Not Fade Away

2012, Drama, 1h 52m

92 Reviews 2,500+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Exuberant and bittersweet, Not Fade Away is a coming-of-age story set to a British Invasion beat that occasionally meanders but mostly charms. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In 1960s New Jersey, Doug (John Magaro) drops out of college to devote his energies to the rock band he founded in high school, much to the chagrin of his father (James Gandolfini). When Gene (Jack Huston), the band's lead singer, has a mishap that temporarily knocks him out as frontman, Doug takes over. The band's new sound is a hit with the crowd, leading to Gene's ever-increasing resentment. Meanwhile, Wells (Will Brill), another bandmate, struggles with the group's reach for fame.

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Critic Reviews for Not Fade Away

Audience Reviews for Not Fade Away

  • Nov 10, 2014
    Douglas(John Magaro), figuring that if two ordinary looking guys like Keith Richards and Mick Jagger can hit it big with their band The Rolling Stones and get all the girls, then why not him? So, he forms a band with some friends of his. Regardless, Grace(Bella Heathcote) takes a liking to him. But his father(James Gandolfini), a store owner, does not care much for the idea of his son getting into the music business, much less his longer hair. As seriously flawed as "Not Fade Away" is, I recently read in Grantland.com why this story might have worked much better as a television series, given its episodic structure. In which case, instead of two hours of cliches about the 60's, we would have had at least ten hours of such tired material. Yes, sometimes forgotten bands can be even more interesting as those that made it big but not here, as the band does nothing to differentiate it from many others of the time period when pretty much everybody was in a band like everybody has a blog today. So, while the movie references many of the innovators of the decade, it only waits until the very end to make any kind of original, ambiguous statement of its own.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 27, 2013
    Another really good movie, ruined by a sad attempt at an ending. This ending may top all bad endings for me. Otherwise, up to that point it was very enjoyable, with good music, good acting, fun storyline, etc. I would have given it 4 to 4 1/2 stars. David Chase..what were you thinking with this? was that all you could come up with for an ending??
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 11, 2013
    Not Fade Away is a trip through the 60s of various clichés. The rock and roll tale is highlighted by some rousing musical numbers and nice period detail. Unfortunately the chronicle isn't particular innovative. It's liberally sprinkles in 60s buzzwords like JFK, the Summer of Love, sexual revolution, civil rights, Vietnam, and Martin Luther King with the depth of someone who skimmed a Wikipedia article on the subject. You've seen this before. It's trivial observations on the life of a teen interested in starting a band is rather generic right down to the disapproval of his reactionary parents. The memoir is unfulfilling. It has its moments, but the narrative kind of meanders with little regard toward the attributes of a plot. Events just occur lacking a traditional story that should rise to a climax and then fall to a satisfying dénouement. That's the only thing about this hackneyed drama that didn't follow the rules. fastfilmreviews.wordpress.com
    Mark H Super Reviewer
  • Jan 02, 2013
    Good idea poorly executed. Chase creates a limp vanilla story out of a period in time that was so dynamic. And if you think he ended The Sopranos piss poorly wait until you see how he wraps this one up. Acting was totally forgetful but the soundtrack was superb courtesy of Steve Van Zant. 2013 gets off to a bad start! (1-2-13)
    John C Super Reviewer

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