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Beginners (15)

Comedy, Drama

A young man is rocked by two announcements from his elderly father: that he has terminal cancer, and that he has a young male lover.

The critical consensus

Mike Mills’ latest offers a wealth of wit and wisdom. Give the dog a bone – and Plummer an Oscar nod.

****(*)Neil Smith, Total Film, 12/07/2011

Whimsicality runs through every frame of the film, which may make it too self-conscious and meandering for some tastes. Incurable romantics will clutch it to their hearts with gratitude.

****(*)Allan Hunter, The List, 13/07/2011

With good performances and characters, Beginners is an enjoyable, amusing and occasionally poignant watch. Indie film fans will want to catch it, but it falls short of being a must-see.

***(*)(*)Anna Smith, Empire Online, 18/07/2011

This is really Plummer's show: and he gives a lovely, exuberant, affecting performance that is neither sexless not saintly.

****(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 19/07/2011

It is tonally elusive, cerebral and subdued, but this is a film with a healthy, if self-conscious IQ. It could be an excellent date movie.

***(*)(*)Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 21/07/2011

What emerges is a work that’s smart, original and likeable.

****(*)David Gritten, The Telegraph, 21/07/2011

Despite a stand-out performance from an old pro, it keeps the audience at a distance.

Michael Leader, Little White Lies, 21/07/2011

Good-natured attempt at a Woody Allen film.

Paul Greenwood, Evening Times, 21/07/2011

In general, though, pats on the backs to Mills and his cast for turning in such a pedigree, chummy piece.

***(*)(*)Alison Rowat, The Herald, 21/07/2011

Mills's comedy-drama touches on some very dark themes (cancer, death, family rupture, sexual repression) in a delicate and very playful way.

****(*)Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent, 22/07/2011

Funny, cute and humane Beginners is a small gem of a film.

****(*)Daily Record, 22/07/2011

This is not a good film. It just seems good, amid all the louder rubbish around.

*(*)(*)(*)(*)Nigel Andrews, Financial Times,

Too cute by three-quarters.

**(*)(*)(*)Chris Tookey, Daily Mail, 22/07/2011

True romantics will fall under its spell.

Allan Hunter Daily Express, 22/07/2011

It's charming and disarming stuff.

****(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 23/07/2011

Beginners is immensely moving, funny and involving, the acting beyond reproach, with Christopher Plummer bringing a rare wit, compassion and unsanctimonious grace to the role of Hal. In its quiet, unostentatious way, it's one of the most sensitive films I've seen about the experience of living through and responding to the profound social changes of the past 60 years.

Philip French, The Observer, 24/07/2011

Beginners comes that close to being grating in its hare-brained charm, but is saved by the genuine freedom, delicacy, and – yes – seriousness with which Mills puts it all together.

Jonathan Romney, The Independent on Sunday, 24/07/2011

Features about Beginners (15)

Beginners (15)

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

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