Begin Again

Begin Again

(Can a Song Save Your Life?)

You're only as strong as your next move.

The writer-director of Once returns to the music romance scene, putting Mark Ruffalo in the shoes of a failed exec who happens upon Keira Knightley’s singer-songwriter performing in a bar, having suffered a cold dumping from her now-ex-boyfriend. When he gets an earful of her talents, the pair decides to jumpstart each other’s careers by setting up gigs all around the Manhattan streets. Co-stars Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit), Catherine Keener (Performance) and musicians Mos Def, CeeLo Green and Maroon 5's Adam Levine.

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Flicks Review

The opening scene of John Carney's Begin Again features a room full of record execs discussing the possibility of putting artist audio commentaries on albums. It's an idea that effectively encapsulates the film's repeatedly evoked “It used to be about the music, maaaaaan” sensibility. Indeed, it often comes across like a disillusioned fan's attempt to save the music industry via an uplifting musical-of-sorts.... More

While the film generally plays as earnestly as that sounds, it somehow never quite spilled over into insufferable coyness for me. Cynical viewers will find a lot to scoff at, but the film's big-hearted inclusiveness cannot be denied.

The widely vocalised public animus towards Keira Knightley makes her seem like an underdog to me, which may be why I thought her warbling in this film was surprisingly good. Mark Ruffalo is on charming scruff autopilot, but never seems as drunk as his character should be, considering how often he is shown swigging back whiskey.

There's some amusement to be found in Adam Levine's hilariously straight-faced take on a John Mayer-esque singer/songwriter while CeeLo Green overacts wildly like he's doing a walk-on in a music video. If you go in viewing this as a kind-of cinematic open mic night, you may just have a rockin' time, maaaaaan.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 5 ratings, 5 reviews
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BY Sulian superstar

...Like this film the same way as to like 'Once' which was so very romantic and sweet. This was more of the stock standard romance we all expect to see on the big screen. This movie I should have taken my Grandmother to as it was so very safe and squeaky clean. I watched on a study break and felt like studying before the movie was finished so that is not the very best sign of a good film for me.

BY Sawyer lister

Old Mark Ruffulo proving that he can still turn heads. He hit the nail on the head with this one. The music industry knows how to have a good time. Keira was putty in his hands. Would have liked to of seen a bit more happen between them but it ain't that kind of film mores the pity. Keira had a nice voice and she should have slammed Rufulo while she had the chance.

BY Gaspardation superstar

It rythms perfectly!!!

BY thorinoak superstar

Fantastic performances by Ruffalo and Knightley, interesting premise on the recording of an album, and full of heart.

BY counties wannabe

The first two thirds of the movie is pretty formulaic, 'been there seen that' fare. The last third I thought very good as it avoided the obvious cliché ending (which I wont divulge).
Well acted and I thought the music was very good.
Overall, a pleasant movie

The Press Reviews

82% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • It's all a bit easy - though quite nicely performed - and Knightley is never entirely convincing ... Full Review

  • The gentle lightning of Once doesn't strike twice for Carney, but his latest music movie has charm beneath its slick surface. Full Review

  • Knightley and Ruffalo make for one of the most unusual engaging couples of the year. Full Review

  • A large part of the problem is that the music, which is supposed to provide heart, soul and artistic bona fides, ranges from passable to terrible. Full Review

The Talk
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