Down in the Valley - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Down in the Valley Reviews

Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
December 18, 2006
Both actors work hard to give this disturbing crime story some flavor and substance, but the narrative is overextended and poorly organized.
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Dave Calhoun
Time Out
June 24, 2006
Strange but compelling.
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
June 23, 2006
It aims to be a Badlands for a new generation. It's closer to The O.C. with horses.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
June 3, 2006
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
June 2, 2006
Even if this drama from David Jacobson can't quite cover all the territory the director-writer is looking to survey, it still's one of the most original movies in a long time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
June 2, 2006
Jacobson kicks up a lot of dust here, but as it begins to settle, the movie becomes more and more muddled.
| Original Score: C+
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Michael Booth
Denver Post
June 2, 2006
Norton sells it, as far as all of this can possibly go. Even if you doubt some of the action, you never doubt the existence of Harlan, a man out of time and out of options.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
June 1, 2006
With a distant yet affecting performance, Norton (Fight Club, The Italian Job) reminds us why he's often considered among the best American actors, right alongside Sean Penn.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 1, 2006
Thirty minutes shorter, this would be a swell romantic chiller. As it stands, the film collapses under the weight of cowboy mythologies drawn out to unsustainable lengths.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
May 26, 2006
If the movie isn't exactly satisfying as a whole, it is certainly provocative.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
May 26, 2006
Like too many films, Down in the Valley turns on its viewers.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Bob Longino
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
May 25, 2006
Jacobson's story goes haywire.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
May 19, 2006
Writer/director Jacobson does a masterful job setting the stage for a modern-day western, one in which the protagonist seems to have arrived by teleportation tube from another century.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
May 19, 2006
An odd, adventurous blur of modern life and enduring cowboy myths.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
May 19, 2006
In the end, it's really just a thriller, slower than most, with pockets of dead time but with a few extra flourishes, too, thanks to Norton.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 19, 2006
A supremely empathic director, Jacobson tunes the emotional frequency of his actors to a heartbreaking pitch.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
May 19, 2006
One of those pictures you root for even when it goes badly wrong.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
May 19, 2006
A movie the actors and director take as far as they can until the story bogs down in questions too big to forgive.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Allison Benedikt
Chicago Tribune
May 18, 2006
Patchy but powerful rumination on myth, youth and man's capacity for brutality.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mark Olsen
Los Angeles Times
May 12, 2006
The film just keeps circling, never narrowing in on who its characters truly are or where it wants to take them.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
May 12, 2006
Noteworthy for the poetry it aspires to and the jumbled prose it delivers.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
May 11, 2006
It's singular, unusual, unexpected, fresh and familiar at once.
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F.X. Feeney
L.A. Weekly
May 11, 2006
Jacobson has an excitingly clear-eyed, unsentimental feel for the intensity of adolescent passion.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
May 11, 2006
Jacobson has a good eye for widescreen compositions and sustains a low-key note of dread but is less successful in his attempt to graft a neo-Western to a neo-noir.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
May 10, 2006
I didn't buy half of what I was seeing.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
May 9, 2006
The purity of Norton's madness is a wonder.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
May 8, 2006
All the problems in this film could have been solved really quickly if anybody had used a little bit of intelligence.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
May 5, 2006
The last third of the picture drags along listlessly -- by the end, we feel dusty and worn out, a little too tired to see Harlan for the romantic, tragic figure that he is.
Top Critic
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
May 5, 2006
Along the way, it devolves from revisionist romance into banal thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
May 5, 2006
Only a disastrous lurch by the script can make us stop caring, but that's what happens: Drama is replaced by melodrama.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
May 5, 2006
The movie turns into something strange and annoying, an attempted blend of a suburban thriller with an Old West shoot-'em-up.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
May 4, 2006
An allegorical neo-Western with dreams as big as the fantasies that consume its protagonist, a suburban cowboy (Edward Norton) who is not what he appears to be.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
May 4, 2006
Mysterious and bold at every turn...
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
May 3, 2006
Disturbing but riveting...
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Rob Nelson
Village Voice
May 2, 2006
This contrived lament for the lonesome cowboy means to measure what remains of the old western in the absence of the Old West, eventually plopping its displaced ranch hand protagonist onto the fake Main Street of an old western movie set.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
April 27, 2006
... a wild thing that sticks with you long after it's over.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Scott Foundas
Variety
May 18, 2005
Imperfect and overlong, but hugely ambitious and often breathtaking.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
May 17, 2005
Down in the Valley might have come off as conceptually sound on paper, but onscreen the whole idea falls apart.