The Death and Life of John F. Donovan - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Death and Life of John F. Donovan Reviews

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May 20, 2019
The hottest mess at #TIFF18.
December 14, 2019
"The Death and Life of John F. Donovan" is a potentially powerful story, though one not successfully told in the slightest by Xavier Dolan.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
September 17, 2018
A baffling exercise in taking real issues and genuine emotional experiences and (seemingly due to some misplaced anxiety) deploying them in service of pure vanity.
Full Review | Original Score: D
September 16, 2018
The film wants to be taken seriously, its earnestness only ever fleetingly successful at being a critique of our perception of it.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
December 19, 2019
Convoluted gay-identity drama drags; drug abuse, smoking.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
September 21, 2018
What this needs is cohesion and a greater insight into the actions and outcomes he traces. And, most importantly, it needs far more heart than what is ultimately there. A Dolan film without the heart is about as disappointing as you can get.
September 17, 2018
A baffling screenplay in which all the characters speak in the same, pretentious voice, stylistically vapid direction and non-existent drama add up to a fatal verdict.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
August 21, 2019
A film with a fair bit to like within its shaggy, unwieldy construction, but not enough to outweigh the fact that Dolan's latest is an unqualified mess.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/10
September 11, 2018
It starts to feel like Dolan is parodying a Dolan movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
September 12, 2018
A spectacular mash of half-baked ideas... Well, that, and a movie that just got lost somewhere in the editing room.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
September 11, 2018
[Dolan's] film falls victim to his worst tendencies.
September 11, 2018
[A] half-baked, cumbersome, overlong psychodrama.
December 12, 2019
From its contrived structure to its forced speechifying, this story... never acquires the emotional potency or coherence its themes demand.
December 11, 2019
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.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
September 13, 2018
A work of stunning technique eclipsed by its increasingly jaw-dropping solipsism...
September 13, 2018
Xavier Dolan's film is a mess, maybe even a hot one, and I can't say I had a bad time watching it-which is not the same thing as suggesting it works.
August 28, 2019
Dolan's most conventional film, and consequently the dullest. [Full review in French]
December 13, 2019
Intended as a complex examination of the emotional toll of celebrity, this drama instead feels as shallow and pretentious as the characters it portrays.
September 11, 2018
Dolan's English-language debut whinges about personal neuroses rather than probing homophobia or celebrity.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
September 11, 2018
In the film's best close-up, Newton's face sums up the experience of watching The Death And Life Of John. F. Donovan: confusion to annoyance to resignation.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
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