Love & Mercy

Critics Consensus

As unconventional and unwieldy as the life and legacy it honors, Love & Mercy should prove moving for Brian Wilson fans while still satisfying neophytes.



Reviews Counted: 209

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 19,829


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Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 4/5

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Movie Info

LOVE & MERCY presents an unconventional portrait of Brian Wilson, the mercurial singer, songwriter and leader of The Beach Boys. Set against the era defining catalog of Wilson's music, the film intimately examines the personal voyage and ultimate salvation of the icon whose success came at extraordinary personal cost. (C) Roadside Attractions

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Paul Dano
as Brian Wilson
Brett Davern
as Carl Wilson
Graham Rogers
as Al Jardine
John Cusack
as Brian Wilson
Paul Giamatti
as Eugene Landy
Jake Abel
as Mike Love
Kenny Wormald
as Dennis Wilson
Erin Darke
as Marilyn Wilson
Bill Camp
as Murry Wilson
Joanna Going
as Audree Wilson
Nick Gehlfuss
as Bruce Johnson
Mark Linett
as Chuck Britz
Johnny Sneed
as Hal Blaine
Gary Griffin
as Al De Lory
Teresa Cowles
as Carol Kaye
Vince Meghrouni
as Woodwind/Brass Player
Jeff Meacham
as Tony Asher
Max Schneider
as Van Dyke Parks
Diana-Maria Riva
as Maria Riva-Gloria
Fred Cross
as Cadillac Colleague
Tyson Ritter
as Hipster #1
Jeff Galfer
as Hipster #2
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News & Interviews for Love & Mercy

Critic Reviews for Love & Mercy

All Critics (209) | Top Critics (48)

Audience Reviews for Love & Mercy

A look at the year or two that proved to be the most creative for Mr. Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, the reckless self-medication that accompanied those times (as well as ever-so-slight nods as to why he did), and what was left of the man when he emerged from the other side. It's okay but it's very clean, and certainly not the tale of a survivor that it hints that it might be.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

"Love & Mercy" has some of the best acting I have seen from John Cusack, but there are script and direction weaknesses that make the story dull and incoherent at times. This story might have seen better told linearly.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

"Love & Mercy" follows young and older Brian Wilson and his band, The Beach Boys. While we flash back and forth between the bands struggles and triumphs, and into the future where he is trying to find love and dealing with Schizophrenia, the film's deep vibes and meaningful visuals made me very emotional. Paul Dano is incredible in his portrayal of Brian Wilson and John Cusack plays his illness very well. Elizabeth Banks really felt like someone who had no idea how to handle this situation. In the end, "Love & Mercy" satisfies with brilliant writing, superb direction, and a story that is much more worth telling than I expected it to. I really loved watching this film and it displays amazing performances all around and celebrates their best music in style. This is not a film you should miss. Definitely worth it's praise.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Brian Wilson's records Pet Sounds and, in another story, falls in love with a car dealer. This film alternates between two stories of Brian Wilson's life, and both are compelling and incredibly well-acted. John Cusack and Paul Dano are at top form, and their performances are the highlights of this strong, interesting, and heartfelt film. Paul Giamatti plays older Wilson's psychiatrist cum legal guardian, who is scamming Wilson for his fortune and talent, and younger Wilson's Beach Boys brethren vie for control of the band, the artistic sense of which Wilson wants to take in new Beatles-imitation directions. For a while, I was so compelled by the pitch-perfect story-telling and wonderful performances that I considered whether Love and Mercy might be the best film of the year, better than Ex Machina, but no, sadly, Elizabeth Banks's role fall in to the "helping woman" cliche, and there are some objectiveless, wandering scenes that only Dano's talent makes interesting. Overall, God only know what would be a better Brian Wilson biopic.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

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