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Past Lives
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Past Lives

2023
Romance
Drama
1h 46m
Nora and Hae Sung, two deeply connected childhood friends, are wrest apart after Nora’s family emigrates from South Korea. 20 years later, they are reunited for one fateful week as they confront notions of love and destiny.
Your probable score
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Past Lives

2023
Romance
Drama
1h 46m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 67.13% from 961 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(961)
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Rated 06 Nov 2023
97
94th
Perfectly captures that wave of nostalgia that’s strong enough to make you tear up at random points in the day, and probably the best “what if?” movie. Approaches its themes with respect and honesty, with three very likable characters, who never once came off as pushy or condescending. It’s also deftly directed, debut or not. It doesn’t wallow in regret, and instead is a film about reflection and moving on. Beautifully made from beginning to end, with GREAT acting. Edit: Rewatched, I’m not okay.
Rated 23 Jun 2023
75
46th
Noble in its intentions but flawed in its execution. Full of beautiful ideas, but suffers from main character-itis - where all the characters seem to only exist in relation to the protagonist. For something like this to truly make an impact, three dimensionality is imperative. Instead, it settles for something more shallow. Still, a breezy watch. Just lots of missed potential for something greater.
Rated 06 Jan 2024
85
89th
A slow, soft picture. Shot and structured beautifully. More than anything else, it feels honest - in its uncomfortable pauses, small and large conversations, and gentle relationships. Thoughtful and kind.
Rated 13 Sep 2023
7
73rd
A slow burning contemplative tale of connection and what ifs. A modern day brief encounter.
Rated 08 Jun 2023
40
79th
At once clear-eyed and swooningly romantic, Past Lives is all the more effective for the contradictions it does nothing to resolve, inching toward a bittersweet recognition that the satisfactions and happiness of the life we’ve chosen has to compete with the bittersweet possibilities of the life that might have been.
Rated 29 Jun 2023
85
88th
Everyone's past is different, but the pain of nostalgia is universal. And Greta Lee is perfect.
Rated 16 Jul 2023
87
84th
Snuck up on me and then hit me like a god damn freight train. Lived up to the hype. Incredible performances and direction. Basically everyone in the screen was crying.
Rated 27 Sep 2023
87
91st
Whew, this floored me. Quiet tension in the form of Wong Kar-Wai level longing. The two leads are fantastic and then you get a late entry in a spouse that just elevates both relationships. This story, in some form, is likely very familiar to many people and Celine Song presents it so elegantly. Wonderful.
Rated 29 Sep 2023
84
93rd
Absolutely beautiful story about life's tendency to be on the brink of something else, possibly better or more poetic. The film excels at giving you a sense of that imaginary alternative path without going down the road of showing it to you.
Rated 01 Jan 2024
80
83rd
Life, as defined by what you didn't do. Past Lives doesn't necessarily say anything that other movies haven't said before. But it says it so eloquently and in such simple little cuts and brui... shots. Three characters whose stories get tangled up and can't untangle, from that first across-the-bar up until that painful last street shot. This story could so easily break if not for Song's light touch, giving the characters room to not be assholes.
Rated 10 Jun 2023
85
84th
The fading but undying influence of our past. A heartbreaking romantic portrait that perfectly balances its observation of cultural difference and the universal language of love. Song's debut has traces of the masters: Linklater, WKW, Rohmer - and instantly submits itself as a classic of the genre.
Rated 02 Jul 2023
77
74th
It is really, really hard to make a good film about someone within arms reach of marital infidelity, but Celine Song cracks it here. She finds a truthful middle-ground between harsh reality and wistful fantasy in her depiction of a life-long missed connection which culminates in a delicate, beautiful ending that feels exactly right.
Rated 06 Jul 2023
100
96th
This is a beautifully constructed film that manages to perfectly hit an extremely delicate note. It's a film about the early stages of a growing relationship, but also about the profound, but somewhat subdued sadness or realizing that some of life's possibilities have just passed.
