Before Sunset

8.11 h 20 min2004X-RayR
Nine years after Jesse and Celine first met, they encounter each other again on the French leg of Jesse's book tour.
Richard Linklater
Ethan HawkeJulie Delpy
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Anne Walker-McBay
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Foul languagesexual contentviolence
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4.6 out of 5 stars

2200 global ratings

  1. 79% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 12% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 6% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Jon R. PatrickReviewed in the United States on October 15, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
My eyes are leaking....
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The sequel to Before Sunrise is astounding.... as great as the first movie was, the second *may* be better.
Our two hero/lovers haven't seen each other for nearly 10 years. One became a world-famous author, based on their experience from the events in the first movie. The other surprises them while showing up to a book signing in Paris.
They reconnect, and spend the day/evening talking, reconnecting, and finding out WHO showed up after the first movie.
It's well paced, fantastically acted, and the dialogue is on-point. It's no action-adventure movie, but if you're in the mood for great acting and the hit of romance, you'll find yourself pulling/cheering at the end for the ending you want!!!
3 people found this helpful
Donald G. MarshallReviewed in the United States on August 31, 2014
4.0 out of 5 stars
A triumph of great dialogue and human connection
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Like its predecessor "Before Sunrise," this movie gives new hope for those who appreciate grown-up dialogue. The two characters meet again nine years after their all-night encounter in Vienna as young people, when they made the kind of connection that happens once in a lifetime if you're lucky. Their conversation is less open, less optimistic now that years have passed and they're wary about how life's vicissitudes may have affected each other and their relationship. But gradually, they connect again at the deepest level, moving from more or less superficial talk about their work or their opinions on this to that to completely honest sharing of their deepest sense of the joys, the hopes, and the disappointments of their lives. There's no foolish irreality about abandoning it all and running off together, and the tension remains between their sense that they've found their soulmate and the impossibility of turning that moment into a life together. What they find is something for which even the word "love" seems inadequate. And the Paris scenery is amazing! Living in Los Angeles, it's a little disheartening to me to wonder how people manage to create such a staggeringly beautiful city.
19 people found this helpful
Insightful CommentatorReviewed in the United States on October 29, 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars
Not for people who like bad movies
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Prior to writing this review I read the one star reviews which included complaints about a lack of action, liberal viewpoints of the characters, and the immorality of the characters. If those are the three most important qualities that you would look for in a movie then you would not like this movie. You might like Independence Day instead. This movie is just a camera filming two people strolling along and talking to each other, so there is not any "action." While you might not like the viewpoints of the characters, the movie is not trying to communicate a political message; it is a romantic movie. The dialogue is not meant to incite, rather, it is meant to capture how two people might talk to each other in real life. In real life, liberal people say liberal things just as conservatives say conservative things. As for the complaints about the morality of the characters, I assume the reviewer is using his or her imagination to fill in the blanks a little bit. Judging the morality of the characters seems like an odd way to judge the quality of a movie so I really cannot respond to that line of criticism.

What makes this movie good is the acting, the story, the dialogue, and the scenery. The plot is original as far as I know. It is not like a romantic comedy type plot. I am not a romance genre fan, yet I really enjoyed this movie and its prequel. It is a very fitting sequel to Before Sunrise and it captures an intimate moment in two people's lives. I think the nature of the dialogue and the progression of its intimacy seems natural which makes it believable to me. It is about lost opportunity and heartache. It is about two people reconnecting. It is about the characters holding back from what they really want to say because of their uncertainty about how the other feels. The characters are imperfect, the situation is not ideal, and the ending is not conclusive. These are what makes the movie great. Stories must have conflict to make them interesting and I think most people have experienced conflict in life, particularly in relationships. Perhaps those who have experienced heartache or who question what might have happened if some part of their lives went differently might relate to the characters in this film more than those whose lives have gone as planned.

