Johnny Mad Dog
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A vicious child soldier armed with weapons of death and willing to use them at the slightest provocation serves as the focal point for this drama highlighting the need for greater humanity in a country ravaged by absurd wars. Johnny is a fifteen year old soldier with a small commando unit, and together this team robs, pillages, and kills everyone and everything in their path. Laokolé is a sixteen year old girl who spirits her disabled father around on a ramshackle wheelbarrow and looks after her eight year old brother Fofo while dreaming of ways to leave the city and build a better future. As… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The movie is harrowing and hard to forget. But just when you think there's no hope, Sauvaire throws in a tearful moment of redemption."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"The film sees war as a deadener of moral and physical inhibition, a paradoxical state where there are no winners or losers, just the living and the dead. Stunning."
‑ David Jenkins, Time Out
"Educational, truthful and important."
‑ Clay Cane, BET.com
"breathless, ferocious, and deeply unsettling"
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
"Never letting up for a moment, you should go see - but prepare to be shocked."
‑ David Edwards, Daily Mirror [UK]
"Sauvaire, hesitating between a protest picture and a glam-squalid imagist orgy, only succeeds in scattering human rubble across the screen."
‑ Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice
"A fearsome plunge into the world of child soldiers in present-day West Africa."
‑ Justin Chang, Variety
"Director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire's deftly stylized camerawork reminds us at key intervals that what we're seeing is artifice, dramatization."
‑ Joseph Jon Lanthier, Slant Magazine
"What end does a harrowing and horrifying film like this serve? Understanding? Political awareness? I'm not sure. One thing is certain: you won't forget it in a hurry."
‑ Cosmo Landesman, Times [UK]
"Harrowing, violent and deeply disturbing, this realistic drama about children fighting in Liberia's grisly civil war (1999-2003) is not only a strong story, but it has wide resonance as a look at young people living without limits."
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"Basically, talented French director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire has too much style on his hands. His film isn't as amorally grandiose as City of God. Nor does it achieve the hulking tragedy of Gomorrah."
‑ Wesley Morris, Boston Globe
"Johnny Mad Dog is an assaultive fiction about Liberian child soldiers."
‑ Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"...it's difficult to recommend Johnny Mad Dog, despite-and in some ways because of-the fact it is very good."
‑ Eric Monder, Film Journal International
"A gut-wrenching, documentary-style look at a company of Kalashnikov-wielding kids."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"There is an odd whiff of post-colonial bongo-bongo about it - i.e. sit back, munch popcorn and watch the natives blow holes in each other."
‑ Kevin Maher, Times [UK]
More reviews for Johnny Mad Dog on Rotten Tomatoes

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