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53

Mixed or average reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Set in the world of Russian immigrants living in New York City, Downtown Express uses music to explore the clash of old world values against the lure and excitement of a new country. Under the watch of his loving but overbearing father, virtuoso violinist and Juilliard student Sasha preparesSet in the world of Russian immigrants living in New York City, Downtown Express uses music to explore the clash of old world values against the lure and excitement of a new country. Under the watch of his loving but overbearing father, virtuoso violinist and Juilliard student Sasha prepares for a critical recital meant to launch his career. Yet, he is increasingly drawn to the rhythms of the streets of New York, and when he meets singer-songwriter Ramona, he joins her band, falls in love, and begins to lead a double life, careening frantically between two worlds. As his classical debut nears, Sasha must decide whether or not to break with his father, forging his own destiny. (Lehman Studios) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Reviewed by: Joseph Jon Lanthier
    Apr 14, 2012
    75
    The movie's final act tries, somewhat admirably, to consolidate the plot's myriad interpersonal conflicts.
  2. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Apr 19, 2012
    60
    Little more than a showcase for Mr. Quint - whose acting is almost as toneless as his playing is sublime - this trite, sunny drama pins lengthy musical interludes onto the flimsiest of narratives and hopes for the best.
  3. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Apr 20, 2012
    60
    Grubin is an experienced documentarian, and he plays to his strengths here. He certainly makes the most of the Manhattan setting, whether his characters are practicing at Juilliard or playing for cash in the Times Square subway station.
  4. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Apr 17, 2012
    50
    Whether to let go and follow your own path is a stock dilemma, and an implausibly hopeful conclusion winds up undercutting the realism of this immigrant song.
  5. Reviewed by: Frank Scheck
    Apr 19, 2012
    50
    While Downtown Express suffers from a derivative storyline, it offers enough musical authenticity to provide ample compensations.
  6. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Apr 17, 2012
    40
    The use of real musicians (both professionals, like Nellie McKay, and street performers) provides a certain authenticity to the performances, but the film's wide-eyed view of New York as a wonderland of harmonic diversity soon grows as tiresome as the film's trite romantic shuffling.

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