Tuesday night, Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and their charmingly low-key¬†Before Midnight director and co-writer Richard Linklater were back where it all began 18 years ago: the stage of the DGA Theatre on Sunset Blvd. The LA premiere of the third installment of the trio’s epic indie romance series was preceded by a crowded food-and-vodka reception in the lobby.

When Before Sunrise arrived in 1995, cell phones were just becoming affordable and popular. Today of course, the smart devices are ubiquitous; in the DGA lobby, where patrons snapped Delpy and Hawke on the indoor red carpet; and later on the DGA big screen. In Before Midnight, critical cell phone calls and text messages anchor each of the movie’s three conversational acts.

Because most of today’s film critics still (foolishly) believe that reviews must detail a movie’s plot points, it will be virtually impossible for any such critique to avoid spoilers. Our best advice to Before series fans is not to read any of the write-ups until after you’ve watched the latest chapter, which opens Friday in LA, New York and other select cities.

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