Rated 11 Jul 2023
5
81st
Keep a place for me, for me. I'll sleep between y'all, it's nothing
Rated 23 Aug 2023
71
75th
That one cut...
Rated 17 Sep 2023
70
84th
The definition of bittersweet. It got to me the way few of these subtle, critical darling romantic dramas do. The profundity grabbed me and made me reflect on my own life. It's small, life affirming, and the cinematography is some of the best I have seen in awhile.
Rated 18 Sep 2023
8
79th
A denoument so pure, perfect, beautiful and shattering that I thought right away in a past life this movie was BRIEF ENCOUNTER-45.
Rated 25 Sep 2023
60
36th
I wish I had managed to see the great film everyone seems to think this was; instead, I watched a perfectly watchable film, but one that didn't leave much of an imprint on me.
Rated 19 Dec 2023
72
47th
way too schematic (just like the american husband in the film tells us midway through lmao), feels like a chatgpt-written a24 movie at times with new york scenery in the background. at other times, it works because it is a well-shot film with really nice performances all-around about the transience of human life and all relationships p.s. huge plausibility issue underlying the whole plot: childhood friends who lost touch in early teen years can't have this much to talk about in their 30s
Rated 30 Dec 2023
85
92nd
A sobering, rational contemplation on the complexities of the illogical obsession we know as love, based upon Song’s own real life events. The performances are subtle, yet refined when need be. Barring a stumbling script, it might've been a masterpiece, and while it assuredly gathers it's feet by the third act, the payoff doesn’t feel entirely earned. Still, it’s a mature directorial debut, with a conclusion that leaves you spellbound and bereft; a flawed yet sophisticated reflection on romance.
Rated 03 Jan 2024
96
92nd
Tender and aching not-quite love story hits every bittersweet note perfectly – superb performances from Lee, Yoo and Magaro, who play each point of their triangle with an equal sense of plausible conviction. Kudos to Song’s screenplay for not amping up any false dramas in either relationship to tip the scales – this is just a knowing and poignant portrait of grieving an equally appealing “path not taken”. Beautifully and sweetly honest all the way.
Rated 09 Jan 2024
80
71st
I think this hits you a certain kinda way if you've been in LDRs in your own "past lives" - that gives you a different layer of investment in what are already very investment-worthy characters. This is made with passion from writer and first-time director Celine Song, featuring a dynamite pairing of Greta Lee and Teo Yoo. John Magaro's portrayal of the conflicted husband also deserves recognition; what a position to be in and find any way to maintain your dignity. This was as good as advertised.
Rated 20 Jun 2023
93
89th
Incredibly nuanced, intimate, potent and devastatingly realistic without ever being dull.
Rated 25 Jun 2023
75
41st
Enjoyed this, my only question was about the gaps in time. It's inevitable to not account for changes that can be detrimental to one's soul, that may be one or several. Even at the peak of my emotions towards each character, I still yearned for more. The devastation was not near what I would believe in for this life.
Rated 27 Jun 2023
80
45th
Cried the whole time
Rated 27 Aug 2023
90
91st
Artful and tasteful directing serves the narrative and characters. The performances are authentic without a poorly spoken word, but I wouldn't call them "best of the year" nominees or anything, at least individually. But the two main characters do have good chemistry so I suppose that should be considered. It's all put together well but it's really the story that stands above. It's heartbreaking but real, doesn't need to fall into hysterics to tell an emotional story.
Rated 05 Oct 2023
84
90th
A great character drama about revisiting your past and contemplating what might have been. Props for avoiding to take the easy way out by throwing any of the characters under the proverbial bus.
Rated 07 Nov 2023
97
96th
Transcendent, haunting, beautiful, hopelessly romantic and devastating. Such an interesting and poignant way to look at the what-ifs of life.
Rated 27 Nov 2023
66
30th
There's a scene late in this movie where one lead has to watch another couple have a dinner. And the acting and camerawork shows you that it is cringeworthy. That's how I felt for most of this film--like a witness to a car wreck. The script littered selfish, rude, and melodramatic people who didn't get my sympathy. Still, it is competently made (even if it owes a debt to Lost in Translation) and Greta Lee is amazing. Marginal recommendation as I could see it speaking to its audience.
