Low Down


Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: A look at the life of pianist Joe Albany (John Hawkes) from the perspective of his young daughter, Amy (Elle Fanning), as she watches him contend with his drug addiction during the 1960s and '70s jazz scene.

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 21
  2. Negative: 2 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Oct 30, 2014
    Low Down is one from the heart. It's a melancholy, evocative, beautifully made memory piece, unblinking and unromanticized, a lovely film that brings great emotion and a dead-on feeling for time, place and recaptured mood to a story that is as universal as it is personal.
  2. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Oct 24, 2014
    A very good jazz movie and a very good heroin movie, if indeed there's much practical difference between the two modes—and perhaps there isn't.
  3. Reviewed by: Josh Kupecki
    Nov 12, 2014
    Low Down is a wonderful downer of a film that fits quite comfortably on the video-store shelf between "Barfly" and "Drugstore Cowboy." That said, depending on your proclivity for plunging into the cinematic depths of despair, your mileage may vary.
  4. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Jan 27, 2014
    It’s a familiar story of music-world success, failure and addiction, admirably but unevenly told by first-time feature director Jeff Preiss, who certainly knows the music and the milieu, but proves less adept at shaping the material into a consistently compelling narrative.
  5. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    Nov 6, 2014
    It’s appropriately melancholy, and yet there’s a sense that the movie only scratches the surface.
  6. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Oct 22, 2014
    A well-meaning but desultory descent into darkness based on a memoir of the same name by Amy-Jo Albany, daughter of Joe Albany, the great jazz pianist who died in 1988 at age 63. The book, published in 2003, was subtitled Junk, Jazz and Other Fairy Tales From Childhood, and that just about covers it.
  7. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Jan 27, 2014
    The film plays nary a note of reprieve and the dank aesthetic does nothing to help the mood. “Low Down” is unequivocally a downer.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Lyn
    Jul 8, 2015
    John Hawkins, Glenn Close, and even Lena Hedey & Peter Dinklage (in smaller parts) are really good in their gritty, melancholy roles. OddlyJohn Hawkins, Glenn Close, and even Lena Hedey & Peter Dinklage (in smaller parts) are really good in their gritty, melancholy roles. Oddly though, this movie about a jazz pianist does not have enough music in it to give you a well-rounded picture of the lead character. I mean, he's not Thelonius Monk or Duke Ellington: I wanted to get more of a feel for the quality of his music. Instead, I (wearily) got a feel for yet another hopeless heroin addict. Elle Fanning was OK, but I couldn't stop feeling that she was channeling a grimmer version of Mariel Hemingway in "Manhattan." Expand