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After seven fabulous years with you all, we are sorry to let you know that we're going to be retiring the Flixster Community site on September 30, 2014. Please note that you can still access your ratings, reviews, and quizzes on Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes using your same login. We have had so much fun building this community with you.

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Philippe Quint, Nellie McKay, Michael Cumpsty, Carolyn McCormick, Ashley Springer ... see more see more... , Declan Bennett , Jade Synstelien , Chris Eddleton , Igor Fonberg , Marcia Jean Kurtz , Elizabeth Abate , Jerry Barnard , John Carlton , Elaine Chambers , Rolyne Joseph , Andrew Roole , David Brown , Sydney Chong , Jinwoo Jung , Olivia Kang , Victoria Chamberlin

Set in the world of Russian immigrants living in New York City, Downtown Express uses music to explore the clash of old world values against the lure and excitement of a new country. Under the watch o... read more read more...f his loving but overbearing father, virtuoso violinist and Juilliard student Sasha (Grammy nominee Philippe Quint) prepares for a critical recital meant to launch his career. Yet, he is increasingly drawn to the rhythms of the streets of New York, and when he meets singer-songwriter Ramona (acclaimed recording artist Nellie McKay), he joins her band, falls in love, and begins to lead a double life, careening frantically between two worlds. As his classical debut nears, Sasha must decide whether to break with his father and forge his own destiny. -- (C) Official Site

Flixster Users

50% liked it

69 ratings


55% liked it

11 critics

Unrated, 1 hr. 30 min.

Directed by: David Grubin

Release Date: April 20, 2012

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Flixster Reviews (2)

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Critic Reviews

Sheri Linden
August 23, 2012
Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times

The unconvincing but gently spirited "Jazz Singer" update features accomplished musicians in the lead roles; the treat is their playing, not their acting. Full Review

Elizabeth Weitzman
April 20, 2012
Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News

Everyone seems so genuinely excited to be sharing their music on film that the entire experience becomes a joyful alliance between audience and actors. Full Review

Frank Scheck
April 19, 2012
Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter

The film may be hopelessly old-fashioned, but it's hard to entirely resist its portrait of a city that not only never sleeps but also seems to be bursting with melody at every turn. Full Review

Jeannette Catsoulis
April 19, 2012
Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

Mr. Grubin may fumble two romances and several pivotal scenes, but the energy of the streets remains safe in his hands. Full Review

Andrew Schenker
April 17, 2012
Andrew Schenker, Time Out New York

The film's wide-eyed view of New York as a wonderland of harmonic diversity soon grows as tiresome as the film's trite romantic shuffling. Full Review

Nick Schager
April 17, 2012
Nick Schager, Village Voice

Whether to let go and follow your own path is a stock dilemma, and an implausibly hopeful conclusion winds up undercutting the realism of this immigrant song. Full Review

Brent Simon
September 26, 2012
Brent Simon,

Marked by wide-eyed charm, though not particularly adroit -- a marginal pan, owing to its somewhat lazy and functional narrative. Still, its music, from Philippe Quint and Nellie McKay, absolutely sings. Full Review

Eric Monder
April 26, 2012
Eric Monder, Film Journal International

"Tchaikovsky must be grabbed by the throat or it becomes sentimental," declares the paterfamilias in Downtown Express, but the character could be critiquing the very movie in which finds himself. Full Review

Dan Lybarger
April 19, 2012
Dan Lybarger,

'Downtown Express' is a charming, if somewhat familiar, movie that becomes extraordinary because it has astonishingly good music. Full Review

Joseph Jon Lanthier
April 13, 2012
Joseph Jon Lanthier, Slant Magazine

The movie's final act tries, somewhat admirably, to consolidate the plot's myriad interpersonal conflicts. Full Review

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