Downtown Express (2012)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Set in the world of Russian immigrants living in New York City, Downtown Express uses music to explore the clash of old world values against the lure and excitement of a new country. Under the watch of his loving but overbearing father, virtuoso violinist and Juilliard student Sasha (Grammy nominee Philippe Quint) prepares for a critical recital meant to launch his career. Yet, he is increasingly drawn to the rhythms of the streets of New York, and when he meets singer-songwriter Ramona (acclaimed recording artist Nellie McKay), he joins her band, falls in love, and begins to lead a double life, careening frantically between two worlds. As his classical debut nears, Sasha must decide whether to break with his father and forge his own destiny. -- (C) Official Site
Drama , Musical & Performing Arts , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
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Nellie McKay
as Ramona
Chris Eddleton
as Anthony
Marcia Jean Kurtz
as Woman on the Subway Platform
Elizabeth Abate
as Music Underground Judge
Jerry Barnard
as Music Underground Judge
John Carlton
as Music Underground Judge
Elaine Chambers
as Music Underground Judge
Rolyne Joseph
as Music Underground Judge
Andrew Roole
as Music Underground Judge
David Brown
as Master of Ceremonies
Sydney Chong
as Child Violinist
Jinwoo Jung
as Child Violinist
Olivia Kang
as Child Violinist
Victoria Chamberlin
as Voice in the Max Fish Crowd
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Critic Reviews for Downtown Express

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (6)

The unconvincing but gently spirited "Jazz Singer" update features accomplished musicians in the lead roles; the treat is their playing, not their acting.

Full Review… | August 23, 2012
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Everyone seems so genuinely excited to be sharing their music on film that the entire experience becomes a joyful alliance between audience and actors.

Full Review… | April 19, 2012
New York Daily News
Top Critic

The film may be hopelessly old-fashioned, but it's hard to entirely resist its portrait of a city that not only never sleeps but also seems to be bursting with melody at every turn.

Full Review… | April 19, 2012
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Mr. Grubin may fumble two romances and several pivotal scenes, but the energy of the streets remains safe in his hands.

April 19, 2012
New York Times
Top Critic

The film's wide-eyed view of New York as a wonderland of harmonic diversity soon grows as tiresome as the film's trite romantic shuffling.

April 17, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

Whether to let go and follow your own path is a stock dilemma, and an implausibly hopeful conclusion winds up undercutting the realism of this immigrant song.

Full Review… | April 17, 2012
Village Voice
Top Critic

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