Rated 16 Dec 2023
87
94th
What you get when extremely talented artists come together to tell a personal and authentic story. Visually evocative and arresting for the entirety and very emotionally potent. Breathes perfectly, avoiding mumblecore but letting the silence sit at the right times.
Rated 24 Dec 2023
71
32nd
A Korean take on Lost in Translation? Pretty decent, with a great conversation scene of the couple in bed that elevated it a bit.
Rated 24 Dec 2023
7
57th
There’s no faulting the film for the mature reflections it offers on idealism versus reality, and how our present path in life should remain unfazed by unrealistic expectations, regardless of the place our past holds in our hearts. Having said that, I found the childhood segment to have been dealt with rather swiftly and nonchalantly for Na-young's emotional journey to be as impactful and heartbreaking as I’m sure was intended. I'd say don't believe the hype and just make of it what you will.
Rated 08 Jan 2024
80
65th
A bit too clean to feel alive
Rated 12 Feb 2024
75
50th
Here I was thinking I was the worst at letting shit go.
Rated 16 Apr 2024
76
88th
Lovely, quiet, balanced and real.
Rated 08 Jun 2023
8
75th
"Past Lives" is a masterful portrayal of a love triangle, avoiding common romantic drama tropes. The performances by Lee, Yoo, and Magaro are compelling, with nuanced portrayals that bring relatable characters to life. The film's cinematography and editing contribute to its emotional depth, although its introspective nature and reliance on narration may not appeal to all viewers.
Rated 21 Jul 2023
65
63rd
Very hard to suspend disbelief. A lot of tell don't show. Some awkward choices with editing. There were some cool shots and an interesting premise. Definitely some potential in this film.
Rated 26 Aug 2023
77
84th
everything (characters, story, music etc.) was in the right place in this movie. it was heartwarming and I enjoyed it a lot.
Rated 28 Aug 2023
65
58th
It’s fine. The hype has blown this film way out of proportion though. Just a simple, straightforward Drama with nothing really wrong about it and the usual emotions and responses you expect for the type of movie it is. Nicely shot, decent score and well acted, but yeah don’t see why this one is getting so much praise from everyone.
Rated 12 Sep 2023
80
78th
happy sad all the way through... nostalgia well done
Rated 26 Sep 2023
70
28th
Above average take on an interesting topic that I can appreciate more than I can enjoy. If you're in the mood for a loose script with exemplary performances, give it a try. Not for me, though.
Rated 11 Oct 2023
90
86th
A powerful and understated film that takes its time in building its themes so much so that when it does hit you, all at once, in the grand third act, you feel the closure and the thematic resonance so much more completely. The characters in this film feel real and every emotional moment feels earned. I also like how thematically rich this film is and how open-ended discussions can arise from it. It's about lost love, sure, but also lost youth, culture, dreams - so many things that resonate.
Rated 27 Oct 2023
90
95th
Hae Sung: "What if this is a past life as well, and we are already something else to each other in our next life? Who do you think we are then?"
Rated 08 Dec 2023
85
81st
Every part of this movie works together to create an enchanting, romantic atmosphere, but one that feels true and sensory. Song knows when to let the camera linger to make you lean in, live in the space. Her craft is impeccable and the script follows suit. The story is both mysterious and realistic. The characters are flesh and blood but their romantic, idealistic conversations can ponder the supernatural. I usually take exception such meanderings, but not here. I want to believe it and them.
Rated 16 Dec 2023
85
82nd
What an incredible directorial debut for Celine Song. Amazing performances by all leads and just brilliant directing. I was left broken by the end of the film, it moved me deeply
Rated 23 Dec 2023
74
68th
Could’ve been developed more. Migration is the topic of the day, so for a middle eastern like me there are already multiple motivations to follow the film. However, the director is telling the story from her (Nora’s) perspective, displaying herself as a victim of immigration, maybe to get over moral discrepancies, because there are some!
