Netflix Pick of the Week: The Music Never Stopped


  • Independent Drama
  • Released 2011
  • 104 minutes
  • PG

Directed By:

  • Jim Kohlberg


  • J.K. Simmons
  • Lou Taylor Pucci
  • Cara Seymour
  • Julia Ormond
  • Scott Adsit

Based on the essay “The Last Hippie” by Oliver Sacks, The Music Never Stopped tells the true story of how a man uses music in order to reconnect with his son. The movie takes place in 1986, but it has a few flashbacks to 1957 and the 60’s. One day, Helen (Cara Seymour) and Henry Sawyer (J.K. Simmons) receive a phone call informing them that their only son Gabriel (Lou Taylor Pucci) is in the hospital. They rush to see him and find out that Gabriel has had a benign brain tumor removed, and it’s almost impossible for him to form new memories. It has been twenty years since they had last seen their son, for he ran away from home after a disagreement with his dad.

Gabriel can’t connect with his parents, and they become very worried. Henry ends up taking a leave from work to visit his son every day at the hospital, and Helen gets a job to help with the hospital bills. Late one night, Gabriel has difficulties sleeping, so a nurse gives him a cassette player to listen to her son’s favorite songs. Suddenly, Gabriel turns back into his old self. The doctors and Gabriel’s parents are so amazed with the discovery that they decide to explore music as a way to make him normal again. Henry asks Dianne Daley, a music therapist, to help him with his son. She finds out that when Gabriel listens to songs particularly from the Grateful Dead, he can vividly remember things from when he still lived with his parents. At first, Henry doesn’t like the idea that Gabriel can only recall memories when listening to the Grateful Dead, for he believes the band “poisoned” his son and was the reason he ran away from home. In the end, he acknowledges the music because all he really wants is a chance to connect with his son again.

Watch the movie here.