spencer Macklin

Super Reviewer

Once Quotes

The Busker:
Broken hearted Hoover fixer sucker guy.
– Submitted by Kevin M (2 years ago)
Guys, why do you think there are no blonde priests?
– Submitted by Sjur Ø (3 years ago)
The Girl:
Do you like this shop? I buy all my clothes here. Good for me, you know. Cheap. Nice fashion.
– Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
The Girl:
Fuck you, batteries!
– Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)

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