Get Low


Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    Resonating with warmth and sardonic wit and containing a majestic performance by Robert Duvall.
  2. 100
    Duvall, an American Lear not going gently into that good night, reminds us that it will be a sad day indeed for movie fans when it's about time for him to Get Low.
  3. Felix (Duvall) simply wants to host his own goodbye, maybe have a band, and the reasons why are the reasons Get Low is essential viewing. That, and the acting.
  4. 90
    Will appeal strongly to a mature audience drawn to robust characters, dry wit, and great performances.
  5. Like its stars, the film's not particularly flashy, it's just good, and it's hard to find fault in that.
  6. 88
    It's as soothing and pure as the sweetest water from the deepest well.
  7. A movie with a message, but the subtle kind; it's whispered wisdom, wrapped up in a story of mystery, of love, of regret, of repentance and redemption.
  8. This film, calm but full of feeling, relays an intriguing story brought to life by some beautiful actors.
  9. 88
    Funny, touching and acutely observed film.
  10. 88
    Duvall and Spacek are so in tune with each other's rhythms -- despite their 20-year age difference -- that it's hard to believe they've never acted together before.
  11. Not only Duvall shines. Murray, in case anybody still doubted it, is one of the finest character actors in America.
  12. 83
    A winning, grown-up film that benefits from fine, homey performances, a steady directorial hand, and the sense that everyone involved was invested in the story and not just the job.
  13. 80
    Though the story sometimes wanders into hazy, corny sentiment, its protagonist (called Felix Bush, which was apparently a nickname or alias of Breazeale's) is vivid, enigmatic and unpredictable.
  14. 80
    Get Low is deftly played, and it rarely mislays its ambling charm, but what a forbidding fable it could have been if the truth about Felix Bush, rather than emerging into sunlight, had slunk back into the woods.
  15. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    With a mix of sly humor, homespun grace and affecting poignancy, Get Low casts a well-nigh irresistible spell.
  16. In lesser hands this Southern saga might have collapsed into whimsical corn, but cinematographer-turned-director Aaron Schneider has fashioned a measured fable, witty and deeply felt, if at times tipping into melodrama.
  17. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Handsomely and vividly mounted, in a palette of period chocolates and golds, Get Low opens with an image of a burning man running from a house on fire -- an enticing promise of Southern Gothic that the movie never quite fulfills.
  18. 80
    The pleasures Get Low offers lie in the process of simply getting there, in watching performers take material that has some limitations (the script, inspired by a true story, is by Chris Provenzano and C. Gaby Mitchell) and turn it into something that has the rough-hewn, no-nonsense veracity of folk music.
  19. 78
    You need only see Get Low for absolute proof that, while Hollywood may be in decline even as bad actors' salaries climb ever higher, there remain at least three very exemplary reasons – Duvall, Spacek, and Murray – to switch off your home theatre and get out into a real one.
  20. The period details - the cars, the clothes, the old storefronts along Main Street - are attentively described. But it's Duvall, spooky, sly, and sad, who makes all the props and the plot twists seem real.
  21. 75
    All of this is just plain enjoyable. I liked it, but please don't make me say it's deeply moving or redemptive and uplifting. It's a genre piece for character actors is what it is, and that's an honorable thing for it to be.
  22. It's Duvall and Murray who make Get Low a small, wonderful thing.
  23. Its main pleasure lies in watching Bush thaw under gentle emotional heat applied by the few people who haven't given up on him.
  24. 75
    Get Low is meant to be funny, heartwarming, and wise, and it is, for the most part--but in an overly familiar way.
  25. 75
    Get Low is a pleasant yarn, well-acted and dutifully mounted with period designs. There isn't a false note among the actors.
  26. The results are entertaining -- up to a point.
  27. 70
    This handsome period drama is the sort of quiet, homespun story that Duvall, who served as executive producer, has always loved.
  28. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Without Duvall's rich, supremely skilled performance, this slim period piece wouldn't amount to much.
  29. 70
    Despite that maddening third-act stumble, Get Low is a pleasure to watch.
  30. Duvall's acting turns magical: scary, touching, and full of grace. But Get Low, as directed by Aaron Schneider, forces you to sit through a lot of poky setup to reach that touching epiphany.
  31. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    A charming, spiky period piece that might be called "Boo Radley: The Final Years."
  32. 63
    Tender and sentimental, a little schmaltzy, and ultimately too slight.
  33. Duvall is a powerful actor, and this folksy fable could have been a career-capping feat, but the movie is toothless and slow.
