Johnny Mad Dog (2011)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

About child soldiers fighting a war in an unnamed African country.

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Jacques Fieschi, Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire
In Theaters:
MNP Entreprise - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Johnny Mad Dog

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (6)

The movie is harrowing and hard to forget. But just when you think there's no hope, Sauvaire throws in a tearful moment of redemption.

Full Review… | January 21, 2011
New York Post
Top Critic

Sauvaire, hesitating between a protest picture and a glam-squalid imagist orgy, only succeeds in scattering human rubble across the screen.

Full Review… | January 18, 2011
Village Voice
Top Critic

Basically, talented French director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire has too much style on his hands. His film isn't as amorally grandiose as City of God. Nor does it achieve the hulking tragedy of Gomorrah.

Full Review… | November 4, 2010
Boston Globe
Top Critic

The film sees war as a deadener of moral and physical inhibition, a paradoxical state where there are no winners or losers, just the living and the dead. Stunning.

Full Review… | October 23, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

A fearsome plunge into the world of child soldiers in present-day West Africa.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

Johnny Mad Dog is an assaultive fiction about Liberian child soldiers.

Full Review… | May 22, 2008
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Johnny Mad Dog


Powerful insight into the psyche of child soldiers with a mesmerising central performance and a real driving energy but shrouded in the darkness of the subject material.

Gordon A

Super Reviewer


The subject is quite original, the whole film is totally exotic (AK-wielding toddlers, jujus, unknown locations, etc). But what makes the interest at first of the movie quickly asphyxiate it. There is virtually no efforts to build up characters and what could potentially look like a storyline. I mean 14 years old killers make for a gripping start but they can't replace imagination and intelligence. I learned virtually nothing in this film, my understanding of Africa, or of human nature for that matter has not increased a bit. I had the distinct feelng that this film was nothing else but the disturbing pictures of Africa's civil wars suddenly set in motion.

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