User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 242 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 242

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  1. Aug 20, 2014
    5
    As a native of northern New Jersey who grew up with many Italian working-class friends, I strongly resented the unnaturally thick Jersey accent as portrayed by Scarlett Johansson in her role as Barbara Sugarman. Sugarman is a Jewish name, as noted by the parents of Jon Martello (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) when he brings her home and introduces her to his Italian-American family, although in one scene Johansson sports a crucifix around her neck, so that detail was either a mistake or she was supposed to have had a Christian mother and a Jewish father. In any case, the film was directed and written by Gordon-Levitt, who is admittedly showing signs of youthful genius (but not necessarily in this film); however, Gordon-Levitt was born in Los Angeles, and like a lot of Hollywood actors and directors who did not grow up in industrialized northern New Jersey, his concept of a primitive, uncultured working class in New Jersey, especially of Italian origin, is highly exaggerated and misconceived. Yes, Ol' Blue Eyes came from Hoboken, and it is there that you will find the thickest so-called “Joisey” accent, but that is because of Hoboken's proximity to New York City, which is standing right there on the opposite shore of the Hudson. Indeed, that accent originates from the depths of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. It affects parts of New Jersey by association only. The erroneous concept that this accent originated in New Jersey goes hand-in-hand with the Hollywood belief that New Jersey is the cultural pits of the planet.

    For the record, I have never met a New Jerseyan who talks like that. As noted, it is only in limited parts of North and Central Jersey where the New York City dialect is spoken. The majority of the state can be found speaking the Philadelphia region dialect, where the word “Joisey” is unheard of. And certainly, Barbara Sugarman, who is shown to have been raised in a semi-affluent middle-class environment, would not have been speaking such a thick brogue. When Hollywood gets it wrong, they go over the top, and they love to go with the cliches.

    My next objection is the subject matter of the film, which again, stresses the primitive, if not positively elemental, level of culture that is presumed to exist in the State of New Jersey. (Remember Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler? Also, over the top with its depiction of working-class New Jersey.) Jon Martello is not only mindlessly promiscuous to the point where dogs in the street are more discriminating than he is, but he is addicted to pornography and prefers pornography to genuine relations with real women. He watches pornography relentlessly, masturbates fiendishly, and confesses everything to the priest at his local church, where he then dutifully recites the number of Hail Mary's and Lord's Prayers he has to say to atone for his sins. (The number usually varies with the number of times he watched porn movies or had sex out of wedlock.) Just when Martello and Sugarman are becoming almost unbearably tedious, a breath of fresh air arrives in the form of Esther (Julianne Moore), who proceeds to lend some dignity and depth to the scenario. She is a much older woman for Jon Martello, characterized by the grief that she experienced in her recent past, which makes her extremely open and emotionally vulnerable but with a unique charm, a sort of latter-day Annie Hall. She is easy-going and forgiving, but also a wellspring of wisdom, and it is only through a rather odd coupling with her that Martello becomes humanized and stops acting like a beast gone mad in the woodlands.

    Moore almost saves the film, but the cartoonish characterizations that precede her entrance unfortunately predominate. Director/screenwriter Gordon-Levitt is still young, and he will have to work a little harder to do a truly sensitive film the next time around.
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  2. Jul 31, 2014
    6
    Jon Martello has earned himself the nickname ‘Don Jon’ amongst his buddies due to his ability to pick up virtually any woman he wants, unfortunately for him he gets more pleasure from watching porn than he does with any of the women he takes home. One night he meets the stunning Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson) and, having at first failed to go home with her, soon finds himself falling in love. Could she finally be the one to live up to his expectations?

    The writing and directorial debut of Joseph Gordon-Levitt Don Jon is slickly put together and certainly makes some interesting points about the way people’s expectations can warped by modern media, even if they are perhaps slightly exaggerated. The cast, including Gordon-Levitt, Johansson and the always reliable Julianne Moore are excellent throughout helping to keep things grounded.

    Despite these positives I did find that Don Jon made for a rather uncomfortable watch on a number of occasions (how many scenes do we need to see of someone masturbating?) and Don Jon doesn’t come across as a sympathetic, particularly early in the movie, making it difficult to really root for him. The ending also seems a little too rushed and neat to make for a truly satisfying climax to the story.

