Downloading Nancy (2008)



Critic Consensus: Unseemly, unsettling, and unremittingly bleak, Downloading Nancy is slickly made but mostly unpleasant.

Movie Info

A self-destructive housewife takes what may be her final step into the abyss in this independent psychological drama. Nancy Stockwell (Maria Bello) is a woman edging into her forties who has fallen into a deep and prolonged state of depression, finding her only solace in self-inflicted pain. Nancy has grown weary of her relationship with her husband, Albert (Rufus Sewell), and one day he comes home from work to find a note in which Nancy says she's decided to visit an old friend for a few days. … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Lee H. Ross, Pamela Cuming, Lee Ross
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 12, 2010
Strand Releasing - Official Site



as Nancy Stockwell

as Louis Farley

as Albert Stockwell
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Critic Reviews for Downloading Nancy

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (10)

You can't really blame Bello for taking every chance available to let her monster talent off its chain, even when the opportunity takes the form of something so ill conceived and unworthy (and dull and ridiculous) as Downloading Nancy.

Full Review… | July 10, 2009
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Some suspense arises about just how far the woman's sickness will take her, but it's overwhelmed by the pointlessness of the story.

Full Review… | June 5, 2009
New York Post
Top Critic

Downloading Nancy is a nasty exploitation flick tarted up with art-house actors and psychobabble.

June 5, 2009
New York Times
Top Critic

A chilly, bleak film about characters so programmatic that their plight is easy to shrug off.

Full Review… | June 4, 2009
AV Club
Top Critic

For all the bad behavior on display, the emotional stakes remain hazily defined.

Full Review… | June 3, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

What makes the movie a trial to sit through isn't just the heroine's pain-freak tastes. It's that a kinkfest with this blah an emotional spectrum is selling its own chic form of puritanism -- sex with all the life force repressed.

Full Review… | June 3, 2009
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Downloading Nancy

Most films that explore sadomasochism do so in ways that can still be appealing and alluring to an audience comprised of people with relatively normal, well-adjusted ideas about sex and sexuality, but this is a notable exception. The sadomasochistic scenes in Downloading Nancy are fucking brutal, cringe-worthy, and unrelenting, and Bello and Patric are nakedly committed to "going there," living the realities of their characters.
At its core, there is indeed little to this story, and we should be given some reason to hope for a different ending than what's inevitable. This lack of any true suspense is the film's major flaw. But by the same token, I think we go to independent movies to see a purposeful rejection of Hollywood's common narratives.
Overall, this film is dark, disturbing, depressing, nihilistic, and courageous - the perfect date movie.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


First of all, this film is by no means a feel good, popcorn popping piece of cinema. It's a rather dark, disturbing tale shot in quite dismal premises to tell a story that is real, but not one people want to hear.
However, I was glued to the screen due to the brilliant acting performances by Maria Bello and Jason Patric. They portray characters whose tattered souls take comfort in one another through the internet using e-mail, pictures, and promises of sordid sexual encounters. Nancy(Bello), is a severely damaged woman due to being a victim of child abuse, and self mutilation is something that she simply can't keep herself from comitting. Her husband only cares about his virtual golf game he's set up in a downstairs room as she is suffering above. She sees a therapist, but what is it that Nancy ultimately needs?
When it comes down to it, a download can contain various information, good and bad, but it does not however contain a pulse.

Eric S

Super Reviewer


A tough sit - very good performance from Maria Bello - but man is this dreary, slow, dark stuff. After a while, you just want to scream at the screen, "Just die already!". Not without its merits, but I can't imagine someone wanting to sit through this who doesn't have to vote for the Independent Spirit Awards.

Glenn Gaylord
Glenn Gaylord

Super Reviewer

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