The Death and Life of John F. Donovan

critic Reviews

, 20% Rotten Tomatometer Score
  • The Death and Life of John F. Donovan finds writer-director Xavier Dolan flailing at profundity with a technically assured drama that never makes sense of its own ideas.
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    Jeannette CatsoulisNew York Times
    From its contrived structure to its forced speechifying, this story... never acquires the emotional potency or coherence its themes demand.
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    Mike D'AngeloAV Club
    In any case, what remains of John F. Donovan is a barely coherent mess, and so eager for your approval that it's hard to feel anything but sorry for it.
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    Peter DebrugeVariety
    A work of stunning technique eclipsed by its increasingly jaw-dropping solipsism...
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    Eric KohnindieWire
    A spectacular mash of half-baked ideas... Well, that, and a movie that just got lost somewhere in the editing room.
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    Brian TallericoRogerEbert.com
    [Dolan's] film falls victim to his worst tendencies.
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    Kate TaylorGlobe and Mail
    Dolan's English-language debut whinges about personal neuroses rather than probing homophobia or celebrity.
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    Luke GorhamIn Review Online
    These moments lead us to Dolan the pedant, whose explicit articulation of ideas obscures a career-long attention to character and form.
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    Bill NewcottMovies For The Rest Of Us
    With just a little streamlining [the film] might have zipped by in a brisk, poignant hour and a half. At over two hours, it goes straight to the Dead Letter Department.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Marc RicovFilm Inquiry
    It's far from perfect, but still manages to be a fascinating attempt at exploring sexual identity, isolation and the consequences of fame.
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    Tara McNamaraCommon Sense Media
    Convoluted gay-identity drama drags; drug abuse, smoking.
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