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Based on 32 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 6 )
  • 75
    Peter Travers Rolling Stone

    Johnson doesn't resemble, much less embody, Lennon, but he does catch his distinctive glint of mischief tinged with pain. Duff and Scott Thomas are both exceptional, revealing how John's relationship with these two clashing sisters marked his character. show more

  • 75
    Mick LaSalle San Francisco Chronicle

    To watch Nowhere Boy is to appreciate anew both the anger that drove Lennon and the strength of character it took for him to overcome it. show more

  • 88
    Claudia Puig USA Today

    It paints a complex picture of strained familial relations and a poignant look at the wounds inflicted on a sensitive soul by an unreliable parent. show more

  • 70
    Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal

    The script, adapted by Matt Greenhalgh from a memoir by Lennon's half-sister, Julia Baird, is flagrantly Oedipal; almost every scene between John and his mother is sexually charged. The curse is taken off most of these encounters by Anne-Marie Duff's eloquent work in the mother's role. show more

  • 75
    Carrie Rickey Philadelphia Inquirer

    Taylor-Wood stresses the universals rather than the specifics of John's youth. So don't go expecting a Fab Four origin story. The word Beatles is never uttered. But do go. show more

  • 20
    Joe Neumaier New York Daily News

    Johnson is convincing as a swaggering, jokey Lennon, but the photos of young John, Paul and George that end the movie ultimately have more punch than this bubblegummy montage. show more

  • 50
    Ray Bennett The Hollywood Reporter

    Strong performances by Kristin Scott Thomas as the stern Aunt Mimi, who raised the future Beatle from the age of 5, and Anne-Marie Duff as his troubled mother heighten the dramatic appeal of what otherwise is quite a dull film. show more

  • 75
    Michelle Orange Movieline

    Although this is a film about the influential women in Lennon's life, it succeeds equally in its evocation of the family Lennon built among his boyhood mates. show more

  • 88
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    We learn that the emotional roller coaster of his formative years probably contributed to the complexity of his lyrics. show more

  • 88
    Kyle Smith New York Post

    It's strange enough to be raised by your aunt. For young John Lennon, things get stranger still when he finds himself dating his mother. show more

  • November 27, 2010 n54craig
    Report This User

    I was 9 years old when the Beatles came to America; then everything changed....for the better. See this movie and you will understand why John Lennon loved music and why he needed to succeed in life with his music. The torture and sadness he went through as a teenager helped shape his need to succeed as a Quarryman and later as the leader of the Beatles. Great movie and a must see for anyone that loves the music they created.

  • November 02, 2010 Debbie4124
    Report This User

    If you love the Beatles, go see this movie because it's wonderful! If you're not such a fan, but interested in a good drama, about a real life, this movie will still be a great one to see. I wanted it to continue on and on!

  • October 31, 2010 Shiroflex
    Report This User

    A touching and sensitive portait of a amazing historical figure. Well acted, directed, and written account of John's developmental years that gives some insight to the depth of who he was. A must see for all ages (young adults to seniors)

  • October 23, 2010 chocolatejnke
    Report This User

    If you are looking for a feel good, toe-tappin' kind of movie loaded with snappy Beatles tunes, this is not it! Instead, this is a deep look at the complex home life of the young John Lennon. The movie stays true to the 1950's youthful revolution as rock and roll took over a generation and we get to watch the combustion of a teenager while he comes to grips with a troubled mother he never knew and a unyielding aunt who was forced to raise him. Like life for all of us, sometimes the slice of reality is hard to watch. But we watch it all the same. The cast was steller, Kristen Scott-Thomas wonderful and Aaron Johnson as Lennon someone to keep an eye out for.

  • October 19, 2010 Dancers mom dmd
    Report This User

    I loved it! Having grown up with the Beatles, it was interesting to me to learn of their earliest beginnings as musicians and their influences. All great artists seem to have suffered emotionally in their past, which gave their art/music such depth and meaning. Lennon and McCartney were no exceptions and both were geniuses. The movie left me hungry for more, so I am hoping sequels will be made to show their further progression into the music world and culture.

  • October 16, 2010 Encino House
    Report This User

    Doesn't compare to the Beatle's Hard Day's NIght, as entertainment or documentary. Makes John Lennon look a lot less talented than he was. The young actors couldn't produce a decent Liverpool accent, none of them. That was a very distinctive part of the Beatles.

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