Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Feuerzeig's film - everything a good documentary should be - is a story of family, friendship, art and fame, as seen through the prisms of exceptional beauty and deepest pain.
  2. Reviewed by: Joel Selvin
    100
    A one-of-a-kind cinematic experience. This musician may not be a genius along the lines of Brain Wilson, as Feuerzeig claims, but Johnston has a knack for revealing innermost thoughts in an offhand way that is eerie and uncanny.
  3. 100
    The offhand wit and casual self-revelation of Johnston's best words draw you deeper into the mysteries of his character. Feuerzeig is a music-lover to his bones.
  4. 91
    By the time Feuerzeig gets to his final shot--an artful portrait of Johnston's parents, with their son looming over them like a curse--he's emerged with the most harrowing and aesthetically keen portrait of madness and artistic inspiration since "Crumb."
  5. Whatever one's opinion of Johnston's art, this is documentary filmmaking at its finest.
  6. 88
    No wonder Kurt Cobain was a fan. But it's the way Feuerzeig walks with him on the line between creativity and madness that digs this haunting and hypnotic film into your memory.
  7. With humor, honesty and awe, Feuerzeig's portrait may love Daniel Johnston, but it won't give his parents much hope.
  8. Reviewed by: Dan DeLuca
    88
    There are frightening moments, as when he attacks an elderly woman he thinks is possessed by devils. And revelatory, heartbreaking ones, which can make you think that maybe he is a genius, after all.
  9. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    88
    The casual listener is easily put off, but by the end of the film, even a newcomer can see the magic that made fans of Kurt Cobain and Sonic Youth and led the estimable Yo La Tengo, Pearl Jam and Wilco to cover Johnston's remarkable body of work.
  10. A fascinating and lovingly crafted musical documentary that nevertheless misunderstands its own subject.
  11. Chronicles the eerie and oddly inspiring story of Johnston's ongoing battles to survive - both as artist and human being.
  12. 83
    You wouldn't want to be Daniel Johnston, or even know him too well. But see this film and you won't forget him.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Jun 10, 2011
    10
    I actually think Daniel Johnston was mis-diagnosed. I think he is on the autistic spectrum and originally had aspergers, but lack of understanding of his condition due to mis-diagnosis, accompanied by his drug use made his condition worse. He is totally a genius in what he was interested in, as are most people with aspergers. Full Review »