    Don Jon mat not be complete success but it is a promising start to Gordon-Levitt’s career behind the camera that, at the very least, shows he is willing to make movies that veer away from the mainstream.
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  3. Jul 21, 2014
    8
    Joseph Gordon Levitt's gives us alot of laughter and joy, Jon Martello is a very likable and fun character. A nice directorial debut for Joe Levitt...
  4. Jun 3, 2014
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I really struggled to get through this one. If a douche bag is going to be at the center of a film, then he should be at least mildly amusing. I was not even mildly amused by Gordon-Levitt's douche bag, and frankly, after seeing Don Jon (which he also wrote) and some of his other movies (the awful Premium Rush, etc.), I'm starting to think that HE'S the douche bag.
    The title should have been...Porn Addicted Gym Rat Meets Lonely 40-something with Dead Family and They Fall In Love....But Only After He Gets **** Whipped By Scarlett Doing Her Best Snookie.
    Good to see Tony Danza!
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  5. May 25, 2014
    7
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt first Movie as a Director and a writer but also starring in it as well. The trailers made me want to see this they were some of the best that i had seen in 2013 i would have gone to the theater to see it but i would have had to drive to the next town over which is at least 20-30 minutes away so i just waited. I loved the first hour of the movie it was funny and enjoyable but then it seemed to just get too serious for me and it wasn't what i thought it was going to be. Overall i give it a 7/10 but i do have to say Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a lucky bastard he got both Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore Expand
  6. Mar 8, 2014
    7
    The ending was a bit predictable from halfway through the movie, and it does feel like it's slightly repeated, but "Don Jon" delivers a number of funny scenes, great moments, and great acting from JGL and Scarlett Johansson.
  7. Mar 7, 2014
    10
    a best man made a movie becuase this is what people do for dating these day i actually find it true . and it funny how joe gordon reacts to porn . i love this film
  8. Mar 7, 2014
    3
    I was a long for the ride at the start, but as this movie went along, it fell apart for me. I do like Joseph Gordon-Levitt and would see another film directed by him, but this one fell flat for me.
  9. Feb 10, 2014
    10
    I loved this movie. Such a unique story with a refreshing ending. Like any unique film, this movie is not going to please everyone. But it will be a favorite for many. It's not the deep & painful reality of what it's like to overcome sex addiction & its aftermath, but it addresses it truthfully in a simple, unique way. I have a newfound respect & curiosity for Gordon-Levitt & hope he gives us more where this came from. Expand
  10. Feb 4, 2014
    8
    Turns out that Joseph Gordon-Levitt behind the camera was a good idea after all. His directing is spot-on. The film editing is also great. The performances, especially of the three leads, is top-notch. The supporting cast is also very good.

    But the film's true strength is in the concept itself. It is a criticism of many aspects in society today, whether it's sexuality or religion. But
    in the end, it's actually a criticism of the predictability of romance movies themselves. I realized that in the ending (which was a bit rushed). After that i looked at the movie tagline (Everybody Loves A Happy Ending), and i finally understood it. It puzzled me in the beginning.