If you liked Before Sunrise you should like this movie. I actually like this movie slightly better than Before Sunrise and I saw this movie before Before Sunrise and now I own both. If you are looking for politically neutral or conservative characters, who do not face moral dilemmas, who are involved in a lot of action then this is not the movie for you.
22 people found this helpful
Chaiam Yankel's bubbieReviewed in the United States on September 14, 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great for fans
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People usually either love or hate this series of three movies about a couple in their early 20's (Before Sunrise), early 30's (Before Sunset) and the newest one, Before Midnight (early 40's). I've heard that many people find them boring, tedious and of course, most of all, TALKY. Well, it's true they are talky in the sense that the dialogue does nothing to advance the plot --- there really is no plot. But if you love to hear really creative, interesting conversations that sound like genuine conversations between two people, this is for you. The more I watch this series (yes, I've watched the first two several times), the more I like it. Delphy and Hawke have grown on me, and I want to know how they're working through the stuff of their lives. Before Sunset, the shortest of the three, is almost heart-thumping at times, despite the lack of plot. Two people who made an amazing connection meet again after 10 years to resolve past hurts and doubts and to remember and re-experience the great love of their lives, all within the constraints of an afternoon. And in Paris, no less! This is the one that got me hooked on this series.
8 people found this helpful
David L. AndersonReviewed in the United States on July 2, 2009
5.0 out of 5 stars
Only one major beef with a great film ...
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Ok, I finally had to weigh in on Before Sunset. Along with Before Sunrise, it is an outstanding film and probably the stronger of the two for the genuine honesty that is expressed throughout. You really can believe that two people would actually talk and feel the way these characters do.

Here's my only beef with the story... I had a tough time swallowing Celine's excuse for making no attempt to contact Jesse at the train station where they were supposed to have met after the first film. Sure, I know her grandmother died and they didn't have each other's phone numbers, etc., but isn't this the same grandmother Celine described in the first film as having lost the love of her life and accepting her "fate".

I can't believe that her parents, assuming she confided in them, wouldn't have helped her work something out to see Jesse and maybe even have him come along to Budapest with her late to the funeral. At the very least she could have called the train station and paid a messenger of some sort to look for him and get a message to him. She appeared the most eager, until Jesse's short speech at the end of the first film, to actually connect again. If they were as in love as they appeared to be, which the second film confirms, I can't imagine Celine not doing everything she could to try and make contact with him. If not in person, at least with a message. My wife even commented that she would have made the effort to find me given similar circumstances.

Yes, yes, I know it's just a movie and they had to come up with some type of situation to explain why there was no connection on that day nine years ago. I probably could have bought it more if Celine had tried to get a message to him at the station and the messenger was unable to get it to him or missed him somehow. That would have added some great dialogue to the script and given Jesse at least the knowledge that she had tried, as he had. It still would have been tragic, but would have made better sense with how in love they had been.

Other than that this is a great film. It's just that when a movie comes across as so realistic and honest, the one major detail on which the whole story hinges could have been made more believable without taking anything away from the rest of the story just as it is.

Should they do another movie with a messy, but happy ending? Of course they should.

If I had my way they would end the next movie arm in arm, looking at each other smiling, walking down a Parisian street at sunset with the James Taylor version of "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" playing in the background as the shot freezes and the credits roll.

I know, I know, a bit "hokey", but hey... without the romantics of this world it would be a dark and dreary place indeed.
4 people found this helpful
doobyReviewed in the United States on March 10, 2007
5.0 out of 5 stars
Lovely Film... As Magical as the First... Fine DVD from Warner
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I avoided watching this sequel until now, mainly because I didn't want to spoil the magic of "Before Sunrise". Despite the open-ending of the first film, I always expected the couple to meet again for their promised Christmas in Vienna. So to me the first film had a decidedly happy ending. "Before Sunset" of course is based on the premise that they didn't. Still I wasn't disappointed. "Before Sunset" is a lovely film, as beautiful as the first and ends on a suitably ambiguous and equally optimistic note. Filmed in real time, and taking place 9 years after the first film, it shows the pair meeting again, this time in Paris, the City of Love. Jesse (Ethan Hawke) is now a successful writer on a book tour promoting his latest bestseller, an autobiography based on their one night in Vienna. Celine (Julie Delpy) of course lives in Paris and comes to his book-signing. They have one lovely summer afternoon together before he has to fly back to America. Like the previous film they spend it walking, chatting, flirting, teasing and now reminiscing, as Celine takes him through the beautiful streets of her home city, including a picturesque boat trip down the Seine. Watching the film is like slipping into a pair of comfortable old shoes, or as others have said, like meeting and catching up with old friends again. The whole film is a single long chat as they reveal how their lives turned out, why they didn't meet before this, what might have been, and rekindle the romantic spark that came to life 9 years ago. The dialogue is witty and always engaging and you never want it to end. The chemistry between the pair is as palpable and electric as it was 9 years ago. All throughout you long for them to stay together.

