Get Low


Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

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

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Critic Reviews

  1. 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.
  2. Duvall is a powerful actor, and this folksy fable could have been a career-capping feat, but the movie is toothless and slow.
  3. 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 56 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 21
  2. Negative: 2 out of 21
  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 »