The Death and Life of John F. Donovan

critic Reviews

17% Rotten Tomatometer Score17%
  • Rotten Tomatometer Score
    Joey MagidsonHollywood News
    "The Death and Life of John F. Donovan" is a potentially powerful story, though one not successfully told in the slightest by Xavier Dolan.
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  • Rotten Tomatometer Score
    Todd JorgensonCinemalogue
    Intended as a complex examination of the emotional toll of celebrity, this drama instead feels as shallow and pretentious as the characters it portrays.
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  • Rotten Tomatometer Score
    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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  • Rotten Tomatometer Score
    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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  • Rotten Tomatometer Score
    Kevin N. LaforestExtra Beurre
    Dolan's most conventional film, and consequently the dullest. [Full review in French]
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Karen GordonOriginal Cin
    Even for someone like me who admires Dolan, the finished film is a bit of a mess. But it's kind of a beautiful mess, one that still has the power to be affecting.
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  • Rotten Tomatometer Score
    Chris BumbrayJoBlo's Movie Emporium
    The three-story narrative is the film's biggest misstep, by giving short shrift to what should have been the whole point of the film - the titular "death and life" of the main character.
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  • Rotten Tomatometer Score
    Andrew ParkerThe Gate
    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.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Marie-Célia CannenpasseOne Room With A View
    As flawed as it is, the film occasionally shines through its gloomy atmosphere with an attempt at defining the unfair cost of passion.
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  • Rotten Tomatometer Score
    Pat MullenPOV Magazine
    The hottest mess at #TIFF18.
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