Rated 24 Dec 2023
87
89th
Quiet, thoughtful, no frills, simple, but brilliantly executed. The feel is similar to films like In the Mood for Love, and while it lacks the visual flair of that film, the characters feel just as real and you come to care for them just as much. It doesn't reach that level, but the fact that I think it's in the same zip code is the highest of compliments. Almost certain to make you think about your own life and how things have worked out and how they might have changed if things were different.
Rated 26 Dec 2023
45
8th
Your standard A24 awards circuit bait, except this movie lacks the through line of weirdness that usually accompanies A24 films. Well-enough acted by the two leads; it's just a story that's been done before, ad naseum (Brief Encounter, In the Mood for Love, etc). PSI: 84
Rated 30 Dec 2023
85
85th
"You dream in a language I can't understand"
Rated 31 Dec 2023
58
31st
ugh , please get the f out of here
Rated 07 Jan 2024
85
89th
You could power a city with the energy produced from the two leads looking at each other. Often in complete silence, until they say what they need to say: which is also what they don't want to have to say. But that's life.
Rated 15 Jan 2024
95
92nd
A quietly devastating debut from Song, and not even devastating in the sense that it'll rip you up, but also, yes, it may rip you up. That's the beautiful balance the film poses. Past meets present. Nostalgia meets reality. Likely one of the best romantic films I've seen in a long time; it's more than just ABOUT a romance, it is itself romantic, with all the mess and hurt and laughter and fantasy that comes along for the ride.
Rated 15 Jan 2024
7
63rd
A curious examination of time, both in its decades-long story and in how it tells it, with the moments it chooses to linger on (so much eye contact) and the swathes of life it chooses to move through quickly (Nora's childhood) or skip entirely (her first years of marriage), making the characters easier to connect with upon reflection than in some of the movie's moments. Lots to ponder about culture, choice, and perspective within relationships. Gorgeously shot and scored. Was one scene too long.
Rated 29 Jan 2024
78
71st
Relatable, intense, sad. Real.
Rated 06 Feb 2024
80
86th
What could have been? That's what being contemplated and mulled over in this gentle and superbly written and directed story about the destinies of two possible soul mates.
Rated 06 Feb 2024
75
78th
Un bien joli film sur deux tristes destins réunis dans des scénario de vie alternatifs. C'est un beau film sur nos inconscients collectifs, et sur la vie, condamnée sur le fil du temps. Les longues balades contemplatives n'auront pas suffi, l'amour est sans doute ailleurs, et le film vous explique cela avec beaucoup de grâce. Greta Lee est un rayon de soleil.
Rated 19 Feb 2024
93
98th
Beautiful, intelligent, real. Loved the symbolism too, especially in the end.
Rated 20 Feb 2024
76
80th
Superbly acted and it finds such a delicate balance of complicated emotions. Each of the three vertices of this love triangle are dealing with complicated feelings, and surprisingly all come off as mature and dignified.
Rated 01 Mar 2024
90
96th
Quietly soul crushing.
Rated 14 Mar 2024
62
80th
I wasn't totally enamoured with it, but i still think it's really good. It's a very sincere portrayal of love and relationships.
Rated 15 Mar 2024
94
74th
Painful and personal. The circumstantial chemistry of the two leads is actually the weakest part, but then again, perhaps that's the film's realest element: who can ever explain the reasons of love? What do we talk about when we talk about love... I still can't get over it all and found out too late what it all meant, how much of me there was in them...and now I'm empty...let that be a lesson?
Rated 22 Aug 2023
66
72nd
Sweet and Simple!!! It reminds me taste of Ozu's Works!!
Rated 08 Sep 2023
87
95th
"+ senden sen olduğun için hoşlanıyorum. ve sen giden birisin. - hatırladığın na young değilim artık. + biliyorum. - ama o küçük kız vardı. şu anda karşında oturmuyor olması gerçek olmadığı anlamına gelmiyor. 20 yıl önce onu seninle birlikte geride bıraktım. + biliyorum. " bar sahnesinde değişik hissiyatlara girdik. örümcek ağı kaplı defterleri açtıracaksınız adama.. bu filmi seneler sonra dahi dönüp dönüp hatırlayacağız. dönüp dönüp hatırladığımız pek çok şey gibi..
