Begin Again


Begin Again

Critics Consensus

Writer-director John Carney's return to musical drama isn't quite as potent as it was with Once, but thanks to charming work from its well-matched leads, Begin Again is difficult to resist.



Reviews Counted: 158

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User Ratings: 39,869


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Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.9/5

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Movie Info

The latest film from writer-director John Carney (ONCE), BEGIN AGAIN is a soul-stirring comedy about what happens when lost souls meet and make beautiful music together. Gretta (Keira Knightley) and her long-time boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine) are college sweethearts and songwriting partners who decamp for New York when he lands a deal with a major label. But the trappings of his new-found fame soon tempt Dave to stray, and a reeling, lovelorn Gretta is left on her own. Her world takes a turn for the better when Dan (Mark Ruffalo), a disgraced record-label exec, stumbles upon her performing on an East Village stage and is immediately captivated by her raw talent. From this chance encounter emerges an enchanting portrait of a mutually transformative collaboration, set to the soundtrack of a summer in New York City. BEGIN AGAIN is produced and financed by Exclusive Media and produced by Anthony Bregman, Tobin Armbrust and Judd Apatow. (C) Weinstein

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Critic Reviews for Begin Again

All Critics (158) | Top Critics (46)

  • John Carney is not afraid of a cliche. After all, Begin Again is a musical, a genre that has always thrived on them. And he does know how to shape them to his own design, which is low-key and slightly tongue-in-cheek.

    Aug 4, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The trouble with this movie -- aside from its lack of visual wonder and musical shape -- is that you don't trust its priorities.

    Jul 16, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Another sappy but engaging musical fable from the Irish writer and director John Carney, who made "Once."

    Jul 14, 2014 | Full Review…

    David Denby

    New Yorker
    Top Critic
  • The wholesome, hopeful, let's-put-on-a-show enthusiasm may sound hokey but it's actually infectiously joyful. At the same time, Carney roughs up the edges just enough to make this fairy tale seem somewhat accessible and realistic.

    Jul 12, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • This soulful outing is sure to please music lovers. And isn't that everyone?

    Jul 11, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Begin Again is a not-entirely-successful movie about not selling out; it's a theme that must concern Carney deeply.

    Jul 11, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Begin Again

A refreshing and superbly-edited dramatic comedy from the director of Once, who depicts once again a warm, platonic relationship born from the mutual love shared by two people for music, and oh boy, aren't the songs in this film just so lovely and beautiful!

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

In some ways, Carney just remakes his wonderful "Once" under US conditions here. It's not entirely the same story but neither particularly original. It works thanks to some of the actors, but Knightley still feels like an odd choice and Levine is not much of an actor. What saves the films are little, original scenes, like the performances (of mostly mediocre songs) at unusual places or the "try not to dance" party game. A charming movie, with a few slow parts and odd priorities, but overall still enjoyable.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

Got to admit, I wasn't looking forward to this one. I got it as a buy two, get one free, this being the one free because there was literally nothing else I might watch that I didn't already have. I then stuck it in a drawer for about 6 months. Found it again tonight and didn't have much else to watch so decided it was time. What a pleasant surprise! I actually quite enjoyed it. Keira plays a young woman who's left her cheating boyfriend (played by the maroon 5 t%^t. Honestly, part of the reason I put off watching for so long). Writing songs makes her feel better and one night she is "discovered" by a troubled music executive. It's a nice movie with lots of singing from Keira (surprisingly her voice and the songs are really good). As well as her story, it follows the executive and his ex and teenage daughter and the difficult relationship they have. I liked the ending. I'm glad it didn't go the way it seemed to be going. Would recommend this one.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer



jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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