Honeydripper 2007

Honeydripper

Critics Consensus

Honeydripper's electric musical numbers and sharp performances make for an exciting film, despite its slow pace.

69%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 86

57%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,792

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Movie Info

Faced with mounting debts and stiff competition from a rival nightclub and its newfangled jukebox, small-town Alabama club owner Tyrone Purvis (Danny Glover) and his partner Maceo (Charles S. Dutton) book rhythm-and-blues star Guitar Sam to save their failing venue, the Honeydripper. But when Sam doesn't show up on the appointed day, Tyrone must resort to increasingly desperate measures in his struggle to secure a last-minute replacement and keep the Honeydripper from closing its doors.

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Critic Reviews for Honeydripper

All Critics (86) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (59) | Rotten (27)

Audience Reviews for Honeydripper

  • Jan 26, 2014
    Despite a charismatic cast and good music, Honeydripper feels dull and lifeless.
    Sam B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 27, 2008
    (2007 Director: John Sayles) This is a down home movie of hope...the stuff that most of us live on....real nice. Set in the deep deep Alabama South in a harsh past. Good performances by Danny Glover & an old time Sheriff Stacy Keach! [an instant view on Netflix] Blues musician Keb' Mo works his magic on the saxophone to help save the day..<div style="width:272px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/servlet/embed/photo/link/10921979"><img src="http://www.flixster.com/servlet/embed/photo/10921979.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com">Flixster</a> - Share Movies</div></div> A sweet, homespun Yaya Costa co-stars as daughter China Doll.
    Teresa S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 27, 2008
    John Sayles is an odd filmmaker in that his work seems oddly isolated from everything else Hollywood puts out. He?s almost a textbook example of what an auteur is, in that one can guess he directed a film simply by watching a single scene, but pinpointing why his work is recognizable is not always as easy as it is with other filmmakers. There?s something in the dialogue, the way the actors behave, and the ambitious aim of his uniquely American stories that positively define his work behind the camera. His newest film, Honeydripper, was mostly ignored in theaters and I had hoped that it would be an underappreciated gem; unfortunately it?s minor Sayles at best. The film is set in a fictional Alabama town of Harmony during the very early 1950s. The film specifically focuses on Harmony?s black community, particularly a tavern/dance hall called the Honeydripper. The venue is owned by Tyrone Purvis (Danny Glover), but it has fallen on hard times. Purvis is in danger of losing the place to a loan shark, so he and his friend Maceo (Charles S. Dutton) plan a last ditch effort to stay in business by bringing in a famous blues musician named Guitar Sam to play a big gig that would generate enough money to pay Purvis? rent. Purvis has recently drifted away from his wife Delilah (Lisa Gay Hamilton) and is also being threatened by the town?s racist sheriff (Stacy Keach). Meanwhile a young man named Sonny (Gary Clark Jr.) has arrived in town carrying a guitar case and interested in auditioning at the local music scene to make ends meet. Purvis can?t really afford the show he plans to put on and it becomes clear that the evening?s entertainment will be a make or break night for him and the Honeydripper. There was a lot less music in the film then I had expected, the story clearly deals with people who have music as a major part of their life, but the soundtrack is not loaded with period music. There is a great performance scene toward the end which features the use of a very early electric guitar, the music played is a primitive and toe tapping form of rock and roll. The movie?s main problem is mainly that it has a lot of southern clichés. Among the types to be found here: a redneck sheriff, an eager young man gone to town to make something of his music career, a white southern housewife oblivious to the rest of the world, and a blind old coot who plays guitar on main street stoops. Occasionally Sayles will do some unexpected things with these types, for instance that Sheriff proves to ultimately be more interested in getting free chicken than oppressing people just for the fun of it, there?s also a neat twist with the blind old coot. Danny Glover is probably the best thing about the film, he?s got just the right ability to seem like a nice and likable guy, but still having a certain gruffness to his character. It?s clear that Glover?s character has seen a lot over the course of his career as a bar owner and blues enthusiast. He?s a character that clearly has a past and the audience easily gets the gist of it without the movie explicitly showing or describing much of it. In final analysis, Honeydripper is just a very average and fairly forgettable film. It has a neat atmosphere, the story works well enough, but it?s just a very small trifle of a film. Had I seen it in theaters I would have felt vaguely ripped off, and I?m not sure I?d even recommend it as a DVD rental. But, if you see it on cable or something like that I do think it?s worth giving a shot.
    MJS M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 09, 2008
    Decent drama about the birth of rock n' roll in 1950's Alabama.Tyrone Pervis' bar,The Honeydripper,is on the verge of being brought out unless he can come up with enough money and keep the place busy like it used to be.When Tyrone books a popular local guitarist to play and he fails to show up it seems Tyrone will no longer have his bar,but when a young drifter comes to the bar claiming he can play guitar and sing,Tyrone comes up with an idea that might just save his job and the Honeydripper and also help change music forever.A great performance by Danny Glover as Tyrone Pervis and a good script.This does seem a tad overlong at times but its a good story with an uplifting ending about the birth of some truly amazing music.
    Adam M Super Reviewer

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