Rated 14 Sep 2023
60
49th
A bit overrated and sometimes just too understated to actually break your heart or something, but it's full of true emotions and the cast is great.
Rated 14 Sep 2023
78
86th
Beautiful film. Perhaps the best I've seen New York look. Amazing soundtrack. After an incredible, beautiful build-up, I found the bar scene jarring, with one character unrealistically off to the side, off camera?
Rated 02 Oct 2023
4
77th
Hmmm. Såg om filmen på en lång flygresa. Gillade den betydligt bättre andra gången även om jag nog fortfarande tycker att att den snarare är snygg än djup. Lite andlighet och reinkarnation, lite trånande blickar och platonisk romantik och en tesked cuckold. Väldigt tjusigt förpackat, men bara yta och inget innehåll. Trean är svag.
Rated 17 Oct 2023
80
84th
Incredible chemistry between Lee & Yoo. Everything felt genuine and sincere. If there was any nitpicking it'd be that the deliberate pacing did slow even further in the middle third when it was more Lee and Magaro on screen and my attention waned somewhat. Once Yoo arrived in NYC it was back to being a very good viewing. 8.0. Deserves the accolades it's been getting.
Rated 19 Oct 2023
90
92nd
audiovisual 90 acting 90 overall feeling 89 avg 90
Rated 29 Oct 2023
100
95th
Gentle, touching, philosophical.
Rated 08 Nov 2023
90
92nd
I think my new measure of whether a film is great, opposed to merely being good (the worst thing a film can be!), is if I continue to think about it the morning after. This film is lovely, and filled with longing, without feeling cloyingly sweet. I also love that this is not comedy, but has a scene where there's a book signing for the novel, "Boner", and then it's never commented on.
Rated 14 Nov 2023
35
80th
A stunning movie, told at the intersection of two wildly branching lives.
Rated 15 Nov 2023
75
65th
Woahtoronto+imissedyou+in-yun+youdreaminkorean/wholeplaceinsideyouicantgo+whatdoyouthinkwearetoeachotherinournextlifeetcseeyouthen+criesintohusband
Rated 09 Dec 2023
90
90th
Very good and thoughtful
Rated 07 Jan 2024
60
68th
I was thinking "this was pretty good"...and then it goes and breaks my heart...
Rated 08 Jan 2024
88
87th
A beautifully written, deeply personal, modern romance that is an absolute stunner.
Rated 14 Jan 2024
74
36th
The critical acclaim heaped on this isn't a surprise given its arthouse sensibilities (slow & could easily be New Yorker mag fiction) & its (thankfully brief) asides to Woke DEI mandates (a character says immigration cost her alot, but it doesn't seem like it here). The performances are solid, but it's revealing that the lead speaks in metaphors that don't really apply to her life. Its themes are done far better in Remains of the Day, where a character's actual life CHOICES has truly cost alot.
Rated 21 Jan 2024
78
53rd
Ev
Rated 27 Jan 2024
93
81st
A delicate and beautiful modern mix of “Bridges of Madison County” and “Lost in Translation”.
Rated 28 Jan 2024
65
27th
Regular people and their boring problems.
Rated 29 Jan 2024
75
61st
To my view it should have been nominated for cinematography rather than best picture and best writing - there are some stellar scenes and visual compositions that create beauty on itself. The story as a whole and a lot of dialogue is too literary / short story-esque, which is unneeded because the acting tells enough.
Rated 19 Feb 2024
80
86th
There's a niche genre of fiction affectionately dubbed "competence porn" - smart people working together to solve hard problems (see: The Martian). Past Lives is "competence porn" for emotional relationships: three people with complex feelings interacting with each other like mature, competent adults to navigate the unusual yet relatable circumstances that they find themselves in. It's a beautiful work that smartly stays clear of melodrama to capture something real.