    This is a very intelligent film. Looking forward to more movies with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as director and writer.
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  11. Feb 2, 2014
    7
    I didn't want to watch this movie, based on its trailer. But I was very surprised! The movie is not boring, it has a lot of interesting parts. The director of the movie did a really good job for his first movie!
  12. Feb 2, 2014
    4
    Boy oh boy, I don't get it - I love sex, Gordon-Levitt, Johansson, Moore, like porn, and this movie did nothing for me. It not only has no substance, but it's last-ditch attempt to seriously address porn addiction is superficial. "I want to lose myself in sex," say Jon, but what does that mean? Maybe he knows, maybe porn addicts know, I certainly didn't learn anything from this movie except Jon like porn, Johansson is beautiful but dumb, and Moore is beautiful and wise. Expand
  13. Jan 31, 2014
    7
    First off, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has proved not only he is a talented actor but a talented director/writer as well. Don Jon isn't your typical romance film, It's actually a rather well thought out and enjoyable dramedy. The acting was great, The plot was solid, and you couldn't help but be entertained. I'd definitely recommend it.
  14. Lyn
    Jan 28, 2014
    6
    Hard for most of us to imagine a guy who likes the fake sex of porn better than real sex with a woman. But it's an interesting issue, especially with porn proliferating everywhere. "Don Jon's" experience is a cautionary tale that you'd kind of like your teenage son to learn -- though perhaps not from this racy film! While Joseph G-L doesn't appeal to me, I've taken him seriously since the gravitas he showed in "The Dark Knight Rises." In this movie, I don't quite buy him as a super-successful Jersey Shore-type Lothario (Travolta he's not) but I really like where he goes with Jon's story. And Tony Danza; Hilarious! Expand
  15. Jan 20, 2014
    10
    That Joseph Gordon-Levitt is something. I love Don Jon. Very raunchy, it's not "Zack and Miri 2.0." Playing a porn addicted ladies man who falls in love with a hot looking girlfriend who sees him watching porn. Oh my god! I love porn movies, I seriously do. Probably soon, he could make another movie called "The Don Juan Porn Diaries." For me, this is one of the best comedies of 2013. Go on with your bad self, JGL! Pimpin' Ain't Easy. Expand
  16. Jan 19, 2014
    7
    For me, this movie was an interesting experiment. I'm not like Jon in the sense that I'm not constantly hitting the Jim and speaking/acting in such as manner as the character does. Once I got past that, and I was surprisingly able to do so, I found a fairly interesting film with plenty to offer. Partway through the film the ending becomes evident, but more than likely it'll still be worth it to the end. Particularly though, this movie is unique in what it addresses, and I applaud it for for its bravery. Expand
  17. Jan 18, 2014
    10
    I have watched a series of Joseph Gordon-Levitt movies. Many push the boundaries but this latest one is reason to believe in his rise to absolute stardom.
  18. Jan 16, 2014
    9
    Overall, this movie is a hilarious insight about the impact porno has on modern day relationships and is a fantastic directorial debut of the immensely talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Entertaining all around, easily engaging and a great cast (Tony Danza was awesome in it, by the way) makes this movie extremely entertaining.
  19. Jan 13, 2014
    7
    More philosophical and precise than I'd expected. It plays out like a very average story, but the content is important to young men (and women) and it is clear that it has been given serious thought. The ending took me by surprise and added a new dimension to the film which makes me want to see it in again from that perspective. It has something to say about relationships.
  20. Jan 7, 2014
    9
    Probably the best film of 2013. I write this now, because whenever I think about it, this is the only film that still jumps out at me. Levitt took all his experience in the industry and put it towards crafting one of the most honest films in a while. It captures gender differences in such a tender and honest way, while at times lashing out at us for our hypocrite and scathing nature. It manages to scold without offending. Levitt himself plays the jersey shore douche with pitch point accuracy. Johansson nails her im above you nature perfectly, its too bad she isnt being recognized for her acting in this film. Julian moore is also fantastic, playing the sexy educational mom without ever once feeling creepy. The film is tender and great. If there's one movie you should watch from 2013, this is it. Expand
  21. Jan 5, 2014
    9
    In the interest of full disclosure, I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The man can do no wrong. This movie is no exception. It has an honest heart and impeccable performances from all involved. In all seriousness, there's not a single weak performance from any of the cast. Without spoiling anything I can say that this is a strong directorial debut from an already established young actor that explores the sexual identity of a new generation that is often oversimplified. This film takes a turn in the end that's unexpected, but very gratifying. Absolutely a must see. Expand
  22. Jan 3, 2014
    7
    I was thinking the first century of the third millennium where the meaning of cinemas is rewrote. There's been lots of chances we can see and one of those were the beginning of adult-comedies. Recently 'Ted' made lots of waves among movie goers. So here comes the another one from the actor of '50/50' who also debuted as director. Making first is always challenging one, not many had tasted success but he handled very nicely his crew as well the co stars. It was a nice script based on today's world and the path the youngsters moving.

    The story centers around a character Jon who lives by his own principles. He does everything like every other guy like watching porn and masturbating. One day he meets his girl and begin to give his full commitment to it. Sometime he has to break his rules to obtain from opposite, so the remaining portions explais how far he would go and sacrifice his life for a girl.

