Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Mar 17, 2011
    83
    The film emerges as a powerful, even shattering look as music's power to unite where it once divided.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Mar 31, 2011
    75
    A drably directed yet terrifically affecting drama about family bonds, classic rock, and the human brain. It's sentimental, yet so honest and eccentric that it rises above schmaltz.
  3. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Mar 18, 2011
    75
    Unpretentious and unexpectedly moving.
  4. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Mar 17, 2011
    70
    In key spots, thanks to Simmons' brilliantly wounded gruffness and Pucci's nimble toggling act between vacancy and awakened spirit, The Music Never Stopped achieves an admirable poignancy about our emotional, healing relationship to the songs we love.
  5. Reviewed by: James Greenberg
    Mar 15, 2011
    70
    An effectively emotional look at the power of music therapy to trigger memories lost after brain surgery.
  6. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Mar 15, 2011
    70
    The novel premise and otherwise nuanced performances are enough to hold attention.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Mar 18, 2011
    60
    Often static and follows a familiar trajectory. Yet it has power, partly because Simmons does a fine job of showing how hurt Henry is that his taste didn't imprint on Gabe beyond grade school; what was their music became, simply, dad's music.
  8. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Apr 1, 2011
    50
    A medical drama that pays lip service to the healing power of music but never finds the rhythm.
  9. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Mar 31, 2011
    50
    The true wonder of this low-budget movie, however, is its acquisition of the rights to so much of the previously mentioned music. It's almost exclusively Dylan and the Dead, but damned if you won't be stopping for some Cherry Garcia ice cream on the way home.
  10. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Mar 17, 2011
    50
    The songs and a couple of strong performances are only good enough to make the film watchable, not exceptional.
  11. Reviewed by: Ray Greene
    Mar 15, 2011
    50
    The Music Never Stopped isn't exactly good, but it's definitely better than you fear it is when you reach the halfway mark.
  12. Reviewed by: Eric Hynes
    Mar 15, 2011
    50
    In a rare leading role, character actor Simmons is saddled with the entirety of the film's diagrammatic emotional arc, briskly (and tediously) about-facing on matters of fatherhood, activism, and guitar rock, while a too-boyish Pucci is fatally unconvincing as a former band leader.
  13. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Mar 15, 2011
    40
    These kinds of disease-fueled dramas already tend to be soap-operatic, but Kohlberg isn't taking any chances; by the time father and son end up at a Dead show in matching tie-dyed outfits, the director has aggressively, insistently overplayed audience heartstrings like Jerry Garcia in a long-winded solo.
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Jan 25, 2014
    8
    One cannot forget the scene that Gabriel first listened to "all you need is love". Yes, music always takes people to the first time they hadOne cannot forget the scene that Gabriel first listened to "all you need is love". Yes, music always takes people to the first time they had heard it; and Lou Taylor Pucci's way of showing it felt so real that made me cry. Full Review »
  2. Jun 2, 2011
    7
    Confession: I am product of the 60's and an aging DeadHead. Verdict: I laughed. I cried. (But so did my gf, who is not a DeadHead.) ThisConfession: I am product of the 60's and an aging DeadHead. Verdict: I laughed. I cried. (But so did my gf, who is not a DeadHead.) This film is a tear-jerker in a sometimes melodramatic way, but it may be worth a couple of hours of your time. Even if the father-son relation doesn't grab you, the classic-rock music might. Full Review »
  3. Mar 23, 2011
    9
    Stunning performances by both J.K. Simmons and Lou Taylor Pucci in this great film of a struggling father/son relationship. The music isStunning performances by both J.K. Simmons and Lou Taylor Pucci in this great film of a struggling father/son relationship. The music is amazing. You don't need to be a Dead Head in order to enjoy this movie but it won't hurt. Full Review »