Starting Out in the Evening Reviews

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David Fear
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 18, 2008
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Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 18, 2008
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February 24, 2008
Starting Out in the Evening is thrilling in a way that a movie larded with car chases and explosions can seldom be, because of the way it deals with that basic building block of civilization, the creative process.
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
February 8, 2008
Langella's nuanced performance saves the film; the actor has an understated but powerful role, and he takes full advantage.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
February 7, 2008
It's Langella's performance that anchors the film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Philip Marchand
Toronto Star
January 18, 2008
What to do with this light, while it lasts? [Director] Wagner's problem is to find an answer to that question and also to offer some resolution to the conflicts of honesty and compromise the movie portrays.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
January 18, 2008
A strong cast and a literate script make for a refreshingly subtle film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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David Denby
New Yorker
January 4, 2008
Langella is superb, and Starting Out in the Evening is a classy film... but it could have used a little less circumspection, a little more juice.
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
January 4, 2008
We're pretty much left waiting in this drifting melodrama about living the artistic life in New York and the ambition it takes to do that.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Tom Long
Detroit News
December 21, 2007
It's about as quiet as a film can get. But for those in search of for nuance, intelligence and fine acting, this is a must-see.
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
December 14, 2007
Among the CGI monsterfests of the holiday film season, this quiet, humorous drama of oppositional wills from different generations coming to terms with each other is one of the miracles of the season.
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 14, 2007
A touching portrait of a man in the twilight of his life.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 14, 2007
Starting Out in the Evening has the feeling of a film in which the actors, left to direct themselves, played into their own self-indulgent instincts, and the only one who resisted was the old pro who knew better.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
December 14, 2007
Starting Out in the Evening is a gentle collection of scenes that work and scenes that don't.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
December 14, 2007
Much of the film's novelty derives from its characters, the sort one almost never finds in 'commercial' films -- both flawed and sympathetic -- and it keeps them vivid, ambiguous, and three-dimensional throughout.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 14, 2007
It honors values that seem obsolete in our trashy popular culture, obsessed with the sex lives of vacuumheads.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Jessica Reaves
Chicago Tribune
December 14, 2007
While the film shares the novel's stealth appeal ... on the whole it's better: sharper, leaner and less sentimental.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 13, 2007
Starting Out in the Evening is a 'small' movie. But in its keenly observed examination of strangers who become intimates -- and of family members who remain, in part, strangers -- it has big things to say.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
December 12, 2007
A lovely comedy of death and rebirth.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Noel Murray
AV Club
December 6, 2007
Starting Out In The Evening is like the opposite of 'mumblecore'. It's 'loquacitycore'.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
December 3, 2007
It's so rich and so textured and such wonderful material.
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
November 30, 2007
Every time we leave his world -- full of mortality, and artistry and that seductive student -- to re-enter his daughter's, the film falters a little. And bit by bit, the tension fades, like a manuscript left in the sun.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
November 30, 2007
A simple but unpredictable story of a man facing his mortality, it is simultaneously unsettling and deeply moving.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
November 29, 2007
Director Andrew Wagner, adapting a novel by Brian Morton, is sometimes understated to a fault, but his work with the actors, who also include Lili Taylor, is impeccable.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
November 29, 2007
Has the patina of authenticity, but Wagner's characters speak in banalities that describe their all-too-familiar plights from the outside without getting inside their skins, as if they are trapped in the expositional stages of an old Broadway play.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
November 26, 2007
The picture feels both intimate and immediate, a model for what smart young filmmakers can do with good material.
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
November 26, 2007
Excellent, deeply introspective performances by Frank Langella and the phenomenal Lauren Ambrose inform and enhance Starting Out in the Evening.
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
November 26, 2007
Unusual and absolutely riveting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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David Ansen
Newsweek
November 26, 2007
Refreshingly subtle.
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
November 24, 2007
It really doesn't get much better than Frank Langella's career-capping per formance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
November 24, 2007
A gentle, unhurried drama about how people can connect with each other through conversation, nonverbal gestures, and writing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
November 24, 2007
Intelligent, involving and conspicuously adult, "Starting Out in the Evening" is almost shocking in its distinctiveness, its ability to create high drama from an unlikely source.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
November 23, 2007
It has the quiet beauty of a late afternoon, late in the autumn, when New York seems to be not just the center of the world but the crystallization of its finest tendencies.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
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Ella Taylor
Village Voice
November 20, 2007
This wise, observant, and exquisitely tacit chamber piece complicates every May-December, academic-novel cliché in the book.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
November 19, 2007
This is what great screen acting is about.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 15, 2007
Remarkable film, indelibly marked by Langella's deeply felt portrait of a lion in winter.
| Original Score: 3/4
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James Greenberg
Hollywood Reporter
January 25, 2007
Complex and satisfying New York literary drama.
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Scott Foundas
Variety
January 24, 2007
Director Andrew Wagner draws topnotch work from a pro cast in Starting Out in the Evening, a wise, carefully observed chamber drama.