    Definitely it tells the unexpected truth to the older guys who are troubling to understand present technology that affecting people in a strange way. I was talking about online porns and this movie deals about the same theme. The trouble maker in a serious relationship, we can call it a new way of cheating. I believe this movie is not for everyone, if you are okay with adult theme as a comedy then it will be fine. I can call it a rare movie about online porn video addiction.
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  23. Dec 28, 2013
    8
    JGL’s director debut (also the writer and leading actor, a triple threat indeed in this case), DON JON, like (500) DAYS OF SUMMER (2009, 8/10), they are not your average rom-com and they are much better since they underpin certain realistic meanings. For DON JON, it is an anti-objectification to what Hollywood chronically implants into our generations’ minds about the veneer of romantic relationship. That is, man is looking for the perfect sex target to fulfill all his fantasies and woman is looking for a Mr. Perfect who is totally under her control. Both reek one-sided selfishness.

    Thanks to the invention of internet pornography and the discrepancy between man and woman on playing with oneself, for man, the more graphically related sexual demand can be easily actualized, so our protagonist Jon (Gordon-Levitt) is a porno-addicted gym jock, who has no difficulty hooking up the hottest girl in the nightclub, but when the eventual boy-meet-girl scenario happens, a smoking hot Barbara (Johansson) yet cannot drag him out to the cold turkey period, meanwhile, Barbara is far from picture-perfect and clearly has her own agenda of what kind of man she is seeking for, an inexorable clash sets them apart (although the history in the browser is a shoddy device). Later on, Jon starts to date an elder woman Esther (Moore) from the night school, who has just gone through a tragic accident in her life, nurtured by Esther’s sensible edification, Jon becomes clarified about what love is and accomplishes his rite of passage.

    DON JON is a genre-blender with indie comedy, romp romance and lighthearted drama, adorned by formulaic default of male chauvinism, female sexualization, boisterous Anglo-Italian family (Tony Danza is an embarrassing joke though), paint-by-number religious service and confession, while swarmed with repetition shots of making beds, gym, church, night school, sex-hunt in the club, and of course, porn stuff. Nevertheless as a novice in the director’s chair, JGL shows qualified competence in executing the story with slick pace and earnest passion, and as an actor, he is definitely a leading man material among his peers. Johansson and Moore are pitch-perfect in two different types of women who turn a boy into a man. Johansson amplifies her self-mocking fatuousness and control freaky possessiveness, injects immense credibility in a derogative character; Moore, is an on-screen goddess of mettle, shatters the twenty-years age difference, generates some wholesome chemistry with JGL despite it is not a challenging role for her at all.

