User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 24
  2. Negative: 6 out of 24

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  1. KenG.
    Jun 9, 2006
    3
    A mess. One of those movies that couldn't make up its mind what it wanted to be, so it ended up a sloppy hodgepodge of 5 ot 6 different movies. Movie wasn't really sucessful in it's first half, but in the second half it becomes ever more ridiculous to the point where you realize that filmmakers just stopped caring about the believeability of their story.
  2. liz
    Apr 9, 2008
    2
    VIsually beautiful, big yawner. Terrible movie experience. Edward Norton an enormous talent? Enormous ego unmatched by talent.
  3. RitB
    May 15, 2006
    3
    Most of the critics liked this movie and that should have made the alarm bells go off. I should have gone to see "The Lost City" because critics didn
  4. JordanS.
    Aug 23, 2006
    4
    It really doesn't matter how visually interesting this film may or may not be. The fact is, the script is as dull and plodding as the script of this guy's last movie, DAHMER. If we had a nickel for every director who knew how to move a camera or create an arresting image, we'd all be able to retire. But how many of them can write? Not many. And how many can really get a It really doesn't matter how visually interesting this film may or may not be. The fact is, the script is as dull and plodding as the script of this guy's last movie, DAHMER. If we had a nickel for every director who knew how to move a camera or create an arresting image, we'd all be able to retire. But how many of them can write? Not many. And how many can really get a great performance out of a willful, self-absorbed actor like Edward Norton? Again, not many. Certainly David Jacobsen doesn't manage to pull it off. The entire film has the feel of being hijacked by its leading actor, much to the detriment of the whole. The conceit of this neo-western is as hackneyed as some of the ideas behind the Hollywood blockbusters DOWN IN THE VALLEY so studiously attempts to avoid replicating. After a promising first half hour or so, it all goes downhill in a pile of bizarre cliches and self-conscious pontificating about the nature of contemporary American society. Another user comment suggests that audiences just aren't smart enough to "get" this movie. I suggest that some of us are too smart to fall for its rather obvious and literal attempts to be "artful." Take a look at BADLANDS again. That film is exactly what DOWN IN THE VALLEY would like to be, but falls way short of in its blatant mimicry. Expand
  5. NathanT.
    Sep 26, 2006
    2
    While I can't answer the rhetorical question posed a few entries back (for everyone at least), I can explain why for me anyway, "Down in the Valley" ranks with "Basic Instinct 2" as one of the year's worst and most unpleasant experiences. This is a movie where much happens, and it's all unbelievable. Many things are said, usually mundane or just scraps of better dialogue. While I can't answer the rhetorical question posed a few entries back (for everyone at least), I can explain why for me anyway, "Down in the Valley" ranks with "Basic Instinct 2" as one of the year's worst and most unpleasant experiences. This is a movie where much happens, and it's all unbelievable. Many things are said, usually mundane or just scraps of better dialogue. Oh and how dreadfully boring! Director David Jacobsen absolutely squanders the enormous talent of Edward Norton and the up and coming Evan Rachel Wood. She plays Tobe (short for October, isn't that cute?), a 16-year old in the Valley who falls for the cowboy gas attendant, Harlan, a solid performance by Norton. So far, so decent. But the way their romance unfolds has about the plausibility of the relationships on Fox's "The OC" and they have to contend with her father Wade (played by David Morse). But Jacobsen cruelly presents the father as heartless and physically abusive of her and her brother, played by Rory Culkin (who has an almost creepy affinity for his big sis). Pa yells when she comes home one morning without informing him of where she was; she acts like it's the Inquistion. We're expected to somehow sympathize with her, despite the fact that her dad is right to be concerned that she's sleeping with someone who's at least a decade older that her. "Down in the Valley" starts off clumsily but intriguing enough, fails to be a character study of the twisted Norton character, and then gets harder and harder to look at. In the last 35 minutes or so I felt like a ceiling was falling down on me and also morally icky. Moral ambiguity and unease can often supplement a brittle screenplay, but it's the last thing this dreadful film needed. Expand
  6. RichR.
    Oct 29, 2006
    3
    Started out interestingly, I'll give it that. Edward Norton? One of our best young actors, no doubt about it. But this just imploded about 2/3 of the way through. Sorry. I really wanted to like this movie. Plus the Dad part was really dumb. The girl was good, though. The little brother? Boring, with bad hair to boot.
  7. MartinG.
    May 26, 2006
    1
    Joins my worst list for 2006--even Edward Norton can save it. paul salent should never again be permitted to wite and/or sing a song.
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. 88
    Down in the Valley is a wild thing that sticks with you long after it's over. You know, a real movie.
  2. Edward Norton serves as lead actor and producer, but even his star power won't help this misfire reach a wide domestic audience.
  3. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    70
    Result is imperfect and overlong, but hugely ambitious and often breathtaking.