Downhill (2020) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
76 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Enjoyable, as long as you know upfront it's primarily not a comedy
2001ASOfan14 February 2020
First, and most importantly, know this is not a comedy, it's a serious, purposefully slow-moving character study with a few very funny, even laugh-out-loud moments. Knockout scenery (and if you've ever been a skier you'll be craving time on the slopes immediately after viewing), this is the kind of film that inspires wanderlust, but some will find it too subtle and quiet. I liked it, but there were elements that bugged the heck out of me, especially the non-development of the two sons as important characters--they remain blank stares and mysteries for the entire film. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is very good here, Will Ferrell good but mostly one-note: The film is definitely given a shot in the arm by actors in supporting roles. Overall a recommended watch if you enjoy character studies where simple, subtle facial expressions and body movements are as important as dialogue.
22 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Skip this and watch "Force Majeure" (2014)
leezureworld5 February 2020
As the other user review suggested, this film has already been made, it's called "Force Majeure" and it's outstanding.

It's a complete ripoff of "Force Majeure" without any apoligies. "Downhill" lacks the character and emotional depth of "Force Majeure", plus it's sorely miscast in every way.

If you're at all interested in "Downhill", do yourself a favor and watch "Force Majeure" instead.
48 out of 75 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Interesting story whose audience may be narrow ish
lavcav1020 February 2020
My friend and I went to see this as I'm a huge "The Way, Way Back" 2013 fan (Nat Faxon/Jim Rash) and she'd seen the original Swedish version of "Downhill."

It's an interesting DRAMA with moments of humor that most people who are in long-term relationships, probably mostly with kids, will relate to. The tension and rawness is real between the leads and brought me to tears several times. Julia Louis-Dreyfus did a fantastic job with a delicate balance of "am I crazy" or "are you crazy" in trying to grasp the relational meaning of a very telling event with her husband and family that shattered any doubts of her husband's state of mind.

It's a wonderfully set movie in the Austrian Alps and while I do not recommend it for many, I'm sure its audience will find it and love it, though it may not happen primarily in theatres (despite the fact that is certainly best viewing of the lovely cinematography!!!)

I think the trailers, and the two great actors' comedic success, mislead many to expecting a comedy. That definitely would be a huge disappointment, but this movie is a good one!!
9 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Really bad
sixhoos13 February 2020
Rehash of a better movie. Not funny. Boring. Vapid. Can't think of enough ways to describe this waste of time. Just don't bother.
17 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Why would Hollywood remake a perfectly fine film? Why?
marco-grix26 January 2020
This film already exist, and it's excellent. Simply look for "Force Majeure (2014)" or "Turist (2014)" -- same film but different title in different countires. It places people in a somewhat unexpected, yet perfectly realistic, situation and shows how their lives gradually implode in the aftermath. It shines a light on ordinary human weaknesses, and how pathetic many of us really are. It forces the viewer to reflect upon their own strengths and weakness: what woud YOU have done? And it does it really well. Why whould anyone see the need to remake this? And with as terrible an actor as Will Ferrell, of all people? Is Hollywood really so desperate, having no original ideas of their own anymore? That's just ridiculous. I'd encourage each and every potential viewer to avoid this pitiful copy and watch the original instead. Boycott is the only way to force Hollywood to stop with this nonsense. No more recycling! Grow a pair and take some chances, make new things!
49 out of 90 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
a mainstream remake
ferguson-613 February 2020
Greetings again from the darkness. Overwhelming apprehension. That's the feeling I had walking into the theatre for the Americanized re-make of one of my top 10 favorite movies from 2014 ... FORCE MAJEURE. Sure, it's common practice for U.S. filmmakers to farm international cinema for "new" projects, but when they mess with the really good ones, I can't help but feel nervous to the point of dread. A sliver of hope existed since this new version was co-written (along with Jesse Armstrong, creator of "Succession", and Oscar nominated for IN THE LOOP) and co-directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, the creative forces behind THE WAY WAY BACK (2013).

