The Killing of John Lennon (2006)

The Killing of John Lennon



Critic Consensus: Despite a committed performance by newcomer Jonas Ball, The Killing of John Lennon is ultimately a flimsy character study.

Movie Info

What sort of man kills one of the most beloved musicians in the world, and what prompts him to pull the trigger? Filmmaker Andrew Piddington explores these questions in this fact-based drama which examines several weeks in the life of Mark David Chapman, the man who murdered John Lennon. Chapman (played by Jonas Ball) is a self-obsessed young man who has an emotionally distant relationship with his parents and a failing marriage to Gloria (Mie Omori). Unable to hold down a job, Chapman spends a … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Andrew Piddington
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 5, 2008
IFC Films - Official Site


as Mark Chapman

as Gloria Chapman

as Chapman's Mom

as Det. John Sullivan

as Gun Salesman

as Prostitute
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Killing of John Lennon

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (11)

It's well-constructed and acted, but mainly just left me feeling like I needed a shower after an exercise in voyeurism surrounding an event that's still hard to watch.

Full Review… | March 21, 2008
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Gets inside Chapman's head but never under his skin.

Full Review… | February 15, 2008
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Fastidiously researched, dubiously suspenseful character portrait is unable to salvage a lick of hindsight from the tragedy beyond "murderous narcissists are people too."

Full Review… | February 15, 2008
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Even if you can forgive [director] Piddington's mangling of the basics, you will find it hard to overlook his frantic use of slo-mo, a wobbly camera, freeze frames, double exposures and a close-up of a single eye.

Full Review… | January 4, 2008
New York Post
Top Critic

The only revelations in The Killing of John Lennon are those we could have picked up ourselves, assuming we cared enough to do so.

Full Review… | January 3, 2008
Top Critic

Who is the audience here, besides depraved Beatles completists?

Full Review… | January 2, 2008
Village Voice
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Killing of John Lennon


The assassination of legendary musician John Lennon was one of the most shocking moments in the history of music. The Killing of John Lennon is a disturbing character study about Lennon's killer, Mark David Chapman. This is the type of film that is no everyone due to its subject. Nonetheless, it's a well directed affair that is very well acted and has a tense atmosphere from start to finish. You really get a sense of how disturbed Chapman was, and actor Jonas Ball is very good in the part. The story is well thought out, and it grabs your attention from start to finish. I liked the film, and I thought that it was a very good drama that recounted a terrible tragedy. Lennon's death was tragic, and this film shows everything that leads right up to his death at the hand of Chapman. Brilliantly crafted, The Killing of John Lennon is a unique film experience because it really goes deep into the mind of the killer that was Chapman. As far as character studies go, this is among the finest that I have seen. The film manages to be disturbing, depressing and ultimately sad due to the fact that it revisits that fateful night of December 8th, 1980. Director Andrew Piddington delivers a standout drama, one that relies on a great cast and true story to make this picture truly standout. Like I said, this isn't a film for everyone, but if you enjoy character studies, then this is worth watching. Yes, it gets into the might of a depraved individual, but in doing so, you are mesmerized by the film's story. A well made picture, and one that is unforgettable.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

It took me a while to get into this one as it starts off quite slow. Style over content was my original feeling but then after 30 minutes it really gets going. Filmed on location and over three years, the attention to detail and fact is faultless. I really admire the makers of this film, for telling the story but never passing judgement. Chapman is never going to be popular and this film in no way excuses or glorifies his actions or insults the viewer by pretending to know why he did it. It?s just the facts and what went down those last months in 1980. Great film making!

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

This was slightly different than the Jared Leto "Chapter 27." This was much more diverse in the background information. You actually have scenes in Hawaii, it shows both trips to NY and exposes his torn relationships with his mother and his wife.

Sean Gillespie

Super Reviewer

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