Downloaded (film)

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Downloaded the movie.jpg
Directed byAlex Winter
Written byAlex Winter
Produced byAlex Winter
CinematographyAnghel Decca
Edited byJacob Craycroft
Music byDJ Spooky
Distributed byVH1
Release dates
  • March 10, 2013 (2013-03-10) (SXSW)
  • June 21, 2013 (2013-06-21) (United States)
Running time
106 minutes
Box office$8,377[1]

Downloaded is a documentary film directed by Alex Winter about the downloading generation and the impact of filesharing on the Internet. A teaser of the film premiered at SXSW on March 14, 2012.[2] The feature film made its world premiere at SXSW on March 10, 2013, and was shown at other film festivals around the world.[3] VH1 partnered with AOL to distribute the film widely[4] and was broadcast as a VH1 Rock Docs feature in late 2014.[4][5][6][7]


This documentary film addresses the evolution of digital media sharing on the Internet. It features exclusive interviews with software developers and musicians about controversial filesharing software, and particularly Napster.[8] It follows Napster from its rise in 1999, through the swarm of lawsuits that ensued and to its acquisition by Rhapsody in 2011. Some of those interviewed include Henry Rollins, Billy Corgan, former record producer and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, former Sony Music Chairman Don Ienner, former CEO of the RIAA Hilary Rosen, Beastie BoysMike D, Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, and Noel Gallagher.[6][9]


Alex Winter met Shawn Fanning in 2002 and originally set out to write a narrative feature, but he became interested in the many different sides of the story there was to tell. Nearly 10 years after Winter first discussed making the film with Napster founders, Fanning and Parker, he was wrapping up interviews and filmed some of the final footage and interviews at the SXSW Conference in 2012.[10]


A trailer for the film was released on December 7, 2012.[9]

On March 12, 2013, following the world premiere at SXSW, there was a panel discussion including director Alex Winter and Napster co-founders Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker.[11]

The film subsequently screened within such festivals as Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and Maryland Film Festival, with Alex Winter hosting screenings.


The film made its theatrical premiere on June 21, 2013, at Manhattan’s Village East Cinema, followed by showings in other select cities. It was released digitally on July 1, 2013.[12]


Box office[edit]

Downloaded opened in limited release on June 21, 2013, and grossed $2,504 at the box office its opening weekend from two theaters.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Downloaded received mixed reviews from movie critics upon its release. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 56, based on 6 reviews, indicating "mixed or average" feedback.[13] As of June 2020, the film holds a 69% approval rating on film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on thirteen reviews with an average rating of 6.54 out of 10.[14] Joe Neumaier from the New York's Daily News called it "A fascinating, alternate-universe look at the dawn of the music-sharing phenom."[15] On July 1, 2013, Complex rated it #6 on the "Best Movies of 2013 (So Far)" list.[16] On the other hand, Alan Scherstuhl of The Village Voice stated, "The doc is only about as revealing as a middling magazine article on the subject."[17]


  1. ^ a b "Downloaded (2013)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  2. ^ VH1 Rock Docs To Host SXSW Panel, Premiere Two New Films In Austin, Elizabeth Black, VH1, February 28, 2012
  3. ^ 'Downloaded,' film on music downloading, at SXSW, El Paso Times, March 10, 2013
  4. ^ a b Ali, Rahsheeda. "VH1 and AOL Team Up to Distribute Downloaded Documentary". VH1. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  5. ^ VH1’s Emmy Award-Winning “Rock Docs” Franchise ANNOUNCES NEW Programming slate FOR 2014 Archived March 4, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, VH1 Press Room, January 16, 2014
  6. ^ a b VH1 Rock Doc Downloaded To Premiere At South By Southwest, VH1, January 15, 2013
  7. ^ Napster Documentary 'Downloaded' to Premiere at SXSW Film Fest, Anita Li, Mashable, January 20, 2013
  8. ^ Video: Trailer from the Napster Movie, Downloaded, Eliot Van Buskirk,, December 7, 2012
  9. ^ a b Alex Winter Debuts Downloaded Trailer, James White, Empire, December 7, 2012
  10. ^ Cangialosi, Jason. "Interview: Alex Winter on Napster Documentary 'Downloaded'". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on 13 May 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  11. ^ Moreno, Ashley. "It's Still All About Peer-to-Peer Connectivity". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  12. ^ Kilday, Gregg. "VH1 Sets June Theatrical Openings for Alex Winter's 'Downloaded'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  13. ^ Critic Reviews for Downloaded. Metacritic. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
  14. ^ "Downloaded – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  15. ^ Neumaier, Joe (June 20, 2013). "Film reviews 'Maniac,' 'The Attack,' 'Downloaded' - NY Daily News". Daily News. Retrieved June 25, 2013.
  16. ^ (Various) (July 1, 2013). "6. Downloaded — The Best Movies of 2013 (So Far)". Complex. Retrieved July 1, 2013.
  17. ^ Scherstuhl, Alan (June 19, 2013). "Downloaded Breezes Through the Story of Napster". The Village Voice. Retrieved June 25, 2013.

External links[edit]