Beginners - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Beginners Reviews

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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
July 1, 2011
The film is not about a straight man's struggle to understand how his father is gay; it's about learning that happiness is always possible if you're brave enough to keep your heart open.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
June 29, 2011
"Beginners" is warm and revealing and bittersweet, if a trifle all over the place stylistically and thematically.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Calvin Wilson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
June 24, 2011
A strange and beautiful film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
June 23, 2011
"Beginners" is a delightful film - gentle, playful, creative and ultimately happy - though it's a tricky journey.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Richard Brody
New Yorker
June 20, 2011
Excruciatingly faux-naïve and sentimental...
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
June 17, 2011
Wwhile there's plenty of melancholia, there is also sweet wonder and celebration in writer-director Mike Mills' semiautobiographical tale of a straight son coming to terms with his own love's possibilities after his father comes out of the closet.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
June 17, 2011
In his follow-up to Thumbsucker, writer-director Mike Mills continues to evoke a state of perpetual adolescence: the only fears given real weight are of not being liked and of having to behave like a responsible adult.
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Tom Long
Detroit News
June 17, 2011
Beginners finds life both ripe with possibility and ensnared in the past. But then every morning is a beginning, right? If only we could remember that.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
June 17, 2011
It's an embarrassment of emotional riches -- some pure and crisp, others cloying. This is a film that delights one moment and, the next, gets bogged down in its morass of feelings.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
June 17, 2011
An affecting film by Mike Mills that makes a virtue of its own awkwardness.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 16, 2011
It's a movie about untangling roots in order to grow.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 16, 2011
Watching the film is like spending two hours consuming fat, sugary doughnuts of self-pity.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
June 15, 2011
An effective portrait of a damaged individual uncertain about the meaning of love and commitment and the two key relationships in his life that teach him lessons about both.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
June 10, 2011
You know you're in the hands of a superbly gifted filmmaker when he can pull off a talking dog.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
June 9, 2011
Mike Mills' wistful, wonderful "Beginners" feels a lot like life - it'll make you laugh, it'll make you cry (well, me anyway) and, by its end, you'll feel as if you've learned something.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
June 9, 2011
Beginners is the story of adults who are beginners at love but who are slowly, scene by scene, moving forward in their journey.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
June 9, 2011
"Write what you know," the standard advice goes, and filmmaker Mike Mills (Thumbsucker ) knew he had a compelling family story to tell.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
June 9, 2011
Many cherish this film. To me the cuteness feels pushy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
June 9, 2011
It's a hopeful fable with deep optimism and a cheerful style that kids itself.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
June 9, 2011
This is a bright-looking movie with a long face that seems to have learned nothing about life from death but clichés.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
June 3, 2011
Beginners isn't bad, exactly, but Mills focuses much less on the father-son stuff than on Oliver's off-and-on liaison with a pretty French actress.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
June 3, 2011
All the gimmicks in the storytelling ... can't camouflage the fact that the story itself was never quite worked out.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
June 3, 2011
A beautifully humane, sweet and intelligent movie that knows exactly what it is at every moment.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
June 3, 2011
Ranks among the most affectionate and sensitive portraits of homosexuality ever crafted by a straight person.
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
June 3, 2011
Certainly grows on you, despite all of the twee touches.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
June 2, 2011
Laurent and McGregor are the year's most appealing screen couple, their scenes together so realistic they seem improvised.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
June 2, 2011
A buoyant and disarming drama about sons and fathers, death and dying, living and loving and all the ways we find ourselves starting over, hoping to finally get it right.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
June 2, 2011
Delicate business is being transacted in this touchingly personal and altogether extraordinary film from writer-director Mike Mills. Beginners is one from the bruised heart.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
June 2, 2011
he performers are charming, particularly Ms. Laurent and Mr. Plummer, with his killer eyes (still seducing after all these years) and a voice that echoes in your ears.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
June 2, 2011
The film's special mixture of sadness, comedy and hope sneaks up on you and stays in your memory.
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
June 2, 2011
The material with Plummer is so spectacular -- exuberant, poignant, vastly entertaining -- that it swaddles the rest of the film like a warm blanket.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Eric Kohn
indieWIRE
June 2, 2011
...a small wonder to behold. Mills fashions the set-up for an overwrought, thoroughly depressing character study into an oddly charming comedy.
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
June 2, 2011
On paper, it all could have been too cloying or self-conscious, but writer-director Mike Mills finds just the right tone every time. He also draws lovely, natural performances from Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor.
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Keith Uhlich
Time Out
June 1, 2011
That deceptively delicate surface masks a movie with an unflinchingly tough heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
June 1, 2011
Even the clichés in this warm mood piece seem unpredictable and without contrivance.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Rob Nelson
Village Voice
May 31, 2011
It's strongest as the story of an artist who, in his own way, has only begun to come out.
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Kathleen Murphy
MSN Movies
May 31, 2011
... the humans in Beginners never shape up into idiosyncratic, flesh-and-blood folks who get under our skin and engage our deepest emotions.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
May 30, 2011
Arthur might have stolen this one were it not for a cast that inspires you to empty out your bag of superlatives.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
May 27, 2011
Plummer ... creates an inspiring, fully rounded man in late bloom, and McGregor responds with a performance to match.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Peter Debruge
Variety
September 13, 2010
Deeply poignant and disarmingly personal.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
September 13, 2010
The movie's playfulness rubs off on the actors. Scenes crackle with life. The chemistry among all the actors is terrific.