Once - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Once Reviews

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½ June 20, 2017
A very beautiful and charming contemporary musical film. The first half i particularly love the most. If I did have a problem with Once is that in the second half probably has a few too many songs. Though the songs are really well done, i think there could have been more time in-between them for dialogue, character moments, or story progression. The first half did a great job mixing music with whats happening and i did wish the second half was more like that. Overall, this is a really beautiful film with charming leads and great songs, I could listen to that Oscar winning song Falling Slowly all day, its just such a lovely song.
April 27, 2017
Not to be missed by any lover of either music or cinema.
½ March 15, 2017
This is once rare time that I disagree negatively with both critics and audience. I didn't like the music and it was a large part of it. The story is slim but realistic and also a downer. Because the music was not so good and the people rather ordinary, we feel stuck in the doldrums.
½ March 15, 2017
This is once rare time that I disagree negatively with both critics and audience. I didn't like the music and it was a large part of it. The story is slim but realistic and also a downer. Because the music was not so good and the people rather ordinary, we feel stuck in the doldrums.
March 8, 2017
very heartwarming, charmful tale of crash, reality with few nice songs.
½ January 14, 2017
Run if you're not into Musical movies, failed to entertain me....
January 11, 2017
What makes John Carney's "Once" such a joy to watch is how beautifully simple it is. The movie is a sweet one with music that both sounds good and contributes to telling the story and showcasing the emotions of the characters. I think this is a unique music film that is worth seeing. It is very grounded in reality and it feels genuine. The events in the movie are fairly ordinary but that adds to the realism of it. The ending of this movie was bittersweet and it combined the quality of the story and music so effortlessly.
December 4, 2016
An old time favorite ??
November 25, 2016
This is a pleasant movie with a lot of atmosphere.
November 8, 2016
I don't understand the hype around this movie in the slightest. This is one of the ugliest looking movies I've ever seen, not to mention it's insufferably boring. Not to mention, the music is awful. Don't like.
October 8, 2016
Music really wasn't my thing and that was what the movie had going for it. Certainly top notch sound even if not to my liking, unfortunately the story overall was simplistic so I couldn't fall back on that. The "love" angle in the film was rather misleading for instance, really "Once" might as well be a collection of music videos.
October 1, 2016
Girl (Markéta Irglová): How come you don't play during daytime? I see you here everyday.
Guy (Glen Hansard): During the daytime people would want to hear songs that they know, just songs that they recognize. I play these song at night or I wouldn't make any money. People wouldn't listen.
Girl (Markéta Irglová): I listen.

It's one of those unassuming, flicks that you see on telly; but since you have no time to watch it at the present, you figured you'd record it for now and watch it later just in case it turns out to be good (anyone else like that or is it just me?). Anyway, so as it turns out, this film was quite brilliant and has an epically awesome soundtrack. The story is fairly straightforward and the cast, albeit seemingly a bit green in the acting biz, weren't half bad either. I especially loved the conclusion of the story, the two main protagonists never did anything uncharacteristic just to advance the plot and that for me kept the integrity of the film and made it more believable. This would be a perfect example why some indie flicks are much better than the Million-dollar grossing, mainstream popcorn flicks; this film has substance and it has soul.
Super Reviewer
September 29, 2016
This beautiful story of two musicians becoming friends (and more?) on the streets of Dublin is a little wonder of a film. Not only does it feel very fresh, natural and real, the movie doesn't even need a lot of words to make us feel for the two lovely main characters. The songs they sing do not feel out of place or forced into the scene, like in many other musicals, but as an important part. When they sing "Falling slowly" together for the first time in an instrument store it's impossible not to fall for this film. Of course it helps that the rest of the songs are just as wonderful. The sweet humor is another plus and so it feels those 95 minutes are over way too quickly, and we would have loved to follow those two around a little longer. Wonderful, touching, lovable.
September 27, 2016
Since the first listen of "Falling Slowly", I knew I was going to fall in love with this film instantly. The movie is short but contains the most substance and some hopeful charm. It's a love story, but more of the love of music than anything else. It's in the songs and the performers where we feel much of the emotion. Many struggling musicians feel that in the songs we ourselves sing, write, and/or play. That realism, plus the atmosphere of a working class city, makes it such a fresh take on the musical genre, let alone modern film in general.
½ August 9, 2016
A homey, nostalgic feeling the motion picture Once is able to convey makes it one of the most surprising films of 2006.
½ July 26, 2016
Some good songs, good actors and story. Don't know why I wasn't as engaged as I should be. They separate at the end
July 24, 2016
John Carney's musical debut is a bitter-sweet symphony of powerful storytelling and sensational music that his films are known for.
½ July 18, 2016
No way. Junk. Fast-forward express. Almost unwatchable. Because the producer won't borrow a fooking tripod or any lights doesn't make a "film" (low end video, supposedly deliberately) an artful or even interesting 1.5-hrs. And it's not a musical. It's about the low-end studio music biz. Splat. This one is Dublin dumb & Roscommon rotten. Feelin' the Ire'ish.
½ July 13, 2016
"Once" is a superb romantic drama with a lot of singer-songwriter tunes that will determine how much you enjoy the film. I personally didn't like any of the songs very much, so the movie was pretty slow going and a struggle for me personally, but even despite the road block of the music I still think it's a well made and thoughtfully executed low-budget musical film. I appreciate its uniqueness and near flawless character development. It's really too bad about that music.
½ July 13, 2016
Once is a brilliant tale of love and music from accomplished director John Carney. With its alternative cinematic style and charming story arch, 'Once' is an uplifting feel good film with a spectacular musical display.

It is not surprising that lead song 'Falling Slowly' won an Oscar, and others such as 'If You Want Me' could just as easily have been in the running. Set in Dublin, Ireland, the plot revolves around a vacuum repair man turned street singer and a Czech girl in a low key cleaning job in their quest to make good music and find love (or re-find their respective flames).

Though some of the alternative camera angles do not quite work, and can make some scenes feel a little uncomfortable, this subtracts little from the overall heart of the film and its status as musical brilliance and cinematic mastery. The features leaves much to the imagination in the conclusion, and is a thoroughly enchanting film to watch.
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