Danny Collins (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music
Director: Dan Fogelman
Distributor: eOne
Duration: 107 minutes

Danny Collins (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

Site Score
Good: Based on a inspirational true story, strong cast
Bad: Poor execution of a great base narrative, no extra features, lack of comedy & heartfelt drama
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(1 votes)
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Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Somewhat inspired by the true story of folk singer Steve Tilston, Danny Collins is an American comedy-drama film about an aging rock star whom drastically changes his lifestyle when he is gifted a 40-year old undelivered letter from ex-Beatles member John Lennon, addressed to Mr. Collins himself. Reality however is hard to face, even if you are a world-famous rock star since the early 70s.

Danny Collins

While greatly inspired by the true story of folk singer Steve Tilston, the film has bended the truth remarkably into a more glamorous narrative to fit the modern film industry. The film tells the tale of Danny Collins (Al Pacino), a rock star since the 70s, who’s living his life the only way he knows how; abusing his body with drugs while surrounded by women much younger than him. Clearly already in a bad mindset about the path he had taken in life, he states at his own birthday party that he looks ridiculous next to a woman of that age. His manager and best friend Frank Grubman (Christopher Plummer) bluntly agrees.

After already declaring the details of what’s to come, Frank hands Danny his birthday present, a letter from ex-Beatles member John Lennon addressed to Danny himself. A letter that has never been delivered thanks to a greedy middleman who had sold the letter to a collector. The letter states that Danny should stay true to himself and to his music, a response to something Danny had said during an interview in the early 70s where he claimed to be scared of the fame and fortune that’s to come if he ever became successful. Reading the letter 40 years later, Danny feels like an imposter, “a joke”. His own music had never been taken well by the public and he has been singing songs not written by him for the last thirty years.

Danny Collins pic01

The letter was the last straw for Danny and he decides to throw his life around. Leaving his rich lifestyle, he secludes in a small Hilton hotel near New Jersey where he meets the brutally honest hotel manager Mary Sinclair (Annette Bening). With her unbiased help, he starts songwriting once again but not before he tries to fix his relationship with his son Tom Donnelly (Bobby Cannavale) whom he had never met before. Danny learns that he has missed out on a handful of wonderful events in Tom’s life, such as meeting his daughter-in-law Samantha Leigh Donnelly (Jennifer Garner) and seeing his grandchild Hope Donnelly (Giselle Eisenberg) grow into the startling kid she is now. When Danny finds out Tom has been diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, he is stricken with fear and does everything he can to stand by Tom’s side regardless of the disputes they’ve been having. When things finally seem to be going well, Danny does the unimaginable and returns to his hard-living ways after he failed performing his own song at a small-sized concert.

While Al Pacino certainly did his utter best to portray the broken-down rock star Danny Collins, something feels missing from his character. Just like the film is missing its comedy aspect. Not a single scene is truly laughing-out-loud funny nor heartfelt and the terrible execution of the film in general results into an average performance of all actors in the film regardless of the roles they played. The allegedly comedy-drama is truly farfetched.

The interaction between Al Pacino and Annette Benning whom portrayed the edgy Mary Sinclair created a great dynamic in the long-winded film. The witty yet dry remarks of Frank Grubman (portrayed by Christopher Plummer) made the action-less film even lighter, if that were even possible. However none of these greatly performed character traits did the film nor the narrative justice.

We were sorry to see that the Blu-ray disc didn’t come with any extra footages such as a gag reel or interviews regarding the inspiration of the film. The ending credits did feature a few seconds long footage of Steve Tilston, talking about the letter he had received after decades, in-between the rolling and lengthy list of names. In spite of this miniature extra footage being shown, we cannot help but feel that most viewers will not be seeing this and thus we regret not having any extra’s to accompany this average flick.


Despite having a fairly strong cast with members such as Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner, Bobby Cannavale and Christopher Plummer, the execution of the film is poorly done. Although the film is inspired by the true story of folk singer Steve Tilston, the film deviates from actual events and results into a long-winded and action-less dramatic film where the heartfelt drama is missing and the comedy aspect is hard to find.

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Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Danny Collins (Blu-ray) - Movie Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Hi! I'm Jess and I’m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

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