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Begin Again

8/10
Comedy . Music . Romance . Drama
 

Gretta's celebrity boyfriend breaks up with her after a long-term relationship, leaving the singer to find success on her own. With the help of record producer, Dan and hip-hop celebrity, Trouble Gum, Gretta strives to fulfil her musical ambitions.

 
Actors: Mos Def , James Corden , Catherine Keener , Hailee Steinfeld , Adam Levine , Keira Knightley , Mark Ruffalo , Aya Cash , Maddie Corman , Karen Pittman
Directors: John Carney
Country: USA
Release: 2014-07-11
More Info:
  • Drew McWeeny

    John Carney, who wrote and directed "Once," has made another great film that focuses on songwriters and the way their lives influence their work.

    HitFix Full Review
  • Alonso Duralde

    Begin Again is as uncynical and unironic a film as I've seen in a while, which will no doubt be a turn-off to many. But like a catchy summer jam, it doesn't need to apologize for being exactly what it is, nor do its fans have to feel guilty for getting it stuck in their heads.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    The sum total is a film with great music, a great story and a great vibe in general -- not to mention those Carney-crafted moments, built around joy, possibility and self-transformation. In other words: Carney has given us another pearl.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Cath Clarke

    What makes it special is that it’s not another romance about finding a man. It’s about finding your people, about being a bit lost in your twenties and not knowing who you are or what you want to be. And it’s got bucketfuls of charm.

    Time Out London Full Review
  • Ian Freer

    Begin Again is a joyous movie about the good things in life: love, family, relationships, New York, creativity and music. And Knightley and Ruffalo make for one of the most unusual engaging couples of the year.

    Empire Full Review
  • Peter Debruge

    A film that lays emotions on the line and then drives them home with music.

    Variety Full Review
  • David Rooney

    The film’s quiet pleasures creep up on you.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    Doggedly indie but unpretentious, Begin Again is one of the best movies I’ve seen about the music industry and the ways it changes people whose paths diverge.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    The music is hit-and-miss, and the movie sinks into as many cliches as it avoids. But the characters are appealing, and the storytelling is just unconventional enough to keep an audience guessing.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Connie Ogle

    Begin Again manages to be romantic and cynical about the music industry, which Carney touches on but never allows to take center stage.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Lon Grahnke

    When the songs work well, as a few of them do, much can be forgiven.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Jeff Baker

    The problem is the song. It was gone as soon as it ended, a forgettable piece of soft-pop that was never going to be a hit, whatever the arrangement or the singer.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Susan Wloszczyna

    With its cast of extremely likable performers, the perfect summer-in-the-city backdrop—in this case, New York — and a soundtrack stuffed with catchy, well-produced hits, Begin Again makes for easy-breezy entertainment.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Ruffalo and Knightley make an engaging pair of colleagues and their musical adventure together results in an enchanting, gently funny and occasionally poignant story.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    It's rare to find a movie that uses music to define love without sentimentalizing it. But Begin Again, with songs by Glen Hansard and New Radicals frontman Gregg Alexander, is a wonderfully appealing exception.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • David Lee Dallas

    It's a film that lives in the high and not in the comedown, even though its characters are often stalled and wallowing.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    Begin Again is very funny, mostly because Ruffalo makes such an adorably rumpled drunken a--hole.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Tasha Robinson

    Begin Again is all about the untrammeled joys of music, but like a hit pop song, it works better in the emotions than it does through any close examination.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Keith Staskiewicz

    "Once" was a small and well-loved heirloom, its imperfections part of the charm. But Begin Again has been burnished to a shiny dullness.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    As a whole, Begin Again is a fairly mannered treatment of an expressive medium.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Kate Taylor

    Begin Again is a not-entirely-successful movie about not selling out; it’s a theme that must concern Carney deeply.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Begin Again may not always swing, but it makes up for that in sincerity and a welcome willingness to ambush expectations.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Writer-director John Carney re-plays his greatest hit with Begin Again, a semi-successful attempt to recreate the magic of the Oscar-winning musical “Once” in New York with a big name cast.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    It's easy to get sucked into Begin Again, to enjoy the friendly performances and the goes-down-easy songs, and to not even notice until it's over that the film is more a feel-good fairy tale than anything else. We might not have seen much that was truly meaningful in the end, but it was warm and fuzzy while it lasted.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    Even if Dan and Gretta charm each other more than they charm us, the music they make is harder to resist than they are.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    This film is never less than pleasant to spend time with, and that’s not a minor consideration when it comes to summer moviegoing.

    Salon.com Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Most of the music is by New Radicals frontman Gregg Alexander, and it’s heartfelt without ever really touching the heart.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

    True to its title, Begin Again periodically restarts itself, nestling flashbacks within flashbacks; it’s an unnecessarily complicated structure for what is, frankly, little more than a corny, overstuffed, “let’s put on a show” musical.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Begin Again is pleasantly predictable if you’re in an undemanding mood. If you’re not, it’s unbearable, like hearing a treasured folk song given a Hot 97 makeover.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    Compared with “Once,” Begin Again is a bit like the disappointing, overly produced follow-up to a new band’s breakthrough album.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    If “Once” was a bracing blast of cool spring water, Begin Again is a can of Fanta. If “Once” was a piano, Begin Again is a keytar. If “Once” was Otis Redding, Begin Again is Bruno Mars.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    The lugubrious pop songs by Gregg Alexander are execrable. Ms. Knightley isn’t remotely believable as a bike-riding pop singer. The saving grace is Mark Ruffalo, the only actor on the premises who shows any grit or passion for his character or for the music business.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Alan Scherstuhl

    All that prickly inner conflict Ruffalo is so adept at suggesting? Cheery Begin Again wants none of it, offering instead lots of scenes of two characters we don't believe could ever exist arguing about authenticity in pop music.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Kevin Jagernauth

    Since the music doesn't connect like it should, everything else that is underpinned in the story by these songs also doesn't come together with the weight or power Carney surely intended.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    Knightley does fine work, but she’s been miscast. Her innate sophistication undermines the movie’s intentions right off the bat. We never believe her as Greta.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Keith Uhlich

    False moments far outweigh the genuine ones, be it smarmy Dan’s indisputable genius (he’s such a stubble-sporting rebel, he refuses to wear suits) or the bogus anticorporate finale that leaves an especially slick aftertaste.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Paul MacInnes

    The film's sole saving grace is, of course, Ruffalo.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Laremy Legel

    A film that inserts banal plot devices and endless cutesiness in place of where the “good parts” should be.

    Film.com Full Review
  • David Denby

    Sappy but engaging. [7 & 14 July 2014, p.95]

    The New Yorker Full Review
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  • 23. 2 of the Last Few Performer: Max Kagan, Scott Weinshank and Tony Harp Dog Sky Stream Music Online
  • 37. Tell Me If You Wanna Go Home (Rooftop Mix) Performer: Keira Knightley and Hailee Steinfeld Stream Music Online