"Though this stage is harder to watch, audiences who have aged along with Celine and Jesse will treasure this new episode. Before Midnight offers the possibility that the couple's odds-defying relationship will end in a one-day conflagration of pent-up resentment and parental guilt. The previous films' manufactured deadlines -- a train departure, a trip to the airport -- are no longer with us; the pair are now together until they decide not to be. Turns out, that's as dramatic as a ticking clock."Erik Kohn over at IndieWire praised the film and called it "masterful," granting it his highest rating ("A+"):
" magnifies the experience of self-examination with greater emotional weight than its predecessors. While still leaving open their future prospects, the movie brings the experiment full circle by returning to the existential yearning Linklater captures so well."Matt Goldberg over at Collider was positive, granting the film an "A-" rating:
"Im not going to pretend I can personally connect to the situation presented in Before Midnight. What makes the film, and this trilogy, so utterly fantastic is that I dont have to. Each of these movies fills me with hope and dread when it comes to the nature of love. Before Midnight is the one that instills the most apprehension because it shows what happens when you add nine years to true love."
Katey Rich, writing for Cinemablend, said the movie was "perfect" and praised its surprises:
Damon Wise, however, writing for the Guardian, gave the movie 2 stars and wrote:
"Before Midnight might make you greedy-- nobody's promised another movie in nine years, but we all want it, and how are we even supposed to wait that long to meet these two again?"
"And so the repartee begins, but this time seeming much less fresh and much more contrived than before. There are moments of truth and comedy for sure, and many long-standing couples will recognise themselves at several points in this awkward night of reflection."
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