Searchlight Pictures | Release Date: February 14, 2020
4.3
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Mixed or average reviews based on 50 Ratings
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5
Stream2BigScreeFeb 25, 2020
Downhill seems to have come from out of nowhere. Suddenly, there is a Will Ferrell movie in the theaters opening on Valentine's Day weekend; and, multi-Emmy-winning comedienne, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is co-lead. One would think that there isDownhill seems to have come from out of nowhere. Suddenly, there is a Will Ferrell movie in the theaters opening on Valentine's Day weekend; and, multi-Emmy-winning comedienne, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is co-lead. One would think that there is comedy gold here, so why isn't there more promotion. Well, there's a little misdirection, here. Downhill is a Hollywood remake of an acclaimed Swedish film, Force Majeure, which was more of a drama than a comedy; and Downhill sets itself apart by adding more obvious comedy elements here, whether or not they are necessary is a separate issue. Nevertheless, the synopsis is as follows: a married couple on a family ski vacation in the Austrian Alps after narrowly escaping an avalanche deal with the simmering tensions and the reality of life and their relationship.

Actually, the premise is quite fascinating. I won't say exactly what happens with the avalanche, but it's pretty well depicted in the trailer. It is a funny situation, but it also is very serious. The problem is that the balance of the tone of the film is not well calibrated. The producers cast comedy stars and asked them to perform in this uneven mix of drama and comedy. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is great. She's captivating. Her performance mines the wry wit of all that happens, and she hits the emotional depth of the drama. Will Ferrell, on the other hand, is ill-equipped to meet the gauntlet that Louis-Dreyfus throws down. Some of the comedy and reactions of Ferrell are good; but, ultimately, his skill with the dramatic elements is lacking. The push and pull of the couple is the main source of comedy and dramatic tension, and the fact that Ferrell and Louis-Dreyfus are so unmatched make it ultimately unsatisfying. It really feels like Ferrell was only cast so that Downhill can be marketed as a Will Ferrell comedy, which it is not.

Additionally, Miranda Otto shows up intermittently as a resort guide, who is ingratiating herself with the main couple. She is boldly only there for comic relief. I felt she was completely unnecessary. Otto is having such a ball as this boozy, free-loving lady that she seems dropped in from another movie. There was no genuine laugh coming from anything she did.

On a positive note, the scenery is beautiful. The film is well-shot and may make you consider going to the Alps on a ski vacation. It's not something that I would want to do, but it looks great. Downhill's other saving grace is the modest runtime. Although it takes a while for the film to get to the meat of its action, it doesn't feel belabored. It gets to its point. I only wish it had actually been either funnier, or that Louis-Dreyfus had a more capable comedic and dramatic actor to work with.

So, Downhill has a good premise, but an uneven cast. The film is short and it looks good for those who want to go skiing. It is not as funny as it pretends to be and the dramatic tension feels weak. I suggest waiting for this one to be on your favorite streaming service. There is a compelling conversation to be had after seeing what happens here if you give it a chance. Actually, give Force Majeure itself a viewing. It’s already available on Hulu.
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2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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0
WinkzApr 18, 2020
I literally created an account to let everyone know how bad this movie is and to not waste your time. It is so slow and there are so many scenes that are pointless. It’s awkward and not even funny in the slightest. I really like Will FerrellI literally created an account to let everyone know how bad this movie is and to not waste your time. It is so slow and there are so many scenes that are pointless. It’s awkward and not even funny in the slightest. I really like Will Ferrell but this movie was awful. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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3
JackDenialOct 2, 2020
For actors I love it was very frustrating, almost confrontational to watch.

It got better but it is kind of a sad comedy not a funny story.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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3
JLuis_001Mar 17, 2020
I remember watching Maya Rudolph talking about Will Ferrell in the documentary series: The Movies and she said she was watching a genius working but I've gotta be honest I haven't laughed with Farrell's work in a long, long time and I can'tI remember watching Maya Rudolph talking about Will Ferrell in the documentary series: The Movies and she said she was watching a genius working but I've gotta be honest I haven't laughed with Farrell's work in a long, long time and I can't remember a notable film from his since the last decade.

