Downloading Nancy

Critics Consensus

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

16%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 31

43%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,033
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Downloading Nancy Photos

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. When Nancy doesn't call after several days, Albert begins to worry that something is wrong, and he soon learns that Nancy hasn't told him the truth. Nancy has struck up an on-line relationship with Louis Farley (Jason Patric), who has a passion for violent sex, and she has decided to meet with him in person, but she has more in mind than just a fling -- she believes that Louis is the man who can end her misery by killing her. Also featuring Amy Brenneman as Nancy's analyst, Downloading Nancy was the first English-language feature from Swedish filmmaker Johan Renck.

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Cast

Maria Bello
as Nancy Stockwell
Jason Patric
as Louis Farley
Rufus Sewell
as Albert Stockwell

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Critic Reviews for Downloading Nancy

All Critics (31) | 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.

    Jul 10, 2009 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…
  • Some suspense arises about just how far the woman's sickness will take her, but it's overwhelmed by the pointlessness of the story.

    Jun 5, 2009 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Downloading Nancy is a nasty exploitation flick tarted up with art-house actors and psychobabble.

    Jun 5, 2009 | Rating: 0.5/5
  • A chilly, bleak film about characters so programmatic that their plight is easy to shrug off.

    Jun 4, 2009 | Rating: D+

    Noel Murray

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • For all the bad behavior on display, the emotional stakes remain hazily defined.

    Jun 3, 2009 | Rating: 2/6 | Full Review…

    Kevin B. Lee

    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.

    Jun 3, 2009 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Downloading Nancy

  • Feb 02, 2012
    Possibly the most uncomfortable Sundance movie to sit through.
    Lily L Super Reviewer
  • Dec 10, 2010
    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 <i>Downloading Nancy</I> 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 H Super Reviewer
  • Feb 01, 2010
    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 G Super Reviewer
  • Jan 17, 2010
    I knew going in not to expect a feel-good movie. Everything about this movie - the way it's filmed, the characters, the dreary decor, and its story - is completely dismal. It felt like a heavy, dark cloak just descended upon me. There was nothing positive in this film. Now, where's my old stack of Care Bear videos?
    nefnie l Super Reviewer

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