The Killing of John Lennon Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Killing of John Lennon is a chilling insight into the mind of Mark David Chapman, the 25-year-old narcissist who gunned down John Lennon outside his Dakota apartment in New York in 1980. Meticulously researched and filmed on actual locations where events occurred, the film is a gritty, imagistic examination of a celebrity stalker's mind leading up to the kill, as well as his descent into madness and exorcism. Independently financed and filmed over three years in Hawaii, Georgia, and New York, the film is unflinching in its presentation of the truth. It does not set out to condone or exonerate the shooting death of Lennon or his killer's desire for fame. Its theme of bomb-ticking loneliness and, by extension, the notion that America is a nation of angry strangers who vent paranoid resentment toward public figures couldn't be more resonant today. (Picture Players Ltd.) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 10
  2. Negative: 2 out of 10
  1. Piddington does a beautiful balancing act, creating a movie that works both on the level of suspense and as a detailed factual chronicle.
  2. Reviewed by: Eddie Cockrell
    Anchored by a fearless, commanding lead perf by newcomer Jonas Ball as deranged assassin Mark David Chapman, The Killing of John Lennon is a harrowing, impressionistic, widescreen tour-de-force that unfolds with the propulsive urgency of a scrapbook thrown into a howling wind.
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    It's a "Taxi Driver"-inspired odyssey into violence and insanity that runs close to two hours -- a long time to be riding shotgun with a madman.
  4. Shot in a quasi-documentary style at the actual locations where the events took place, including the sidewalk outside the Dakota, the movie is extremely uncomfortable to watch.
  5. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    "Killing" never moves past a superficial understanding of its subject, whose transcribed ramblings may not be the best key to unlocking his fractured mind. The movie gets inside Chapman's head but never under his skin.
  6. Reviewed by: Matthew Sorrento
    As the narrative lugubriously sticks to the documented events, we are served nothing more than a filmed transcript.
  7. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    Director Andrew Piddington's fastidiously researched, dubiously suspenseful character portrait is unable to salvage a lick of hindsight from the tragedy beyond "Murderous narcissists are people, too." (He's a victim of our celebrity-fixated culture? Oh, shut up.)

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Dec 30, 2011
    Very chilling account of the senseless John Lennon murder. It's missing a few factual elements that would have made it a bit more interesting. Mark David Chapman was tubby and had a piggy face. This actor was way too good looking to do him justice. Expand

See all 3 User Reviews