    I give DON JON an reassuring 8/10, it is more than a cute feel-good flick to watch with your significant other, underneath its less-than-impressive script, the connotation it evokes is worth more wider reverberations other than an immediate suggestion “why not Jon just date a porn star if he is really into that?”. For me, it is a guilty pleasure not the least because Moore is in it.
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  24. Dec 26, 2013
    4
    Despite moments that were amusing, this is a pretty stupid movie. I find it strange that Gordon-Levitt would choose to direct a movie like this for his directorial debut. Neither funny nor dramatic.
  25. Dec 22, 2013
    7
    This is a solid directorial debut for Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It was interesting to see how a guys porn addiction causes him to struggle in real relationships. The film has its flaws but it's a solid debut. B
  26. Dec 21, 2013
    9
    Well done. Great camera work, great direction, great acting. While some plot points in the story seem to get rushed, ultimately, the things that weren't connected dot to dot became realistically foretold. Levitt painted a beauty here that doesn't get convoluted or trip over it's own words. Whether you agree or disagree with the premise or conclusion, this is a well-crafted film and very much worth watching. Expand
  27. Dec 20, 2013
    8
    Very good movie with outstanding acting from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore. Joseph Gordon-Levitt did a great job in sending his message and he sure is a promising director.
  28. Dec 20, 2013
    6
    The movie is somewhat repetitive and clearly way over the top, but Gordon Levitt does a solid job with his directing debut. The first hour was written pretty well but then the miscast of Juliana Moore deflates the film completely.
  29. Dec 9, 2013
    8
    I came to the theater yesterday with high hopes knowing that Gordon-Levitt has proven himself as one of the most exciting actors of today's generation. With him writing the screenplay as well as directing, in addition to Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore, I really had high expectations for the movie. It started out very well and funny with the jokes being fresh and on point. Jon's monotonous lifestyle is somewhat similar to my life, minus the porn and the constant one-night-stands and the weird clothing so I could really relate to the character. However, I was quite disappointed by how not-deep-at-all the characters development is. And the ending comes out of nowhere when I don't think it was time already to conclude the movie, like, seriously? But it was good entertainment and Johansson is, what, a perfection? Expand
  30. Dec 3, 2013
    7
    Jon, in fondo, sarebbe un bravo ragazzo: sa tenere in ordine una casa, va a messa con regolarità confessandosi sempre (la sua accurata contabilità dei peccati gli costa penitenze che poi vengono scontate mentre fatica in palestra) e tutte le domeniche va a pranzo da mammà, i maschi di casa a tavola in canottiera mentre il televisore trasmette a ciclo continuo football americano di cui suo padre fanatico. Il problema che il giovanotto un egocentrico impenitente in ciò che ritiene importante c’è una sfilza di aggettivi possessivi e, di conseguenza, nel rapporto con l’altro sesso ha la sensibilità di un quindicenne carico di testosterone: cataloga le donne dando loro un voto, un seduttore seriale (da cui il nomignolo ‘Don’), ma la sua vera passione resta il porno, giudicato sempre più soddisfacente di qualsiasi rapporto reale. Quando incontra Barbara, la sua prospettiva parrebbe cambiare e vorrei ben vedere, avendo lei le fattezze di Scarlett Johansson tanto che si azzarda persino a presentarla in casa per la gioia di sua madre che non vede l’ora di diventare nonna. Ben presto, però, il meccanismo si inceppa, un po’ perché lui non riesce a rinunciare al sesso virtuale, un po’ perché lei solo un’altra faccia di un atteggiamento egoista verso la vita: Barbara cerca di plasmare Jon a suo piacimento la scuola serale, il divieto di fare le pulizie, le pellicole sdolcinate a ripetizione (Anne Hathaway e Cuba Gooding jr. cammei dei film nel film) finchè la sorella di lui Monica non dice che il re nudo nell’unica battuta che le riservata, visto che per il resto del tempo impegnata con il telefonino. Le lezioni forzate hanno però avuto almeno il pregio di far conoscere a Jon la sua compagna di corso Esther, una Julianne Moore che più lontana non potrebbe essere dai suoi ideali femminili: tra le braccia materne di questa vedova molto più vecchia di lui gli fa il bagno e occhio anche al cambio di prospettiva sul preservativo egli fa infine un passo verso la maturità, riuscendo per la prima volta a dare oltre che a ricevere. Per la sua prima regia, Joseph Gordon-Levitt scrive e dirige questa svelta (novanta minuti scarsi) commedia dal buon ritmo e puntellata da un più che discreto numero di battute: pur essendo un californiano di origine ebrea, la ambienta curiosamente in una famiglia italoamericana cattolica, ma questa sua versione di giovane Scorsese con il sorriso funziona assai meglio di quanto ci si potesse aspettare. Il merito va equamente diviso tra una scrittura che mostra davvero pochi passaggi da limare e un cast che sembra divertirsi: Gordon-Levitt sempre in scena, anche se all’inizio non aveva pensato a se stesso come interprete, e attorno a lui gli altri attori riescono a caratterizzare con gusto i loro personaggi, compresi quelli minori come i genitori di Jon Tony Danza e Glenne Headly oppure gli amici tamarri come e più di lui Rob Brown e Jeremy Luke. Certo, tutto questo parlare di (e fare) sesso può dare fastidio a qualcuno, come successo anche fra i sei che erano in sala con me durante la proiezione: un peccato, però, perché l’argomento, pur scivoloso, trattato cercando di evitare la volgarità e viene usato per rappresentare quell’eccesso di autoreferenzialità che caratterizza molti individui nella nostra società. Il tutto, comunque, senza prendersi troppo sul serio e, soprattutto, evitando i moralismi: se da una parte lo sguardo sul piccolo mondo che ruota attorno a Jon poteva essere più aggressivo, dall’altro il ‘lieto fine’ conclusivo risulta ben lungi dall’essere classico. Expand
Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 41
  2. Negative: 3 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Catherine Bray
    Nov 12, 2013
    80
    As a director, Gordon-Levitt demonstrates considerable technical flair through stylistic flourishes and coaxes great performances out of his co-stars, while he remains centre stage throughout.
  2. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Sep 30, 2013
    75
    Short, sweet, raunchy and often screamingly funny.
  3. Reviewed by: Odie Henderson
    Sep 27, 2013
    38
    A sex comedy that just lays there and expects you to do all the work. Gordon-Levitt's direction is repetitive and dry, and his screenplay is a collage of badly cut out pieces from other movies.