The script was written by Richard Linklater in collaboration with both actors which might explain the close affinity the actors have for their roles and the deep chemistry they exhibit. It's like they are not acting at all; as if we were given the privilege of eavesdropping on two close friends deep in an intimate conversation. Absolutely delightful. Can't wait to see them in another 9-10 years as they recount what has happened since. That would be a treat indeed. Both actors have aged visibly but they wear the years well and it's nice to see actors who don't try to disguise their age onscreen. It adds immeasurably to the realism of these characters.

The film is presented in a modified form to perfectly fit the new 16:9 (1.78:1) widescreen TV. It is not in the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 contrary to what is stated on the backcover. The picture looks fine and I couldn't detect any major composition problems. Colours are fairly strong and natural. Black levels are accurately set with good detail in the darker scenes. The DVD comes with the obligatory theatrical trailer. There is a also short but treasurable 10-minute "On the Set" featurette with the director and 2 stars talking about their collaboration in making the film and how they wove their own life expeiences into their characters' fictional lives. Good to know that another sequel is still possible 9 to 10 years down the line. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
10 people found this helpful
Duane ThomasReviewed in the United States on May 26, 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars
What If Fate Gave You One Last Chance at True Love?
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Have you ever finished a movie feeling such immense affection for its characters you wondered what happened to them after the film ended, and hated that you'd never know? How rare it is to get the answer to that question in a worthy sequel. Before Sunset is that rare movie.

In the first film, Before Sunrise, in 1995 two early twenty-somethings, an American boy named Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and a French girl named Celene (Julie Delpy) met on a train through Europe. After spending the day and night and into the next day walking and talking around Vienna, they were firmly in love, and as they parted at the train station promised to meet on that same spot, at 6 PM, exactly six months later. There the movie ended. As is pointed out in Before Sunset, different people react differently to the previous movie's ambiguous ending. Did the two young lovers make that appointment? Did they meet again, did they live happily ever after? Depending on your personality, some will say no, some yes, some can't decide.

In the sequel, Before Sunset, we learn the answer: they did not. It's nine years later, 2004, and Jesse has written a bestseller about that one night, that special girl he never saw again. Then, in Paris on the last stop of a whirlwind promotional tour, he looks up and there she is. Celene, the girl who got away. Thus the two embark on another walking, talking marathon, in a different year, through a different city. But this time the stakes are higher. In the first movie they had most of a day to fall in love; and they were young, they didn't really understand what they had. After all, if this one love slipped away, surely there would be another, just as good, along shortly. Now in their thirties, they both suspect the sort of love they felt comes, if you're extremely lucky, once in a lifetime. Now they have only hours before Jesse's plane leaves to take him back to the US. (Apparently in Before Sunset-land simply taking a later flight is not an option. So in that sense the "time limit," as in the first movie, is a bit artificial.) In that time they have to determine if fate dealt them a horrible misdeed, if they truly were robbed of their soulmate, if they're still in love, if they have a place in each others lives. And if this is true love, as rare as it is to find that in life, how much rarer to be given a second chance. Should they go for it or walk away, knowing there won't be a third chance?

This is not a simple question. Jesse is trapped in a loveless marriage but has a four-year old son he adores. Leaving his wife to be with Celene would also mean leaving his son. Celene's had a series of horrible relationships leaving her almost incapable of daring to believe she could ever be truly happy, ever believe in love again. This is a woman with more than a few emotional dings. (Or is it that Jesse's primary problem with his wife is that she's not Celene? Is Celene's problem with any other man that he's not Jesse?)

