Down from the Mountain Reviews

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Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
February 18, 2004
A beautifully done record of a very unusual event - and one that inadvertently serves as a testament to John Hartford, making it a very special document of musical history.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5

Film Threat
December 8, 2002
Now if you're looking for an in-depth study of the music, look elsewhere. This movie is strictly about the one event [a benefit concert (for the Country Music Hall of Fame 2001)].
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Ryan Cracknell
Apollo Guide
November 23, 2002
Feels glossed over and incomplete.
Full Review | Original Score: 69/100
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
May 31, 2002
A film that's lovely to hear, though not much to look at.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Richard Harrington
Washington Post
January 6, 2002
The music is grand, the performances are direct and Down From the Mountain is unpretentious in its presentation of both.
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 8, 2001
In her performances and asides to the documentarians, it is Welch who best articulates why this music is so moving.
| Original Score: 3/4
Joe Baltake
Sacramento Bee
October 27, 2001
Has the ease of a casual get-together by musicians who enjoy jamming with each other and who give us the privilege to sit there and listen and watch.
Shawn Levy
Oregonian
October 25, 2001
Hardly a groundbreaking concert movie, but it's a creditably agreeable one.
Bill Chambers
Film Freak Central
October 25, 2001
A Polaroid sprung to life.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Jim Lane
Sacramento News & Review
October 22, 2001
It's poor filmmaking, but wonderful music.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Jason Wood
BBC.com
October 21, 2001
It's impossible to deny the unalloyed joy that the film gives the spectator.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Widgett Walls
Needcoffee.com
October 19, 2001
John Hartford is the uncle you wish to God you had had as a kid. And he can play that fiddle, too.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Bob Graham
San Francisco Chronicle
October 12, 2001
Like the old-timey music that inspired it, Down From the Mountain is sweet, serene and utterly unconcerned with polish.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Timothy Finn
Kansas City Star
October 12, 2001
Pennebaker must have realized that the songs -- the spiritual sounds of the deprived and underprivileged -- were the story, so he let the music do most of the talking. A wise move on his part.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
October 4, 2001
There are plenty of musical highlights here.
Top Critic
Misha Berson
Seattle Times
September 21, 2001
A tender tribute to Hartford's spirit, and to the enduring value of the plaintive and celebratory music that emerged from this country's farm fields and front porches and backwoods churches.
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
September 20, 2001
The whole experience is wonderful -- and this is a film to own on videotape, since you'll probably want to play these songs again and again.
Scott Von Doviak
culturevulture.net
September 10, 2001
One of the rare concert films that successfully erases the distance between viewing audience and onscreen performers.
Daniel Eagan
Film Journal International
September 7, 2001
Roots-music lovers will find plenty here to applaud.
Steve Simels
TV Guide's Movie Guide
September 7, 2001
Frankly, it's shot and edited like a PBS special of average quality. But musically it's often breathtaking.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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