The Music Never Stopped Reviews

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Super Reviewer
February 27, 2013
Predictable story, but the soundtrack was awesome, so I enjoyed it.
Super Reviewer
½ March 4, 2012
I didn't even realize this was based on an Oliver Sacks case until after it was over and I thought it sounded familiar.
Super Reviewer
½ March 17, 2011
Cast: J.K. Simmons, Lou Taylor Pucci, Julia Ormond, Cara Seymour, Mía Maestro, Tammy Blanchard, Scott Adsit, Max Antisell

Director: Jim Kohlberg

Summary: Nearly 20 years after Gabriel (Lou Taylor Pucci) ran away from home, his father, Henry Sawyer (J.K. Simmons), and mother, Helen (Cara Seymour), discover that their no longer young child suffers from a brain tumor that blocks him from recording fresh memories. Desperate to connect with his son at the assisted-living facility Gabe inhabits, Henry realizes the best way to do so is through music -- specifically the classic rock tunes Gabe loves and he despises.

My Thoughts: "A beautiful story and a fantastic film. Such great acting from Lou Taylor Pucci, J.K. Simmons, and Cara Seymour. The story was touching and made me shed a few or more tears. The music is amazing in this film and it is what truly brings this family back together. The story is sad, inspiring, touching, and will definitely pull at your heart strings. You can't help but care for these character's and be moved by their story. Brilliant film. Check this one out for the great story, acting, and music. A definite must see."
Super Reviewer
August 27, 2011
Very touching movie based on a true story, apparently. Great acting. Great music. I teared up more than once...
Super Reviewer
October 3, 2012
In "The Music Never Stopped," Henry(J.K. Simmons) and Helen Sawyer(Cara Seymour) receive a phone call that no parent wants to receive, that their son Gabriel(Lou Taylor Pucci) is seriously ill in the hospital, decades after they last heard from him. He has a benign tumor that has so greatly damaged his brain, that he is left with no short term memory or of anything else in the last twenty years. After Henry is made redundant at work, Helen goes to work for the first time at the same company for badly needed money for hospital fees. That frees up Henry's time to do research that leads him to Dianne Daley(Julia Ormond), a music therapist, who after a few initial struggles, makes a breakthrough with Gabriel.

Based on a true story, "The Music Never Stopped" handles a difficult subject well with sensitivity. Aiding that is J.K. Simmons who underplays nicely in a rare leading role. In fact, the movie makes excellent use of music, especially "Truckin'" which is about the only Grateful Dead song I like. However, in attempting to make the 80's look as drab as possible, the movie drifts into the trap of depicting the 60's as cliched as possible, with the focus squarely on the generation gap.(The source material is an Oliver Sacks essay called "The Last Hippie.") And if Gabriel's memory is decades behind the times, then how come he does not freak out with everybody looking much older than they should?(Hat tip: the television show "Perception")
Super Reviewer
October 28, 2011
Sundance Film Festival is one of the rare ones in the US with some credibility and I love watching movies shown there. This year I saw The Music Never Stopped (directed by Jim Kohlberg), but I waited with the review a little bit. This was Kohlberg's directorial debut from a script by Gwyn Lurie and Gary Marks and it started really well but somehow lost the rhythm after a while.

If you are a fan of the music from the 60' or 70's this is a must for you... but you'll have to put up with the often static style of directing which follows a predictable trajectory.

Based on Oliver Sacks' essay "The Last Hippie", this movie is trying to explore the father-son relationship between Henry Sawyer (J.K. Simmons) and his son, Gabriel (Lou Taylor Pucci), who suffers from a brain tumor that prevents him from forming new memories. Henry, with his son unable to shed light on their strained relationship, must connect with him through music, and the fine performance of J.K. Simmons helped us to understand that dad's taste in music (which used to be "their" music) didn't imprint on Gabe beyond his grade school and that a new "bridge" needed to be built!

