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  • I was in two minds as to whether I'd even bother with another Pacino film. He's been involved in a quite a few mediocre movies recently and I'd made a mental note to try and avoid them. However, I found plot summary of this movie quite intriguing and thought I'd give it a go. Incredibly this is one of his best films and I really enjoyed it from the start to the credits. Danny Collins has lived a hedonistic, excessive lifestyle for decades, but a surprising event causes him to look at his life and he makes substantial efforts to change and even to mend relationships. His quest may not be easy or faultless but it is still very satisfying. I cannot recommend this highly enough.
  • "Danny Collins" is the kind of film ripe for emotional manipulation and mawkishness, so much so that its potential to squander its wealth of talent makes one clench in their seat, hoping for a different result than the one they foresee. While there is definitely sentimentality to be found in the film, such scenes are handled with pleasant restraint from writer/director Dan Fogelman (writer of "Tangled" and both "Cars" films). "Danny Collins" is likely one of the few commendable adult dramas we will get this year, and it's nice to see that it's a particularly winning blend of restriction and talent.

    The film concerns the title character (played by Al Pacino in his best, most subtle role in years), an aging, alcoholic, cocaine-addicted singer, disillusioned with his current state of faking it through sold out performances, playing the same old tired songs (his most famous song echoes the tune of "Sweet Caroline") he has since he began his career in the 1970's. One day, he decides to drop everything, cancelling the remainder of his tour in order to venture out to stay indefinitely at a Hilton hotel and work on his songwriting, something he hasn't done in several decades, much to the dismay of his long suffering manager Frank Grubman (Christopher Plummer). While staying at the Hilton, Danny tries to make right with his son Tom (Bobby Cannavale), who has gone on to marry a beautiful woman (Jennifer Garner) and lead a solid life without the help of his father, whom views him as a deadbeat, as well as win the heart of the stubborn hotel manager Mary Sinclair (Annette Bening), who shoots down every dinner request he makes.

    All of this angst and disillusionment arises when Danny receives a long-lost letter from John Lennon, following an interview at a magazine where Danny references Lennon as a major influence. In the letter, Lennon tells him to be true to himself and states that the money and fame don't corrupt a person, but personal choices and vices will always be the downfall of a man. With this, Danny becomes rather tumultuous and realizes he's been stuck in a dead-end, creative funk for years, unable to produce a winning record or anything of noteworthiness for years. He uses this opportunity to take a vacation and hopefully find creative inspiration and connectivity amongst those he should've been in contact with for many years.

    Pacino is always the centerpiece of "Danny Collins," in nearly every shot of the film and always bearing some kind of discernible energy, whether it be boisterous or subtle. This is Pacino's most accomplished role in years, as he finds ways to create his own character and infuse him with just the right amount of life for the occasion. He is never overcome with theatrics, and plays everything in a genuine, low-key manner, something we haven't seen from Pacino in quite some time. His portrait of an aging alcoholic musician who realizes he hasn't done anything creative or for himself in years (perhaps there's some loose, real-life connection there, but that's all speculation, of course) isn't played in a manner where overacting prevails emotion and that's the key to a great deal of "Danny Collins"' success.

    The supporting characters in "Danny Collins" all transcend the lines of typical supporting characters, as they branch out to become their own character and are brought to life thanks to a collection of great talent. Among the best of the lot is Christopher Plummer, who serves as Danny's best friend in the film as well as his financial and managerial guide. Plummer is just as wry here as he's ever been, never missing a comedic or dramatic beat, and turns up just in time to save the film from becoming too sappy or too dramatic. Bobby Cannavale also does arguably some of his finest work as Danny's understandably livid son, who has been left in the dark and in the working class region of the world while his father adores all the fame of show business, so he thinks, and leaves all other responsibilities unattended. Cannavale, like Pacino, acts within his own restraints of showing anger but not being overly dramatic about the entire affair, never breaking out in a fight with his father nor letting loose a monologue of vulgarities. Almost every conversation held between them conducts itself with a pleasant sense of situational realism.

    "Danny Collins" is a surprising little film, and given how its small theatrical release is being expanded little by little, I have a feeling it will resonate with the baby boomer crowd as time goes on, giving them a little opportunity for cinematic enrichment as they're often forgotten. If that's the case, this is fine film to see, especially if you're only planning on seeing one, maybe two, films this year.
  • Inspired by the true story of folk singer Steve Tilston, 'Danny Collins' is A Beautiful Film, that offers great emotional depth! And Al Pacino shines in the title role, proving once again that he's among the greatest we've ever had!

    'Danny Collins' Synopsis: An aging rock star decides to change his life when he discovers a 40-year-old letter written to him by John Lennon.

    'Danny Collins' is at heart, a sensitive father & son story, that's emotionally charged. I was moved & overwhelmed by Danny Collins's journey, not only with his son, but also with his friends, his profession & himself. Its a fascinating character, that's been bought to life, with dexterity.

    Dan Fogelman's Screenplay is top-class. Its emotional & also humorous. Fogelman's Direction, on the other-hand, is simple, yet effective. Cinematography is good. Editing is consistently crisp. Costume Design is fine. Music by Ryan Adams & Theodore Shapiro is wonderful.

    Performance-Wise: Pacino is extraordinary as Danny Collins. He sinks his teeth into the part & brings it out with flying colors. Annette Bening is sweet. Bobby Cannavale is in fine form, as well. Jennifer Garner is subdued, while The Great Christopher Plummer is impeccable in his brief bit.

    On the whole, 'Danny Collins' is a winner all the way! Among the best films from 2015 yet!
  • Al Pacino was great in the movie.

    I would have never cast him has Danny Collins. Danny Collins is suppose to be a big folk singer in the 1970's. They used old photos of Al from the 1970's as album covers, i think one still from the God father, which made Danny Collins music seem instance and Dark (my kind of folk), but the music actually done was very pop and sounded weird actually being sung by Pacino, who looks more like a lounge singer.

    But the movie is not really about the music. Danny Collins is more about Collins attempting to charm his way into his son's life, a man who he has never met and has a family of his own.

    Pacino may have been slightly miss cast, but the man was charming and funny and was lighting up the screen with his charisma. similar to his role in Sent of A Woman.

    Definitely go see if you are a Pacino fan.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Danny Collins comes from the director who brought you Crazy, Stupid, Love and this movie is another charmer in the same vein. As a truly delightful dramedy that thinks it's much edgier than it is, Danny Collins boasts a fabulous cast with great chemistry which becomes a low stakes tale of living your life the best way you can at any age.

    Danny Collins (Al Pacino) is a very famous singer who, now in his elder years, has been reduced to singing the same repetitive hits on a tour where the average attendees are 50-60 year old women. When his manager Frank (Christopher Plummer) presents him with a birthday gift of a lost letter written to him from John Lennon almost forty years ago, Danny decides to change his life to the way he thinks it should have been had he gotten that letter originally. This sends him from LA to New Jersey to connect with the grown son he has never met.

    Pacino is delightful and fun as the eccentric Collins. Danny is a normal man who let fame and money warp him into the typical aging rock star. In a story like this, you would expect someone like Danny to hit rock bottom, lose everything and then have to build himself back up to a better person and artist. This does not happen as Danny never in fact changes at all- he is just as bombastic, oblivious and creatively shallow as ever by the end of the film. But in a monologue given by the almighty Frank Grubman (Plummer) to Danny's estranged son, Danny is full of flaws but he has the best of hearts. Pacino gives a wonderful performance in a role that you can only describe as adorable and wanting him to be your awesome famous uncle.

    Annette Bening plays Mary, the flustered hotel manager in New Jersey where Danny takes up temporary residence. Pacino and her have an easy and fun chemistry that lights up the screen when they are together. Mary starts out as someone Danny pursues and flirts with to her apprehensive delight, but she soon becomes his moral compass and you realize along with him that he may not be ready, or ever be ready to deserve her. Bobby Cannavale (Win Win) and Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club) give understated and beautiful performances as Danny's son and his pregnant wife. Both of these actors know how to play the straight to Pacino's Collins while also deep-rooting a sense of humanity in the film. The couple also has an adorable seven year old daughter who has the most sober looking case of ADHD ever seen.

    Danny Collins wants you to think it is an edgy movie, but it's not. It plays like a family movie and the moral is certainly aimed to that dynamic. If not for the extreme overuse of the f-bomb and the gratuitous female full frontal in the beginning.

    • See more at: collins/#sthash.SZcf5VNf.dpuf
  • This movie is about aging and about finding a reason to live. An aging rock star, Danny Collins, who is still popular, receives a letter from a famous rock star, forty years after the letter was written. The letter contains advice that if followed, may have changed Danny's life for the better. Basically, the letter's message was that you don't have to let material things erode your creativity. The problem for Danny is that after forty years of performing, he now finds himself wallowing in that creative and spiritual rut that the letter warned him about. He hasn't written a new song in thirty years and the material he does perform over and over again is stale to the point of being toxic. None of his props - his huge house, expensive car, young fiancé, the alcohol, the drugs - help inspire him. He feels an emptiness that is nagging him. After reading the letter, Danny decides to retire. He does this in order to try to revive his creativity and prove to himself that he can still produce. The rest of the movie reveals more about Danny's character, showing that under all the the boozing and drugging there exists a decent person. To find out whether Danny finds happiness and fulfillment, watch the movie. Al Pacino gives a strong, yet appropriately nuanced performance as an aging man who is searching for meaning in his life. After decades of using music as much as an escape as well as a source of income, he finally begins to confront the truth about himself. What he discovers makes this movie worth watching.
  • I went into this movie not expecting much, although i love the cast outright. But i was entertained throughout because this movie has heart along with its humor. Writer-director Dan Fogelman's nicely-scripted plot unfolds at a decent pace, albeit a little predictably. Al Pacino, as usual, delivers a full-on performance which includes some decent singing and dancing. He is ably supported by Annette Bening as a reluctant love interest and Christopher Plummer as his faithful manager. The icing on this cake would be the soundtrack featuring songs by John Lennon, with the numbers beautifully worked in. Too bad that Jealous Guy couldn't be included.
  • This is one of those films when the title tells you nothing so, unless you see a trailer or have a recommendation, you could miss out on a real pleasure. It must have been tempting to use a title like "How A Lost Letter From John Lennon Enabled Danny Collins to Find Himself" but perhaps that would have said too much. Certainly the storyline is very loosely inspired by the true incident of English folk singer Steve Tilston's discovery that Lennon had written to him in 1971.

    On the other hand, maybe knowing that the lead role is taken by Al Pacino would be enough for some people to view the movie, since this is an actor who consistently gives brilliant performances. Except that the character of Danny is much tenderer than most of Pacino's roles (think "The Godfather" movies all the way to "Righteous Kill") and the portrayal is much less histrionic than many of his earlier roles (think "Scarface" or "The Devil's Advocate"). Blow me, Pacino even sings in this film.

    One of the many delights of "Danny Collins" though is that Pacino (now in his mid 70s) is not the only star. There are excellent performances from Christopher Plummer (even older in his mid 80s) as his agent, Bobby Cannavale as his son, Jennifer Garner as his daughter-in-law, and Annette Bening as a hotel manager. Writer and director Dan Fogelman has given good lines and meaningful roles to his ensemble cast and it pays off a treat. And we get to hear some Lennon classics.
  • First of all, I have to start by saying it felt really weird to see a super saying the movie was "sort of based on a true story". Sorry, but it is either based on true events or it's not. I guess it's only a trick to catch people's attention a little more…

    The movie was OK, but it won't leave a long lasting impression. As for Al Pacino, the guy is an excellent actor, but for him to play a musician on the brink of retirement and to force him to show his singing skills was probably a bit of a mistake. He is such an awful singer that you wonder if the guy is singing or having a heart attack. Either way, it makes you question why they chose him and not someone else for the role… I suppose Al Pacino is still Al Pacino.

    Also, I feel that you never really get the point of the Lennon letter, which is supposed to be central to this movie (Probably the reason why they made a movie only "mildly based" on true events). They had to add a lot of substance to this letter story to turn it into a movie. You could say it is the eye opener that makes Pacino reach out for his son and try to change his empty life around before it's too late. But that in itself makes the letter seem unimportant. Basically, you sense that the same story could have been told without the letter.

    All in all, a decent movie but I really wonder how long it will stuck to your mind, I give it half a day.
  • Al Pacino puts on yet another good performance as an aging rock star who finds out that he received a letter from John Lennon and decides to make some changes in his life by getting to know his son's family. The soundtrack consisting of Lennon songs is really what helps the movie. It's not the most profound story, but who doesn't love hearing a Lennon song (whether with the Beatles or on his own)? Aside from Pacino, Annette Bening puts on the other really good performance. Her hotel clerk comes across as someone who needs as much of a change in her life as Danny needs in his. They both need a second chance, and Danny's quest for redemption just might be the opportunity.

    That this is based on a true story makes it all the more interesting. A letter from John Lennon would be worth more than I can imagine. I hope that Steve Tilston appreciates what's in his possession, and I hope that he appreciates Al Pacino's performance.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In 1971, Danny admits to a that he finds imminent fame and fortune more terrifying than gratifying.

    45 or so years later, we see that Danny was right to be worried, he is now a boozy, coked- up parody, singing the same hits to arenas full of ageing fans.

    During his surprise birthday party, he is given a present from his best friend and manager Frank, a letter to Danny from John Lennon, sent to that journalist, who kept it all these years, telling him that you can get rich and still remain an artist, and inviting Danny to give him a call sometime so they could talk about music.

    Danny sets off to New Jersey, setting up camp in a Hilton, and flirts with the hotel manager, Mary.

    He now only has two goals, write a song that is meaningful to him, and build a relationship with his long-estranged son Tom, a construction worker who wants nothing to do with him.........

    And with this movie, Pacino is finally back, showing us what an absolute the legend the man is. In my opinion, he hasn't been this good in a film since The Insider, and it's not just him, the story, the narrative, and the support is as just as awe-inspiring as the true story it's based on.

    Fogelman handles the heavy parts of the story in a way that other film-makers should take notice of, whenever a scene is in danger of becoming over schmaltzy, there is an injection of spiteful humour thrown in to detract itself, and the audience.

    Collins could be based on any ageing celebrity who is remembered, and still famous for having huge hits back in the day, and keeping his wealth by doing the same thing over and over and over. Englebert Humperdinck sprung to mind a few times whilst watching this.

    It's no wonder that he's a hard drinking, drug taking shadow, the man knows he's a joke, an almost walking satire, but Pacino adds such a swagger to Collins, such a front, that it's not until the second act you realise that this is apparent, because of his numerous facades, it's almost chameleon like how Collins acts with different people.

    The sub-plot involving his estranged son could have been an absolute disaster, but the fact that it's never too saccharine coated, and just that little bitter, adds depth to the narrative. Especially his subliminal message to himself when he leaves his Granddaughter.......the simple line 'Goodbye Hope' has many connotations in this film.

    Plummer is wonderful, and he's the link to get Collins back on side with his son, a little monologue in the third act is handled wonderfully by Plummer, as again, humour prevents the film from becoming too schmaltzy.

    If Pacino never made a film again, this would be a wonderful film to end an illustrious career, and I hope that he makes more like this, he owns the film, and even when his Collins is hungover, drunk, or sad, Pacino is effervescent in every scene.

    Welcome back Al.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It doesn't take a genius to figure out that moviegoers love Al Pacino. He's an appealing actor. He's a likable actor. Heck, he's simply a legend. He is however, heavily miscast playing an aging rocker in 2015's Danny Collins (the film I'm about to review). This is an uneven performance complete with a veritable level of patchiness. Al as demonstrated in "Collins", is not much of a singer. He also looks a little counterfeit playing the piano. At a running time of 106 minutes, you sense that Serpico is only in these proceedings for total name recognition. He ventures over to his softer side like he did in 2002's Simone but you kinda wish he'd just stick to being gangster. There are other actors more suitable to take his place here.

    Written and directed by Dan Fogelman (his first stint behind the camera) and inspired by the life of known, folk singer Steve Tilston (I'm thinking what's on screen is somewhat fictional since the opening titles say "this is kind of a true story, sort of"), Danny Collins is the type of film that mildly begins while not having an actual ending. The screenplay is from the land of vapid. Fogelman (as mentioned in the last sentence) penned The Guilt Trip which I reviewed two years ago. In that write up, I talked about how his script was achingly thin and lacked bite. Ditto here for "Collins". This is 2015's Almost Famous as in almost, not quite. It's also Jerry Maguire minus the gerrymandering, a real disappointment to say the least.

    The story commences at L.A.'s Greek Theatre. Danny Collins (played by Al "I wear the same outfits in the movies as I do in the public eye" Pacino) is set to go on and entertain a sold out show. He's a washed up singer, a guy who hasn't had a hit song in over forty years. But there he is, getting thousands of fans to spew the words to his signature hook, "Hey, Baby Doll" (just think a poor man's version of a Neil Diamond ditty). Now Danny seems to have a lot of money. He should be happy but he's not. He's got fancy cars, a mansion, a private jet, and plenty of senior citizens who'll pay to watch his tired concerts. He also drinks like a fish, does cocaine out of a cross (around his neck), and has a young fiancé who cheats on him. Anyway, he decides that his life now needs a little dose of redemption. His inspiration: A letter written to him over four decades ago. The author: The late, great John Lennon. After reading said letter, Danny decides to forgo the rest of his tour and do two important things. He's gonna try to write some brand new songs (which we the audience don't exactly get a chance to hear) and fly to New Jersey to form a relationship with the son he never met (Tom Donnelly played by Bobby Cannavale). Throughout everything, you get to hear background music via John Lennon's greatest hits album, The John Lennon Collection. Lennon's songs are sledgehammered to remind you of Danny's promise to change his life and go straight. They seem however, to mask the fact that his written words to Danny aren't mentioned enough with their purpose being sort of ill-defined. This gives "Collins" an inconsistent tone as funny/despairing fodder.

    Erraticness and unhealthy, rock star vices aside, I mentioned in the first paragraph that Pacino is out of place in the role of a second rate Frankie Valli. He's not the only one. Almost every co-star here is the victim of some sort of miscasting mishap. A fine actor in his own right, I really didn't buy Christopher Plummer as Frank Grubman (Danny's 85 year-old manager, uh huh). I also couldn't picture Jennifer Garner as a lower class housewife in Samantha Donnelly (Pacino's estranged son's spouse). Finally, I found Annette Bening to be underdeveloped and unnecessary playing Pacino's character's no-touch love interest. They have okay chemistry but I was kinda hoping their tryst wasn't such a nondescript tease. Honestly, the only actor that didn't strike me as being miscast was Bobby Cannavale. That's probably because he pretty much looked like he could be related to Pacino.

    As for the screenplay which doesn't do the actors/actresses justice to begin with, I thought it was airy and lacking in research when it came to the intricacies of rock 'n' roll. Dan Fogelman would rather give his players cringe-inducing dialogue to occupy (almost every character interaction has this) than delve into the raucousness of musical stenography and has-been hedonism. Touting itself as an uneven mix of comedy and drama, Danny Collins provides us with zingers at the end of each scene that seem to flop in the wind.

    All in all, this is a film with dangling loose ends, a sort of VH1's Where Are They Now? without a true emotional tug. It tries to succeed with some good intentions and I like the fact that (spoiler alert) it takes the viewer down a darker pathway via the notion of Pacino's character's son being stricken with a blood disease. However, the bulk of it is ultimately featherweight material at best. In the future, I'm looking forward to something better (musically) like The Who documentary, Lambert & Stamp. Nevertheless, here's my overall rating: 2 stars.
  • Because this film is intellectually and emotionally stimulating in a subtle way, I had to drive 65 miles, from Lafayette to Baton Rouge, where it was in was in one compartment of a multiplex. That the compartment was Number Nine was a nice touch. But New Orleans had it in three theaters. My review: I enjoyed it. Been a fan of Pacino since Dog Day Afternoon, Plummer since Sound of Music, Lennon since fall, 1963. And I've never seen a movie with Annette Bening that I didn't' like. The script was good; I didn't see anything not to like. So why didn't the movie come to me rather than vice versa? Apparently, the theater owners where I live won't bet on a movie without car chases, guns, shooting, war, all sorts of violence, or juvenile, senseless humor, or mainstream sports. Perhaps a little thriller/horror/sci-fi/blockbuster (Titanic, JFK) might seep through. The sad thing is they may be right. A movie devoid of the aforementioned criteria might lose money here.
  • Everything a good drama should not be.

    I went into the theatres with high hopes for this one, being a big Pacino fan. But boy I came out disappointed. It is a movie that wastes its hours on mediocrity, sometimes goes into the abyss of clumsiness and pointless melodrama. It stays away from profundity and lacks the luster of sentience. It was like watching a bunch of random guys act animatedly, to words that had no direction and that were headed nowhere. Screenplay so mediocre! It was like listening to random people talk. Humor was pathetic too.

    Danny Collins began on a great note but then slowly died down as it stumbled with its poor script. The movie seemed to open with a strong musical backdrop but unfortunately it didn't even skim its surface. Lennon is only a reference. Even the transition of Danny doesn't exhilarate you. It is a very slow paced movie that simply scrambles towards the finish line without packing a good redemption.

    If we try to focus on the good, the beginning bit with Nick Offerman was quite exceptional. Annette does a fair job with her role. Giselle Eisenberg is the cutest thing, who makes your heart melt with her sweet voice. Also the song that Danny seems to be penning turns out pretty good. Sometimes you could almost see the subtlety of Fogelman's direction when he manifests fingers knocking on the door even when there was a doorbell. Danny's disregard for his life and his decision to do what his audience loved was also brilliantly shown.

    The fact that a lot of people knew Danny Collins was overused and eventually it just became sad. At the end it just seemed like a story heading towards a blank. There wasn't truly any inspiration. Barely a decision that got cashed out for a change. You could almost tell why this movie had Annette Bening, Josh Peck, Giselle, Jennifer Garner and Christopher Plummer - simply to spice things up and make things interesting.

    I would only recommend it if you wish to see a movie where things don't go dark or grim and that is strewn with mediocre pleasantries.
  • movius4 September 2015
    This is a truly bad movie. It pains me to say that since I basically love everything Pacino has ever done. Here I simply felt sorry for him and wondered why he would lower himself to do such garbage.

    The movie is overwhelmingly trite and clichéd. I gather it's "patterned" in some way, shape or form after a real person, but who cares. Not every real person merits having a move patterned them – in fact, few do.

    Seeing Michael Corleone on stage trying to emulate an aged rock singer was almost too much to bear. I could barely contain my laughter. Only the pain of seeing this stopped me from cracking up.

    And I won't even speculate on the bizarre outfits he wore. We've all seen aging rock singers but I don't recall seeing anything so completely lost at sea.

    On the other hand, the movie has gotten some good reviews (what doesn't anymore). So maybe I am wrong. Nah, spare yourself the pain.
  • Never done this before, but here are two reviews of this film. Pick the one you like.

    The Positive Review

    As he has so often done in his career, veteran actor Al Pacino takes this morality tale of a failed musician to heights never before imagined even by the screenwriter, and gives energy to a story which cannot fail to grab the viewer. Pacino's yeoman effort is aided abetted by Jennifer Garner and Annette Bening, both of whom infuse their characters with a spirit of optimism and decency which works well in counterpoint to Pacino's character, a character actually written in such a way that the audience, try as it will, cannot hope to see Danny Collins as simpatico. Props to Pacino for pulling this one out of the fire.

    And the Review done from the heart...

    Not even the astonishing and proved talents of a 75 year old Al Pacino can give life to this dreary tale of a fading musician whose chance encounter with a communication from his past (a letter from John Lennon that was never delivered) spurs him to seek a path of redemption. Keep in mind that Mick Jagger himself is only 71, so for Pacino -- who can't sing a note -- to take on this role was the most astonishing thing in the movie, and it happened before the cameras rolled. Garner and Bening try to raise the energy level but frankly don't have the screen time. When the ultimate body of Pacino's work is catalogued, this will not be at the top the list. In fact, the whole film is such a downer that the reviewer is compelled to note that SAINT VINCENT had a similar theme yet produced a great movie following a similar arc. Forget Danny Collins. Find a copy of Saint Vincent.
  • Greetings again from the darkness. He who was once Michael Corleone is now Danny Collins. With a career spanning 40 plus years with 8 Oscar nominations, including a win for Scent of a Woman, Al Pacino must be considered Hollywood royalty. Upon closer analysis, that last nomination and win came more than 20 years ago, and he is now the go-to guy for a demonstrative, (more than a) few years past his prime type. So on paper, we get why Pacino was cast as Danny Collins (think modern day Neil Diamond).

    The film begins with a very young Collins being interviewed by a rock journalist (Nick Offerman) after the release of his first album. Flash forward 40 years, and Collins has made a career of re-hashing the same songs to the same concert goers. He lives in a mansion, throws lavish parties, has a fiancé who could be his granddaughter, and absorbs coke and booze between flights on his private jet. It's only now that Frank (Christopher Plummer), his agent and best friend, presents him with a long lost letter written to Collins by John Lennon after that interview so many years before. Cue the bells and whistles … it's time for a redemption road trip.

    It's only at this point that we understand the cute "kind of based on a true story" tag at the opening credits. See, Lennon did write a letter in 1971 to British Folk Singer Steve Tilston, and the letter did take many years to find its way to him. However, Tilston never lost his creative vision the way that Danny Collins did (otherwise, there would be no movie).

    What happens next is predictable and a bit formulaic. Colllins tracks down his adult son (Bobby Cannavale) from an early career backstage fling, and does all he is capable of doing to cannonball into his life, and that of his wife (Jennifer Garner) and young daughter (Giselle Eisenberg). Expect the usual TV melodramatics as far as disease and suburban family challenges, and tie-in a flirty back-and-forth with the Hilton manager (Annette Benning), and you can pretty much fill in the blanks for the balance of the film.

    Cannavale and Plummer certainly do everything they can to elevate the storyline. Cannavale's emotions are all over the place as one would expect and he is the most believable of all characters. Plummer adds a sense of reality and humor to his interludes with Pacino – wisely controlling his movements against Pacino's histrionics.

    Stories involving a characters seeking redemption have one thing in common … a character who is not so likable. We never really buy him as the aging rock star, or even as the once promising songwriter, but we do buy him as the guy who was too busy for his family and is clumsy and unaware of the pain he causes, even while trying to do the right thing.

    Writer/director Dan Fogelman takes few risks in his first shot at directing. His past writing includes the excellent Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011) and the not so excellent Last Vegas (2013). His common theme seems to be the emotional struggle of men, and we definitely know that's an unsolved mystery. His effort here may not be a bull's-eye, but it's not without some merit – despite the Pacino distraction.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    To say this movie is original, witty, unique, would truly be a comment made by someone who has not seen the almost 20 other films that contain the exact same outline! Pacino must really have been hard up to allow himself to work on this dog of a screenplay. The character changes that accompany the actors are unthinkable...really really bad. Not only are the circumstances unfathomable but the reactions and character developments are TRITE. At one point I thought they might write Danny taking his grown son to the Zoo with him riding on his shoulders eating cotton candy. Speaking of cotton candy, I felt like I was being force fed the same until I was gagging! The only reason I actually finished watching was to see how TRITE they would write the ending. Well, "Tom" Trite is how trite they write!
  • Yes, based on a true story but you know how that goes - artistic license and money pursuit means there's going to be a lot of embellishment, deletions, and flat out made-ups.

    Movie starts out engaging especially the dialogue - witty, sarcastic, poignant, etc. Acting matched as well. Then … it all starts to fall apart like wheels stuck and spinning in the same rut. It not only got tiresome (hearing the same stuff over and over) (i.e. stuff meaning poor ego rich me, drugs, booze, sex innuendo), but it really got cliché overload with dad making amends with cast off son (with subsequent discord of course) plot hook. And, to make it a double hook to catch the fish (audience) is the old standby of son is inflicted with a life ending illness scripted in to provide dad an opportunity to be a more likable guilty rich dude.
  • I admire Dan Fogelman's screen writing style. Some of his films may lack originality and be a little bit cheesy, but after all they are worth remembering. But I never thought that he could also direct a film this good. Even though the film critics say that you shouldn't "go expecting much in the way of surprises", it surprised me -- a lot.

    It's a film so likable and enjoyable that it's almost impossible for one to say it's bad. It does a wonderful job as a comedy-drama, but also as a music film. It has some funny moments in the first two acts, and it gradually gets sad and moving by the third act - and in my opinion, that's great. It never gets too technical or tiring in terms of music. Danny Collins is a balanced film that combines everything that the audience loves: fun, thrills and art -- but in a subtle manner.

    The film has a well-crafted pace. It never gets too fast or slow. It's interesting and eventful from the beginning to the end, but still never gets hard to follow or cheesy. Al Pacino gives a stirring performance, and the film also features an excellent work from an esteemed supporting cast.

    The dialog is also admirable. It's not complex or philosophical at all, it's it feels so natural and real that you'll find it remarkable for sure. The story is very compelling and satisfying. Even if it's not spectacular and innovative, it feels very pleasant and nice. It also focuses on some great characters that are built and developed quite well.

    I know that this film has clichés, plot holes and it's predictable, but at the end of the day, you'll think of it as a very engaging, delightful, moving and innocent experience. Danny Collins is the kind of film that you should enjoy while just freeing your mind from negative thoughts.
  • Review: I quite enjoyed this movie, which sees Al Pacino play a famous singer called Danny Collins who has a young fiancé, loads of money and a alcohol and cocaine habit. On his birthday he receives a gift from his best friend Frank Grubman (Christopher Plummer), which is a letter written to him from John Lennon, saying that he should stay true to his music, so he takes his kind words on board and decides to leave his fiancé and stay in a hotel near his son who he hasn't seen since he was little boy. He also stops his tour so he can write new material, with the help of the hotel manager, Mary Sinclair (Annette Benning), who he has the hots for. When he finally goes to his sons house, he gets to meet his young granddaughter and his wife Samantha (Jennifer Garner) who he gets on with fine but as soon as his son Tom (Bobby Cannavale) comes home from work, he tells him to leave because he has nothing but bitter feelings towards his father. Mary then advises him to carry on pursuing a relationship with his son so he decides to help them out financially and he puts his granddaughter in a highly rated school. He then finds out that his money is running out because of his lavish life style and the only way he can carry on living the high life is by going back on the road, which he can now approach with a different outlook on life. This is definitely a feel good movie about a man whose looking for a purpose in life. I liked the chemistry between Pacino and Plummer and the sweet love story between Pacino and Mary was very well written and light-hearted fun. His son was a bit arrogant at the beginning but when he started to accept his father, I liked watching them bond together. His little granddaughter cracked me up but Al Pacino's singing and performing was pretty awful. Anyway, it a watchable movie with some emotional and touching scenes but Pacino has still got a way to go before he reaches the performances of his younger years. Watchable!

    Round-Up: Although this movie lost money at the box office, it's not as bad as a lot of the projects that Pacino has brought out lately. At 75 years old, he's still remembered as Tony Montana in Scarface or Don Corleone in the Godfather and everyone is hoping that he comes out with another gangster movie before he gives up acting for the big screen. After a string of disappointing movies like Righteous Kill, Stand Up Guys, the appalling Jack & Jill, the Last Act and the Son of No One, he really is starting to lose his credibility as one of the best actors in the world. He still has a unique acting style which has made him a worldwide star but his choices of movies have really been awful in the latter part of his career. He has a role in the upcoming Martin Scorsese movie, the Irishman, alongside Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel but he takes a long time to bring out movies so I doubt that we will be seeing that project finished in 2015. Anyway, this movie was written and directed by Dan Fogelman who wrote Crazy, Stupid Love, Cars & Cars 2, Fred Claus, Bolt, Tangled, the Guilt Trip and Last Vegas. He's not new to the comedy game but this is the first movie that he has directed so it's a shame that it didn't make back it's money. The fact that the whole John Lennon letter concept was true, made this dramatic comedy a joy to watch but it's not one that will go down as a classic. There are different elements that spice up the storyline but Pacino's name isn't enough to guarantee money at the box office anymore. 

    Budget: $10million Worldwide Gross: $7.5million

    I recommend this movie to people who are into their comedy/drama/music about a famous singer who starts to question his morals after receiving a 40 year old letter from John Lennon to him. 5/10
  • Al Pacino, really ?

    I sadly must admit that he shouldn't accept ever such a poor script , if you're asking me. For all of those who enjoy the Pacino's mimic only, well, that's a nice movie for tasting your favorite popcorn.

    The others who enjoy also the deep of the scripting , please move away further from this waste of screening time.

    I would like to see something like " One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest ", or better, but , instead , we must be more and more disappointed by such mediocre acting, ,scripting, directing, you name it.

    We should mimic paying the tickets for theaters like they mimic creating good , entertaining, energizing, deep or inspirational movies .

    Hollywood !
  • "What would have happened if I got that letter when I was supposed to?" Danny Collins (Pacino) is a rock star who peaked years ago. He is coasting through life playing concerts when he can and playing the same songs over and over. When he is shown a letter that John Lennon wrote him many years before he rethinks his life and career. With a new look at life he heads to New Jersey to find the son he never knew and start writing again. As many of you know by now I am a huge Pacino fan. I think he is the greatest actor working today but some of his recent movies I haven't been a big fan of. He was great in The Humbling but I thought the movie was a little slow. This is a role that seemed like a stretch for him (he does his own singing) but because he is so great he pulls it off and it seems like a role he was made for. The movie is very fun and easy to watch. The cast is great and the writing is funny and heartfelt. Only an actor like Pacino can turn a clichéd cheesy line like "some dinners are worth fighting for" into something that is meaningful. Overall, I am a little biased because Pacino is my favorite actor but this is a great movie and his best movie in a few years. I give it an A.
  • What a charming, funny, likable, moving little movie. The best one I've seen in 2015 so far.

    It's a gift for Pacino fans. He's fantastic here. Impossible not to like his performance.

    The entire cast was great. Great chemistry between Pacino and Bening, Pacino and Plummer, Pacino and Cannavale. Even the bit roles were likable.

    It avoided the cheesy side of things that would have been really easy to fall into.

    It's a fine film that makes for a great date night flick. A lot of laugh out loud moments and a surprisingly moving ending.

  • wow, how bad was this film? no character development of any of the actors. They all had 2 seconds to prove their acting ability. The only interesting thing about the movie was during the credits they show the interview of the person the movie is based on. Also Al Pacino uses a similar coke straw made of metal that he used in scarface. the little girl was annoying, I'm gathering she was really like that off screen. So they decided to write a story around it. The screenplay writer really was using that metal straw while writing the actor's scripts. No development. No wonder so many actors opted out before this monstrosity got the OK to put out to the public. and No wonder they were hyping it so much on Facebook. You ever notice the really good movies don't get a lot of promotion?
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