Killing Bono (2011)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Killing Bono is a rock' n' roll comedy about two Irish brothers struggling to forge their path through the 1980's music scene, whilst the meteoric rise to fame of their old school pals U2 only serves to cast them deeper into the shadows. -- (C) Arc

Rating: R (for pervasive language, some sexuality/nudity and drug use)
Genre: Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Ben Bond, Neil McCormick, Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais, Simon Maxwell
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 16, 2012
Cinedigm Entertainment - Official Site



as Neil McCormick

as Ivan McCormick

as Danielle
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Critic Reviews for Killing Bono

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (11)

While Barnes and Sheehan are persuasive as the squabbling siblings, the music-biz mockery is blunt and obvious.

Full Review… | November 4, 2011
Top Critic

A charming admixture of "Goodfellas" and "Almost Famous," "Killing Bono" is a fanciful rock tale that is nevertheless based on a true story.

Full Review… | November 4, 2011
New York Post
Top Critic

A shapeless rock-music caper that, like its deluded antihero, just doesn't know when to stop.

Full Review… | November 3, 2011
New York Times
Top Critic

Hamm's movie is sparky and fun, and full of affectionate pokes at the '80s music scene. It's also, in terms of music biopics, probably better than the real thing.

Full Review… | November 3, 2011
New York Daily News
Top Critic

There's a difference between "funny" and "comedy," and the movie adaptation of Killing Bono tries way too hard to be nutty, at the expense of just getting across what McCormick knows.

Full Review… | November 3, 2011
AV Club
Top Critic

The migraine of a story arc needed sharp comedy reflexes or, at least, a live-wire/slummy star turn and got neither.

Full Review… | November 1, 2011
Village Voice
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Killing Bono


I really enjoyed this film. I had so much fun watching this movie, and I personally found it fantastic. I have not read the book, but I loved what was done in this story. I am assuming that it did not follow the book very well by some of the fan reviews that I have read. The movie in itself was so enjoyable, that I don't really care that it took poetic license (as movie makers will do). I am interested, however, in reading this book now...

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Very funny movie about Neil McCormick and his brother Ivan who want to be rock stars. But they are over shadowed by their school friend Paul aka Bono. This movie looks at the journey of the two brothers to rock bottom while U2 raise to stardom. Stars Ben Barnes. I was also an extra in the movie so it was very exciting to be a part of it and to watch it.

Candy Rose

Super Reviewer


It all starts so innocently in Dublin when Ivan(Robert Sheehan) auditions for a band that Paul(Martin McCann) is putting together. Paul wants him as rhythm guitarist for his band, The Hype, but Ivan's brother Neil(Ben Barnes) intervenes without his brother's knowledge to keep him out of their band and in his, The Undertakers, who end up opening up for The Hype, just before it is renamed U2. Years later, Neil is a music journalist while The Undertakers are having trouble finding a venue to even perform in, eventually settling on an illegal strip joint where they cut a deal with Machin(Stanley Townsend), so they can move to London to pursue their dreams.

Enter Gloria(Krysten Ritter).

Well, if there was a fifth Beatle, then why could not there have almost been a fifth member of U2? It is a question the tragicomedy "Killing Bono," based on a true story, answers in its own engagingly offbeat way, aided by Pete Postlethwaite who is a blast in his final screen appearance and Stanley Townsend in a neat turn. And that's not to mention the usual bug-eyed charm of Robert Sheehan.

In general, "Killing Bono" does a fine job of exploring what it takes to succeed in the music business. When we first see U2, there is no doubt they are going places, although maybe not as world conquerors, yet. And then there is Neil, as the movie points out, who is plagued by chronic guilt, bad decisions and even worse timing on an almost divine scale, being simultaneously overshadowed by and doomed to trying to compete with somebody who is just so gosh darn nice.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Killing Bono Quotes

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