Nowhere Boy Reviews

  • The power of Nowhere Boy is that, as directed by Sam Taylor-Wood, it captures how John Lennon's deeply sordid family life toyed with his soul by not letting him know who he was.

    Owen Gleiberman — Entertainment Weekly

  • It's a pleasant-enough creation story to revisit, one weighted down by melodrama and lifted up by some rocking tunes.

    Manohla Dargis — New York Times

  • Director Sam Taylor-Wood weaves this tale with elegance, spot-on costumes and production design, and finely tuned casting.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • The movie succumbs to maudlin sentiment and melodrama that Lennon himself might have dismissed with one of his signature cutting remarks.

    Ann Hornaday — Washington Post

  • As sympathetic and well-turned as it is, Nowhere Boy only gives us more mythology.

    Ty Burr — Boston Globe

  • Taylor-Woods debut feature is a rote coming-of-age tableau that churns through stations of anger, inspiration, reconciliation, McCartney, and Harrison.

    Eric Hynes — Village Voice

  • The creative process is almost audible in a silent moment when John turns an adoring gaze on the curvaceous body of his first guitar.

    Joe Morgenstern — Wall Street Journal

  • It relishes its myth-making enterprise without getting too cute about it.

    Chris Vognar — Dallas Morning News

  • Taylor-Wood has specialized in video installations and off-kilter portraits, and it was tempting to hope that her take on Lennon would unsettle and provoke. Instead, she stays resolutely on-kilter, as if awed into numbness by her subject.

    Anthony Lane — New Yorker

  • We reflect that even if all you need is love, that isn't always all you get.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • The events chronicled are all longstanding Beatles legends, though director Sam Taylor-Wood manages to stage even the most portentous moments without making you feel a celestial choir is in order.

    J. R. Jones — Chicago Reader

  • Taylor-Wood captures the sounds and textures of Liverpool and Blackpool, where a new beat is playing in the cafes and clubs.

    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.

    Steven Rea — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • A Great Man biography gone comically wrong.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • More love triangle than musical, the effective and often sweet Nowhere Boy offers a sense of the time and tension that produced John Lennon.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • Although he doesn't look much like Lennon, Johnson captures that essence perfectly; the future icon is here a confused, hurt boy.

    Bill Goodykoontz — Arizona Republic

  • (Nowhere Boy movie review at Variety)

    Leslie Felperin — Variety

  • Nowhere Boy gets John's teen years in Liverpool exactly right, and first-time director Sam Taylor-Wood has made an excellent choice in casting Aaron Johnson.

    Kyle Smith — New York Post

  • This portrait of a Beatle as a young man also gives filmmaker Sam Taylor-Wood, working on a thoughtful script by Matt Greenhalgh, creative room to manoeuvre, introducing us to John just as he and rock 'n' roll discover one another.

    Stephen Cole — Globe and Mail

  • Rather than a rock 'n' roll biopic, this is a classic British family melodrama, anchored by one of the subtlest, richest roles in Kristin Scott Thomas' impressive career.

    Andrew O'Hehir — Salon.com

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