thinkfilm | Release Date: May 5, 2006
6.4
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 29 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
13
Mixed:
10
Negative:
6
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10
patriziap.Aug 8, 2008
I love this movie and I think edward norton is the best actor in the world! to Liz: norton può avere un grande ego ma ha anche un enorme talento che voi americani non sapete appezzare.
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2
lizApr 9, 2008
VIsually beautiful, big yawner. Terrible movie experience. Edward Norton an enormous talent? Enormous ego unmatched by talent.
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3
RichR.Oct 29, 2006
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 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. Expand
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2
NathanT.Sep 26, 2006
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 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
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4
JordanS.Aug 23, 2006
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 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
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10
JamieW.Jun 19, 2006
A highly under-rated film. Simply wonderful.
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3
KenG.Jun 9, 2006
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 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. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
OrsonJun 9, 2006
Why don't people "get" this picture? Because they're too dense to believe in a delusional psychotic cowboy that isn't as technicolor as the villains in "Silence of The Lambs"? Could be. [***SPOILERS***] Mores the pity, because Why don't people "get" this picture? Because they're too dense to believe in a delusional psychotic cowboy that isn't as technicolor as the villains in "Silence of The Lambs"? Could be. [***SPOILERS***] Mores the pity, because while I once met the real-life FBI serial murder profiler the latter film was based on, nobody will ever met a fictional sociopath like Dr. Lecter. By contrast, you and me and everyone else are very likely to meet, or already know, a small-time burglar who might graduate to serious life altering trouble with almost innocent intentions. Why? Because of their delusions - and there are many many people around us living with them. What Roger Ebert and others call the films "missteps" are actually efforts to take us inside the mind of a psychotic, to tease us with suggestions of his inner voices, visions, and vulnerably suffused ego-defenses. This is what makes the film so fascinating, while others simply don't get it. Although someone dies with their boots on, it simply isn't a film that tries to marry a Western with neo-noir (as the Christian Science Monitor critic put it). Rather, the story updates Kirk Douglas in "Lonely Are The Brave," marrying him with Laura Dern in "Smooth Talk." Yet, it also begins with and goes to different places than either could have. For one thing, Tobe is the seducer, not the seduced! For another, she is forced to play the adult repeatedly, as in so many broken homes, to the two protagonists dominating her life - her dad and her lover. As the Baltimore Sun's perceptive critic Michael Sragow says: "Through much of Down in the Valley," the film-makers "do exactly what movie artists should do: transport audiences to risky places with deceptive ease, gliding on feeling and intuition." Harlan "creates a walking pocket of calm in the dull suburban roar" that is Tobe's life. I'm seduced. And I can't wait to see it again. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
MichelleC.Jun 7, 2006
What to say about this movie... The first half is incredible, beautiful really. Then it goes awry. I am not sure what direction the script was trying to take, but it failed-miserably. The movie is visually stunning and very well acted, with What to say about this movie... The first half is incredible, beautiful really. Then it goes awry. I am not sure what direction the script was trying to take, but it failed-miserably. The movie is visually stunning and very well acted, with the exception of that Culkin kid, (Haven't we all seen a little too much of those brothers?) but in the end it is not enough to save the film. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
PaulK.Jun 6, 2006
This had it's moments, but the ending was a long, convoluted mess. Check it out on video, if you must.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
MartinG.May 26, 2006
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.
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10
GrayS.May 19, 2006
The most visually exciting movie I've seen in years. A flawless film.
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3
RitBMay 15, 2006
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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
KevinC.May 11, 2006
As a neo-western, "Down in the Valley" teases us with some ecological ideas (the effects of landscape development in the San Fernando Valley, etc), but they go unexplored in what amounts to a typical doomed love affair. While a surprising As a neo-western, "Down in the Valley" teases us with some ecological ideas (the effects of landscape development in the San Fernando Valley, etc), but they go unexplored in what amounts to a typical doomed love affair. While a surprising change of pace from most of the drivel playing in the matinee, the TAXI DRIVER references are simply too heavy handed here to be considered an homage to Scorsese's masterpiece. If Harlan were to face Travis Bickle in a duel, I'd place my bets on Travis. But Edward Norton, trying to make best with an uneven script, proves once again why he's one of the finest U.S. American actors working today with a nuanced, touching performance. He deserves better scripts. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful