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Parents' Guide to

Before Midnight

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Brilliant, mature third chapter to heartfelt romantic saga.

Movie R 2013 108 minutes
Before Midnight Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 13+
age 15+

Language is strong but handled tastefully. Some nudity.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Watching a couple flirt, fight, negotiate, cajole, and challenge each other has never been as compelling as when the couple in question is Jesse and Celine. The two, played as always by the actors who originated, developed, and helped write the characters, don't disappoint in this authentic and thrilling check-in. It's been nine years since they left us hanging in Before Sunset, wondering whether they'd finally be together. Yes, of course. How could they not be? But is it for good? That's the question they explore -- among many others -- in this thoroughly satisfying chapter of their saga. What happens when true love isn't just consummated but domesticated? Does it lose its luster?

Director Richard Linklater is unafraid to follow the real rhythms of conversation. Like the other "Before" movies, much of BEFORE MIDNIGHT has the audience listening in on Jesse and Celine, though there are more people around them now: children, friends, other couples. Instead of taking away from the film, though, this loosening up of Jesse and Celine's tight circle only adds more texture to the ongoing art that is their relationship. But Linklater knows well enough not to stray too far from Jesse and Celine, and when we get to have them to ourselves in the second half of the film, it's a joy, even if they look as if they're not having that much fun. It's a joy because we can relate to their battles; but even if they're familiar, they're never boring. It's a joy because Hawke and Delpy work so well together that it doesn't seem like work. And it's a joy because, as it may be for two people evaluating their connection, it's good to be reminded why we fell in love with Jesse and Celine in the first place.

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