It's fascinating to note how from movie to movie the two characters' personalities have interchanged. In Before Sunrise, Jesse was the complete cynic, constantly questioning and popping Celene's starry-eyed, trusting worldview. Nine years later, the loss of each other has worked profound alterations in them both. Jesse's felt the lack of love in his life but it hasn't made him bitter, he's come to the conclusion the world just might be a pretty good place, he's much more ready to believe in true love. In the interim, Celene's become so afraid of being hurt in love she describes her current boyfriend's major positive trait as being that he's almost never there. The cynic has become the romantic and vice-versa.

I might as well mention the one thing I did not love about this movie. Early on, there's a scene in which Celene voices a long litany of ultra-liberal, anti-industry, anti-gun, anti-good ol' US of A sentiments, among them calling the US an "imperialist country" and saying the only reason to be proud of being an American is the sexual staying power of its men. (Okay, I kind of liked that part, but it's certainly not the ONLY reason to be proud.) The fact that the expression on Jesse's face during Celene's angry, hate-filled rant shows he finds her performance charming had me doubting both characters' sanity. That scene really left a bad taste in my mouth. It was going to take an absolutely killer movie from that point on - great acting, dialogue, direction - to win me back over to its side. Fortunately, as my 5 star rating for the film shows, Before Sunset has all that stuff. By the end of the movie, I was just loving it, caring about Jesse and, yes, Celene as well.

The idea for a sequel to Before Sunrise was hatched in the minds of director Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke (all of whom contributed to the sequel's script) before the first movie was even complete. Because they wondered the same things as other people: did Jesse and Celene ever meet again? Did they live happily ever after? In Before Sunset, the question is: how to end the movie? Shall we make a statement about the possibility of finding true love, or the nobility of self-sacrifice and facing up to reality at all costs? Romantic or realist? You can make a serious case for both. Some people find the ending of Before Sunset, like the ending of Before Sunrise, ambiguous. I don't. The answer is clear to me. After the final fade-out, I whispered to myself: "Perfect. Just....perfect."
9 people found this helpful
DogvilleReviewed in the United States on November 5, 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars
Glowing Sunset
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Before Sunset isn't only the underrated and hidden gem of Richard Linklater but also that of 2004. The simple reason is that this has to be one of the best movies of this year.

The movie depended very much on Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy and their compelling chemistry is unmistakable. From the time they left the book store till the time they ended in Celine's apartment, it's 90 minutes of witty conversation that covered a wide range of topics from books to environmental issues to politics to love and life. There was never a dull moment because there's so much realism and bittersweetness in the recounting of that fateful night 9 years ago. And it's this night that had caused two long-lost people separated by time and distance to rediscover the love they had always had for each other despite the changes to their lives in those 9 years.

Julie Delpy puts up a good job as Celine whose love life had never been smooth but still held deep love for her one night companion 9 years ago from which her memory could never erase. Her display of emotions are spectacular, culminating in the scene where she emulates the late Nina Simone's moves while Ethan Hawke was watching her. Her heartfelt rendition of the original song Waltz for a Night must have been the highlight of the entire movie.

Ethan Hawke has displayed much maturity since Sunrise and playes a guy trapped in a loveless marriage whose yearning for Celine is so strong. When he cast his eyes on Celine, it's almost as if he had said so much to her when no words were even spoken. It's that look that transcends time and space.

In the end, the movie isn't your typical romantic story but achieves its aim to touch one deep inside and ask oneself if one had ever known love like that. It doesn't matter how long one might have known someone but it's really the power of the being connected to someone wherever the person is that makes the difference.

It's about re-living and -capturing that moment that will potentially fulfill an unended desire, knowing that without this person, your life will never be whole. That's what love should really be, perhaps. And yes, all these achieved without any sex.

Do yourself a favor and watch this movie. Not just once. Each viewing yields a different interpretation.
8 people found this helpful
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