The Devil and Daniel Johnston
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The Devil and Daniel Johnston is a stunning portrait of a musical genius that nearly slipped away. It depicts a perfect example of brilliance and madness going hand in hand. Because Daniel Johnston is an artist suffering from manic depression with delusions of grandeur, wild fluctuations, numerous downward spirals, and periodic respites mark his life. The film artfully melds current footage, vintage performances, home movies, and dozens of recorded audiotapes from Johnston's life. Testimony from supportive friends and a deeply committed family adds a rich layer to Johnston's personal… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The Devil and Daniel Johnston is an unflinching yet loving look at the outsider musician's life. It's also the most revealing look at genius and mental illness since Terry Zwigoff's 1994 documentary Crumb."
‑ Michael Senft, Arizona Republic
"To share Feuerzeig's loving investigation is to share an insightful study of the destructive and creative capabilities of the mind."
‑ Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"While the movie is interesting as a curiosity, it ultimately reflects on the people who erroneously believe in the heightened quality of Johnston's overrated music."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Resembles Crumb in its depiction of damaged souls whose only refuge is art."
‑ Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews
"A haunting, frequently unsettling documentary about the blurry line between madness and genius."
‑ Timothy Knight,
"A heartbreaking, yet strangely uplifting and inspirational, exploration of the fine line between genius and madness, and how sometimes, one becomes impossible to discern from the other."
‑ Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
"This well-done documentary will explain why Johnston has never been able to rise above cult status ..."
‑ Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press
"While a bit draggy in places, the film nonetheless holds up quite well as an enjoyable biopic of a underground musical madman. The "genius" moniker does get dangled a bit too often, there's certainly enough beauty and power in Daniel Jonston's music to su"
‑ Jason Gorber, Film Scouts
"... a haunting portrait of an artist walking on the edge, that shows his pain in a very real way."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"A paean to the artist as a tortured genius. I can't deny that Johnston has the tortured part down pat. It's the genius part I'm having trouble accepting."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"I found the documentary surprisingly diverting as a case study."
‑ David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture
"Feuerzeig was able to fashion such a thorough, engaging film partly because aficionados such as Lee Renaldo of Sonic Youth shot so much footage of Johnston performing and acting out."
‑ Bob Townsend, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Riveting even when it borders on the hagiographic."
‑ Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness
"Regardless of whether you like Daniel Johnston's music or, indeed, whether you can even tolerate it, Johnston is an undeniably riveting documentary subject"
‑ Urban Cinefile Critics, Urban Cinefile
"A fascinating look at this epically tortured artist."
‑ John Wirt, Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
More reviews for The Devil and Daniel Johnston on Rotten Tomatoes

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