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell star as married couple Billie and Pete. Along with their two teenage sons, they are on an Austrian ski trip meant to help Pete get through grieving his father's death, and bring the family closer together. If you have seen the original or the trailer, you know what happens next. Pete's reaction to a near catastrophic event creates a divide between him and the family ... especially Billie, who is left shaken. This part is all quite similar to the original film, yet this version is different in so many ways.

Casting two brilliant comedic performers in the lead sends a strong signal that humor will play a role, and that the exceptional gravitas from filmmaker Ruben Ostlund's FORCE MAJEURE will be softened somewhat. Both of those points hold true. However, surprisingly, this re-make manages to still generate some of the shaken-to-the-core emotions that come from having trust broken in such a startling manner. Ms. Louis-Dreyfus is especially strong here, and carries a much heavier load than Mr. Ferrell. As she is balancing her shock, frustration, and anger, while still attending to their equally shaken boys, Mr. Ferrell is relegated to spending much of the film wearing a wounded puppy look as he attempts to move on without addressing the issue.

Adding to the comedy elements are Zoe Chao ("The Comeback") and Zach Woods ("The Office") as Pete's friends who get drawn into the fracas. Miranda Otto takes a break from her usually dramatic roles to play Charlotte, a wacky resort employee whose personality is a bit out of step with normalcy; although her zaniness succeeds in preventing the weight of the event from crushing Billie. Fans of the original will recognize Kristofer Hivju, who plays a resort security advisor this time. Another difference is that the kids (Julian Grey, Ammon Jacob Ford) play a bigger role in the family dynamics and fallout.

It's clear that filmmakers Faxon and Rash set out to purposefully make a more mainstream, accessible movie than the Swedish version. The film remains effective at generating conversation about survival instinct and protecting one's loved ones. It should be mentioned that this is not a typical Will Ferrell movie, and anyone expecting Frank the Tank, may only be pleased with one brief scene. Instead, this is about a man coming to grips with how his actions affected his family, and even his view of himself.
12 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
This movie will cause divorce
mattmcniff14 February 2020
Warning: Spoilers
I made the mistake of going to this movie with my wife for Valentines's Day. Please heed my warning. This movie is going to cause some couples to divorce after they watch short, we have a slow motion train wreck with no recovery. I had hoped that at least there was going to be a payoff at the end but it ended poorly too. The humor in it was just enough to keep you there for the whole thing hoping that there would be at least a redeeming joke or something. Nope. Awful. People are going to watch this and if hey see themselves in the characters, it will likely speed up their impending divorce, not stall it with nostalgia and discovering why they fell in love in the first place. Basically you see two people staying in a loveless marriage just long enough to see their kids out the door so that they can finally sleep in separate bedrooms or get the sweet relief of splitting up.
20 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Cringeworthy "Comedy" to Avoid
jamuckley11 February 2020
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell star in "Downhill," a new comedy that comes out on Valentine's Day, Friday 14, 2020. The film was directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.

Billie (Louis-Dreyfus) and her two boys barely escape been buried alive during a "controlled" avalanche, while Pete (Ferrell) runs for cover thinking only about his self. The scary ordeal causes them to take a fresh look at their marriage and their future together.

I had high hopes with the pairing of Louis-Dreyfus and Ferrell and what kind of comedic caper on the ski slopes might ensue. Unfortunately, this film was disappointing. This isn't the kind of "feel-good" romantic movie to take your significant other out to see on Valentine's Day.

The film isn't mushy and doesn't "resolve" like a bow on a pretty package. Instead, it is more of a "warning" in relationships, showing how miscommunication, self-centeredness, defensiveness all can contribute to breaking down bonds in relationships. The humor in it is how the couple fails to address the issue directly causing further distance, bringing others into it to plead their case, and even puts the kids in the middle. There were some cringeworthy moments throughout.

Some of the film's less flattering moments include an awkward scene with a ski instructor, crude sexual humor, and drunkenness without any really point.