Rated 21 Feb 2024
60
34th
Loves stories rely on you believing in them. This one is not really believable which then it comes across as just forced emotion.
Rated 21 Feb 2024
80
81st
um pouquinho overwritten, mas bonito
Rated 22 Feb 2024
63
34th
I find this film incredibly shallow in its storyline, characters and cinematography, leaving you with a constant "and?" feeling.
Rated 26 Feb 2024
67
31st
Just not my kinda thing I can agree with herself, and see why "it is great", but I'd just like a bit more story moving in movies
Rated 28 Feb 2024
90
93rd
I really enjoyed this film - it has a nice, calm feel and atmosphere to it and some very visually pleasing cinematography, with memorable backdrops . It has a somewhat arty and poetic feel to it, even in the dialogue, as well as the way its generally brought across. It has a dreamy feel and I liked imagining myself in the place of Nora, considering the things she questions and living in the world of Nora and Hae Sung. Some may feel its a bit too pretentious, or slow plot wise, but I loved it.
Rated 07 Mar 2024
18
80th
Every aspect of this film, all in subtle touches, sounds true and resonates. This film surprises with its grace and accuracy. The respectful restraint of the 3 protagonists dialoguing through symbolic images and old beliefs, is a beautiful surprise too. Their singularity reach a universal dimension. Well done Mrs Song, you deserve the prize !
Rated 08 Mar 2024
88
49th
Either she or he (the husband) could have put up some resistance to her hanging out with this guy, especially knowing the history and the presumed chemistry. But then I guess we wouldn't have a movie.
Rated 10 Mar 2024
73
91st
#24#, rw4, candy, story, ratings
Rated 15 Mar 2024
90
93rd
Manages to be both subtle and overwhelming. Subtle in its performances, dialogues, story telling. Overwhelming in the emotions it conveys. Memorable
Rated 16 Mar 2024
89
87th
This film strolls along quietly just as its characters do: deliberately and observantly. The film has been promoted as a love triangle, but make no mistake: this film is about love, and not in any kind of sordid way. Song brings the film to a surprising conclusion. not through English words or Korean words, but through simple, direct images. And those images show us what love looks like, that it looks like waiting and vulnerability and trust. This is a wise and beautiful film.
Rated 20 Mar 2024
80
39th
،با دوبار مهاجرت ب نیویورک میرسه ایا این چیزی بود ک میخاسته، دختر کره ای مهاجرت میکنه نیویورک مهاجرت ارزشش رو داره یه اپلرتمان کوچیک و یه شوهر امریکایی دوست پسر دوران کودکیش میاد میبینتش
Rated 20 Mar 2024
70
51st
hard to decide
Rated 01 Apr 2024
96
90th
This one surprised me and hit me in the feels, a lot. The two leads were fantastic.
Rated 01 Apr 2024
65
46th
the connection between the two men was the most interesting thing for me, like their lives were kinda significantly connected but they didn't know each other
Rated 09 Apr 2024
20
9th
A total scam movie. It follows the playbook of the old manic-pixie-dream girl, by reinventing it in the form of a writer living a culturally left hipster life in NYC, which is becoming the trope in "independent" dramas or romances. Add to that some exotism through "Koreans in NYC" and a very superficial reference to a culturally meaningful (I'm not even sure) word on destiny etc. Why did they even love each other? Tries to be Wong Kar Wai-esque but ends up telling the fake story of fake people.
Rated 16 Apr 2024
80
86th
Wonderful little film about relationships and "what could have been" musings, that are as mature as they are moving.
Rated 20 Apr 2024
84
74th
Enjoyable, well made movie that feels real and is elevated by a strong emotional finish. The characters aren't quite hashed out enough given there are really only three, but that's a minor complaint.
Rated 04 May 2024
80
72nd
OH SO JOHN MAGARO IS MEANT TO BE POTION SELLER?!
Rated 16 Jun 2024
74
64th
2024'de #IzlediğimFilmler ; 128. Past Lives Uçak yolculuğumda izleyip bitirdim. Basit ve minimal öyküsünü son ana kadar güzel taşıyor. 7/10

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