Danny Collins (2015)

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Critic Consensus: Thanks to Al Pacino's stirring central performance - and excellent work from an esteemed supporting cast -- Danny Collins manages to overcome its more predictable and heavy-handed moments to deliver a heartfelt tale of redemption.

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Movie Info

Al Pacino stars as aging 1970s rocker Danny Collins, who can't give up his hard-living ways. But when his manager (Christopher Plummer) uncovers a 40 year-old undelivered letter written to him by John Lennon, he decides to change course and embarks on a heartfelt journey to rediscover his family, find true love and begin a second act. -- (C) Bleecker Street Media

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Cast

Al Pacino
as Danny Collins
Annette Bening
as Mary Sinclair
Jennifer Garner
as Samantha Leigh Donnelly
Bobby Cannavale
as Tom Donnelly
Christopher Plummer
as Frank Grubman
Giselle Eisenberg
as Hope Donnelly
Josh Peck
as Nicky Ernst
Scott Lawrence
as Dr. Ryan Kurz
Michael Patrick McGill
as Neighbor Steve
Nick Offerman
as Guy DeLoach
Eric Schneider
as Young Danny Collins
Davide Donatiello
as Young Danny Collins
Eric Lange
as Dr. Silverman
Joshua Sternlicht
as Josh the Bartender
Tim Jo
as Tim
Hiroshi Morotomi
as Autograph Seeker
Margy Stein
as Hotel Bar Patron
Hiroshi Moroto
as Autograph Seeker
Eric Daniel Newnham
as Hotel Bar Patron
Francine Levinson
as Night Club Fan
Hal Alpert
as Night Club Fan
Henri C. Wittelsohn
as Night Club Fan
Patrick Kudej
as Chime in Magazine Intern
Carmel Echols
as Danny's Background Singer
Judith Hill
as Danny's Background Singer
Kari Kimmel
as Danny's Background Singer
Don Was
as Danny's Band
C.J. Vanston
as Danny's Band
Kenny Aronoff
as Danny's Band
Tim Pierce
as Danny's Band
Mindi Abair
as Danny's Band
Bill Cantos
as Danny's Band
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Critic Reviews for Danny Collins

All Critics (129) | Top Critics (36)

One of the things that partly excuses the movie's mush is that it's a kind of musical.

Apr 10, 2015 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Danny Collins is the cinematic equivalent of a well-sung easy rock tune, enjoyably light and bouncy, with some darker notes hidden within the chords.

Apr 9, 2015 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Detroit News
Top Critic

For his directorial debut, Fogelman puts all the right people together, and what's more, gets a performance out of Pacino that's one of his best-ever comic turns.

Apr 9, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Toronto Sun
Top Critic

Pacino's exuberance rescues Dan Fogelman's directing debut from the schematic snares in Fogelman's script.

Apr 9, 2015 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
Newsday
Top Critic

It's never dull to watch pros like Pacino, Bening, Plummer, Garner and Cannavale interact - this is dream casting - and the film makes the most of that, along with a pleasingly comprehensive Lennon soundtrack.

Apr 9, 2015 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Comedy, pathos, and some schmaltzy couplets about the changing seasons follow forthwith.

Apr 3, 2015 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Danny Collins

Inspired by a true story, Danny Collins is a fun comedy that delivers some good laughs. After receiving a letter from John Lennon 37 years late, washed up rock star Danny Collins decides to make some changes to his life, and begins by reconnecting with his estranged son; which lead him to start to write music again. Starring Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Bobby Cannavale, and Jennifer Garner, the film has a solid cast. However, the plot's a little formulaic; with all the standard tropes about fallen rock stars and estranged fathers and sons. Yet they kind of work, and made for some touching moments. While it may want for originality, Danny Collins an entertaining and heartfelt film about second chances.

Dann Michalski
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer

½

"Danny Collins" has Al Pacino at his best in years as the title role, and boy did I not expect this movie to be so great. I have seen biopics about rockstars of the past before and most of them turn out to be a little pretentious and overdone, but not this picture. Filled with wit, heart, real human drama, and a lot of love, "Danny Collins" is a terrific film. I do wish the film explored a little more of him personally, rather than his sons family, but that is me just being nit-picky. This is a terrific film from start to finish, filled with great music and superb performances all around. I really believed Bobby Carnavale as Al Pacino's son in this film. "Danny Collins" is one of the most heartwarming stories of 2015, and Al Pacino deserves every bit of praise he is receiving for his portrayal of Mr. Collins. This film moved me.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

A real crowd-pleaser. A beautifully crafted and handsomely performed film. Al Pacino gives one of his best performances in years. A true star in top form delivering humor and charm.

Al S
Al S

Super Reviewer

This closed the 2015 Cleveland International Film Festival. It was too long and not very exciting. All the early buzz about Pacino's come-back star turn was exaggerated. First time director Dan Fogelman, who has written four animated screenplays, seems to like his comedy and drama to be like a caricature. The closing credits tell us this is based on a true story of a not very well known aging rock star who discovers John Lennon sent him an inspirational letter 40 years ago. Could his life have been different if he had known? Could he have avoided the empty life of sex, drugs, and booze, and instead continued to be relevant artistically?? These questions are so bluntly obvious and convince Al Pacino's Danny Collins to try to be a better person in the here and now. Much of the comedy, which I found uninspired, stems from Danny's addiction to luxury and being a fish out of water in small town America. Even though he suddenly doesn't want to be the sell-out artist performing his one big hit song to sold out houses of retired groupies that have funded his extravagant lifestyle, he still throws cash around to prove his fame and success. There is a subplot in which he tries to woo the hotel manager played by Annette Bening. Of course, she is still nearly 20 years his junior. Then a large part of the plot that is supposed to demonstrate that Danny Collins is a better person than his rockstar lifestyle would suggest involves Danny trying to reconnect with his grown son played by Bobby Cannavale, the son's wife played by Jennifer Garner, and their daughter played by Giselle Eisenberg. Cannavale and Garner's characters get to the heart of the matter pretty quickly. Giselle Eisenberg plays Hope as a child loudly shoving ADHD in our faces, which was irritating rather than adorable. Father and son have some good scenes together, but again the emotions mostly felt like caricature in the Scent of a Woman, "hoo-wah!" vein. Pacino is also not very convincing as a singer who can hold a crowd's attention.

Byron Brubaker
Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer

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