This one is just another disposable addition to his decaying filmography.
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1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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2
hnestlyontheslyMar 2, 2020
Mistakes were made. I knew going in this would be a bit cheerless, but the prospect of having two of my favorite comedians in the same movie seemed too good to pass up. The scene where Billie recounts the trauma of their brush with deathMistakes were made. I knew going in this would be a bit cheerless, but the prospect of having two of my favorite comedians in the same movie seemed too good to pass up. The scene where Billie recounts the trauma of their brush with death feels like the beginning of a tonal downshift that doesn't mesh well with the earlier events in the first act. The interactions between Pete and Billy and the lodge staff is the source of a lot of the humor of the first few scenes: Miranda Otto's aggressive Nordic domme character comes off as cartoonish set aside Dreyfus's subtle annoyance and discomfort, the patter between the ski safety boss and Billy pokes fun at her cluelessness and Pete's unwillingness to take her side, which, when placed in the trailer, sets the tone for our expectation of the movie, but I think it feels out of place with the rest of the movie, like the script was trying to go in two directions and never made a final decision. None of the scenes with children are especially that memorable or impactful and there's this vestigial appendage of a dead father/grieving son plot that crops up almost by accident--first, when the family is suiting up for their second day on the slopes, then at an awkward dinner date, and on the drunk walk home from the club. Pete's confession about still yearning for his youth even as he grows old and acquires new responsibilities has already been explained for us by his choice of resort and his selfish maneuvering to socialize with coworkers. It doesn't feel revelatory or insightful. It just feels like he's come late to his own party. It feels shallow and a little tired and not quite self-aware and a little dated.

