Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Dec 18, 2012
    It isn't until the story reaches its fancifully abstract final passages, where cinema displaces music as Douglas's weapon of choice, that Chase's reverie reveals itself as a particularly exceptional exploration of how art ceases being an idle hobby and becomes an obsessive vocation.
  2. Reviewed by: Jaime N. Christley
    Dec 4, 2012
    Triumphs when David Chase's empowerment as a kind of autobiographical historian is balanced with the thrill of submersing the viewer in the tidal pool of his memories
  3. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Dec 4, 2012
    The film may be too meandering for mainstream acceptance, but its focus will make the Paramount Vantage release connect directly with many baby boomers. It's also a warm, funny, poignant scrapbook that evokes a spirit of youth still relatable in later eras.
  4. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jan 3, 2013
    Solid, enjoyable, good, but not great.
  5. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Dec 31, 2012
    Ultimately a disappointment – this is a movie easy to watch and even easier to forget.
  6. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Dec 4, 2012
    It's a period piece composed of familiar pieces, none of which have much to say beyond surface elements that have been explored countless times before. Using a typical coming-of-age mold, Chase turns cultural ephemera into formula.
  7. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jan 4, 2013
    I hope his life was less dull than the movie he's made from it.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Dec 29, 2012
    As an avid music fan & aspiring rock musician, I was very interested when I saw the trailer for this movie, and all that interested was definitely justfied, and then some, because Not Fade Away is simply fantastic. First of all, I appreciate that rather than being centered around the big & famous musicians like a lot of similar films would do, this film follows a band, The Twylight Zones, that suffers a lot & even ends on a rather bleak & ambiguous note as to whether or not they'll make it as a band at all. Not only that, but the characters here all seem very realistic. There are no cheap one-note stereotypes or clear antagonists, but rather a group of generally reasonable people that run into very believable problems & misunderstandings. Something like this definitely helps with the relatability factor. Another thing to note is that this is set in the mid-late 60s, and even as someone who was born decades after this time, I could easily believe that the settings here are accurate, with possible minor embellishements here & there for added effect. Steven Van Zandt produced this, and it's very easy to tell that a musician was involved with this. Even though I don't have an impressive amount of band experience yet, a lot of subtleties of being a musican are covered here, mainly in the songwriting process. Speaking of the music, in addition to great older songs being used very often (which would be implied in a film like this) the original song here main character Doug wrote about his breakup, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, is also very impressive, and I'm so glad they released the soundtrack on iTunes cause it's a genuinely good song. M only real gripe with this movie is the last minute, where a girl starts talking to the camera & dancing in the middle of the street. It just lost me there, and would've been much better if it ended on what was happening rght before that. Overall, Not Fade Away is a very well-rounded movie, creating moments that are fun, emotional, relatable & sweet, while never losing focus & keeping a very good & steady pace, making it's over 2 hour running time very justified. Expand
  2. Jun 27, 2013
    If you are from this era, this milieu, this will resonate like few other movies (Dazed and Confused is in the same class, but for a different decade and region).
    For everyone else, this will likely seem lame.
    David Chase is to be admired for doing this niche film. I was transported.
  3. Jan 18, 2013
    this is a perfect cameron crow film: soundtrack is grand, casting fresh and historically correct. but, it is not what i expected as a die-hard david chase fan. i did enjoy the occasional gandolfini, the timing and general rhythm, some of the dialogue and... that is it. this is not a meritless film, but it wasnt what i expected from soprano-great. please do view and review it. Expand
  4. Sep 1, 2014
    The film's take on music in the 1960s is well thought and presented. The music may be the best part; however, Chase does certainly know how to make a film like this special. Expand
  5. Nov 13, 2014
    "Not Fade Away" 10 Scale Rating: 5.0 (Mediocre) ...

    The Good: Solid musical score. Even the tracks written for the film felt authentic and
    fit in to the era they were portraying. James Gandolfini did a great job even if he was similar in some ways to his Sopranos character, minus the gangster thing. Truly speaks to anyone who wanted to try and start a band and make it in the industry, regardless of what decade it was.

    The Bad: Sort of goes on and on and loses steam halfway through. Starts becoming a chore to watch and you want to get to the ending so that you see what happens. Once you get there, you are pretty let down though.