The Music Never Stopped (2011)



Critic Consensus: An involving, if sentimental and predictable family drama elevated by J.K. Simmons' sympathetic lead performance.

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Almost 20 years after their teenage son Gabriel ran away from home, Henry and Helen Sawyer learn that he has turned up in a hospital. Although benign, a brain tumor has damaged his memory, rendering past and present indistinguishable. Sensing that Gabriel responds to music, Henry seeks out a music therapist , who discovers that when Gabriel listens to the rock music he loved-The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Buffalo Springfield-he reengages with the world.
PG (for thematic elements, some mild drug references, language and smoking)
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J.K. Simmons
as Henry Sawyer
Cara Seymour
as Helen Sawyer
Lou Taylor Pucci
as Gabriel Sawyer
Scott Adsit
as Dr. Biscow
James Urbaniak
as Mike Tappin
Max Antisell
as Young Gabriel
Ryan Karels
as Bernie
Peggy Gormley
as Florence
Tammy Blanchard
as Tamara Ferris
Josh Segarra
as Mark Ferris
Jesse Roche
as Steve
Julia Ormond
as Dianne Daly
Erica Berg
as College Representative
Mia Maestro
as Celia
Wade Mylius
as Activist
Lance Rubin
as Rocker Dude
Rashad Edwards
as Police Officer
James Eason
as Hippie Vendor
Phil Bender
as Jerry Garcia
Rich Campbell
as Bob Weir
Richard Campbell
as Bob Weir
Buzz Roddy
as Bill Kreutzmann
Mark Greenberg
as Mickey Hart
Ethan F. Hamburg
as Phil Lesh
Paul Sigrist
as Brent Myland
Martin Moran
as Minister
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Critic Reviews for The Music Never Stopped

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (16)

A wounded and hopeful take on generation gaps and the wider, nearly unbridgeable chasms created by neurological disaster.

April 1, 2011
Denver Post
Top Critic

A medley of "Memento," "The King's Speech" and "Hair," "The Music Never Stopped" is sentimental pop packaged as a profound rock opera.

Full Review… | March 31, 2011
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

The sentiments are real without succumbing to exaggerated sentimentality, thanks in large part to that big lovable lug, J.K. Simmons.

Full Review… | March 31, 2011
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Kohlberg is determined to manipulate your emotions; he succeeds.

Full Review… | March 31, 2011
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

It's sentimental, yet so honest and eccentric that it rises above schmaltz.

Full Review… | March 31, 2011
Boston Globe
Top Critic

The Music Never Stopped is often static and follows a familiar trajectory. Yet it has power, partly because Simmons does a fine job of showing how hurt Henry is that his taste didn't imprint on Gabe beyond grade school.

Full Review… | March 18, 2011
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Music Never Stopped

Predictable story, but the soundtrack was awesome, so I enjoyed it.

Spencer Macklin
Spencer Macklin

Super Reviewer


I didn't even realize this was based on an Oliver Sacks case until after it was over and I thought it sounded familiar.

Megan S
Megan S

Super Reviewer


Cast: J.K. Simmons, Lou Taylor Pucci, Julia Ormond, Cara Seymour, Mía Maestro, Tammy Blanchard, Scott Adsit, Max Antisell Director: Jim Kohlberg Summary: Nearly 20 years after Gabriel (Lou Taylor Pucci) ran away from home, his father, Henry Sawyer (J.K. Simmons), and mother, Helen (Cara Seymour), discover that their no longer young child suffers from a brain tumor that blocks him from recording fresh memories. Desperate to connect with his son at the assisted-living facility Gabe inhabits, Henry realizes the best way to do so is through music -- specifically the classic rock tunes Gabe loves and he despises. My Thoughts: "A beautiful story and a fantastic film. Such great acting from Lou Taylor Pucci, J.K. Simmons, and Cara Seymour. The story was touching and made me shed a few or more tears. The music is amazing in this film and it is what truly brings this family back together. The story is sad, inspiring, touching, and will definitely pull at your heart strings. You can't help but care for these character's and be moved by their story. Brilliant film. Check this one out for the great story, acting, and music. A definite must see."


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