A Late Quartet


A Late Quartet

Critics Consensus

An outstanding ensemble cast lends weight and depth to A Late Quartet's melodramatic script, and the result is insightful and emotionally satisfying.



Reviews Counted: 112

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User Ratings: 9,467


All Critics | Top Critics
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Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.6/5

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Movie Info

When the beloved cellist of a world-renowned string quartet receives a life changing diagnosis, the group's future suddenly hangs in the balance: suppressed emotions, competing egos, and uncontrollable passions threaten to derail years of friendship and collaboration. As they are about to play their 25th anniversary concert, quite possibly their last, only their intimate bond and the power of music can preserve their legacy. Inspired by and structured around Beethoven's Opus 131 String Quartet in C-sharp minor, A LATE QUARTET pays homage to chamber music and the cultural world of New York.

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Philip Seymour Hoffman
as Robert Gelbart (Violin)
Catherine Keener
as Juliette Gelbart (Viola)
Christopher Walken
as Peter Mitchell (Cello)
Mark Ivanir
as Daniel Lerner (Violin)
Imogen Poots
as Alexandra Gelbart (Violin)
Wallace Shawn
as Gideon Rosen
Madhur Jaffrey
as Dr. Nadir
Anne Sofie Von Otter
as Miriam Mitchell
Pamela Quinn
as Parkinson's Class Instructor
Cristian Puig
as Flamenco Guitarist
Rebecca Tomas
as Flamenco Dancer
Megan McQuillan
as Sotheby's Executive
David Redden
as Auctioneer
Ted Hartley
as Winning Bidder
Keiko Tokunaga
as Violinist
Luke Fleming
as Violist
Andrew Yee
as Steve the Cellist
Amy Schroeder
as Julliard Classroom Student
Nina Lee
as Herself
Alyssa Lewis
as Little Girl in Subway
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News & Interviews for A Late Quartet

Critic Reviews for A Late Quartet

All Critics (112) | Top Critics (39)

We can note immediately that Zilberman has the requisite gifts.

Jun 17, 2013 | Full Review…

A movie with clarity and grownup complexity.

Apr 4, 2013 | Full Review…

The result is a perfectly serviceable, well acted melodrama - but why so serious?

Apr 4, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The screenplay by Seth Grossman and Israeli-American director Yaron Zilberman is old-fashioned and melodramatic but stirring in its portrait of people struggling with individual egos to produce something nobler than themselves.

Nov 30, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

[It] may not sound like a scintillatingly good time at the movies, but actually it is.

Nov 29, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

The outstanding ensemble cast keeps the story - and its accompanying emotional heft - from becoming overly baroque.

Nov 15, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
USA Today
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for A Late Quartet

A quartet's leader falls ill as marital strife hits two other members. Essentially an acting master class, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, and Christopher Walken all turn in remarkable performances that should be the model for any young actor. Walken, especially, in his later years continues to show a sensitive, emotional side. However, the film is poorly paced. Particularly, after a comic scene in which the stoic, severe Daniel is forced to gather his clothes and slip out the fire escape, we get another tear-ridden scene filled with pop psychology and emotional effusions. What is more, the character look like they've been crying or are about to cry is almost every scene. Overall, though I like the work by the actors, I think a skilled director could have turned this into a truly fine film.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


Maybe I needed to be a classical music fan in order to enjoy this film. Wonderful actors. Nicely done..but I found the story slow, tedious, and rather pointless.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Movies about violinists aren't usually my thing, but looking over the cast I figured I would give it a shot. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener, and Mike Ivanir star as a string quartet with a lot of drama. 1 is retiring because of Parkinsons, 2 are in a failing marriage, and the other is sleeping with the married couples daughter. It's all made for tv type of stuff, but the performances set it a few steps above. Hoffman shines most, but the rest all do very well. Overall, it is what you would expect. Slow and geared towards a much older audience. It's not a bad movie, but it's not a very entertaining movie either. I liked some parts of it, but was ready for it to be over halfway through. If you like classical music or are much older than 29, then you might like this. Otherwise, wait til your older.

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

A Late Quartet is a superlatively acted, well written, intense and downbeat melodrama. It's quiet and heartfelt, though probably too intellectual and pretentious for the escapist movie goer, or if you feel like a romp where you can turn your brain off at the movies, don't go (or rent). It's the story of the labyrinthan and conflicting relationships between the members of a veteran string quartet, with loyalty, jealously, sex, and ambition pushing the envelope on everything. The catalytic event is a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, forcing the retirement of the groups cellist father figure, played by Christopher Walken. Every performance is a gem, but Christopher Walken is a revelation, since he usually plays weird over the top surreal clowns (albeit compellingly each time). Here he plays a real man, facing death and decline with his whole heart and soul on display. P.S. Hoffman does his usual angst filled disapointment filled character with his usual skill, as his wife, Catherine Keener gets to do a more muted but well calibrated take on on her bitchy brutally honest but soulful charcter, Israeli Mark Ivanir plays the star lead violinst, a distant, arrogant but alpha male with sensitivity, I haven't seen him before in anything. English up and coming Imogene Poots plays the daughter of the couple, who enters into a sexual relationship with Ivanir (his mother's old flame) causing the group to almost flame out. As much as I loved it, be warned the movie involves lots of talk about Beethoven and classical music that may bore some viewers (I loved it). Further, the film which feels very real most of the time, depends on French Farce like coincidences and meolodramatic over the top tropes to advance its story, which may annoy some viewers hooked up on realism. First time feature writer/director Yaron Zilberman does a wondeful job here, and I look forward to his next film. Finally, the wonder that is Beethoven's opus 131 is the star of the show, and its melancholic, mournful yet life affirming strains are lived up and matched by this terrific chamber film.

Josh Morris
Josh Morris

Super Reviewer

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