"Before Midnight" — The final scene of 2004's "Before Sunset" was so romantic it drove moviegoers crazy — happily crazy — especially because it was so tantalizingly ambiguous. Jesse and Celine, that appealing (and extremely talkative) couple played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, who had fallen in love in the 1995 "Before Sunrise," had reunited at last. In the gorgeous afternoon light of Paris, no less. But we didn't know what would happen next. Nine years later, we have our answer, and it was sure worth the wait. "Before Midnight," the third movie in the Richard Linklater series, is not only as good as the first two, it's arguably better, tackling weightier, trickier issues with wit, humor and breathtaking directness. The setting is still gorgeous — it's a summer vacation in Greece. (Will these two ever venture to an ugly locale?) But the rest is different. Delpy gives Celine a new hardness here, an edge that we saw only a bit in the previous film. And Hawke is extremely effective as a man who adores his partner but is increasingly frustrated with her. It all comes to a head in a humdinger of a fight — just Jesse and Celine in a hotel room, plus a bottle of wine that doesn't get drunk. It gets poured, though, and you'll be so frazzled, you'll want to reach through the screen and chug it down yourself. Rated R for sexual content/nudity and language. 109 minutes. Three and a half stars out of four.