Netflix | Release Date (Streaming): October 2, 2020
7.4
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 38 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
30
Mixed:
5
Negative:
3
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3
Raider_NationOct 6, 2020
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Even by Netflix standards, this was a sub-par movie, so disappointing. The pace was so slow and meandering. There was no story, nothing compelling, nothing touching. The several staged portions just hung there in space, going nowhere -- they were just plain amateurish, not creative. The director seemed to be really full of herself. The movie's subject, Dick Johnson, seemed to be a nice enough man. But his so-called "decline" was hardly anything, there was no progression of the disease like the trailers and reviews implied there would be. Just a nice, addled, forgetful man, who ended up dying of a heart attack. If I had to pick out one worst aspect, it was that any event which might have been interesting took place off camera and/or was glossed over. Was that guy "Kirk Johnson" who appeared briefly on the television her brother? If so, why was there nothing about him in the film? Was she once married to either of the apparently-gay fathers of her two children, or was she being a friend to them by having their children? Either one would be fine and honorable, but by avoiding the subject, she just seemed to be hiding things in a really frustrating way. I have no idea how the critics gave this an 87. I would give it a 30. I suspect that, being a cinematographer by trade, the director knows some critics and got some critical support that way. Maybe they felt bad for her, who knows. Expand
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5
GBBQOct 8, 2020
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Seeing this as a 'Must See' on Metacritic meant I was going to watch this as soon as possible. I did so last night and, well, maybe the hype train killed it for me but I just wasn't moved by it. Its a nice tribute and I'm sure it was cathartic for the director but the whole thing felt false, we're led to believe on a couple of occasions that Dick Johnson has indeed died when the truth is he's still alive as I write this. That's great and maybe we should all get a chance to be mourned while we are still alive to really understand how our friends and family feel. But the fact is it never felt like this was a guy who was dying, he hadn't declined mentally or physically, he looked far from frail, didn't seem to have any regrets and had made peace. That might make for reassuring viewing but also made it hard to really connect emotionally.

I'm sure its a counter statement to our morbid fascination with death through podcasts and documentaries but by being too light in tone it just failed to hook me.
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8
bertobellamyDec 30, 2020
Funny and very sad at the same time, 'Dick Johnson Is Dead' proves to be a cathartic exercise for director Kirsten Johnson, who shares her fears to everyone that will experience the gradual loss of someone close. This is a unique documentaryFunny and very sad at the same time, 'Dick Johnson Is Dead' proves to be a cathartic exercise for director Kirsten Johnson, who shares her fears to everyone that will experience the gradual loss of someone close. This is a unique documentary that deserves at least an Academy Award nomination. Expand
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6
Brent_MarchantApr 13, 2021
I must be missing something here, because I just don't get the hype behind director Kirsten Johnson's documentary about the last years of the life of her father, Dick, an elderly Seattle psychiatrist besieged by the onset of dementia. ItsI must be missing something here, because I just don't get the hype behind director Kirsten Johnson's documentary about the last years of the life of her father, Dick, an elderly Seattle psychiatrist besieged by the onset of dementia. Its eclectic mix of content doesn't gel well, despite some of the material being exceedingly well done. It comes across mostly as an often-endearing, loving tribute, though it's frequently weighed down by far too much extraneous, incidental and, at times, repetitive material. Then there are the picture's fictional segments in which the director presents comically gruesome stagings of her father's demise (a la the macabre suicide sequences from Hal Ashby's "Harold and Maude" (1971)) as a means of coping with Dick's impending passage (most of which aren't especially inventive or funny). Taken together, this amalgamation of material just doesn't mesh and leaves viewers with a confusing portrait of what the filmmaker was attempting to accomplish. Perhaps recutting the footage would have helped, but, as it stands now, this one doesn't come through as it should. Expand
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9
alejandro970Oct 18, 2020
Have you ever thought what day or how you will die? An emotional semi-documentary of an exemplary father and beloved member of his community, mixing elements of nostalgia as well as humor and melancholy. To see with pleasure a weekend afternoon.
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8
sirrongNov 22, 2020
Not the easiest movie to watch. My family couldn't get on board with the premise. I'd recommend it only for the moral and emotional challenges, but it is also a great film.
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8
henryzandtNov 1, 2020
What a beautiful moving film about farewell. Touching, but not sentimental. Down to earth, but because of the highly original approach also pleasantly surprising.
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10
NiK2000and3Jan 10, 2021
Pure in every sense of the word. As much as I like the subject of this documentary, I've come to love the man and woman behind it even more.
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