And the "bridge" was built by the Grateful Dead!

Powerful start, good music but somehow the movie never finds its own "soul" and follows mediocre tempo.
Super Reviewer
August 23, 2011
J.K. Simmons and Lou Taylor Pucci give wonderful performances!

When his son Gabriel re-enters his life after being gone for 20-years. Henry Sawyer learns that his boy had gone through life with an undiagnosed brain tumor which resulted in severe brain damage and loss of memory. Through music. The Father and Son learn from the mistakes of the past, and rediscover there love for each other.

Wonderfully acted and well-told story! The Music Never Stopped will leave a lasting impression on you. It is just one of those films that hits all the right emotional chords and makes for a very special and enjoyable cinematic treat.
June 15, 2012
The next time someone asks me why music means so much to me, I'm going to refer them to this film. It's a beautiful depiction of the power of music and the memories and feelings it can trigger, and the dynamic between the two lead actors is phenomenal. I was so impressed with everything about this movie.
Super Reviewer
March 17, 2012
This was based on a true story by famous British neurologist Oliver Sacks (who wrote such books as "Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain."
I thought this was a fascinating movie about how music therapy can benefit those with severe brain damage. Also a must see if you're a fan of the Grateful Dead!
January 24, 2012
Although not the most polished film one is going to see, The Music Never Stopped is a rather moving drama about a grown-man who reverts back 20-or-so-odd years after a massive tumor is removed from his brain. In years past, the young-man became estranged with his family after a confrontation between himself and his father after a Vietnam War protest. Leaving his family behind, the son (Gabriel), leaves for "the Village" to persue a career in music -- we never know what becomes of him as the beginning of the film is of a phone call informing the parents their aged son has been found and is incompetent (from that said tumor). The story is one of father and son reconnecting -- and it is those moments of the film that resonant the most as some of the flashbacks are clumsy and clunky. They find that the son/patient connects to his past through past musical memories providing the audience with a wonderful soundtrack of 50's to early 70's tunes (Beatles, the Dead etc), the music could have easily been the best part of this picture ... but there is some substance that is here that is rather nice. The film is flawed (and put together rather simply); but it is nice none-the-less and it is wonderful seeing J.K. Simmons (Juno, Spider-Man) getting a lead role for a change (the man anchors the film nicely). Tammy Blanchard (Moneyball, The Good Shepherd, Rabbit Hole) has a very nice near-cameo in a rather touching scene between friends twenty-years removed this is rather memorable. I think the film will be oddly memorable which is ironic as the film is about not being able to create new memories. It is a fine rather-slow movie that should please those in the mood for some moving drama set to a great soundtrack.
November 8, 2011
Fascinating, heart warming story. Could have been a little shorter (didn't really need the full backstory), but really very good. Great cast.
July 27, 2011
An overly critical father gets a unique opportunity to reconnect with his estranged son, if he can only embrace the music that once divided them in this uplifting family ...
March 23, 2011
Good movie and I have a good memory of seeing it. I don't really want to say a lot about it. Based on a true story and has value. Check it out. Better than most movies coming out these days.
June 15, 2012
Perhaps I am a sucker for all that is sentimental, or maybe it's my unabashed love for J.K. Simmons, but I loved this movie. Like...really loved it. Such a wonderful expose on the power of music.
½ January 26, 2015
At the worst it is soap opera-y, but the tale is one that hits too hard to overlook.
September 30, 2014
While it doesn't really satisfy completely there is a lot to like here, and you really can't do much better than J.K. Simmons, who is pretty much perfect.
April 6, 2012
A touching movie about father and son's relationship and family love. Music is the conduit for the father ro re-connect with the son. Great music ...
Super Reviewer
February 27, 2013
Predictable story, but the soundtrack was awesome, so I enjoyed it.
August 29, 2013
A Warm hug that gets cozier as the music plays on...
½ July 24, 2013
A good film about the importance of music.
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