Movie Reviews: Band-based films find balance between music, plotlines
By Greg Fink
The Independent Florida Alligator - Thursday, July 16, 2009

Music and film don't always synch up. While some try to hard to push the entertainment factor with forced tour bus orgies and unlimited profanity, others come up dry. But among the failed attempts, some music-related films mesh both genres of entertainment in perfect harmony.

It may be the Gainesville connection that makes "Runnin' Down a Dream" so compelling. The film, tracing Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' career, opens with live concert footage from the bands Sept. 21, 2006 performance at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. The film traces the band's beginnings in Gainesville, complete with home video footage. As the movie continues, Gainesville becomes far less prominent as The Heartbreakers makes its move toward success, but clips of the Gainesville show appear throughout to remind you of the band's humble origins.

The various celebrity interviews from people like Johnny Depp, Dave Grohl and Stevie Nicks, along with the momentum built up by interviews with the chronology of the band, keeps audiences captivated throughout the almost four-hour-long film.