10+ Downhill Reviews – Despite Talented Cast, This Movie Is Nearly All Downhill

Downhill ⭐️½ 

This movie failed a bunch of different levels and it’s too bad, because the cast is talented and the idea could have been funny — had it been played more comedically and less drab and dreary.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus from freaking Seinfeld and Will Ferrell as a married couple? This should not be comedy bile.

How did this go so wrong?

Downhill is a remake of the 2014 Swedish film Force Majeure — which, years after its premiere, still sparks arguments at certain sorts of parties over whether it is a drama or a comedy. (It’s a comedy, obviously.) The tale of a couple who bring their children on a ski trip, nearly get swallowed by an avalanche, and then watch as fractures in their marriage become gaping maws won the hearts of both critics and people who love very darkly funny movies, and Downhill retains some of its predecessor’s weird humor while injecting a sensibility of its own.

Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus on making Downhill – Vox

Before getting to the critique and pullquotes from other movie bloggers, it’s worth noting that this is pure SPOILER territory. If you want to see this snow lift accident of a movie, then exit here now and come back later.

…. you have been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

Now let’s dress down this snowpocalypse.

Too Much Sardonic Wit, Not Enough Comedy

Sarcasm is a tough thing to pull off well. I always felt like Seinfeld did sardonic wit better than most any other show. I mean, there’s a reason it was so successful and it wasn’t just the lead, Jerry Seinfeld. Every great comedy lead needs straight comics to play off. Lucy had Desi , Fred and Ethel. Can you imagine a show with just Desi, Fred and Ethel without Lucy?

Will Ferrell is much better when he’s in Stepbrothers mode. Playing the crazy brother character against John C. Reilly. Or when he’s Ricky Bobbie in Talladega Nights. Every good Will Ferrell comedy puts him with a straight comic beside him.

Here, Ferrell is playing the straight comic. Or the man in a dramatic situation with his wife that is pissed off, ashamed, embarrassed and humiliated. Julia Louise-Dreyfuss has like no funny moments in this movie. She’s like frozen temperature throughout the film from the avalanche scene until the end.

There is event a moment when she’s supposed to be getting turned on by the ski instructor and that doesn’t even feel warm. She’s like not at all likable in this film. Such a shame that she either acted the role this way or the script demanded this coldness.

So compare her character, Bobbie, to Ferrell’s husband character that is also not funny and the movie comes off as a reality show of a very depressing family vacation from a long time married couple who is only good at fighting with each other. And doing it largely through rude expressions and limited dialogue.

This isn’t funny, it’s depressing

If this movie is trying to be funny, trying to make light of the avalanche, then why didn’t it go more crazy? Ferrell has the range to do something “out there” and yet he played it way too safe, serene and, well, almost like he was lobotomized.

Reviews by Others

I haven’t seen that many reviews from others for Downhill, so what’s pulled below represents a bit more digging than required for most new movies. I get it, writing negative reviews isn’t fun. I’d much rather write about a movie that I liked. When there aren’t a lot of reviews, this is often the worst kind of movie reviewer condemnation. Apathy, really.

Just for the record, I don’t think Downhill is terrible. There have been worse films already this year (The Turning, for one). It didn’t work at what it seemed to be trying to do. It failed miserably as a comedy and it was a very dry, boring marriage drama. Nobody seemed to be having a good time making the film and it translated to the viewers watching the film.


  1. Dyl’s Movie Stuff (7/10): “When compared it to its source material, Downhill doesn’t really hold up. But, if you take it as it’s own thing, it’s pretty good.”
  2. Keith Noakes / Keith Loves Movies (78%): “…may not bring anything new to the table but is still a solid experience that was not only beautiful to look at but will also be done before you know it.”
  3. let the movie move us: “…has its ups and downs but never fails to deliver its point – we can say anything we want but in the end, we came to this world alone and will leave alone. And when something happens, the only person we will try to rescue first is ourselves.”
  4. zynchmedia (Grade: B): “As an attempt to scale the craggy heights of a marriage in crisis, Downhill may be more bunny slope than black diamond — a force mineure, but still worth the trip.”

Not Recommended

  1. alexlynch695 / David A. Lynch: “Everywhere you look in “Downhill,” the elegance of its predecessor has been replaced with sloppy seconds—if it’s not evident in early attempts to wrangle humor out of a cartoony, heavily-accented caricature of a character, then check to make sure you can find your pulse. If you can, rush home to rent “Force Majeure” instead.”
  2. Bookshelf Battle: “The setup is great but the rest of the film is a slow burn, and although various questions posed are eventually answered, this one feels less like a movie and more like an extended sitcom episode.”
  3. Chris / filmmixtape: “What they observe in this marriage-on-the-rocks trifle is all too reliant on cliche to be impactful, making it too easy to write off Billie and Pete’s flounderings as their own, rather than ours.”
  4. Daniel M. Kimmel: “There are countless movies one can share on Valentine’s Day. “Downhill” isn’t one of them.”
  5. Ken Murray / The Nerds Templar: “I think that’s the best word to describe Downhill, awkward. It’s not funny despite having two really funny leads.”
  6. Josh Lasser / The TV and Film Guy’s Review (2/5): “Perhaps this is considered a comedy because it never gets far past the surface, but that’s a poor definition of comedy and a terrible tack to take.”
  7. Lawrence Lease / Cinema Gold: “As much as I adore Ferrell and Louis-Dreyfuss in mostly anything, their lack of chemistry makes you wonder why they would have gotten married in the first place.”
  8. M.N Miller / Ready Steady Cut: “…is lazy and comes out average at almost everything it tries instead of being great at one thing. It’s an overall flat experience, and that’s what’s the most offensive of all.”
  9. moviejoltz: “…in the case of this film I would only go see Force Majeure and skip this poor version of it.”
  10. Patrick Beatty Reviews (6/10): “If you love either of these actors definitely go and check it out. It has great performances and there are funny moments, even if the sum of its parts ends up making it kind of a mixed bag.”

Linked above and wondering what would be the cool thing to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: Sonic The Hedgehog, The Photograph, Fantasy Island, Downhill

Week #7 of 2020 (2/13-2/16) sees four very different films: a videogame movie about a supersonic blue alien, a romance involving a couple researching her mother who just died, a remake of a 70s TV show and a dramedy involving a family of four not enjoying a skiing trip.

Only one is sticking out and recommended, racing ahead of the others ….

… #1 …

Sonic The Hedgehog ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I somewhat expected Jim Carrey to steal the show in this videogame adaptation, but he’s actually one of the underwhelming features.

This Hedgehog will definitely bring back SEGA Genesis memories — gamers unite!

The speedy little alien has sort of an E.T type storyline that works. It’s a faithful recreation from the SE-GA! game to big screen. The animation is good and it’s an entertaining film that deserves to do good numbers at the box office. Oh, and bonus: check out the super cool 8-bit gaming end credits.

The Photograph ⭐️⭐️½

#2 pick of the Valentine’s Day weekend is the sole wide release romance. It wasn’t quite what I was hoping for based on the trailer.

I expected more intrigue and mystery around the photograph, but there is some decent chemistry between the two leads. Not quite a recommendation, but close.

Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island ⭐️⭐️ (2020)

Not the Fantasy Island I was looking very forward to seeing and very much deserving of Blumhouse in front of the title, but this might appeal to viewers who like every single little thing explained ad nauseum.


It’s all downhill from here, pun intended.

Open to debate who had a worse time: the family portrayed on the skiing vacation or the viewers slogging through this unfunny, mostly cold, dry movie. Julia Louise-Dreyfuss and Will Ferrell have some of the worst ever chemistry of any married couple portrayed on screen that I’ve seen. Sure, they are having marital problems in the film, but I can’t really see how they ever had any happy times. What a great example of when to seek a divorce.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theaters recently and liked (maybe they are available in your area still) that are recommended. Any movie rated at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that the film was that good.

4-star movies are highly recommended and films rated as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see.

  1. 1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 
  2. Little Women ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  3. Knives Out ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  4. Uncut Gems ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  5. Parasite⭐️⭐️⭐️
  6. Frozen II ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  7. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  8. Sonic The Hedgehog ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (this weekend)
  9. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  10. The Last Full Measure ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  11. Dolittle ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy movie watching to you!

Opening 2-13-2020 in Theaters: Sonic The Hedgehog, Fantasy Island, The Photograph, Downhill

Wednesday! Week #7 (2/13-2/16/2020) which includes perhaps the biggest date night for couples of the year.

Dinner and a movie, or maybe just a movie. We have date night every Thursday and there are several movies to choose from. A romance, two comedies and a horror film based on an iconic 70s TV show.

First up, that speedy little guy in blue that goes by the name of …

Sonic The Hedgehog


Mario from Nintendo has always had competition from platform game Sonic. It was always about speed in the Sonic game as the blue hedgehog would run through the zones collecting rings. Don’t ask me to tell you what the point of the rings were, but I’m sure the movie will re-educate me. Dr. Robotnik is played by Jim Carrey.

Videogame movies have a brutally bad track record. Not just in my opinion, but among many. Am hoping this one is good and looking as much as or more forward to watching this than any other videogame movie I’ve seen in the past.

Anticipation: 7/10

Fantasy Island

Travel in the elevator down to the lower level and begin your fantasy
Fantasy Island final trailer

I have mixed emotions going into this one. Definitely interested in seeing, but feel like it’s probably not going to capture the primary essence and soul of the 70s TV show which sort of bordered on irony involving the fantasies. Sometimes it was dark, but it never was a horror anthology series. Sort of like a cross between Twilight Zone and Amazing Stories with Mr. Roarke and Tattoo keeping it grounded. I think without Tattoo we’re not going to have the comedic elements, which were crucial to grounding the series.

Also, I remain curious why the need for Blumhouse to brand their own name to this (see: Why is Blumhouse adding their name in FRONT of Fantasy Island?) Does this have any real impact on anticipation for the movie? Not really. I already knew Blumhouse was involved and they have an above average record with making profitable movies on small budgets. I’m a fan of returning to smaller budget filmmaking and applaud what Blumhouse is doing. I may not enjoy all of their films, but they are building a studio name and brand.

When I first heard about this movie, it was one of the most anticipated movies of 2020 for me. That interest has waned somewhat, but it’s the film I’m most looking forward to watching this weekend.

Anticipation: 8/10

The Photograph

This has the distinction of being the featured new romance movie. It doesn’t seem to be a rom-com, more like a dramatic love story. Am interested, but am not sure we’ll be watching this first. I’m letting Kara decide which one we see first, so maybe she’ll pick this one, who knows?

Anticipation: 3/10


Will Ferrell has been very hit and miss in movies with me. He’s a funny guy, but a bit formulaic at times. I like that Julia Louise-Dreyfus is starring opposite Ferrell. She was great in Seinfeld and I haven’t seen in her awhile. I hope this has many LOL moments. We’ll see.

Anticipation: 5/10

ANTICIPATION for Week #7: 2/13/20 MOVIES

How much on scale of 1-10 anticipating the 2-13-2020 movies?

  1. Fantasy Island – 8/10
  2. Sonic The Hedgehog – 7/10
  3. Downhill – 5/10
  4. The Photograph – 3/10

Are there screenings in our area to see these movies?

All four movies are confirmed wide screenings available at theaters in our area with screenings available starting on 2/13/20. All will be watched, rated and reviewed.

FIRST LOOK: Downhill

Rated R. Comedy. Remake of 2014 Swedish film Force Majeure.

A drop-in film by Fox Searchlight starring Julia Louis-Dryefus and Will Ferrell will debut at the Sundance Film Festival later this month and open wide on February 14, 2020.

Ferrell has a very hit and miss track record with movies and me. Loved him in some, hated him in others and found him to be just OK/average in others. He’s goes off and walks around nude in a few too many films which is one of those “yeah it was funny the first time” things.

Louis-Dreyfus? Can’t get her role as Elaine in Seinfeld out of my head. She’s a great straight comic to Ferrell’s unpredictable energy.

Downhill official trailer

Random trailer thoughts

  • Avalanche!
  • Nice subtitle: “A different kind of disaster movie”
  • Will be interesting to gauge romantic chemistry between Ferrell and Louis-Dreyfus, hard to tell from trailer
  • Is some bearded guy hitting on Louis-Dreyfus?
  • (he’s looking pretty fully dressed, sigh of relief) Please keep your clothes on Will Ferrell! It’s freezing outside
  • The trailer makes this seem promising, but had no lol moments

Downhill opens in theaters February 14, 2020. How wide? Unknown as of this writing.