The trouble with this movie -- aside from its lack of visual wonder and musical shape -- is that you don't trust its priorities.
Another sappy but engaging musical fable from the Irish writer and director John Carney, who made "Once."
The wholesome, hopeful, let's-put-on-a-show enthusiasm may sound hokey but it's actually infectiously joyful. At the same time, Carney roughs up the edges just enough to make this fairy tale seem somewhat accessible and realistic.
This soulful outing is sure to please music lovers. And isn't that everyone?
Begin Again is a not-entirely-successful movie about not selling out; it's a theme that must concern Carney deeply.
Can a meaningful glance mean as much as a kiss? In this film, it can, and that's enough.
You can't really blame writer-director John Carney for trying, but despite a few very nice moments, this bigger, slicker follow-up mostly argues that Once should have been enough.
J. R. Jones
Its soft-rock bonhomie [prevails] over a story that often registers as trite or naive.
The movie is moderately obsessed with the ideal of authenticity, which is a rather awkward position to champion given that it is a calculatedly more-commercial, less-authentic variation of a film, Once, that Carney had already made.