The U.S. vs. John Lennon Reviews

  • The U.S. vs. John Lennon is the easy-listening version of a firebrand documentary; nothing in it is as incendiary as its title.

    Owen Gleiberman — Entertainment Weekly

  • Makes the case that, in just about every way that counted, Lennon was a better person than Richard M. Nixon.

    A.O. Scott — New York Times

  • (The U.S. vs. John Lennon movie review at Guardian [UK])

    Peter Bradshaw — Guardian [UK]

  • Readers tempted to write off that episode as yet another paranoid fantasy of The Left should take heed: The U.S. vs. John Lennon includes the firsthand testimony of the spies themselves, from apostate FBI agents to the unapologetic G. Gordon Liddy.

    Ann Hornaday — Washington Post

  • The documentary's a hagiography, no mistake about it, but a fascinating one all the same, and it makes the case that Lennon was as much a genius provocateur as he was a cracked saint.

    Ty Burr — Boston Globe

  • This David Leaf-John Scheinfeld production is not only poignant but even topical.

    J. Hoberman — Village Voice

  • While there is nothing particularly new in the film, it is a stirring celebration of a man of enormous talent, humor and humanity, laid waste by an assassin in New York in 1980.

    Jack Mathews — New York Daily News

  • Loosely organized but still fascinating.

    Joe Morgenstern — Wall Street Journal

  • The film's first half has zero to do with its title, and its second half digs up familiar turf.

    Bruce Westbrook — Houston Chronicle

  • Works by reminding us of Lennon's best qualities: His impish, imperturbable sense of humor, his quick intelligence, his successful bantering with a hostile crush of world press mercenaries.

    Michael Booth — Denver Post

  • It's a movie that, at its best, makes you ache with the memory of an anguished era and its fallen pop culture hero.

    Michael Wilmington — Chicago Tribune

  • His life has been raked over by so many books, movies, magazine articles, and TV shows that The U.S. vs. John Lennon barely justifies its own existence.

    J. R. Jones — Chicago Reader

  • It's full-up with footage that shows the hero of the Yoko Ono-sanctioned film to be as witty, entertaining and dependably charismatic as ever, and rarely as simple-minded as his detractors would have it.

    Dan DeLuca — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • Humanizing Lennon to those who might find the man a bit inaccessible, and adding the word 'courage' to his long list of positive attributes.

    Bill Muller — Arizona Republic

  • The storyline follows the Ono-approved bio that posits Lennon as saint, excising his dark periods and their years apart, which could have enhanced the portrait.

    Phil Gallo — Variety

  • Documents the Nixon administration's failed, almost comically inept attempt to deport the most political of The Beatles and his wife, Yoko Ono.

    Lou Lumenick — New York Post

  • By the time The U.S. vs. John Lennon is done, the filmmakers have reinforced the sense that pop music once produced prophets, as well as profits.

    Roger Moore — Orlando Sentinel

  • Documentarians David Leaf and John Scheinfeld go beyond the usual glibness, revealing a much fuller portrait of the man.

    Peter Howell — Toronto Star

  • The aim may be laudable, but nothing gets hit except some awfully tired targets. And fatigue doesn't resonate.

    Rick Groen — Globe and Mail

  • In exploring a little-known story of political persecution, The U.S. vs. John Lennon also sheds some unexpected light on the uneven and still undigested career of one of the most paradoxical artists pop culture has yet produced.

    Andrew O'Hehir — Salon.com

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