Joel Lake’s review published on Letterboxd:
Cafe Society is the latest endeavor by Woody Allen about a young man (Jesse Eisenberg) leaving New York for Hollywood fame and his journey of self discovery and maturing while also dealing with love and heartbreak and it's not really new ground Woody Allen is venturing into here. The film has some great dialogue that is so Woody Allen in its self deprecating nature and the absurdity his logic sometimes goes to but there are several characters that seem to be just channeling Allen himself (especially Eisenberg which is kind of expected as he is the focus of the film) instead of being fleshed out character. The film is also a beat by beat recreation of many of his previous works with a love triangle involved, a fish out of water element and the lampooning of media and culture as a whole.
Kristen Stewart brings a great performance here as her shyness plays off really well against Eisenberg's idiosyncrasies. Steve Carrell came off a little cheesy for me, but his evolution as an actor is definitely noticed. Blake Lively is used sparingly but didn't take away from the film. Corey Stoll may have stole the show in his short time onscreen as Eisenberg's brother who is also a mobster and his story brings some dark humor that helps ground the absurdity in the film.
Allen once again narrates throughout the film which puts the emphasis on the fact that is definitely a film we've seen from him before(and may done better too).
Not a bad film by any means, but it has that feel that most of his films have and is just good as opposed to the greatest of his earlier work.