The Grade Book: “Before Midnight”

Before Midnight

Plot: Jessie and Celine, now married, vacation in Greece with their children. 

Director: Richard Linklater. 

Writers: Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke (Characters by Richard Linklater and Kim Krizan). 

Cast: Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. 

Genres: Drama, Romance.

Running Time: 1 hour and 49 minutes.

U.S. Release Date: June 14th, 2013.

MPAA Rating: PG-13.




(Lowest Grade Given to the Film: A-, Highest Grade Given to the Film: A+)

SUMMARY OF THOUGHTS: Before Midnight is a rare and remarkable romantic drama, continuing the greatness that Before Sunrise and Before Sunset delivered before it. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy provide natural performances and the screenplay is terrific.



  • Ryan Fecskovics:

Grade: A+

A stunning film that I personally think is the BEST in the Before trilogy. Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke reprise their roles as Celine and Jesse. They salute these characters with such simplicity and honesty. I was impressed with the script (which is a possibility for an Adapted Screenplay nomination next year for the Oscars). This film made me laugh, cry, and clap. I wish that everyone would give this film a chance. It is such a fantastic piece of filmmaking.

  • Steven Hunt:

Grade: A-

This is a great conclusion to the Before trilogy. Both Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy are amazing in this movie, as they embody their characters and make them feel as if they are real people. This movie is extremely well written. All the dialogue exchanges are amazing and the exploration of what a couple goes through is portrayed very realistically. I don’t know if Richard Linklater and co. plan on continuing these movies, but I would be happy if they did.

  • Scott Menzel:

Grade: A+

As picky as I am about movies, I personally feel that Before Midnight is a flawless film and serves as the best of the three films in this trilogy. The simple premise of a couple going back and forth with one another has never been depicted in such a realistic, interesting, and thought-provoking way. The film features so many views on love, yet its resolution leaves the audience pondering what will happen next for Celine and Jesse. I don’t normally say this, but Midnight is without a doubt a complete and utter masterpiece. I hope that Hawke, Delpy, and Linklater keep making sequels because this is one relationship that I will never grow tired of.

  • Kevin Morrison:

Grade: A

These are very good, engaging, relateable characters and, just like the other two, the two stars and the director bring up many important ideas about relationships to think about, but in a different way. It maintains the message of how there will always be conflicts and problems, but you have the rest of your life to solve them and, for now, you have one special night to spend, but it shows that from the characters different perspectives. That is what makes a great sequel. No, that is what makes a great film.

  • Daniel Rester:

Grade: A-

Man of Steel is a worthy reinvention of a great superhero. Some changes may piss off diehards, but I found the film to be fresh and highly entertaining. The cast here is aces, with Henry Cavill making for a terrific Kal-El and Michael Shannon making for an interesting Zod. It also has magnificent visuals and jaw-dropping action (the Smallville fight is so good). There are some script issues, some hit-and-miss chemistry between Lois and Clark, and the climax is exhausting and repetitive, but the film as a whole is excellent blockbuster entertainment.

  • Brandt Sohn:

Grade: A+

Can a trilogy be this perfect? Before Midnight proves that a film does not need special effects to both entertain and truly move a person. Midnight has been 18 years in the making and never misses a beat as Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy both slip back into their roles impeccably, or should I say that they never really slipped out of their roles during the years in between. One of the best and most realistic on-screen romances in film history now has a film for nearly every generation to relate to, and could very well become entertaining therapy sessions for couples to view and realize that amongst love, there will still be conflict. Richard Linklater allows these moments to unfold with brilliantly framed static shots that let us view these conflicts as they naturally turn from a comedic conversation to outbursts of blame. Midnight is the best film I have seen all year.

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