I'm sure the original the original was delightful.
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1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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4
fiftywordreviewFeb 19, 2020
The film starts off strong and has its moments throughout, but too often boils down to a series of uncomfortable scenes with unlikable characters. Not quite funny enough to succeed as a comedy, but lacking dramatic substance, DownhillThe film starts off strong and has its moments throughout, but too often boils down to a series of uncomfortable scenes with unlikable characters. Not quite funny enough to succeed as a comedy, but lacking dramatic substance, Downhill ultimately fails to find its footing. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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2
TA2764Mar 2, 2020
If you are looking for a good place to take a nap, any theater showing this movie will do. This movie is listed as a Drama, Comedy, mostly sad, depressing and boring. I didn't see any comedy, maybe a mild chuckle or two, but not fromIf you are looking for a good place to take a nap, any theater showing this movie will do. This movie is listed as a Drama, Comedy, mostly sad, depressing and boring. I didn't see any comedy, maybe a mild chuckle or two, but not from Ferrell or Dreyfus. Expected more from two stars with their pedigree. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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4
aviatorboyAug 22, 2020
I watched this movie today and have only three other thoughts to share (since others have already spoken for me). First, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell are outstanding.I paid close attention to their body language, facial expressionsI watched this movie today and have only three other thoughts to share (since others have already spoken for me). First, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell are outstanding.I paid close attention to their body language, facial expressions and line delivery.I feel both nailed it perfectly in conjunction with the emotions (or lack of emotion) called for by the script. Even though both are well known as comedic actors (in their own right), that didn't keep them from delivering very convincing and believable roles as dramatic actors. From my perspective, there wasn't any real comedy to speak of, and certainly no "Iaugh out loud" moments. Frankly, I found the movie to be quite depressing. Lastly, I was confused by the ending scene. Maybe it was meant to cement a specific take-away or a way to show an example of lessons-learned from the whole experience. If so, I missed it. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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4
CKeledjianOct 6, 2020
Is not slapstick comedy, is not subdued uncomfortable laugh like the 2017 original. Is a drama with comedic subtext, and the acting of Julia and Will make it all.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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0
Wingman24Feb 15, 2020
This is literally the worst movie I have ever seen. How anyone could rate this beyond 4-5 stars out of 10 is a mystery that makes the big bang look like child's play. The story/plot is paper thin and the conflict that "drives" the movie justThis is literally the worst movie I have ever seen. How anyone could rate this beyond 4-5 stars out of 10 is a mystery that makes the big bang look like child's play. The story/plot is paper thin and the conflict that "drives" the movie just feels empty. Don't let the fact that Will Ferrell is in it cloud your judgment as it did mine. This movie will easily be the worst of the year. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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1
KevincpriceFeb 15, 2020
I had such high hopes for this movie. It’s agonizing to watch. One uncomfortably unfunny scene after another. I’m jealous of the other reviewer that left after an hour. You didn’t miss anything.
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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0
macbethchic07Feb 14, 2020
The movie, like Will Ferrell’s career... is all downhill. Worst movie I’ve ever seen. It was painful to watch. I left an hour into it.
3 of 5 users found this helpful32
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10
Kyky29Feb 14, 2020
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It’s hilarious. The most raw movie touching all emotions. Stop comparing it to that other movie and just see it for what it is! Spread love Expand
2 of 6 users found this helpful24
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8
literarymamaFeb 15, 2020
A true to life story of a married couple dealing with some real issues while on a ski vacation with their kids. I wouldn't call this a comedy, but I did laugh. Take your spouse, significant other, or BFF, leave the kids at home (unless theyA true to life story of a married couple dealing with some real issues while on a ski vacation with their kids. I wouldn't call this a comedy, but I did laugh. Take your spouse, significant other, or BFF, leave the kids at home (unless they are older), and get ready to do some soul searching. Yes, there are funny, laugh out loud moments, but it's mostly an exploration into a marriage, and bearing witness to a couple crashing and burning while on a family vacation in the stunning Austrian Alps. I wish they would have delved deeper, like the movie it's based on, "Force Majeure," but it's still a movie worth watching. There's a powerful, cringeworthy scene that was mind-boggling good where Billie (Julia) lays into her husband (Will) in front of another couple then drags her kids in to drive the point home. I can totally relate to Julia in this scene after twenty years of marriage and three teens still at home. Overall, Julia is brilliant, not only in this scene, but also in the entire movie. The remaining cast deliver solid performances as well. As long as you know going in that it's not really a comedy and you are ready for something more along the lines of a movie like "Marriage Story," I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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10
KristinamooreFeb 14, 2020
Super beautiful ski shots and Julia Louis-Dreyfus is amazing. It’s a subtle and really true to life film
1 of 5 users found this helpful14
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6
TVJerryFeb 21, 2020
Even though the trailer sells this as a comedy, that is primarily a drama (like Force Majeure, the Swedish film on which it's based). Guessing both of these accomplished comic actors (Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell) cherished theEven though the trailer sells this as a comedy, that is primarily a drama (like Force Majeure, the Swedish film on which it's based). Guessing both of these accomplished comic actors (Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell) cherished the opportunity to go dark, as a married couple on a ski vacation in the Alps. When an avalanche unsettles things, it causes a reevaluation their marriage. Both of them do a fine job handling something serious, but the script never delves deep enough to be as affecting as it could have been. Interesting, but not exceptional. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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9
preciouskikiFeb 22, 2020
–– PROs & CONs. First the PROs:
• Not a goofy comedy but still has plenty of laughs as well as insight into the complexities of married life. • Julia Louis-Dreyfus virtually make-up free, in an honest, open and clean-faced performance.
–– PROs & CONs. First the PROs:
• Not a goofy comedy but still has plenty of laughs as well as insight into the complexities of married life. • Julia Louis-Dreyfus virtually make-up free, in an honest, open and clean-faced performance. Gorgeous, multi-layered, and just overall wonderful to watch.
• Will Ferrell shows all the varied colors of a husband and father trying his best but still disappointing his wife, and his efforts to make up for his mistakes are priceless. Funny and multi-dimensional performance.
• Breathtaking scenery. Makes me want to learn to ski!
–– CONs: Can't think of any. I enjoyed every minute.
–– THE UPSHOT: Loved it! Smart, funny, well-written, well-acted.
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0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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8
JonDocJul 8, 2020
Sweet, charming, modest, funny, poignant, intelligent, though provoking - this feels like a Will Ferrell movie but differs in that my wife liked it too!
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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5
bigtechFeb 16, 2020
This is one of those movies with one scene that doesn't work following the next scene that doesn't work. For some reason I didn't hate it. I felt like I kept getting glimpses of a better film, which I found out later is the film this was based on.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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8
umaumaiJun 5, 2020
I know that this is a remake of “Force Majeure,” a movie held in high regular both here and on many other movie review websites. Generally I’d start by watching the original first, but I absolutely love the actors in this movie so I startedI know that this is a remake of “Force Majeure,” a movie held in high regular both here and on many other movie review websites. Generally I’d start by watching the original first, but I absolutely love the actors in this movie so I started here. I can watch Will or Julia in anything and I almost always love it. That said my opinion and review are likely a bit skewed. I loved this movie. I felt that it told a simple story and made a point without stepping into a territory that a lot of other movies make the mistake of going in. They don’t go for the easy laughs and let true discomfort set in with very well acted situations I can see real people having. While there are some more wild characters they aren’t just characterizations. It’s really well paced and made so many unexpected turns and I never really saw what was coming next. It’s not really a family film, but if you are looking for something that has a redemption arc and isn’t a super hero film, this was good. I’d recommend it if you haven’t see the original yet. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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0
ThegamerreviewOct 15, 2020
And I thought Cars 2 was my least favorite. Yeah, rare people might know me for not liking Cars 2, since it was nothing but a cash grab. For the longest time, I thought I would never, EVER, find a movie that could be worse then Cars 2.And I thought Cars 2 was my least favorite. Yeah, rare people might know me for not liking Cars 2, since it was nothing but a cash grab. For the longest time, I thought I would never, EVER, find a movie that could be worse then Cars 2. That is, until I accidentally stumbled upon, THIS. I, am at a lost for words. I don't know how people can like this movie. For starters, it's the most boring movie I have seen to date. Second, It's not funny. Third, the plot makes no sense at all, and constantly starts and stops. Fourth, the movie isn't funny. I don't know who in their right mind would find this anywhere near funny. And lastly, it's nothing but a soulless cash grab. At least Cars 2 was animated, but this, was nothing but a cheap film made by a couples vacation. I bet if I went on a hike with my family, and recorded each other, it would be hundreds of times better then this film. If you're reading this, please, whatever you do, don't watch it. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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