Torben Betts' screenplay for this engaging, quintessentially British road/rambling movie combines knockabout comedy with surprisingly bleak observations about the way the men's lives have all veered off course.
Geoffrey MacNab, Independent ***
...a fabulous gem
London Evening Standard
...a warm-hearted film, full of wit and insight.
The Daily Mail ****
A comedy of male bonding...better than The World's End and more tightly structured than The Trip... sweetly maudlin... It's rarely melodramatic and instead dignifies its protagonists, on their coast-to-coast hike, with minor yet painfully resonant crises at every turn. An overlooked gem.
Torben Betts' overlooked low-budget British comedy contains more big laughs in its first 20 minutes than Adam Sandler has generated in his past five movies...beautifully understated, very droll and blessed with four convincing leading performances.
Independent on Sunday, DVD of the week, ****
...a very nice film. I liked it very much. Likeable and funny.
Peter Bradshaw, Guardian Film Show
Comedically it is impossible not to fall for the charm of Downhill as every character is loveable in their own bumbling way...The beauty of the movie is its ability to transcend the limits of comedy and force its way into becoming a more poignant, moving piece of art. While the audience will initially happily join the rambling journey, what makes them stay is the pathos of the intricacies of the men’s lives...
The Upcoming ****
Beautifully shot and wonderfully scripted, Downhill is one of the funniest films released this year.
UK Film Review
Bristling with British humour that speaks to everyone, the film is also peppered with heartbreakingly sad moments that hit a real emotional nerve. There is something very Nuts In May about Downhill, with its quirky sensibility and its bitter-sweet beauty...the cinematography is absolutely stunning...a beautiful tale of life, love and friendship.
...a pleasurable ride all the way...an enjoyable alternative 'road' movie that shows, unlike its title, that it's not all downhill come middle-age.
Movie Man Dan
The debut feature of commercials director James Rouse from a script by Torben Betts is a four-star charmer, though actually it follows five men if you count the off-screen son of one of the characters holding the camera... It is a perverse choice for a debut feature in that it is not youth-orientated but finally a good one. It deserves a visit to the big screen...
The Film Annex
...all put together with boundless affection and a wry eye for human foibles...
A small delight. A home-grown treat.
...this treads that line between comedy and drama so well it’s sure to be one that leaves you with a big grin smacked across your face...an accomplished piece of cinema.
...hilarious and heartfelt... a touching and honest focus on the niggling, creeping realisation that middle age takes its toll and that most of one’s best times in life have either departed or they never arrived... Mixing mordant, stinging humour with some softer touches, the narrative slowly unfolds the inner worlds of the four men and the concerns and regrets they keep secret...a fine piece about bonding, friendship and forgiveness.
...the film's cast, along with its pithy script, makes for a tender, honest account of middle-aged men past their prime, loaded with warm humour and the odd belly-laugh.
...a promising blend of wisdom and playfulness from big-screen newcomers Torben Betts and James Rouse.
A tremendous new British comedy.
Funny and poignant.
An absolute joy.
The funniest, most touching film you will see all year.
Droll, well-judged humour.
A quirky film of true quality.
BBC Radio 5 Live
As gritty, emotional and rewarding as the walk itself.
Seamlessly made…it’s genuinely hilarious and packed with terrific characters. Director James Rouse and writer Torben Betts have crafted this film with striking skill.
Warm and funny, incredibly real and genuine.
A truly heartwarming, great British comedy.
Very funny feature debut...
Very funny, caustic & frank portrayal of walking & friendships!
Screamingly funny while making some sly - and oh-so-true - points about the modern, middle-aged, male.
Michael Buerk, BBC Newsreader and Journalist
Downhill is pure gold.
Downhill is wonderfully observed situation comedy.
A very funny and moving film, beautifully made and performed.
Andrew Eaton, Producer (Rush, The Trip)
Funny and moving. A delight.
Gaby Tana, Producer (Philomena, The Invisible Woman)
Visit the official Downhill website,