Uncut - 12/14/2009 4 stars out of 5 -- "NOWHERE BOY proves a joyous success. At its heart is a vibrant performance from Johnson, who captures the intensity and contradictions of the teenage Lennon..."
Box Office - 01/23/2010 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Johnson is wholly credible as the future rock king: handsome, smart, brash, impulsive, overconfident and angry, he makes everything we'd later learn about Lennon feel inevitable."
Entertainment Weekly - 02/12/2010
"The director, Sam Taylor-Wood, captures how John Lennon's incredibly sordid, messed-up family life never quite let him know who he was."
Empire - 06/01/2010 3 stars out of 5 -- "Taylor-Wood mined gold in her star trio, two superb actresses and Johnson's intense young Lennon wringing wit, vulnerability, love and hurt out of Matt Greenhalgh's script."
Chicago Sun-Times - 10/13/2009 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "We learn that the emotional roller coaster of his formative years probably contributed to the complexity of his lyrics."
Los Angeles Times - 10/08/2010
"[A]n emotionally raw and yet raucous, rockin' riff on John Lennon's turbulent teenage years....An entertaining piece of nostalgia."
USA Today - 10/15/2009
"Director Sam Taylor-Wood weaves this tale with elegance, spot-on costumes and production design, and finely tuned casting."
A.V. Club - 10/07/2010
"NOWHERE BOY is modest in scope and more rewarding for it, highlighted by particularly strong performances by Thomas and Johnson, and a keen sense of time and place."
Rolling Stone - 10/07/2010 3 stars out of 4 -- "NOWHERE BOY is smart enough not to spell it all out. You can hear it in Lennon's music, which plays in your head as the movie works its subtle magic."
Washington Post - 01/25/2014
"Aaron Johnson delivers an affecting performance as a confused Liverpool teenager torn between two mother figures and nurturing creative impulses..."
The true story of John Lennon's troubled childhood and difficult relationship with his family is brought to the screen in this period drama. Young John (Alex Ambrose) is a bright but sharp-tongued boy living in the coastal town of Liverpool during the 1950s with his aunt Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas) and uncle George (David Threlfall). John's father walked out on the family when he was four years old, and the boy was given to Mimi to raise, even though his mother, Julia (Anne-Marie Duff), was still alive. While Mimi's straight-laced nature runs counter to John's more reckless personality, they clearly love one another and the household is thrown into chaos when George dies suddenly. At the funeral, teenage John (now played by Aaron Johnson) sees Julia, and learns to his surprise that she lives only a few blocks away from Mimi. John pays her a visit, and Julia gratefully welcomes him back into her life. Julia's personality is a much closer fit to John than Mimi, and she encourages his love for writing and music, teaching him to play the banjo. However, John's renewed relationship with Julia brings up a number of unanswered questions, and causes new tensions between Mimi and John. And as rock & roll becomes the hot new sound of the day, John falls in love with the bold new music and makes a friend who is interested in forming a band, Paul (Thomas Brodie Sangster). The first feature film from artist-turned-director Sam Taylor-Wood, NOWHERE BOY was the closing night attraction at the 2009 BFI London Film Festival.
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