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Once (2007)



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

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
Critic Reviews: 44
Fresh: 44 | Rotten: 0

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.



liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 188,197

My Rating

Movie Info

A Dublin-based busker and vacuum-cleaner repairman enters into a fruitful relationship with a piano playing florist in a toe-tapping "video album" directed by John Carney and featuring a cast comprised entirely of professional musicians. He (Glen Hansard of the Frames) was a six-stringed street musician. She (Markéta Irglová) was a flower woman who couldn't afford to purchase a piano of her own. One day, after admiring the musician's songs and asking if he would take a look at her broken vacuum,


Musical & Performing Arts, Drama

John Carney

Dec 18, 2007


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All Critics (156) | Top Critics (44) | Fresh (150) | Rotten (5) | DVD (15)

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

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop 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.

September 18, 2008 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop 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.

December 19, 2007 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop 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.

August 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Associated Press
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop 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.

June 28, 2007 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

June 27, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

April 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

At once delicate and gritty, wistful and deeply satisfying.

October 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide
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

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source:

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

August 17, 2008 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures | Comments (20)
7M Pictures

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

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
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.

April 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

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

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Colorado Springs Gazette
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

February 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinerina

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...

February 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Panorama

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

February 2, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

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

January 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

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

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

December 28, 2007 Full Review Source: PopMatters

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.

December 24, 2007 Full Review Source:

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

December 15, 2007 Full Review

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

December 14, 2007 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

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

November 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Audience Reviews for Once

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.
March 20, 2013

Super Reviewer

the music is great
February 7, 2013
Spencer Macklin

Super Reviewer

An intensely organic musical that will appeal more to musicians, Once lets viewers feel the passion of the two main characters through their musical performances, which unfold as a natural process of the story, unlike most musicals. Despite not being trained actors, both Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova give likable performances, though Hansard is clearly more skilled. While the narrative itself is pretty basic and many of the scenes are akin to bland montages, as a whole the film is a beautiful narrative video album - and a good album at that. The music itself is highly recommended.
January 9, 2012
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

I had really high expectations and hopes for this film, but after watching it, I really hate to say it was one of the most boring films I have ever seen. Looking at it as a "video album" it's not bad and the music is sensational, but as a narrative film it didn't give me any connection to the characters. It's a slice of life out of the characters' lives. Hitchcock said films are "Life with all the boring parts taken out." Well without trying to sound condescending, this was the opposite. On a lighter note, the music is wonderful, but I would have much rather listened to the soundtrack than the film.
January 8, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. The Busker: Broken hearted Hoover fixer sucker guy.
    – Submitted by Kevin M (22 months ago)
    1. Eamon: Guys, why do you think there are no blonde priests?
    – Submitted by Sjur Ø (2 years ago)
    1. 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)
    1. The Girl: Fuck you, batteries!
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (4)

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