Down in the Valley


Down in the Valley

Critics Consensus

The premise of Old West clashing with modern suburbia is fresh and initially intriguing, but the second act degenerates into a clumsy jumble of events which strain credibility.



Total Count: 101


Audience Score

User Ratings: 39,347
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Movie Info

When Harlan Carruthers, a charismatic cowboy who seems as if he would be much more at home in Monument Valley than in the San Fernando Valley, has a chance encounter with Tobe, a bored and restless suburban teenager, both of their lives are turned upside down. To Harlan, Tobe embodies all the purity and innocence impossible to find on the mean streets of contemporary L.A., while Tobe is drawn to Harlan's poetic charm and romantic spirit. Despite the obvious difference in their ages and backgrounds, and the growing opposition of Tobe's father, Wade, the couple pursues their passionate, furtive romance until it becomes apparent that Tobe is unprepared for the intensity of Harlan's love. Then, things take a sudden, dangerous turn when Tobe discovers that Harlan is not at all what he appeared to be.


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Critic Reviews for Down in the Valley

All Critics (101) | Top Critics (37)

Audience Reviews for Down in the Valley

  • Apr 02, 2011
    More power to the film for its refreshing premise, fine performance from Norton, of course and having Evan Rachel Wood (that actually doesn't affect the quality of the film, but it's still nice) to make an attempt at raising the film above its lack of development, unlikeable young characters, (surprise, surprise) poor soundtrack, melodrama, character behavior exaggerations, inconsistant character focus, occasional weak dialogue, lengthy sequences, forced theme and character changes, rushed ending and being dull. Still, the pros can't prevent "Down in the Valley" from remaining a very underwhelming and totally inconsistant use of potential. Man, I sure do dread griping about a movie with my man Eddy. Well, at least it's not as awkward as my opinions on "Joe Versus the Volcano" and "The Da Vinci Code". Sorry again Tom.
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Dec 09, 2010
    I see so many people having a problem with the fact that the film is unrealistic. But romantic.
    Mouhannad S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 15, 2010
    Down in the Valley is a bit of a jumble, switching tones and genres quickly from the first to second half, but I'm still glad I watched it. The performances by all of the main actors, especially Norton, are pitch perfect and make this movie better than it probably is. The first half is the good half, building up a sweet romance that is quiet and touching, but the second half has tons of implausible moments that make this otherwise great movie a little hard to swallow. I wish the screenplay was better than it is, but it is still worth a rental based on everything else.
    Josh L Super Reviewer
  • Oct 29, 2009
    Down in The Valley What a great film...very layered and subtle. It is beautifully shot and the four main characters are original and yet painfully familiar in their alienation, anger, and despair. The Cowboy character played by Edward Norton (who is amazing) seems so simple at first but as he is drawn into the family his character and the truth unravels in ways that left me at a stand still near the end of the film. The character played by Rory Culkin, "Twig", says very little throughout the film and yet he conveys a sense of yearning and loneliness almost too painful to bare. But even he undergoes an unexpected transformation by the end of the film. The lead is a beautiful creature on the screen. Her relationship with the Cowboy seemed unlikely at first and then became completely believable, especially in the bathtub scene. This is a film for lovers of independent film and psychological kinds of cinema. There are also several scenes that border on surrealism. This film will leave you thinking and wondering about your life
    Cassandra M Super Reviewer

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