Sweet and Lowdown
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Emmet Ray, according to himself, was the greatest jazz guitarist of the 1920s and 1930s. At least in New York, anyway. Although Ray certainly had a signature style and a melodic skill, those who knew Ray best admit that perhaps he was best known in his extra-musical roles -- as a pimp and a kleptomaniac whose fatal flaws hung over his career like a black cloud.
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Droll and amusing."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"Woody Allen, in his thirtieth outing as writer-director, still shows signs of change, improvement, depth of feeling."
‑ Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic.com
"... seems to be the latest chapter in a great work on the artist's search for meaning, for self-worth, for redemption."
‑ Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer
"A pleasant film. It's sweet and low down on my list of Allen favorites, but worth seeing for Penn's performance."
‑ Jean Lowerison, San Diego Metropolitan
"It is put together so well you can believe that this human misfit with a terrible taste in tailoring, an insatiable thirst for liquor, an appalling way with women, yet with a guitar in his hand seemingly guided by angels, was a real person."
‑ George Perry, BBC.com
"A shallow portrait of the artist as a cad."
‑ Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
"Thanks to Morton's presence, it gets closer to the sweetness of the wonderful Everyone Says I Love You."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"If you aren't sure you like jazz, see this movie just to be exposed to the Django sound! Your next trip might be to the record store."
‑ Jules Brenner, Cinema Signals
"Woody Allen's fictionalized biography of a legendary American jazz guitarist set in the 1930s."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"A jazz odyssey that works thanks to a stunning lead performance of a fascinating character."
‑ Scott Renshaw, rec.arts.movies.reviews
"Emmet Ray is a fictional character, but so convincing in Woody Allen's Sweet and Lowdown that he seems like a real chapter of jazz history we somehow overlooked."
‑ Roger Ebert, At the Movies
"Focusing on the story, the auteur explores his two favorite topics, jazz and s----heels, to enter the new millenium in style."
‑ Ron Wells, Film Threat
"Combining the worst traits of his two most recent outings--the overweening cruelty of Deconstructing Harry and the formal and narrative laziness of Celebrity."
‑ Nick Davis, Nick's Flick Picks
"The movie can never muster up the courage to take itself seriously."
‑ Chuck Rudolph, Matinee Magazine
"Affectionate, melancholy and anchored by a well thought-out performance from Sean Penn."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
More reviews for Sweet and Lowdown on Rotten Tomatoes

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