I would recommend steering clear of this one, in favor of a nice evening in, preparing dinner for your partner, snuggling up on the couch and dreaming together about your hopes for the future so you don't end up like Billie and Pete unsure of what is next in store for your relationship.
14 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It was alright...
mh-5789131 January 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Downhill starts off strong, it has funny jokes, but nothing we haven't already seen. Overall the movie was alright. My issue is with the message it sends in the end:

Abandoning your family in an avalanche is a grey area, and so is cheating on your husband and not telling him.
16 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Worst movie we've seen in years of Friday night dates.
rbeetcher15 February 2020
Torture watching this movie. Would have walked out but my wife liked the Austrian mountain ski scenes. Nothing else about this movie was worthwhile. It struck me as a movie where the stars agreed to do it to support a family member who was trying to get into movie production but had no experience and no skill.
11 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I wished I was killed in the avalanche!
son-of-odin17 February 2020
I am fifty years old. This was the WORST movie that I ever saw. It was depressing and even stressful at times. I couldn't leave early or even fall asleep. I was desperately waiting for any form of redemption... it never came. Save your time and money see anything else but this!
11 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Wasn't Great but Wasn't Awful
dar041719 February 2020
This is a simple film a family that goes on vacation. With the cast you would expect it to very funny but it isn't. It has a good story centered around the WHAT-IF scenario. Will Farrell failed in this case and Julie Louis-Dreyfus made him pay. This film is not for everyone so watch at your own risk.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Waste of time
mgoose-9378115 February 2020
Don't bother watching, No real plot to the movie, boring and lame. Nasty bathroom scene as well. Don't waste your time watching this movie, you will regret it
7 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
perogy415 February 2020
I feel badly for Julia Louis-Dreyfus because her character is so unlikeable, in a movie that's equally unlikeable. Like watching a slow motion train wreck. Wish I could have that 90 minutes of my life - and my money - back. 3 stars, only for the scenery.
7 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A downer for a Valentine's Day release
trinaboice11 February 2020
IN A NUTSHELL: Inspired by the 2014 Swedish movie Force Majeure by Ruben Ostlund, this depressing comedy is directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash. Jesse Armstrong helped them write the English version of the aftermath of a family who experienced a brush with an avalanche while on a ski vacation. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last month and is being released by Searchlight, with the previous name of Fox missing from the title since the Disney purchase.

I love movie titles with double meanings, but in this case, it's not a good thing. While the movie features a family on a downhill ski trip in the Alps, the title of the film best describes the direction the marriage is going in throughout their adventure. Timed perfectly for a Valentine's Day release, it really isn't the fun rom-com you're thinking it should be with comedy giants Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. In fact, it's a bit of a DOWNer for the most romantic day of the year.


Crude language, profanity, F-bombs Talk of being nude in a spa Talk of intimate relationships. A woman tries to pleasure herself. Alcohol, bad drunken behavior


"Every day is all we have." - Pete (Will Ferrell) Relationships, marriage, perceptions of other people's relationships Expectations Survival Family Live for self or live for others Aging Identity


Julia Louis-Dreyfus was outstanding in her role. She is a talented comedienne who is very believable in a drama too. The nuances on her face were perfect and spoke volumes. My husband and I saw the movie together and both felt sorry for Will Ferrell's character, who is a complete wuss during the story. My husband was especially frustrated that the character was never able to quite redeem himself. Miranda Otto, who plays Charlotte, will look familiar to you but you won't quite know where you've seen her before. Suddenly, you'll remember it was in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers franchise where she played Eowyn. Her character in this movie doesn't have an ounce of integrity like Eowyn did in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Fans of The Office: The Complete Series will get a kick out of seeing Zach Woods. What's funny is his character's name is Zach in this movie. When Kirstofer Hivju first appeared on the screen in the movie, you could immediately tell there were Game of Thrones:Season 1-2 fans in the audience. There were some laughs and even a few quiet cheers, as his character, Giantsbane, was always a fan favorite. When the movie ended, the lady sitting behind me in the theater said, "That's it?" but I actually thought it was an insightful ending. You get to see some beautiful Austrian mountains.


I haven't seen the original movie that this is modeled after, but everyone who has, says the first one is sooo much better. Sooooo much bickering. That's neither enjoyable, nor funny. It definitely needed more humor to balance out the drama and depressing moments. The actors who played the sons did a good job, but they sure aren't like most realistic, rambunctious boys that age that I know. Instead, these boys are super mellow. They're played by Julian Grey and Ammon Jacob Ford. Lots of awkward moments.

