Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie
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Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie
Before entire networks were built on populist personalities; before reality morphed into a TV genre; the masses fixated on a single, sociopathic star: controversial talk-show host Morton Downey, Jr. In the late '80s, Downey tore apart the traditional talk format by turning debate of current issues into a gladiator pit. His blow-smoke-in-your-face style drew a rabid cult following, but also the title "Father of Trash Television." ÉVOCATEUR: THE MORTON DOWNEY JR. MOVIE dissects the mind and motivation of television's most notorious agitator. (c) Magnolia

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This sharp documentary tribute to Downey's bug-eyed, fulminating charisma - he was like a Nixon who'd let out his id - reveals the demons that drove him to fame, then dragged him down."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"Évocateur is never less than watchable. At the same time, you have to wonder who's going to watch it."
‑ James Adams, Globe and Mail
"The portrait of the controversial media figure, a love him or hate him type, is good enough to give us a somewhat fair portrait, considering the three directors were once fanboys."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Without taking his side, "Evocateur" makes us feel genuinely terrible for him."
‑ Matt Prigge, Metro News
"Chronicles the clamorous rise and fall of its mouthy subject in an engaging and entertaining fashion that also rather purposefully induces a certain queasiness."
‑ Brent Simon, Shockya.com
"The film does an excellent job of showing how hate-TV was molded in the image of snarling, chain-smoking, guest-berating Downey."
‑ Rob Nelson, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"The movie, made by three former teenage fans of the show, is an odd mixture of admiration and repulsion; even his friends and former producers, interviewed for the camera, seemed mixed in their feelings for him."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"This documentary probably raises more questions than it answers, but it does give a fair portrait of a very interesting character."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"Using archival footage, including what appears to be home movies, a fascinating picture is painted of this obnoxious opportunist who, in his own way, changed the face of television."
‑ Neil Rosen, NY1-TV
"A riveting biopic about a rich kid-turned-rabid bully and pathological liar desperate enough for the limelight to sell his soul to the devil."
‑ Kam Williams, Sly Fox
"Assorted celebrities and Downey's producers offer some insights, but the movie dwells too long on a group of worshipful former audience members."
‑ Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader
"Friends and former colleagues address the lingering question of whether Downey was being sincere or engaging in an elaborate form of performance art. (The answer: By the end of the show's run, Downey himself could scarcely tell the difference anymore.)"
‑ Scott Foundas, Variety
"The film argues that Downey's story is at once banal and outrageous, predictable and (sometimes) surprising."
‑ Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters
"Evocateur is an excellent effort that tries to make sense of a complicated person. It's both highly complimentary and critical, the kind of balanced overview Downey rarely gave those who came under this show business spell."
‑ Bill Gibron, EntertainmentTell
"A true-life horror story featuring a lead more monstrous than any mere vampire or werewolf."
‑ David Noh, Film Journal International
More reviews for Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie on Rotten Tomatoes