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Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

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7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 54 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Imagine… John Lennon's childhood. Liverpool 1955: a smart and troubled fifteen year-old is hungry for experience. In a family full of secrets, two incredible women clash over John: Mimi, the buttoned-up Aunt who raised him, and Julia, the prodigal mother. Yearning for a normal family, JohnImagine… John Lennon's childhood. Liverpool 1955: a smart and troubled fifteen year-old is hungry for experience. In a family full of secrets, two incredible women clash over John: Mimi, the buttoned-up Aunt who raised him, and Julia, the prodigal mother. Yearning for a normal family, John escapes into the new and exciting world of rock n' roll where his fledgling genius finds a kindred spirit in the teenage Paul McCartney. Just as John begins his new life, tragedy strikes. But a resilient young man finds his voice - and an icon explodes into the world. (The Weinstein Company) Collapse
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. By the end of Nowhere Boy, you'll feel you know John Lennon better than you ever did.
  2. 88
    We learn that the emotional roller coaster of his formative years probably contributed to the complexity of his lyrics.
  3. 80
    Scott Thomas' delicate, ferocious performance captures a woman quietly at war with herself, who begins to realize that her vision of respectability may not fit the remarkable young man in her care.
  4. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    70
    The baby-faced Thomas Sangster nearly steals the show in the much smaller role of Paul McCartney.
  5. 67
    It's often flat and dull, and it can be heavy-handed with the little acorn-that-will-yield-the-famous-oak bits that so often dot biographical films about the youthful lives of famous figures.
  6. Reviewed by: Ian Freer
    60
    Anchored by a strong central turn, Nowhere Boy crafts entertaining, small-scale drama out of Lennon's huge-sized legend. It just lacks the spark and ambition of its subject.
  7. 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.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Oct 26, 2010
    10
    John would be sure to remind us that that you have to be careful when you venture into idol-making. "Nor is their singing school but studyingJohn would be sure to remind us that that you have to be careful when you venture into idol-making. "Nor is their singing school but studying monuments of it's own magnificence..." So the director is careful here, too careful. It has its moments but this is kitchen room drama not "A Day In The Life." Expand
  2. May 28, 2011
    9
    "Nowhere Boy" is a fascinating depiction of a driven boy troubled by familial divides. I must begin by saying that I love history, and I love"Nowhere Boy" is a fascinating depiction of a driven boy troubled by familial divides. I must begin by saying that I love history, and I love historical dramas. I am able to set the factual history aside to enjoy dramatic stories. Many history lovers are not, but I am fine with a storyteller taking a person or event from history to lay it as the foundation of the movie and then tell a story. Having said that, I am not a fan or history buff of John Lennon or The Beatles, so I truly have no outside opinion when I walked in the theatre. The only fact I truly had at the beginning was the knowledge that the main character, John, would somehow get together with a couple of chaps named Paul and George (I actually did know that Ringo wasn't there at the beginning) to form what would become one of the greatest and most loved rock groups ever. The journey, which is made entirely out of relationships, is incredible. Kristin Scott Thomas' performance (Mimi) is perfection. At the beginning, one considers that her character will be a British, stiff-upper-lipped stock matriarch, but that presumptive viewer will soon be had...as I was! It will be hard for a viewer to find fault with any of the performances. This is not a film to be passed over. Expand
  3. Feb 13, 2015
    8
    "Nowhere Boy" is an enjoyable, interesting, and quite moving glance at John Lennon's formative years, and a showcase for a great performance"Nowhere Boy" is an enjoyable, interesting, and quite moving glance at John Lennon's formative years, and a showcase for a great performance by Aaron Johnson, who perfectly captures Lennon's vulnerability and burgeoning rebellious spirit. Similarly, Anne-Marie Duff and Kristin Scott Thomas are fantastic in their respective roles as John's estranged mother and his aunt/guardian. Perhaps most importantly of all, this is accessible for the most casual fan of John Lennon and the Beatles - though some fans may be a little frustrated at the lack of insight into Lennon's music. Expand
  4. Oct 21, 2010
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Going into Nowhere Boy not being the hugest fan of the Beatles, or frankly, having any knowledge on the history of John Lennon may have been the best thing for enjoying this movie as much as I did. It's a solid family drama, with nothing particularly new or exciting about it: Lennon is abandoned by his mother as a child and taken in by his aunt, and the journey to reconnecting with his mother results in the usual types of family conflicts and hurt feelings. What elevates the movie is the performances of Kristin Scott Thomas and Anne-Marie Duff. Thomas is brilliant in something of a thankless role, giving us the stern and strict aunt type while adding amazing depth to her and making the audience care for her. Duff is the biggest stand out as the happy-go-lucky mother who is just impossible for John to get close too. The rest of the film is standard yet solid. Johnson has some struggles as Lennon, coming off as awkward for the latter half. Beatles fans might complain about the lack of music or Beatles references, but it's a solid biopic. Expand
  5. Feb 22, 2013
    7
    Nowhere Boy is the critically acclaimed story of John Lennon's adolescence and the formation of the Beatles. The film was a culmination ofNowhere Boy is the critically acclaimed story of John Lennon's adolescence and the formation of the Beatles. The film was a culmination of several biographies of Lennon, along with firsthand accounts from friends and family. Aaron Johnson was utterly fantastic as Lennon, giving a very strong performance. People were genuinely surprised when he was cast, being that he's not British, but it's not an issue. As for the film, in all honesty, until Lennon meets McCartney, the film is kind of slow. After that, it picks up a little bit, but jumps around quite a bit and gets to be rather confusing. I'm convinced that I only enjoyed this film, because it's subject is someone I greatly admired and someone I wanted to know more about. The performances were top notch and I did learn a lot about John Lennon and the Beatles, but overall this film was a little dry. Expand
  6. Mar 29, 2011
    7
    While i did enjoy the movie i was a bit confused at why his emotions seemed to be all over the place at times. one scene he's an **** and theWhile i did enjoy the movie i was a bit confused at why his emotions seemed to be all over the place at times. one scene he's an **** and the next he's a saint. i would have liked the movie to go deeper into his relationship with paul and the beatles. But for what it was worth it was an enjoyable watch. Expand
  7. Oct 11, 2010
    5
    I was under the misimpression that this would be a story about the formation of the Beatles from John Lennon's perspective. Instead, we get aI was under the misimpression that this would be a story about the formation of the Beatles from John Lennon's perspective. Instead, we get a poorly paced examination of Lennon and the two women in his life. I was, frankly, a little bored. The lead actor is solid enough to keep me interested, and his mother is terrific, but as a movie - I'd give it a pass. Expand

See all 19 User Reviews

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