You can see my full movie review on Movie Review Mom (dot) com and on my Movie Review Mom YouTubee channel.
7 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A real miss
bef199115 February 2020
I was interested in seeing this film because I love Julie Louis Dreyfus' acting and Jessie Armstrong's writing. To be fair I'm not a fan of Will Ferrell but I thought with a good leading lady, good writing and a wonderful can you go wrong?? Boy did it go wrong. Boring dialogue, slow and tedious, bad acting (Will Ferrell) and no real story.

It was neither a comedy or a drama. If it was intended to be both it failed on each front. The intended comedic/dramatic lines were dull and pedestrian. Although I'm not giving up on Ms. Dreyfus or Jessie Armstrong's genius, I'd recommend just skipping this one.
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
timothymarshall-5585516 February 2020
It's called DownHill for a reason. Absolutely the worst movie I have ever seen. I wish I had read a review before seeing this. Every minute is excruciatingly awkward and uncomfortable.
8 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Avalanche Agonistes
mjjusa-115 February 2020
If you have the opportunity to pick between an unneeded root canal or seeing the new Will Ferrell/Julia Louis-Dreyfus movie...have the root canal. Only Julia Louise-Dreyfus comes through this unmitigated disaster with dignity and reputation intact. Even the two teenage boys playing the children of Will/Julia seem to signal 'we know!/get us out of here' to the audience. Ferrell powers through hoping, I'd guess, for a nude/underpants running through the town scene to rescue the worst movie of his career. The comedy bits aren't funny, the drama unconvincing, the sexy subplot limp, and the family dynamics excruciating.
7 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Hollwierd on Full Display!
blondejen12315 February 2020
I just assumed, mistakenly, that this movie would be funny and entertaining because, hello, Will Ferrell and Elaine! Nope! Horrible waste of talented actors. Terrible story line. Who wants to be in the middle of two parents awkwardly screaming and and fighting with each other? Not me! And to have Hollywood's weird lack of morals forced down our throats? No thanks! Your way is not better! Cheating on your spouse IS wrong! And not all dads are bad and stupid and losers! And not all women are right just because they're women! No person, woman or not should be justified in screaming at their spouse and acting like a lunatic. What an awful movie! Wasted money. Wasted disappointing.
9 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Candidate for WORST movie of the year
tom_l_mcl15 February 2020
Very depressing, boring and certainly no comedy. With these two actors I would expect more/ Generally Ferrel is kind off off the wall. But this movie was awful.
9 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Watch for the scenery (if you have to). Movie is a huge downer!
jfenlon3214 February 2020
Will Farrell... Julia Louis-Dreyfus... has to be funny right? God no! The only thing a little funny in the movie were the supporting cast (primarily Miranda Otto).

This turned out to be a painful ride (or run) down the slopes in the Austrian Alps. At least the scenery was beautiful!

Can't tell you how much I would recommend that you skip this downer of a film. Both lead characters and their kids were just plain unlikable. You felt like you were in the middle of a dysfunctional family the whole movie. Who wants that? Maybe if it's a good story or well acted (like Ordinary People for example) Will Farrell was flat out boring in his role, and Julia Louise Dreyfus was wasted on this stinker.

Recommendation: Hard Pass!
7 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Worst movie I've seen in 30 years
isaiahsdad200916 February 2020
I laughed twice in this movie, and should've walked out.
8 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Skip This Movie
ajhallochak15 February 2020
Unlikable characters, boring dialogue, very little comedy. A flop for a Valentine's date! I started looking at my watch at an hour into the movie, and was shocked to find another 30 minutes were left! Would have walked out, but was with my wife. Forgettable film!
6 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Avalanche of a Movie
bobboetticherjr15 February 2020
This was a horrible experience! It should have finish after the first couple scenes to protect movie goers.
6 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Disappointing remake
rann_rushing16 February 2020
Ferrell was stilted and out of his element. Dreyfus was the highlight, but was not able to carry the entire movie. The writing was uneven and created side stories that really did not fit the characters. They created such awkward situations that made viewing painful.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed