Prince Avalanche - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Prince Avalanche Reviews

Page 1 of 17
Super Reviewer
October 14, 2013
An enjoyable blend of funny and melancholy that benefits from Green's solid direction and the strong performances by Rudd and Hirsch, even if it feels a bit vague and purposely enigmatic as its title, with the dialogue also becoming artificial after a certain hip accident scene.
Super Reviewer
September 25, 2013
Cinematography was beautiful and the story seemed like it was going to be touching, but it never really all came together. Ended up feeling kind of incomplete.
Super Reviewer
August 30, 2013
Alvin: True love is like a ghost- people talk about it, but very few have seen it.

Prince Avalanche is a return to roots for David Gordon Green. It takes him back to the quiet, indie type of filmmaking that got him started with a movie like George Washington. It has no real beginning and no real ending, and it definitely isn't for everyone. It's a completely different type of film then the comedies he's been making like Pineapple Express, Your Highness, and The Sitter, and it shows is versatility as a filmmaker.

Two guys, Alvin and Lance are working on an isolated highway away from any town during the summer of 1988. They're painting the lines on a road that had been destroyed, along with many houses during a major wildfire in Texas. The two are very different, but they begin to kindle a friendship as they help each other through tough moments of their lives.

This is a movie that many will think is boring, pointless filmmaking, but if you are like me, and enjoy these subtle, performance driven movies, then it's worth a look. Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch give good performances, and for the most part are the only people on screen. In the end, I never feel in love with the film, but it was one I enjoyed for the most part. 
Super Reviewer
November 14, 2013
Well, I watched this to see my fave Paul Rudd. If he hadn't been in it, I most likely wouldn't even made it half way through. It is very slow, and dull, but he helped with the tediousness, Nothing exciting to see here, just a story slowly unfolding in front of our eyes...very slowly.
Super Reviewer
½ December 17, 2013
David Gordon Green is a director who's work I'm largely unfamiliar with. I've never been drawn to the comedies "Pineapple Express", "Your Highness" of "The Sitter". However, I've heard that he's done some good dramatic material in "George Washington". Before this, the only film I had actually seen, that he was involved in, was Jeff Nichols' "Shotgun Stories" - on which Gordon Green was a producer. That being said, if "Prince Avalanche" is anything to go by, then I reckon I could find some enjoyment from his previous outings, as well as future endeavours that he might be involved in.

After a forest fire scorches a whole stretch of Texan landscape, two workmen set about remarking the road. Alvin (Paul Rudd) is the thoughtful, intelligent type while Lance (Emile Hirsch) is only concerned with girls and parties and only got the job because Alvin is dating his older sister. As they set to the monotonous work at hand and struggle to connect with each other, they receive news from back home that the women in their lives are no longer interested in them. This causes them both to assess themselves and the choices they've made in life.

Gordon Green's strange little drama is apparently a faithful remake of an Icelandic film called "Either Way" made in... I haven't actually seen that so I have no prior knowledge in making a comparison. That being said, I still found plenty to enjoy here. I've always been partial to, off-kilter, character studies and that's the best way I can describe this bittersweet and unconventional little film. It's one of those pieces that refuses to be pigeonholed and suffice to say it's, at times, strongly meditative and heartfelt, while at others showing a subtle humour and canny observation for the need for human interaction. The characters go nowhere fast and very little happens but, thankfully, the director isn't going anywhere either and is happy to focus on the strained and awkward relationship between two lost and lonely souls that find some solace in each other. A great example of minimalist cinema that's held together by a perfectly pitched Paul Rudd and an overweight Emile Hirsch (looking a little like Jack Black). The two of them are great and hold the film together despite some periodic lulls while cinematographer Tim Orr consistently keeps things interesting in his striking choices of imagery. So much so, that the barren landscape becomes a character in itself.

An odd and eccentric little odyssey, about life, loss and rebirth that has some insightful things to say about our connections with past and present.

Mark Walker
Super Reviewer
½ November 6, 2013
A worker (Paul Rudd) who loves the solitude of nature hires his girlfriend's party-loving brother (Emile Hirsch) to help him paint lines on a seldom-traveled rural road; they clash but eventually open up to each other. The two actors completely inhabit their roles in this slow-moving bromance dramedy.
Super Reviewer
October 28, 2013
A Charming Journey through the Woods.

Good Film! Prince Avalanche is a dual character study of an introvert and an extrovert but goes beyond the 'odd couple' clichés. Together, they cover enough ground to find relatable areas, and with dialogue-driven scenes, it cuts to the core of what they live for and how that drive changes and grows throughout the course of the film. Paul Rudd is absolutely outstanding here. I'm so glad he's finally found a role to test his dramatic talent without having to ignore his brand of comedy, though much of the humour of this film is incidental and sparse. He's incredibly subtle and commanding. It's a beautiful simple film which ends on a lovely hopeful note. A true catharsis from the social order of life and utterly refreshing to watch.

Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind.
Super Reviewer
½ August 15, 2013
While its undeniably pretentious ending almost undermines the entire narrative, "Prince Avalanche" is a testament not only to the creative potential of David Gordon Green (which doesn't fully show itself often enough), but also to the acting chops of both Hirsch and Rudd, the latter of which I truly wish would break out of the broad comedy that made him a star to be in films like this more often.
Super Reviewer
½ August 23, 2013
Very Questionable. "Prince Avalanche" is definitely one of the most unique films of 2013, taking place solely in one location for the entire duration and only costing a mere $60,000 to put together. The chemistry between Emile Hirsch and Paul Rudd is noteworthy and I'll definitely be recommending this film on that aspect alone. Dealing with life issues through character development and stories, each character (Alvin and Lance) brings his own sadness to the screen and really makes you feel for them. What I loved about this film is that I could really relate to both of them while never getting even a glimpse at their outside life. Director - Writer David Gordon Green definitely came out of his bad movie streak to make this picture and his passion for filmmaking really shows. This is a great film all around and the ending will definitely leave you puzzled. One of my favourites of 2013!
Super Reviewer
½ August 19, 2013
The performances are exemplary, but the minuscule character arcs and need for one more rewrite and quick trip to the editing bay mark this film as nothing more but delightfully slight.
Super Reviewer
September 18, 2015
Following a massive forest fire, Alvin(Paul Rudd) and Lance(Emile Hirsch) work at repainting the yellow stripes on the highway. In point of fact, Lance is the younger brother of Alvin's girlfriend. While Alvin works on improving his German for an upcoming vacation with her, Lance goes back to town for the weekend.

"Prince Avalanche" may not exactly be a return to form for David Gordon Green and his glory days of poetic lyricism, mainly due to the crude dialogue throughout. Still, there is enough thoughtfulness on display for this to certainly be considered a step in the right direction. Elsewhere, Paul Rudd shows a bit of range for once while Emile Hirsch is content to do a middling Jack Black impression.
Super Reviewer
½ October 10, 2013
Texas, 1988. In the aftermath of a deadly and widespread forest fire, thirty-something Alvin (Rudd) and his girlfriend's younger brother Lance (Hirsch) travel the road, repainting the faded yellow lines. At first their relationship is terse, a clash of personalities. Alvin is philosophical, at home alone in nature, appreciating silence while Lance is restless and impetuous, seemingly only interested in getting his "little man squeezed" back in town. As they spend more time together, however, an awkward bond forms between the pair. Along the way they repeatedly encounter an elderly truck driver (LeGault) who proffers them with alcohol, and a mysterious lady who seemingly only they can see.

David Gordon Green began his prolific career just over a decade ago with a series of melancholy indie dramas. In recent years he's become synonymous with lowbrow comedies starring the likes of Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and James Franco. It's a struggle to think of another film-maker whose career has taken such an abrupt shift in tone and as we made our way into the screening I overheard another reviewer ask aloud "Which David Gordon Green are we getting with this one?". The answer is actually a combination of both Gordon Greens. A loose remake of a low budget Icelandic movie from just a couple of years ago, (Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson's 'Either Way'), 'Prince Avalanche' is the closest the director has come to his thoughtful early dramas yet is peppered with odd moments of lowbrow humor (there's even a fart gag) that would sit more comfortably in the type of movies Paul Rudd usually stars in.

