The U.S. vs. John Lennon


The U.S. vs. John Lennon

Critics Consensus

Though it glosses over anything negative about Lennon, this documentary offers a lot of fascinating archival footage, plus its political issues still have relevance for today.



Total Count: 96


Audience Score

User Ratings: 18,376
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Movie Info

This film is a compelling and provocative look at John Lennon's transformation from beloved musical artist to anti-war activist to iconic inspiration for peace that also reveals the true story of why and how the U.S. Government tried to silence him. The film will also show that this was not just an isolated episode in American history but that the issues and struggles of that era remain relevant today.

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Critic Reviews for The U.S. vs. John Lennon

All Critics (96) | Top Critics (35)

  • If anything this film proves that song can have more impact than a little toe tapping and tub-thumping.

    Dec 30, 2006 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • By the time The U.S. vs. John Lennon is done, the filmmakers have reinforced the sense that pop music once produced prophets, as well as profits.

    Nov 24, 2006 | Rating: 4/5
  • Lennon's spirit, like his music, shines through this movie like a beacon.

    Nov 24, 2006 | Rating: 3/4
  • The film paints with swaggeringly broad strokes, the basic thesis being Lennon = good, government = bad.

    Oct 28, 2006 | Full Review…

    David Jenkins

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Humanizing Lennon to those who might find the man a bit inaccessible, and adding the word 'courage' to his long list of positive attributes.

    Oct 12, 2006 | Rating: 4/5
  • Documentarians David Leaf and John Scheinfeld go beyond the usual glibness, revealing a much fuller portrait of the man.

    Sep 29, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The U.S. vs. John Lennon

  • Nov 07, 2010
    I love a good documentary. It's weird, I can appreciate a good Beatles documentary, yet I prefer covers of their music as opposed to the original. Having said that, this was a good eye-opening film about John Lennon's going from musician to activist for peace and how the US government didn't take too kindly to it.
    Remi L Super Reviewer
  • Nov 27, 2009
    An excellently executed and moving documentary about a truly beautiful man who started off as a simple young pop star, but quickly realised he could use his popularity for a good cause, and became one of the most artistic and open-minded pacifist revolutionary activists of all time. The interviews were fascinating (G. Gordon Liddy always makes me laugh - ignorant right wing toolbox...); the footage was awe-inspiring and powerful, and the documentary was in general so well thought out and constructed as to leave you with a pretty detailed sense of the progression and the complex make-up of this amazingly amazing human being, without ever boring you; and the soundtrack was, as expected, incredible :D One glaring issue I had with this otherwise flawlessly brilliant documentary / biography, was that I got the sense that Lennon was being portrayed as a sometimes naive little boy with fantastical views of what the world could be (see his ideas regarding us all being citizens of a borderless world country - Newtopia), and as a sometimes pawn in a much larger game played by the more leftist and radical activists (The Black Panther dudes (like Angela Davis, Bobby Searle, and Malcolm X) and those crazy mofos Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin) and the oppressively fascist (made out to be (scarily) almost Orwellian in this movie) right wing republican government. He was a fantastic human being stolen from us far too soon (like so many before and subsequent to him) by a raving lunatic (or a stealthily trained Manchurian Candidate, depending on whether you believe the American government or Chris Carter ;) and if you know little or nothing about him, this film does an excellent job of showcasing who and what he was.
    alex m Super Reviewer
  • Apr 25, 2009
    Great documentary about a great, inspirational man.
    Mark C Super Reviewer
  • Aug 19, 2007
    Interesting documentary that draws an uneasy parallel between the Vietnam & Iraq wars.
    Sarah P Super Reviewer

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