  34. The movie's pleasures are acting pleasures, but the movie doesn't compel attention and never seems like more than the frame for a performance.
  35. This is the kind of autumnal sentimentality that the Academy goes wild for-a (rightly) venerated performer acknowledging his own mortality by pandering to cheap-seat emotions.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22
  1. Sep 3, 2010
    Lots of Acting, Acting Acting. All all for naught. There's a mystery that we're teased with but when it's finally revealed the audience feelsLots of Acting, Acting Acting. All all for naught. There's a mystery that we're teased with but when it's finally revealed the audience feels a "we sat through all that for that lame reveal!" Also, there's little pacing, the tempo of the film is completely flatlined. Well shot, well acted but adding up to a big waste of everyone's talents. Full Review »
  2. Jun 16, 2011
    Stunning photography, fine, understated performances for a brilliantly subtle and credible story. Stunning photography and lighting. And someStunning photography, fine, understated performances for a brilliantly subtle and credible story. Stunning photography and lighting. And some should not speak for the whole audience, I am sure many don't feel they wasted time waiting for "the lame reveal." I thought it was a fine wrap up, but the journey is so lovely, it hardly matters by then. My only complaint is an unnecessarily long sidetrip regarding the old preacher friend. It could've been done quicker and the movie would've been stronger by losing ten minutes or so. Absolutely authentic sets, lighting, costumes, and accents. Did I mention the stunning photography? Full Review »
  3. Sep 16, 2010
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. "Get Low" isn't the first time that Robert Duvall has played a hermit. There was "Sling Blade", of course, with Duvall playing a cuckolded husband who suddenly became a widower after his retarded son used a sling blade, "some call it a kaiser blade", on his incontinent wife, Karl Childers' mother, half a lifetime ago, and transmuted into a lonely, old geezer; a recluse, waiting to die. Duvall also played the hermit as a young man in Joseph Anthony's rarely-seen "Tomorrow"(based on a rarely anthologized William Faulkner short story from a novel of linked stories called "Knight's Gambit"), a hermit named Jackson Fentry, a cotton farmer whose monosyllabilism and maladroit consuetude toward the enceinted woman he courts, then weds, is unrelenting from start to finish. Duvall never betrays Jackson's history of societal isolation by being normal; the pre-"Godfather", that is to say, the pre-iconic actor never breaks character for the sake of a more accessible film. Reported to be the septuagenarian artist's favorite role, Jackson Fentry lingers in his aloof state because "Tomorrow" is steadfastly realistic about human nature; it knows that people don't change their stripes overnight, like in the movies, like in "Get Low". Felix Bush, Duvall's latest hermit, to be sure, is an eccentric, but he doesn't exhibit the tell-tale signs of a man in exile; he's too congenial, too chatty, attributes not at all in alignment with a penitent man, a tortured man who castigated himself for the great fire that consumed the great love of his life, when he interacts with the townsfolk(some of whom he'd been out of touch with for over forty years) with the same ease and familiarity as his horse. A carpenter by trade, Felix had erected a grand cathedral of wood with his own bare hands; a church that's still standing, a black church(echoing Faulkner's "The Sound and the Fury", "Light in August", among others) presided over by the same black minister, Charlie Jackson(Bill Cobbs), who asks his old friend if he made peace with God. No, he hasn't. That's the reason behind Felix's disappearing act, the conversation with his maker which never transpired, hence, the unremitting cold shoulder he imparted to everybody in both heaven and earth, including himself. In "Tomorrow", Duvall managed to adumbrate his natural born charisma just so, in order to make Jackson Fentry lovable in his unlovableness. The cotton farmer is taciturn, to say the least. That's not the case here. Duvall's performance is calibrated to entertain you, not pain you; his wintry flirtation with Mattie(Sissy Spacek) and camaraderie with the guys back at the funeral home(Bill Murray and Lucas Black), despite being sturdily acted by all parties concerned, strikes a false note. "Get Low" extemporaneously accentuates this bum note when Frank Quinn(Murray, in his most dramatic role since "The Razor's Edge") is dumbfounded by how articulate his client can be(regarding the money that people send in for Felix's funeral party), curiously so, unlike Jackson Fentry(who provided the template for Karl Childers in Billy Bob Thornton's directorial debut), a maladjusted hick, perhaps, suffering from some degree of mental retardation himself, who wouldn't have gotten a word in edgewise with the slick funeral home director. Felix seems too amiable, and that's why "Get Low" fails on some level, an Aristotelian one, since Duvall is just being Duvall, hamming it up, instead of imitating the lost soul that Felix pertains to be. Full Review »