The structure of the film resembles a movie Gordon Green produced in 2007, Craig Zobel's little seen but worthwhile black comedy 'Great World of Sound', a similar tale of two men whose job throws them together on the open road. 'Prince Avalanche' lacks that film's subtle wit and feels as directionless as its existentially confused protagonists. There's far too much dialogue heard here, much of it mundane, and you can't help but share Rudd's desire for silence. It's the movie's few silent moments that show how good a film-maker Green can be, in particular a sequence that brilliantly expresses Rudd's love of spending time alone in the woods, beautifully scored with an avant-garde track from the band Explosions in the Sky. The few brief appearances from LeGault's half-mad trucker provide a welcome dose of warmth, as does a touching scene involving an elderly woman rummaging through the ashes of her burnt out home for some proof of her existence. Most of the movie, though, is as mundane as its protagonists' task and, while that's likely the point, it makes for neither an involving or engaging watch.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ January 16, 2014
Well, Edvard Grieg can finally rest in peace, because the son of the Mountain King is finally getting some long-overdue attention. I can't help but look at this film's title and think of "In the Hall of the Mountain King", which in turn makes me think of "In the Court of the Crimson King", which I suppose is a more fitting song to reference, because this film is getting "some" - and I mean "some" - attention for being scored by Explosions in the Sky, and post-rock is more-or-less indie shoegazer hipsters' adorable and, well, often somewhat dull little attempt at full-on progressive rock. No, I like Explosions in the Sky, because even though post-rock has a tendency to meander something fierce, it's pumped to the brim with artistic integrity, which I'm sure must be surprising to you folks who look at this film's poster and don't see anything artistic about it, only a pair of overalls-wearing, hick-looking bums with a truck. To make matters worse, they appear to be right next to the woods, and after "Into the Wild", you would have to be at least a little bit goofy to run the risks involved with hanging out with Emile Hirsch in the woods. Well, stereotypers, this is more-or-less about goofball shenanigans, but it does have enough artistic integrity to earn a post-rock score, and at any rate, this film is the Texan answer to "Either Way", or rather, "Á annan veg", Icelandic, and Explosions in the Sky are a bunch of Texans who wish they were Sigur Rós, so of course they fit. Hey, after "Pineapple Express", "Your Highness" and "The Sitter", all in a row, David Gordon Green is due for some type of an artistic comeback, but he's still bringing along Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch to try and get the pop culture's attention too this film. Ha, good luck with that, Gordo, because no one is going to see this film, and that's a shame, because this film is pretty decent, even though Green has gotten a little rusty in some places after all these years away from filmmaking that requires you to try.

Mighty lacking in development, this film drops you right in the middle of its characters' situations, with no immediate background material and even the bare minimum of gradual exposition, although that's not to say that these character's don't feel kind of familiar, both because of the well-rounded elements in characterization, and because of the areas in characterization that are simply too familiar for their own good. Plotting is formulaic in certain key areas, and what characterization there is, while genuine, rather blandly runs into tropes, which is a pretty big problem, considering that this effort relies so much on characters over narrative progression. This plot actually has very few notable beats and relies pretty heavily on mediations upon filler, so the underwhelming natural shortcomings are overwhelming enough when storytelling doesn't get a little too draggy, even in its own intentionally minimalist context, possibly because it has difficult in figuring out what exactly its context is. Art films of this type can be grounded and traditionalist in its storytelling structure, or near-abstract in its meditativeness, or simply somewhere in between, and on the whole, this film falls somewhere in between, but when it breaks in an attempt to flavor up storytelling style with dynamicity, it often jars, particularly when it abandons traditional storytelling methods to devolve into mere meandering meditations upon hardly anything at all, and take on a particularly severe case of dragging, backed by a particularly biting case of atmospheric coldness that admittedly rarely abates. Meanderings and a deliberately steady pacing aggravate enough on paper, and they are made all the more distancing by a certain cold thoughtfulness to David Gordon Green's direction, which is often effective in drawing on depths, but is just as often dull and emphatic of other issues, both natural and consequential. This project started making mistakes when it first drew out its do-little narrative idea, and with its loose grip on engagement value going further shaken by underdevelopment, familiarity and structural inconsistencies, you ultimately end up with an ambitious, but rather underwhelming dramedy. That being said, the final product endears through and through, not just with its thoughtful, if limp storytelling, but with its solid style.

I don't reckon the efforts of Tim Orr, David Gordon Green's preferred cinematographer, are all that technically outstanding, but photography is adequately crisp and broad enough to capture a considerable range of morbid beauty to a ruined woodlands setting, whose visually fine celebration is arguably not as aesthetically impressive as, if you will, the film's musical beauty. Composed by David Wingo and somewhat notorious, Austin-based post-rock band Explosions in the Sky, this film's score has lighthearted attributes whose soft perk and subtle playfulness hold a tender heart whose loveliness goes outweighed by more relatively serious compositions, whose soft modern-classical and post-rock soul is where this score really excels with its refreshingly narrative and hauntingly beautiful aesthetic value, which also compliments the immersion value of this art effort's atmosphere. While often pretty quiet, this film relies pretty heavily on its musical elements, and Explosions in the Sky and Wingo, understanding this, go all-out in crafting a remarkably heartfelt and wholly well-realized original soundtrack that not only ranks high among the best scores of 2013, but a particular height in stylistic compliments to substance that are found throughout the final product, which doesn't need to be inspired in style to feel narratively inspired. Do-little, but charming, this film has a good heart to its themes on unlikely bonds and coming to terms with personal flaws, and it goes brought to life by highlights in David Gordon Green's reasonably well-characterized and amusing script, which is itself done justice by highlights in Green's thoughtful direction. Sure, the meditative storytelling is often bland, if not kind of dull, but its tastefulness soaks up enough scripted charm to entertain adequately, while also playing on style and visuals to immerse you into this effort's environment. Onscreen leads Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch further immerse you into this character study with sparkling individual charm and solid chemistry, being grounded, but with enough of the performers' distinctive charisma to craft, for Rudd and Hirsch, unique performances that more-or-less carry the final product. This film relies a lot on its characters, and the portrayers are inspired enough to drive that element of storytelling, whose other elements are generally done enough justice to make a pretty endearing final product, in spite of its heavy blows.

When it all comes down, natural shortcomings to a near-do-nothing narrative, backed by underdevelopment, tropes, uneven storytelling styles and limp pacing, bury the final product under underwhelmingness, but through a handsome visual style, outstanding score by Explosions in the Sky and David Wingo, charming writing and direction by David Gordon Green, and solid charisma by and chemistry between Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch, "Prince Avalanche" endears as a heartfelt meditation on two men bonding and coming to terms with themselves.

2.5/5 - Fair
Super Reviewer
½ November 24, 2013
David Gordon Green's return to form, "Prince Avalanche" sees Paul Rudd and Emilie Hirsch give some of the most dramatic and spot-on performances of their careers, as two men in the backwoods painting yellow dividing lines on an all but abandoned road. With Green's patented mix of comedy and drama, to which they become one in the same, his latest film proves that his original work is where his heart lies and the raunchy comedies he's directed as of late have to be simply a means to an end. With Rudd's Alvin being a complete lover of nature and Hirsch's Lance remaining the complete opposite, with a love of sex and human interaction, the dialogue between these two in the middle of nowhere is inherently rich and pithy. The cinematography and musical score become laden with rich environmental undertones and almost a meditative state, adding a deeper layer to the film as a whole. The content of the film screams David Gordon Green and impresses on almost all levels, creating an instant classic and hopefully marking the beginning of this continued renaissance of his former glory.
Super Reviewer
½ November 9, 2013
I feel like it's been a while since we've seen Paul Rudd in anything. What I do like is when he's in any film. He's a very consistent actor, and Emile Hirsch has this really good dark sense of humor about him. Both work well in this small indie film. Taking place in the late 80's after the fires in Garland, Texas, they play to bozos who are on the road crew. When both are on camera at the same time, it offers moments that are funny, awkward and sympathetic. There might be a few too many artistic shots and the plot doesn't grip you as much as the performances do. A little more meat in the story and these two could go a long way.
½ February 14, 2016
Reminiscent of 1970's "Five Easy Pieces," "Prince Avalanche" is a portrait of seclusion and isolation told from a working-class perspective.
March 2, 2015
There are no green screens or explosions within hundreds of miles of the beauty and warmth of this slow moving but inviting and feel good film.
August 8, 2013
No plot, and only a few belly laughs, but as a vehicle for Paul and Emile to be honest, sad, and hopeful characters, it is still engaging and perhaps uplifting or playful.
June 24, 2014
I've never heard such a perfect soundtrack to capture every emotion that the writer is trying to express. I give this movie 5stars just for the soundtrack itself but the characters are well written as well.
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